By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service
BALTIMORE (CNS) — The sainthood cause for the founder of a U.S. religious order devoted to person-to-person ministry can move forward with the approval of the U.S. bishops Nov. 11.
In a voice vote on the first day of their fall general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops agreed to a request from New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan to proceed with the next step in the canonization process for Mother Mary Teresa Tallon.
In April, Cardinal Dolan, acting as the archbishop of New York, signed the edict officially opening the diocesan inquiry into Mother Tallon’s life, heroic virtues, reputation for holiness and events attributed to her intercession.
The order’s motherhouse is in Monroe, N.Y., which is in the Archdiocese of New York. Mother Tallon is buried on the grounds of the motherhouse.
The cardinal, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked for the bishops’ endorsement as the local bishop promoting her cause. Their vote came after consultation held toward the end of the morning session of the meeting; episcopal consultation is a step in the Catholic Church’s canonization process.
Mary Teresa Tallon was born in Hanover, N.Y., on May 6, 1867, to Irish immigrants. At age 19, she joined the Holy Cross Sisters, in South Bend, Ind., working for 33 years in the order, as a teacher in Catholic schools, with poor and neglected children.
In 1920, she founded a new order, the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, as a community focused on contemplation and door-to-door, personal ministry. As explained in a biography of Mother Tallon on her order’s website, she particularly wanted to "reclaim lapsed and uninstructed Catholics for the heart of the Good Shepherd."
The biography said that "even as a young girl, she was seen to be magnetic, compelling and persuasive. People were drawn to her and held by her fervor and enthusiasm, especially for the things of God."
She died in 1954, leaving behind a community that continues its person-to-person ministry in New York, New Jersey, the Diocese of Phoenix and in dioceses in Nigeria and the Philippines.
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