Ever since Father Rick Thomas died in 2006, people have been asking when will he be canonized a saint. We tell them that it is a long and involved process, and that it is up to the Church to decide if that process should be pursued or not. But we also tell them to pray, and if it is God’s will it will happen.
As of yet his cause has not been opened, but we were given permission in 2012 by the Jesuit provincial (at the time) of the New Orleans Province, Fr. Mark Lewis, S.J., to print a prayer card asking for Father Thomas’s intercession. Here are some excerpts from the letter Fr. Lewis wrote to us:
“After hearing the advice of my consulters and conferring with Fr. General’s assistants in Rome, I write this letter to grant you my permission (imprimatur) in response to your request of November 30, 2011… You will be responsible for collecting any documentation of graces received…On our part, the province will begin to gather the materials related to Fr. Richard Thomas which are currently in our archives….These materials will remain with us until the Postulator asks for them.
“As you and your directors are aware, far more important than the process for canonization and official recognition by the Church is the great work of living out the Gospel carried out by your community as it remains inspired by Fr. Thomas…. Saints are considered to be visible signs of God’s continuing love and grace present in our world. I know that the care you give to the least brothers and sisters of Our Lord gives tremendous witness to that love and grace.
If you would like a copy of the prayer card, either in English or in Spanish, please contact us and we will be happy to send you one.
We look forward to hearing more of the ways God is answering prayer through the intercession of Father Thomas.