BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louise Evans, lay woman.
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.
A brief biography of Cora Louise Evans was provided by the Diocese of Monterey:
Cora Evans was born July 9, 1904 and was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She married Maclellan (“Mack”) Evans in the well-known Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. That event was the turning point in her life. She later claimed that the ceremony left her disillusioned and disappointed with her faith, especially the doctrine that placed man-made gods above the God of Abraham. “I was without a God and religion but had gained a very wonderful husband. As I looked at him and learned to love him more and more, I resolved to help find a God for him. After ten years of searching, we found the One True God in the Roman Catholic Church,” she said.
In the decade that followed, Cora and Mack had three children. When they suffered the loss of their child, Bobby, when he was ten months old, Cora looked into many religions for comfort and consolation. Her upbringing prevented her from inquiring about Catholicism.
On December 9, 1934, while living in Ogden, Utah, Cora was ill in bed and the radio was on the other side of the room. Alone and too ill to get out of bed to change the station when the Catholic Hour began broadcasting, Cora listened to Monsignor Duane Hunt talk about the Blessed Mother and the teachings of the Catholic faith. His message conflicted with the negative stories Cora had been told about Catholics, and as soon as she recovered from her illness, she went to nearby St. Joseph Catholic Church to inquire about the faith and have her questions answered. Her inquiry led to a series of meetings, including debates in her home between the parish priest, Reverend Edward Vaughn, and several Mormon bishops. Cora appreciated Father Vaughn’s demeanor and the clarity of his responses to questions about Catholic doctrine
Cora was baptized into the Catholic Church on March 30, 1935 and received her first Holy Communion the next day. Her husband and daughters, LaVonne and Dorothy, followed her lead a few months later. She died March 30, 1957.
Cora influenced many Mormons to visit St. Joseph Catholic Church, inviting them to open house gatherings, and years later, Father Vaughn wrote a letter confirming that through Cora’s evangelization efforts, there were hundreds of conversions of Mormons to the Catholic faith.
The cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louis Evans was formally opened in June 2010.
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