The Cause for Beatification of María Cecilia Perrín de Buide, Servant of God.
On October 7, 2005, Monsignor Guillermo José Garlatti, archbishop of Bahía Blanca, submitted a report on the life and virtues of María Cecilia Perrín of Buide to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, at the Holy See, requesting the beginning of her canonization process.
A month later, on November 10, 2005, the Vatican granted its consent to begin the cause for beatification and canonization of Maria Cecilia Perrín de Buide, who, from that moment on, became known as “Servant of God.”
On April 10, 2007, at the Archdiocesan Curia of Bahía Blanca, the first Tribunal of the Cause was established with the opening session, during which its members took an oath. Thus began the first of two phases of the process: the diocesan phase, after which, the so-called Roman phase follows.
The task of gathering testimonies from those who knew her and can attest to her choices and ultimate sacrifice was arduous and took several years. The Tribunal received extensive personal testimony from twenty-three direct witnesses of her life, as well as relevant documentation on the life of the Servant of God.
March 1, 2015 marked the thirtieth anniversary of Mary Cecilia’s departure to Paradise. At that time a celebration was held at Mariápolis Lía, where her body rests, with the participation of the Archbishop of Bahía Blanca and many people who came from all over the country. Her mother Angelita, her husband Luis Buide, her daughter Agustina, her brothers, and several other relatives were present. They shared with all the participants some highlights of Cecilia’s life, her daily way of living, her yes to God.
In the last week of February 2016, the Postulator of the Cause, Carlo Fusco, an expert lawyer in cases of sanctity, arrived in Bahia Blanca from Rome. For several days he worked together with the presiding judge of the beatification process, Father Marcelo Enrique Méndez, and the Promoter of Justice, Father Mateo Oreste Krupsky, both of whom had outstanding careers and extensive experience in similar processes. The vice postulator Olga María Kania, along with Alejandra Belfiore and Marta Alonso, who to this day continue their work as notaries, were also present.
Monsignor Guillermo José Garlatti, Archbishop of Bahia Blanca, and the coadjutor Archbishop Monsignor Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa welcomed all of the above mentioned at the Archbishopric Curia, where they fulfilled all the necessary formalities to enable the advancement of the information process on María Cecilia’s life and reputation of holiness. Historical experts and theological censors were also appointed, with Dr. Lucía Bracamonte presiding over the first group and Dr. Sonia Vargas the latter.
During that week of intense work, it became clear that Cecilia’s life is truly a witness for all. An example of this was the visit of a priest whom the Judge had called to testify in the Cause. He said that, without having known her in person, María Cecilia had helped him define his vocation and that she was present in his daily life. For instance, at his parish, while cutting the grass, a chore nobody helped him do, he remembered her phrase: “Your ways, O Lord, are such madness! They’re tearing me apart; yet, they’re the only ones I want to follow.” Small manifestations like these confirmed that Cecilia is leaving her mark on people.
The visit to the Perrín’s family house, where María Cecilia lived as a child, was an important moment during that week. The group met her mother Angelita, some of her siblings, and María Agustina in the house garden where, along with mate and snacks, they shared many simple facts about Cecilia’s life. One of her sisters said she defines Ceci as a person who had always said an unconditional yes. Ceci’s experience at the end of her life was not improvised because she was a person on whom everyone could always depend. Expressions like this one made a big impression on all those working on her cause for beatification.
On February 29, 2016, on the eve of the 31st anniversary Mary Cecilia’s death, Monsignor Garlatti presided at a Mass, concelebrated by several priests, with the presence of the Tribunal of the Cause, in the city of Punta Alta, where the Servant of God lived. Although it was Monday, the church was crowded. The Postulator, the Presiding Judge and the Promoter of Justice left Punta Alta with the impression that María Cecilia was able to give her yes because she had lived in a family and community context which had supported her. And this reality is something new: a collective sanctity or holiness that is born in the family and the community.
In June 2016, the president of the Historical Commission, Dr. Lucía Bracamonte, submitted the final document and made a detailed presentation of the completed work, the original documents that had been studied, and the exhaustive research undertaken. The theological censors, Dr. Sonia Vargas and Eduardo Zaffaroni, presented in detail the study performed on Cecilia’s writings to certify that they are free from doctrinal errors or anything contrary to the Faith and Tradition.
On October 20, 2016, the Closing Session of the Diocesan Phase was held, chaired by the Archbishop of Bahía Blanca, Monsignor Guillermo José Garlatti, with the participation of all the members of the Tribunal; from there the entire documentation was sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican City.
Currently, the Roman phase of the Cause is under way at the Vatican.