Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has encouraged all students in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney to begin praying to the Servant of God Eileen O’Connor in a letter they will receive next week.
Archbishop Fisher launched Eileen’s cause for canonisation in March.
Each letter is accompanied by a prayer card produced by the archdiocese’s youth agency, Sydney Catholic Youth.
Archbishop Fisher urges students to carry the prayer card with them regularly.
He also encourages archdiocesan schools and parishes to begin learning more about the life of the remarkable young Australian bed-ridden woman who had not only won a widening reputation for holiness but also co-founded a new Australian women’s religious order by the time she died just a few weeks short of her 29th birthday in 1921 in Sydney.
“She achieved more in 28 years than most able-bodied people do in 82 years,” he noted.
By learning more about her life, many more people could find out what today’s Church could learn from the heroic figure whose life was dominated by physical pain from an accident sustained in childhood.
“Finally, I encourage all of us to Pray to Eileen and ask for her intercession with our Lord to bring Christ to all whom we meet,” he wrote in the letter.
He said that when he launched Sydney Catholic Youth as the new youth office of the Archdiocese in November 2017, he had commended Eileen as a new spiritual companion for young people, someone they could look upon for guidance and inspiration.
Apart from her suffering, she also had to deal with being judged by many in her life for her disability rather than her potential, he said.
“I can think of no better example of someone who received the love of God, multiplied it in her heart and passed it on to others,” he wrote.
Following Archbishop Fisher’s launch of Eileen’s case for canonisation, the Vatican gave her the title of ‘Servant of God.’
Rome-based Australian priest Fr Anthony Robbie is the postulator for Eileen O’Connor’s cause.