Julia Greeley’s cause off to the Vatican

Moira Cullings

On August 10, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila presided over the solemn closing session of the diocesan inquiry of the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Julia Greeley.

Mass was celebrated at Christ the King Chapel in the St. John Vianney Seminary, followed by the closing session.

Since the Diocesan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Denver began the investigation on December 18, 2016, 25 witnesses were interviewed to give their testimonies and thousands of pages of documents were gathered.

During the closing session, the documents were sealed in the presence of the Diocesan Tribunal presided by Archbishop Aquila.

These documents were hand-bound in 36 volumes with ribbons and sealed with a wax seal.

In total, David Uebbing, Vice Postulator of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, will be taking 11,750 pages of documents to Rome next month.

These documents were hand-bound in 36 volumes with ribbons and sealed with a wax seal. They were then placed inside larger boxes tied with ribbon and sealed with a wax seal, which bears the stamp of the Missio Pastoralis Postulation Office.

“When the Vatican’s Congregation for Causes of Saints reopens in September, I will transport the documents there from Denver,” said Uebbing. “Together with Doctor Waldery Hilgeman, the Roman Postulator for Julia’s cause, I will present the documents, and they will be officially accepted.

“Once the documents are opened, the Roman phase of Julia’s cause will begin.”

David Uebbing, Vice Postulator of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, will be taking 11,750 pages of documents to Rome next month.

During his homily the day of the closing session, Archbishop Aquila called those in attendance to strive to serve Jesus whole-heartedly, just like Julia, who “was one who put Jesus first, and she did it very quietly,” he said.

Her selfless service to the poor and firefighters is a true example of Christ-like love, he said.

Once the documents are opened, the Roman phase of Julia’s cause will begin.”

“That is a tremendous witness of what it means to be a servant and also to be a missionary disciple,” he said. “How many people did she bring into relationship with Jesus Christ? None of us really know; only God knows that.

“But we know she gave witness to him,” he added. “And we are called to the same.”

When it comes to Julia’s cause, the prayers of the faithful are still needed.

“I encourage the faithful to keep communicating with both me and the Julia Greeley Guild about any potential miracles received through Julia’s intercession,” said Uebbing, “since they will be needed for her to be beatified.”

COMING UP: Local artists choose life in pro-life art show

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For someone who’s always been in love with art, it’s not surprising that Brett Lempe first encountered God through beauty. Lempe, a 25-year-old Colorado native, used his talent for art and new-found love of God to create a specifically pro-life art show after a planned show was cancelled because of Lempe’s pro-life views.

Lempe was “dried out with earthly things,” he said. “I was desperately craving God.”

Three years ago, while living in St. Louis, Mo., Lempe google searched for a church to visit and ended up at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

“I was captivated by the beauty of the 40 million mosaic tiles,” he said.

Lempe is not exaggerating. This Cathedral is home to 41.5 million tiles that make up different mosaics around the sanctuary. Witnessing the beauty of this church is what sparked his conversion, he said, and was his first major attraction towards Catholicism.

Lempe continued on to become Catholic, then quit his job several months after joining the Church to dedicate himself completely to art. Most of his work post-conversion is religious art.

Lempe planned to display a non-religious body of artwork at a venue for a month when his contact at the venue saw some of Lempe’s pro-life posts on Facebook. Although none of the artwork Lempe planned to display was explicitly pro-life or religious, the venue cancelled the show.

“I was a little bit shocked at first,” he said. “Something like me being against abortion or being pro-life would get a whole art show cancelled.”

Lempe decided to counter with his own art show, one that would be explicitly pro-life.

On Sept. 7, seven Catholic artists displayed work that gave life at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Denver.

“Catholicism lends itself to being life-giving,” Lempe said.

The show included a variety of work from traditional sacred art, icons, landscapes, to even dresses.

Students for Life co-hosted the event, and 10 percent of proceeds benefited the cause. Lauren Castillo, Development director and faith-based program director at Students for Life America gave the keynote presentation.

Castillo spoke about the need to be the one pro-life person in each circle of influence, with coworkers, neighbors, family, or friends. The reality of how many post-abortive women are already in our circles is big, she said.

“Your friend circle will get smaller,” Castillo said. “If one life is saved, it’s worth it.”

Pro-Life Across Mediums

Brett Lempe’s Luke 1:35

“This painting is the first half at an attempt of displaying the intensity and mystical elements of Luke 1:35,” Lempe said. “This work is influenced somewhat by Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ painting as I try to capture the moment when the “New Adam” is conceived by Our Blessed Mother.”

Claire Woodbury’s icon of Christ Pantokrator

“I was having a difficult time making that icon,” she said. “I was thinking it would become a disaster.”

She felt Jesus saying to her, “This is your way of comforting me. Is that not important?”

“Icons are very important to me,” she said. “I guess they’re important to Him too.”

Katherine Muser’s “Goodnight Kisses”

“Kids naturally recognize the beauty of a baby and they just cherish it,” Muser said of her drawing of her and her sister as children.

Brie Shulze’s Annunciation

“There is so much to unpack in the Annunciation,” Schulze said. “I wanted to unpack that life-giving yes that our Blessed Mother made on behalf of all humanity.”

“Her yes to uncertainty, to sacrifice, to isolation, to public shame and to every other suffering that she would endure is what allowed us to inherit eternal life.”

“Her fiat was not made in full knowledge of all that would happen, but in love and total surrender to the will of God.”

All photos by Makena Clawson