Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

7/29/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The communion of saints is real. The prayers of the Saints are efficacious.In fact, they can - and do- produce miracles.

I rejoiced when the "Congregation for the Causes of Saints" confirmed the miracle attributed to Cardinal John Henry Newman, the healing of a severe spinal disorder suffered by Deacon Jack Sullivan from the Archdiocese of Boston. I identify with Deacon Jack for several reasons. I was born and raised in Boston, I love his plain spoken manner, I believe in miracles, I am a great admirer of Cardinal Newman, I am a deacon and I believe that this trip to the United Kingdom by Benedict, the Pope of Christian Unity, is prophetic. 

Deacon Jack Sullivan Reads the Gospel and preaches at the Newman Oratory.

Deacon Jack Sullivan Reads the Gospel and preaches at the Newman Oratory.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/29/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Because of my deep admiration for John Henry Cardinal Newman, and my conviction that the move of our Anglican friends into the full communion of the Church is a part of a prophetic plan for the coming full communion of Christ's Church, I follow with great interest the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom. I have also followed the cause of John Henry Cardinal Newman. He is one of my heroes!

I rejoiced when the "Congregation for the Causes of Saints" confirmed the miracle attributed to Cardinal John Henry Newman, the healing of a severe spinal disorder suffered by Deacon Jack Sullivan from the Archdiocese of Boston. I identify with Deacon Jack for several reasons. I was born and raised in Boston, I love his plain spoken manner, I believe in miracles, I am a great admirer of Cardinal Newman, I am a deacon and I believe that this trip to the United Kingdom by Benedict, the Pope of Christian Unity, is prophetic. 

In speaking of the miracle Deacon Sullivan told the London Times: "If it wasn't for Cardinal Newman's intercession it would have been virtually impossible to complete my diaconate formation and be ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston...Nor would I have been able to continue in my chosen profession as a magistrate in our court system to support my family." He explained that he  has developed "a very deep sense of the reality of God's love for each one of us, especially during times of immense difficulties and suffering....I have developed a very real relationship with Cardinal Newman in frequent prayer and I try to pass on what marvelous gifts I have received to those I meet."

The approval of the miracle constituted the final step before Pope Benedict XVI could proceed with the beatification of the beloved Anglican convert and British Cardinal. One more miracle will be required in the process leading to canonization. I have no doubt it will occur. I believe that Cardinal Newman's prayers have been a part of the historic movement which led to the Anglican Ordinariates and the release of the Apostolic Constitution. 

John "Jack" Sullivan, 70, is a brother deacon and fellow lawyer.In his experience of the power og God manifested through the prayers of His Saints, I find great hope.He experienced a miracle assisted through the intercessory prayer of John Henry Cardinal Newman. He shared his story at Arnold Hall Conference Center. In years past, before my ordination, I attended several retreats there with Opus Dei. However, Opus Dei has no place for Deacons.

It seems that when the founder of "the work" (the popular term for Opus Dei) my lawyer friend (St Escriva was a lawyer) and inspiration, founded the work, there were no permanent deacons. So, my ordination fifteen years ago was a crossroads concerning my participation in Opus Dei. Perhaps some day the leaders of the work will reconsider the role of Deacons. I know that their founder has a great place in his heart for them. After all, he is still alive in Christ, a part of that great cloud of witnesses, the communion of Saints. I know this is true because he is one of my greatest intercessors and teachers.

My good friend of many years, Fr C John McCloskey III, a Newman scholar, had hosted a series of programs for EWTN on Cardinal Newman in 2000. At the end of the program wherin Father CJ interviewed  Fr Ian Ker, a  Newman biographer from Oxford, he put a message on the television screen that read: "If you receive any favors from Cardinal Newman, please contact the Birmingham Oratory in England." The Oratory is where Newman lived and died. 

Jack Sullivan, not yet ordained, was watching EWTN that night. He prayed and asked for the intercession of the good Cardinal. He had been in formation to be ordained to the Order of Deacon for the Archdiocese of Boston. He had just finished his second year. However, he had experienced a terrible injury which threatened his fulfilling his vocation. He had awakened one day with intense pain in his legs, nearly unable to even walk.  

He went to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth where a CAT scan disclosed that five vertebrae were squeezing his spinal cord and creating a bulge. He was told that he might soon be paralyzed. When the specialist physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital reviewed his case upon referral they said it was the worst back issue they had reviewed in 17 years. He was advised to undergo surgery.

This was a problem for this man who, like me, had a call to ordination. He was advised to forget resuming his studies for the diaconate. He knew he could not do so. That night while watching EWTN he prayed. Here are the words he remembers: "Please, Cardinal Newman, intercede with God so that I might go back to classes and be ordained."  Well, the good cardinal is a powerful intercessor in the communion of Saints. The next day, Jack felt no pain and could walk without difficulty. Another specialist at New England Baptist Hospital said the surgery was not necessary. He resumed his studies. 

The story does not end there. He finished his third year of studies. But in 2001 the intense pain returned. He was unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair. The Doctors finally performed surgery in August of 2001. It was followed by serious complications. The protective membrane around Jack's spine ruptured. The prognosis was bleak.

Jack Sullivan again called on Cardinal Newman to pray for him. It was then that he experienced what he called an experience of heat, a tingling sensation and wonderful peace which came upon him. After about ten minutes he stood straight up and walked without a cane or any pain. He contacted Fr. CJ McLoskey, a man of deep faith. He was encouraged to believe that the Lord had intervened through the intercession of John Henry Cardinal Newman.

In fact, that was precisely  what had happened. The communion of saints is real! The prayers of the Saints are efficacious.In fact, they can - and do- produce miracles.

On September 14 2002, Jack was ordained as a member of the Clergy of the Catholic Church, a Deacon. He walks a mile and a half every day. He now has no restrictions. The miracle was closely scrutinized with testimony from 10 witnesses. It faced the strong review of panels of medical experts and theologians. Finally it was recognized by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints and by Pope Benedict XVI. It is the real deal. Praise God!

Deacon Jack Sullivan will have the honor of proclaiming the Gospel at Cofton Park Birmingham on Sunday, September 19, 2010 where Pope Benedict XVI will preside and beatify John Henry Cardinal Newman. This will be the first beatification by Pope Benedict XVI since he was elected Pope in April 2005. Normally the Cardinal of the Diocese presides over a beatification. Over 1,000 priests will concelebrate and help with the distribution of Holy Communion. Four deacons will assist; one will be Deacon Jack Sullivan. He will stand up straight, freed from the debilitating injury through the intercession John Henry Cardinal Newman, and proclaim the Gospel.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter