Ireland’s first beatification ceremony
The date for the beatification ceremony of Blessed John Sullivan elect has been confirmed for Saturday 13 May in Gardiner St Church at 11am. This Church was chosen because it hosts the remains of Fr John Sullivan SJ in a tomb in the church. This is the first ever beatification ceremony to take place in Ireland.
John Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1861 to a wealthy Protestant father and Catholic mother. At the turn of the century, while working as a barrister in London, he converted to Catholicism.
Much of his priestly life was spent in the Jesuit-run Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. In 1960 he was declared a Servant of God. He was declared ‘Venerable’ by Pope Francis in November 2014. In April 2016 Pope Francis approved a decree that authenticated a miracle attributed to Fr Sullivan, thereby approving his beatification.
Toni Witwer SJ, the General Postulator for the Jesuits who is overseeing the beatification of Fr John Sullivan SJ, came to Dublin recently. The Austrian Jesuit will assist with the governance matters attendant on the event and continue to work on issues arising from the ultimate canonisation of Fr John.
In this interview with Pat Coyle from Irish Jesuit Communications, Fr Toni speaks about John Sullivan’s humility and the need for another miracle if he is to become a saint.