New York City, N.Y., Mar 20, 2017 / 23:39 pm
The Catholic convert who founded the Society of the Atonement, Father Paul Wattson, S.A., could be one step closer to recognition as a saint.
“Father Paul started a small week of prayer on the top of a mountain in Garrison, and now it’s a worldwide movement,” Father Brian Terry, S.A., the minister general for the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, told the Catholic New York newspaper.
Fr. Wattson helped launch the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is now an international event held in January.
The Archdiocese of New York concluded an 18-month investigation into his cause for canonization on March 9. Fr. Wattson’s writings, along with writings about him, were collected together, boxed and wrapped and sealed with Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s seal.
With the archdiocese’s investigation finished, the materials will now be reviewed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. This could determine whether he can proceed to beatification and even canonization.
Fr. Terry briefly spoke with Pope Francis about Fr. Wattson in November. He said he gave the pontiff a prayer card, and the Pope “really seemed sincerely interested.”
“He said a saint of unity, a saint of healing, a saint of charity, that is something that is important,” the priest recounted.
Fr. Terry said that Fr. Wattson’s message has been absorbed locally in New York. He hopes that message can go worldwide.