The diocesan phase for the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Thomas Frederick Price will be opened on March 9, 2012, with the official installation of a Tribunal that will begin the formal study of the life, virtues and the reputation of the sanctity of Father Price. The opening of the diocesan phase of the Cause will take place within the context of Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer), which will be open to the public and will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The Tribunal, which will study Father Price, will be led by the Very Reverend James F. Garneau, V.F., Ph.D., Pastor of Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Mount Olive, North Carolina, whom Bishop Burbidge has appointed Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Father Price. The Tribunal will also include Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, appointed by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints as Postulator of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Price, and other members, assisted by a Historical Commission and a Theological Commission.
As part of the diocesan phase of the Cause, Bishop Burbidge has signed an Edict for the Opening of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization for Father Price. It requests that all those who can give valid testimony regarding the life, virtues and the reputation of the sanctity of Father Price, even if they have negative proof, are to contact the Tribunal. They may do so by contacting Father Garneau at The Office of the Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Father Price, P. O. Box 1145, Mount Olive, North Carolina 28365.
The Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Price was originally introduced in the Archdiocese of Hong Kong, where Father Price died. The transfer of the Cause to the Archdiocese of New York was approved by the Vatican in 1992. In 2011, the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, agreed the Cause for Father Price would best be carried out in the Diocese of Raleigh, the home Diocese of Father Price, where he was born and lived most of his life.
His Eminence, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect for the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, accepted the recommendation of Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Burbidge to transfer the Cause to the Diocese of Raleigh.
Born on August 19, 1860, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Father Price was the first native North Carolinian to be ordained to the Priesthood. In the midst of his extensive twenty-five years of missionary work throughout North Carolina, Father Price developed an interest in dedicating his priestly ministry to the foreign missions of the Catholic Church. In 1911, together with Father James A. Walsh, Father Price founded the Congregation of Maryknoll. In 1918, Father Price accompanied the first group of Maryknoll missionaries, who were sent for ministry in China. Shortly after his arrival in China, in September 1919, Father Price died following a brief illness.
Among those joining Bishop Burbidge for the celebration of Solemn Vespers and the Opening of the Cause of Father Price will be the Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte; the Right Reverend Placid Solari, Abbot of Belmont; the Reverend Edward M. Dougherty, Superior General of the Maryknoll Catholic Foreign Mission Society; the Reverend Monsignor David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese of Raleigh; the Very Reverend James F. Garneau, V.F., Ph.D., Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Father Price; and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, Postulator of the Cause of Father Price.
Above and below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge signing Edict for the Opening of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Thomas F. Price. The Edict was also signed and notarized by Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General. (Click photos to view larger.)