Conclusion of the Novena of Prayer for the Cause of the Canonization of Blessed Dominic Barberi
Basilica of Sts. John and Paul, Rome, Italy
On Saturday, March 5, 2016, Archbishop Bernard Longley of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England, concluded the novena of prayer with a pilgrimage to Rome and a concelebrated Mass in the Chapel of St. Paul of the Cross. The purpose of this novena was to implore God to grant a further miracle that could be used for the canonization of Blessed Dominic. On this occasion, Fr. Joachim Rego, Superior General, joined the Archbishop for this Mass and welcomed him to the Generalate of Sts. John and Paul. Fr. Giovanni Zubiani, General Postulator for the cause of Blessed Dominic and Fr. Matteo Nonini, Rector of the Generalate community, joined with members of the local Passionist community, as well as clergy from the diocese of Birmingham and clergy and seminarians from the English College in Rome, for the Mass.
In his homily, Fr. Julian Booth, of the clergy of the Archdiocese and promotor of the cause of Blessed Dominic for the diocese, reflected on the life of Blessed Dominic in the light of this Jubilee Year- “During this Year of Mercy we are focusing upon a renewed appreciation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the behest of Pope Francis… Blessed Dominic greatly prized the ministry of the Confessional making it an integral part of the programme of parish missions he began to preach in 1844. For him the hearing of Confessions was a true labour of love, the greater the harvest the more he was satisfied. The success of his ministry in the Confessional was because he was an exemplary penitent himself. He had the ability to put people at ease and to always remain a kind and patient confessor.” He concluded, “In Blessed Dominic we see holiness of life, lived in this preaching of Christ crucified, his long vigils of prayer and the offering made of his life for his apostolate. The Second Vatican Council concentrated on pastoral renewal and the fostering of Christian unity. These too were the ideals of Blessed Dominic. His canonization would bring about a renewed impetus and focus on the call to Christian Unity and the deepening of the spiritual renewal of the Church, its Clergy, Religious and Laity… Let us ask Mary the Mother of God, so beloved by Bl. Dominic, to join her prayers to ours for this intention, as we invoke her together with the Passionists under the title of Mother of Holy Hope.”