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A Julia Greeley Renaissance
Julia Greeley, who lived in obscurity for most of her earthly life, today is drawing attention from Denver to Rome as she is considered for canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church. Here’s what’s been happening “in Julia’s world” just since the first days of summer 2017:
JUNE 2, 2017: 'JULIA GREELEY'S LIFE IS AMAZING" -- AUXILIARY BISHOP JORGE RODRIGUEZ
Denver's Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez celebrated Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Denver, where Julia worshiped until her death on June 7, 1918. In his homily, Bishop Rodriguez praised Julia Greeley for her courage and deep faith:
"Julia Greeley's life is amazing because her life shines in the middle of a sad cage in human history; she knew the tragedy of slavery, the pain and hurt, yet her whole life was one of service, filled with love. This is in itself a miracle, -- that a woman surrounded by hate did not hate!"
"The universal Church is recognizing that Julia Greeley led a holy life that blossomed in the deep life of Jesus, in her love for the poor and her desire to open all people to Jesus and His love."
June 7, 2017: THE MORTAL REMAINS OF SERVANT OF GOD JULIA GREELEY ARE TRANSFERRED FROM MT. OLIVET CEMETERY TO THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA IN DENVER
Her exhumation marked another unique honor: The Church deemed Julia worthy to be interred in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver. In fact, Julia is believed to be the first person interred at the Cathedral (even past bishops aren’t buried there.)
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What is Julia's?
Who was Julia?
Julia Greeley was a courageous, faith-filled, single woman who overcame slavery and poverty to become a source of hope to others even less fortunate than she.
“Thank you Julia Greeley, you were a light for me when I could not see the way!’
The words are like Sylvia Bailey herself -- spontaneous, spirited, luminous. Sylvia graduated from the Julia Greeley Home program in 2014, and shortly afterwards spoke at a workshop about her success. The Julia Greeley program had helped her achieve independence. She was in her own apartment and managing her own life.
Now Sylvia had a plan. She wanted to share the light that she had found at Julia's: “I want to volunteer,” she said. “When can I start?”
We were thrilled. Who better to explain Julia’s program than Sylvia? She was charismatic, eloquent and eager. She could explain Julia’s program “from the inside out,” because she believed that her time at Julia’s had revitalized her life journey.
A few weeks after that workshop came devastating news. Sylvia had died suddenly from a burst aneurysm suffered at her home. This vital woman, sparkling as a firecracker, had suddenly been called to eternal life.
Yet Sylvia's story continues to inspire us. She is every woman who is alone, suffering, and without a home, who finally triumphed over her circumstances. More ›
Life didn’t spare Vicki from hardship and homelessness, even though she’s held good jobs, been to college, and stayed free of the addiction trap.
The shattering blow for Vicki was the death of her fiance in the summer of 2012. Suddenly, the sensitive, soft-spoken 54-year-old found herself in a bewildering spiral. The couple had planned to let Vicki finish her college degree while her fiance supported them. But after his death, Vicki was forced to drop out of her adult education classes and abandon plans for a business degree. More ›