At the Vatican today (Jan. 11, 2014), Pope Benedict XVI declared the heroic virtues of Father Nelson Baker, the diocesan priest who built Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna and Our Lady of Victory Institutions, which continue Father Baker's compassionate legacy of caring begun more than a century ago. The declaration by the Holy Father is the next step on Father Baker's path to sainthood.
Below is a statement of the Diocese of Buffalo:
We rejoice today that in a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has declared the heroic virtues of Servant of God Father Nelson Baker.
The decree is based on the recent vote taken by the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who approved the information contained in the "positio" on the life and holiness of Father Baker which we submitted at the time the Vatican accepted his cause for consideration, and which we have added to and clarified over the past few years. This is the next step in what we hope and pray will be the eventual beatification and canonization of Father Baker.
Once we receive official documentation from the Vatican, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of Buffalo, and Msgr. Paul Burkard, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Lackawanna and promoter of Father Baker's cause for canonization will make an official announcement at Our Lady of Victory Basilica. At that time, they will also provide details of upcoming parish and diocesan celebrations to mark this important step in the canonization cause.