A request to add an optional memorial of Blessed Stanley Rother in the Diocese of Little Rock has been approved by the Vatican, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor announced April 5.
Every year the memorial will be part of the liturgical calendar in Arkansas for July 28, the day Father Rother was murdered for his faith in Guatemala in 1981.
The memorial may be celebrated in all parishes unless “impeded by a celebration of a higher precedence on the Calendar of Liturgical Days,” such as a Sunday, the bishop said. Bishop Taylor said the memorial is not required for Masses that day in the Diocese of Little Rock.
Bishop Taylor made the request to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments Sept. 26, three days after Blessed Stanley was beatified in Oklahoma City. The March 19 letter from the congregation included a decree in Latin from Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation.
In a letter to the priests and people of the diocese, Bishop Taylor wrote, “Let us pray that the commemoration of Blessed Stanley Rother will help us grow in faithfulness to the Lord as we seek to be good shepherds to the flock entrusted to us here in Arkansas.”
The next printing of the Ordo for the region of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri will include a note on July 28 that it is an optional feast in the Diocese of Little Rock. The ordo used by clergy includes the daily readings, the liturgy of the hours and necrology of those dioceses.
In an interview with Arkansas Catholic, Bishop Taylor said, “I thought he would be a very inspiring person to have as an intercessor for us. He is someone from our region to have on the calendar. There was a very good participation of Arkansans going to the beatification. Of course, I was very involved in the process. We have a church in Arkansas (in Decatur) by that name.”
The memorial is also on the liturgical calendar in Oklahoma City because the beatification cause originated there.
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