The parish priest of St Lucy’s in Cumbernauld is starting the new year with an awe-inspiring mission to perform – and he’s asking for help.
Father Joseph McAuley has been officially charged with the task of leading the latest - he hopes final - bid to have the Venerable Margaret Sinclair canonised.
She was a trade unionist and committed Catholic who tragically died of a tubercular illness at a very young age.
But her character, which many would describe as saintly, had a remarkable effect on those who knew her, and came to hear of her work.
Father McAuley said: “This woman lived her live as all of us should aspire to, and before long people were praying to her.
“Having become involved in her story I am struck by the effect she had, and by her importance as a real model for young people.”
Now Father McAuley, who has officially been appointed Archbishop’s Delegate for the cause of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, is asking people across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth to help what has become virtually an international crusade to see Margaret recogniseds as a saint.
“Pope John II has said to us to ask our people to pray for a miracle,” he said, “and that is exactly what is required.
“It is the situation where somebody suffering from a terminal illness suddenly recovers for no reason that can be explained by normal means.”
Churches and parishioners across the area, for example St Patrick’s in Kilsyth, are already solidly behind the effort.
Born in 1900, Margaret surmounted many difficulties in her short but influential life, for example fighting desperate poverty, and was briefly a nun before dying in London in 1925.
Many cures have been reported over the years by people who have requested her intercession through Christ.