Sainthood Now! 

U.S.- and Rome-based spokespersons offer reflections, scholarship and analysis on life and legacy of soon-to-be Saint

by Kevin Wandra Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For More Information:
Alexis Walkenstein, 678-990-9032,

ATLANTA, April 20, 2011 – More than 2 million people are expected to attend the May 1 Beatification ceremony for the Venerable Pope John Paul II, a man loved and revered by millions of Catholics across the globe.

The Maximus Group, the leading Catholic communications company in the United States, has assembled spokespersons to speak on the canonization process as well as the life, teachings and impact of John Paul II. Among the most requested of our spokespersons on this topic are:

• Fr. Joseph Fessio is founder and editor of Ignatius Press, which is the primary English-language publisher of Pope Benedict XVI’s writings and the publisher of “Catholic World Report.” Fr. Fessio wrote his dissertation under the direction of Pope Benedict XVI (then Professor Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger). Fr. Fessio is a member of the Joseph Ratzinger “student circle,” which continues to meet with Pope Benedict.

• Mark Brumley is president and CEO of Ignatius Press. Brumley writes and speaks widely on theological subjects. He is a trustee of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Calif., and an adjunct professor of theology for the Institute for Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University. Among other subjects, he has taught apologetics, social ethics, the documents of Vatican II, and the teachings of Pope John Paul II.

• George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow and the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in Washington, D.C. The EPPC is the premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. Weigel wrote “Witness to Hope,” the biography of Pope John Paul II, and the follow-up “The Beginning and the End.” Weigel will be in Rome for the Beatification.

• Dr. Pia de Solenni speaks and writes on a variety of religious, cultural and moral issues. She currently serves as director of Diotima Consulting. Her expertise covers issues relating to women's health, life issues and bioethics, the new feminism and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal Europe, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor and National Review Online.

• Teresa Tomeo is an author and syndicated Catholic talk show host with more than 27 years in journalism across radio, TV and print. She was chosen among only 250 women from around the world to serve as a delegate to the Pontifical Council for the Laity’s International Women’s Congress, held in Rome, which marked the 20th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women. Tomeo will be in Rome for the Beatification.

• Suzanne Haugh is an award-winning Catholic journalist with more than 20 years’ experience. She currently serves as director of Goodness Reigns, whose short film contest attracted entries from around the world. In addition to her work as a writer and journalism teacher, she has been active in parish ministries, including youth programs.

• Rev. Richard M. Hogan is one of the leading experts on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. He has written a book on the theology of the Pope, and has co-authored two others. Fr. Hogan is a regular guest on EWTN programming and has hosted a series on the Theology of the Body.

• Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., is one of the world’s leading experts on Our Lady of Fatima. After the attempt on his life by an assassin, Pope John Paul II visited Fatima and placed the bullet from the shooting in the crown of Our Lady’s statue there, having come to believe that the Third Mystery foretold the attempt on his life.

• Douglas Bushman is director of Ave Maria University’s Institute of Pastoral Theology and has studied and written on the teach of John Paul II and his implementation of Vatican II. He also is the author of “In His Image,” a study program for Catholics.

The Venerable Pope John Paul II shepherded the Roman Catholic Church for almost 27 years – the second longest documented pontificate (only Pope Pius IX led the Church longer). The College of Cardinals elected him Pope during the conclave, which ended with his election on Oct. 16, 1978. He served until his death on April 2, 2005, at age 84. He became one of the Church’s most-traveled leaders ever, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. John Paul II is recognized as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century, having been instrumental in ending Communism in his native Poland and, eventually, all of Europe.

Beatification is one element of a larger process leading to Sainthood in the Catholic Church. Beatification is generally recognized as the most important and difficult step in the process, which is known as the Cause for Canonization.

The Maximus Group, LLC – The Maximus Group, a Catholic communications agency, first offered this unprecedented service to the media in 2005 at the time of the passing of Pope John Paul II, during the days of the interregnum and the papal conclave and concluding with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his installation as Pope Benedict XVI. Maximus also served as the go-to agency during Pope Benedict XVI’s historic visit to the United States in April 2008. Maximus’ mission includes providing the news media with reliable, informed, unbiased sources who can participate in intelligent discussions on topics that include a relevant and sometimes entertaining perspective from the Catholic space. Members of The Maximus Group will be in Rome to coordinate interviews as needed.

For interview requests or additional information, please contact Alexis Walkenstein at 678-990-9032.

0    submitted by Kevin Wandra
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