The Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of Erie, announced yesterday that he issued a decree on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, opening the cause for canonization of Gertrude Barber. It is one of the first steps in a process that likely will take decades or longer.
“It is an honor to open the cause for sainthood for Dr. Gertrude Barber,” Bishop Persico said. “Her family members, and the thousands of families who have been touched by the work she initiated in her lifetime, are surely thrilled to be part of this historic moment. But I am particularly pleased that the good work of Dr. Barber, motivated by her Catholic faith and undertaken on behalf of those in need, will now be known more fully by those throughout our region and beyond.”
With the historic announcement, a formal inquiry will begin a review of her life, work and holiness. Dr. Barber left a legacy of deep compassion and groundbreaking advancements in educating and empowering those with intellectual disabilities in her nearly 70 years of service.
You guided Your servant Gertrude Barber
to a lifetime ministry of bringing hope to children and their parents
as they faced the often overwhelming challenges
of living with autism and disabilities,
while inspiring us to recognize all individuals
as people of God.
We know you hear our prayers as we gather in Your name:
If it is in Your design that Gertrude be glorified by the Church,
so as to further her extraordinary mission,
show us Your will. Grant us the grace to hear Your answer
and commit ourselves to take up her cause
by the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.