As the cause for the beatification of Venerable Suzanne Aubert progresses, Sisters of Compassion congregation leader Sr Margaret Anne Mills finds hope in the fact that Cardinal Giovanni Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, is already acquainted with her (Mother Aubert’s) case.

Sr Margaret and Fr Maurice Carmody, Roman Postulator for Mother Aubert’s cause, met with Cardinal Becciu in Rome in May. Sr Margaret was in Rome at that time to attend a conference of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).

“He (Cardinal Becciu) was very interested in Suzanne Aubert’s cause. In 1990 — 1992, he lived at the nunciature in Lyall Bay, Wellington, as the secretary to the Nuncio. He reminisced about his time in New Zealand and the Pacific. He had fond memories of Monsignor Charles Cooper and Cardinal Tom Williams,” Sr Margaret told NZ Catholic.

“As Cardinal Becciu lived in New Zealand, this is very helpful for the progress of the cause, as he has knowledge of the country and its people,” she said.

An intensive and exhaustive formal diocesan inquiry into the alleged miraculous cure of a young mother through the intercession of Mother Aubert was held in March. During a visit to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in May, Fr Carmody officially presented these findings to the appropriate authorities. Once it is agreed that the miracle deserves further examination, Fr Carmody will prepare a formal presentation of the case for final approval or otherwise. If it is recognised that the cure is miraculous, the way will then be clear for Pope Francis to declare Suzanne Aubert “Blessed”.

Sr Margaret also reported on what had happened at the UISG conference.

Sr Margaret Anne Mills, DOLC, (fourth from right in blue) at the International Union of Superiors General conference in Rome in May.

“The gathering was centred around the context of ‘Sowers of Prophetic Hope’,” she said. “The themes touched on our small beginnings as communities. Our foundresses noticed aspects that were missing in people’s lives and many congregations began with small acts of compassion. We need to continue in this way — to notice what is going on around us.”

She said that, from the gathering, she came away with the following insights:

“Develop a capacity for contemplation and critical thinking that leads to discern prophetic actions for the sake of our planet. Take the risk to groan with all of God’s creation, fall in love with the earth [and] give counter culture witness to the culture of domination,” she said.

“Remain open to the God of Surprises who disrupts our mind-sets and lifestyles [and] invites us to ecological conversion by bringing healing to our broken and vulnerable planet.”

At the meeting with the Pope, Sr Margaret noted how Pope Francis did not follow protocol — sitting at the same level as the sisters and calling upon UISG president Sister Carmen Sammut to sit beside him.

Upon meeting the Pope, Sr Margaret took the opportunity to advance Mother Aubert’s cause.

“After thanking Pope Francis for his support of New Zealand at the time of the massacres in Christchurch, I suggested that it was now Suzanne Aubert’s time to be acknowledged as a saint,” she said.

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