In June 2022, news broke that Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota Bishop David Kagan opened an investigation into the possible canonization of former FOCUS Missionary Michelle Christine Duppong.
On All Saints’ Day, the Bishop announced that Duppong’s canonization cause officially opened and she now has the title, “Servant of God.”
Duppong’s parents, six siblings, and nieces and nephews attended the Mass.
Bishop Kagan said the diocese will investigate and examine Duppong’s writings and verbal communications, and any answered intercessory prayers both before and after her death.
The United States bishops will decide whether or not to advance Duppong’s case from the local level during their fall meeting this week.
Here’s the Mass announcing her canonization process:
Servant of God Michelle Duppong’s Story
Duppong served as a FOCUS Missionary for six years at the University of Mary. Then from 2012-2015, she spent the final years of her life as the Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Diocese of Bismarck.
Duppong died on Dec. 25, 2015 at age 31 from an unexpected cancer diagnosis. However, she endured the disease with “perseverance and a patient, cheerful spirit.”
“Michelle was a radiant, joyful woman with the heart of a true servant,” University of Mary President Msgr. James Shea said.
“For the students on our campus, she was an inspiration and a treasured mentor, teaching them by her example the transformative power of friendship with God,” he added.
“Michelle’s holiness of life and love for God certainly touched us here in the Diocese of Bismarck, at the University of Mary, and throughout FOCUS, but hers is also a witness which should also be shared with the Universal Church,” Bishop Kagan said in June.
“I ask, most especially, for your continued prayers for our efforts,” Bishop Kagan added. “Her life is a life of Christlike goodness, compassion, and the firmest faith I have ever encountered in any person.”
“Certainly, in your private prayers, ask for her assistance – her intercession – for you before the throne of grace. You will not be disappointed.”