Today, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, the Novena to Blessed Dominic Barberi begins. As the Passionist priest who received St John Henry Newman into the full communion of the Catholic Church, he holds a special place in our hearts.

Newman wrote to a friend in 1845: ‘Father Dominic the Passionist is passing this way on his way from Aston in Staffordshire to Belgium. He is to come to Littlemore for the night as a guest of one of us whom he has admitted at Aston. He does not know of my intentions, but I shall ask of him admission into the one true fold of the Redeemer’.

We continue to pray for the canonisation of this much-loved priest. May he in turn pray for us, and may God bless you this day.