July 4, 2007 – St. Louis MO: This devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of America enjoys complete canonical approval through former Archbishop of Cincinnati, OH, the late Paul Francis Leibold. Through his written correspondence and public actions, Archbishop Leibold approved for public devotion this private apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil). Furthermore, many other Bishops have also shown their approval by their promotion of this devotion. The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis, a world renowned canon lawyer, issued a letter opinion on Our Lady of America. In his letter dated May 31, 2007, he reviews the history of Our Lady of America and the actions of Archbishop Leibold approving this devotion. From Archbishop Burke:
“What can be concluded canonically is that the devotion was both approved by Archbishop Leibold and, what is more, was actively promoted by him. In addition, over the years, other Bishops have approved the devotion and have participated in public devotion to the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of America.”
As such, devotion to Our Lady of America had been completely and fully canonically approved by Archbishop Leibold and confirmed by other bishops, leaving no question about the status of this apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil) which began 1956.
Footnote: On November 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Archbishop Burke to the college of Cardinals.