Tuesday, August 25, 2015


A new documentary is in the works to trace the journey of Roberto Clemente's canonization to sainthood for his humanitarian efforts, dying in a mission of mercy to Nicaraguan earthquake victims.  The cinema verite film starts from the catalyst of Richard Rossi's indie dramatic movie "Baseball's Last Hero" which introduced the idea and received a blessing from Pope Francis to start the process, all the way to the hoped-for final resolution of "Saint Roberto" and a ceremony in Rome.

Mr. Rossi met today with the director to be interviewed by the award-winning filmmaker behind the project, but would not give the director's name.  

"When he formally announces the film, I can share details, but I don't want to give publicity about the specifics until he is ready.  I was approached to be interviewed for the film, it's not my project, I'm not producing or directing it.  I'm impressed that he is doing a thorough and methodical job, and his subjects in addition to myself include notable baseball writers, theologians, and those both for and against Clemente's canonization.  His prior work was well-done and garnered well-deserved festival awards and critical acclaim."

Rossi's interviews for the feature documentary are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Saint Roberto? There's a canonization movement for Clemente

Matt Snyder, CBS
Former pastor and Pittsburgh native Richard Rossi is leading the charge to have the late, great Roberto Clemente canonized as a saint and he's actually gotten support in starting the process from the Pope (Catholic News Wire, via CBS Pittsburgh). The next step is to begin the process of canonization through the archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Clemente was tragically killed on Dec. 31, 1972 while on a plane that was attempting to deliver relief goods to Nicaragua following a catastrophic earthquake. He was just 38 years old.

Posthumously, Clemente was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Major League Baseball now annually honors a player "who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement" with the Roberto Clemente Award.

Does all of this make him an actual saint, though? I guess we'll soon find out.