A Visit to the Shrine of Blessed Dominic Barberi, CP
Time & Location
About The Event
On Saturday 2nd November (All Souls Day) it has been arranged for us to take a trip to the church of St. Anne & Blessed Dominic in Sutton, St. Helens to visit the Shrine of Blessed Dominic Barberi. Blessed Dominic received John Henry Newman into the Church, so it's a great opportunity for us to mark Newman's canonisation. We hope to arrive at St Anne's for 11am and will have mass in Dominic's shrine soon after. There will be the opportunity for you to find out more about Dominic and the Passionists as Sr Eileen O'Riordan, CP will be on hand to answer any questions. Followed, as it stands, by a pub lunch. An idea of numbers would be great. Travel details to be announced. Below is a short history of Dominic and his association with Sutton and England in general:
Dominic was born into a poor farming family in 1792 and was orphaned by the age of 8. Before a marriage arranged by his aunt and uncle could take place he slipped away and joined the then Congregation of the Passion (now Passionists), members of which Dominic had become acquainted with when they were living in exile following Napoleon's forced closure of Religious houses.
Dominic had received a Divine message in his youth to join the congregation and one day go to England. The founder of the Passionists, St. Paul of the Cross, was devoted to the conversion of England though he had never been there. Ordained in Priest in 1821, Dominic was tasked in 1840 with establishing the first Passionist Monastery outside of Italy, which he did in Ere in Belgium. 2 years later Dominic finally established the first English Passionist residence at Aston Hall in Staffordshire.
Dominic's work in England eventually led to him receiving St. John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church. Of this Dominic later said “What a spectacle it was for me to see Newman at my feet! All that I have suffered since I left Italy has been well compensated by this event. I hope the effects of such a conversion may be great.”
Dominic continued to work in England until finally a wealthy railway entrepreneur John Smith offered to fund and build a Passionist Monastery and church in Sutton. Dominic gratefully accepted the offer and travelled to Sutton in 1849 to choose a site. Of the 12-acre plot selected, Dominic said: "Here have I chosen to live. This will be my resting place forever." Then-Bishop of Liverpool George Brown laid the foundation stone of the original church on July 26th 1849.
Dominic was to lay the foundation stone of the monastery on the 30th of August that year, but died of a heart attack 3 days before. He died at the Railway Hotel, Reading having suffered the attack on a train. The Church served the people of Sutton until 1973 (having already been reconstructed in 1934) when subsidence necessitated the construction of a new church and Shrine which now houses Blessed Dominic's remains, along with those of his friend and brother-Passionist Venerable Ignatius Spencer (Prince William and Prince Harry's rgeat, great, great, great uncle) and Servant of God Elizabeth Prout (Mother Mary Joseph), the foundress of the Sisters of the Cross & Passion. The Monastery stood until just before the turn of the Millenium when the Passionists departed Sutton.
Prayer to Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God, Passionist, Apostle of England O God who so lovingly raised Blessed Dominic to the heights of holiness, learning and apostolic zeal and made him a powerful minister of your mercy; grant also to us an abundant share of his virtues, that we too, according to our state, may contribute to the realisation of his desire for the union of all Christians in one fold under one shepherd. Deign now, through his intercession, to grant us the particular grace which we humbly ask of your mercy. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be… (three times)