Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cora Evans, Servant of God

Over the right hand side of my blog you will see a picture of Cora Louise Evans, identifying her as a Servant of God and asking for her intercession. Like me, Cora was a Utah native and a convert to the Catholic faith. The cause for her canonization is highly significant for me and for many like me, who are LDS converts to the Catholic faith. There are many of us here in the Church in Utah, where I am privileged to serve. There are also many LDS converts to the Catholic faith throughout the U.S. and the world (our numbers are not as nominal as many might think!).

There are three exciting developments regarding Cora's cause. First, Bishop Richard Garcia, the bishop of Monterrey, California, the diocese where Cora was resident at the time of her death in 1957, formally opened the cause for her canonization. Secondly, Bishop Garcia appointed Fr. Joseph Grimaldi, J.C.L. "as postulator for the cause of the lay faithful, known for her holiness, Cora Evans." This step formally makes her a Servant of God. Fr. Grimaldi’s appointment is good news as he served as Promoter of Justice for the cause of the recently canonized St. Damien of Molokai.

Cora Evans, Servant of God, pray for us

The promotor iustitiae was formerly known, at least popularly, as the "devil’s advocate" (i.e., advocatus diaboli), formally called the promotor fidei (i.e., promoter of faith). So, Fr. Grimaldi’s role in Cora’s cause will be the exact opposite of the canonical duties he performed in the cause of St. Damien. As postulator for Cora’s cause, Grimaldi will serve as what used to be called advocatus Dei, or God’s advocate, promoting her canonization and stating the case for her being raised to the altar, whereas when he served as Promoter of Justice it was his job to examine the accuracy of everything submitted in favor of Fr. Damien’s canonization and to scrutinize claims made on behalf of his holiness, not with an eye towards preventing his canonization, but to insure the honesty and integrity of the proceedings.

One famous and recent example of the role of the Promoter of Justice was to have Christopher Hitchens, author of the scathing book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, testify before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints against Bl. Teresa being recognized as a saint of the church, an experience he described in his article, "Less Than Miraculous," as "representing the Evil One, as it were, pro bono."

Finally, back in February, His Excellency, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco (formerly bishop of Salt Lake City), granted an imprimatur for Prayer for the Intercession of Cora Evans, composed by her long-time confessor and spiritual director, Fr. Frank Parrish, S.J. I encourage any who read this blog to bring any particular needs to Cora, asking for her intercession. Below is the approved prayer:

First - Visit the Blessed Sacrament

Cora prayed that she would be given the same gift as Saint Therese, the Little Flower,
spending her heaven on earth doing good. But, first visit the Blessed Sacrament.

Second - The Prayer - Ask Cora to intercede in your behalf

Dearest Jesus, You blessed Cora Evans with many supernatural mystical gifts as a means of drawing us to a deeper and more intimate union with your Sacred Heart through Your Divine Indwelling, Your Mystical Humanity. I ask You through her intercession to help me in my special request (name the favor) and my efforts to do Your will here on earth and be with You, Your Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and the whole Court of Heaven forever.

Third - Say three times

The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

To read more about Cora, please visit this link.

While I am on the subject of recently opened causes for canonization, I cannot help but mention that of Dorothy Day, who once averred that she did not want to be a saint because she did not want to be dismissed that easily. Specifically, I draw your attention, dear reader, to Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete’s article, which appeared in Il Sussidiario (an on-line effort to which I make an occasional contribution), “Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement."


  1. Deacon Scott, Thank you for posting about Cora Evans. I am very distressed. My daughter dated for 5.5 years and was engaged to a good Catholic young man. The two had saved themselves for marriage and looked forward to homeschooling their children and teaching them the faith. The young man changed his job and became the target of a young Mormon woman's interests. Suffice it to say that the young man broke off the engagement and is now attending the Mormon church and is considering attending a Mormon university. All of this took only a few months to develop. He was not the lying type but since he met this woman he consistently lied to my daughter and much worse he is constantly lying to his family and is becoming alienated to them. Everyone is shattered. I will begin praying to Cora Evans for him. No one knows what to do and how this whole thing could take hold of him in such a strong and sudden and uncharacteristic way.

  2. Dear Lori:

    What a painful experience for you and your daughter, not mention this young man's family. Entrusting this to Cora's intercession sounds like just the thing to do. I will pray for this situation as well.

  3. Pray for my confusion in my faith to leave or not for the anabaptist faith. Gloria. My family is leaning to biblical faith.

  4. Dear Anonymous, I have often gravitated toward the Anabaptists. This is mostly because I admire their simple family oriented rural lifestyle and the importance of the faith for the average Anabaptist. However, the Truth is a Someone, and His name is Jesus Christ, and He established His one True Church, the Catholic Church, and to deny His Church is to deny Him. The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Faith, the others possess a truncated version of it, no matter how fervent their members appear. It was the Catholic Church that gave us the bible in the first place. This happened in the 300's sometime at an Ecumenical council. Just to give an indication of how long and complicated the process had been, there had been 27+ versions of one of the Gospels alone and the Church had to study which one was the orignial. (Sorry I can not not give you the exact dates, names and figures on the above but I will look for them) The Church in a Council of the Bishops united with the Pope finalized the cannon of Scripture. Even Martin Luther said he was forced to admit that the bible itself came from the Catholic Church. There is nowhere in Scripture that says that the Bible alone is to be the only authority. There are passages in Scripture that tell us to hold fast to Tradition as well as writing (the Scriptures). ( I will list these in my next post). Then of course, the Lord established His Church on the Rock of Peter, so that the Gates of Hell could not prevail against His Church.
    I implore you to pray to the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to the Truth and to strengthen you in your faith. You must pray sincerely and accept the Truth after a fair and thorough search. It would not be fair to listen to an Anabaptist apologist but do no more than read a Catholic brochure or two and to lean on your own understanding of the faith. Talk with a Catholic apologist in person or over the telephone. I know the name of two Catholic organizations that would be good to consult regarding questions about the Catholic Faith. One is Catholic Answers 619-387-7200 Pacific time 9-4:45 . Also the Coming Home Network: ask for Marie Clare starting next Tuesday at 800-664-5110 . I would not necessarily consult with only your Parish priest. He may or may not be the best person to consult about matters of the faith. You owe it to yourself and to the Lord to speak to someone who knows and can articulate the answers to your questions.
    I do admire the lifestyle of the Anabaptists. There is often something to the rural lifestyle that keeps one family oriented and close to the Lord. If your interest in the Anabaptist faith is strongly associated with their simple rural lifestyle you might want to check out the Catholic Homesteading Movement. Also there are some farms involved in the Catholic Worker movement.
    As an aside, I had a neighbor who had been investigating the Anabaptist church. She had been attending services for a while with her family. When the church found out that she had an older daughter who had joined the Air Force, the Anabaptist congregation practically shunned her because she would not sever contact with her older daughter.
    I will pray for you. I am confident that if you pray fervently and sincerely and take time and care in your search you will remain in the One True Church and will also have learned to appreciate the Church more, once you have learned and understood more about the Faith.

  5. Dear Anon.

    I am sorry for being a little delayed in responding to your comments. Lori's advice is very good. For the most comprehensive source of the Servant of God Cora Evans' life and writings, simply click on her picture right here on the blog. There is no reason to remain confused. If you want, email me at I'd be happy to assist you in any way I can.

  6. Dear Lori, thank you for giving me great advice on the mennonites. The group helps in schooling my asperger children.(and money for clothes) No one else could help me-even public schools. This is why I am so confused.(and suffer from fear.) I will take your advice from above and pray. My husband went back to his childhood faith (baptist) even we all go to the menn. church in the city. My now teenage boys(3) know God but are 'doing their own thing'. We are not members. I still go to confess. and rosary, not Mass.Four years ago we all went to Mass. My hubby converted right before we married and received all sacraments. Please pray for God's will in my life and my family. thank you. My name is Gloria.

  7. Hello Gloria, I know this is very long in getting back to you but I wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you almost daily since the time you last posted. I have a child in the autistic spectrum too, slightly verbal but not very high fuctioning. She is now 21. I also understand about problems in the public school system.

    Over the past year I have been frequently praying a novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague. This devotion appeals to me for some reason. I also learned that the devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague is helpful for those in financial need. I can't tell you how I have been blessed recently including in the financial area. A friend suggested that I also display a statue in my home of the Infant of Prague. Even though I am not one much for statues, I decided that I would show my appreciation for the many recent blessings by displaying a small statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague to remind me of my devotion. I ordered a small statue and when it was still on its way, my accountant called to tell me that some new software caught a very large tax credit that I am entitled to. This will wipe out most of my debt! I don't think that this really has to do with a statue or even praying a novena, but I believe that the Lord appreciates a child-like confidence and that is what praying the words of this particular novena and litany have inspired in me or maybe it has just been the continuous praying and begging like in the scriptures of the widow bothering the judge.

    Gloria, it seems that you also have a lot of struggles. It is wonderful that you still pray the rosary and can get to confession. It seems like the Lord is blessing you through the Mennonite school. I believe that if you can continue to do the right thing the best that you can and pray and have child-like confidence the Lord will soon come to your aid.


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