continue at Stevens Point Journal
In March 2013 Bishop William Callahan, who will celebrate the Mass, formed a tribunal to study and document the life of the Rev. Joseph Walijewski. The group includes priests and laypeople who are responsible for interviewing witnesses and producing documents that eventually will be sent to the Vatican to support the effort to make Walijewski a saint. The work of the tribunal is expected to take about five years.
Walijewski is the first priest from the diocese to be proposed for sainthood, and is one of about 3,000 people worldwide who have been proposed for sainthood to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome, though some of those petitions no longer are active and date back hundreds of years. If canonized, Walijewski would become only the 11th saint from North America and only the fourth born in the United States. The last U.S. citizen made a saint was Kateri Tekakwitha, an Algonquin-Mohawk tribal member who was born in New York state in 1656 and was canonized in October 2012 — 332 years after her death.