Not really a surprising bit of news — but a very nice one nonetheless:
Deacon Jack Sullivan, from the Archdiocese of Boston Massachusetts, is to proclaim the Gospel at the Cardinal Newman’s Beaitifcation Mass to be celebrated by Pope Benedict, at Cofton Park Birmingham, on Sunday 19 September. Rev Sullivan was miraculously cured from a serious spinal disorder on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, 15 August 2001. This cure was accepted by the Church as the miracle necessary for Newman’s Beatification.
Deacon Jack Sullivan, now aged 71, and his wife Carol, will be the guests of Archbishop Bernard Longley and the Archdiocese of Birmingham during their six-day visit to England for the occasion.
The healing of Deacon Sullivan, was subjected to rigorous tests by a panel of doctors and then by theologians set-up by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. The Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation voted unanimously in favour of the cure on 2 June 2009. Pope Benedict XVI approved the Decree announcing the miracle on 3 July that year.
Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “I met Deacon Jack Sullivan recently in New York. I am delighted that he and his wife Carol have accepted an invitation to be my personal guests and those of the Archdiocese of Birmingham at the time of the beatification of Cardinal Newman.”
The beatification will be the first to be carried out by Pope Benedict XVI since he was elected Pope in April 2005, a mark of his lifelong interest in and study of Cardinal Newman, the best-known English churchman of the 19th century. The venue chosen by the Holy See for the Papal Mass is situated close to the Oratory Retreat House at Rednal where Cardinal Newman was buried following his death, aged 89, on 11 August 1890.
During a press conference announcing the news, Fr Jan Nowotnik, Parish Priest, Our Lady and St Brigid, Northfield, Deputy, Local Coordinator, Liturgy, said that Cardinal Keith O’Brien and Archbishop Vincent Nichols, and the bishops from England and Wales, and Scotland would be joined by cardinals and more than 100 bishops from throughout the world at the Mass of Beatification at the end of the Pope’s historic four-day State Visit to Britain.
Fr Nowotnik said: “Over 1,000 priests, some of whom would help with the distribution of Holy Communion, are expected to concelebrate at the Mass. There will be four deacons of the Mass including two newly ordained deacons who are training to be priests. One of the four deacons is Deacon Jack Sullivan who will proclaim the Gospel.”
Fr Nowotnik added: “Deacon Sullivan and his wife Carol along with other representatives will form part of a procession that will immediately follow the Rite of Beatification when the new Blessed John Henry Newman is proclaimed.”
More details about the beatification are at the link.