• A poster of Blessed Father Titus Brandsma hangs on a wall at St. Jude Parish in Boca Raton, home to a small Carmelite community.
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    A poster of Blessed Father Titus Brandsma hangs on a wall at St. Jude Parish in Boca Raton, home to a small Carmelite community.

  • Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., led the proceedings of the Official Closing Session. On the part of the Order of Carmelites, Fr. Mario was appointed Vice-Postulator in the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma.
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    Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., led the proceedings of the Official Closing Session. On the part of the Order of Carmelites, Fr. Mario was appointed Vice-Postulator in the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

  • The Formal Closing Session involved prayers, psalms and readings, including a reading from the sermons of Titus Brandsma. Pictured on the altar during the session are (l to r):  Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach; Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood; Very Reverend Michael Kissane, O.Carm, Prior Provincial of the Carmelite Friars of the North American Province of St. Elias; Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, diocesan Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the Cause to Sainthood; and Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D., Medical Expert for the Cause to Sainthood.
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    The Formal Closing Session involved prayers, psalms and readings, including a reading from the sermons of Titus Brandsma. Pictured on the altar during the session are (l to r): Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach; Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood; Very Reverend Michael Kissane, O.Carm, Prior Provincial of the Carmelite Friars of the North American Province of St. Elias; Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen

  • Before the ceremonies,  Mrs. Elizabeth Shields demonstrated her  excitement over another history-making milestone in the promotion of the Cause to Sainthood for Blessed Titus Brandsma as she and Fr. Glen Pothier attended to some last-minute checking of the paperwork and notary stamps that would be used during the signing of the paperwork.  Mrs. Shields served as the Ecclesiastical Notary for the Cause.
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    Before the ceremonies, Mrs. Elizabeth Shields demonstrated her excitement over another history-making milestone in the promotion of the Cause to Sainthood for Blessed Titus Brandsma as she and Fr. Glen Pothier attended to some last-minute checking of the paperwork and notary stamps that would be used during the signing of the paperwork. Mrs. Shields served as the Ecclesiastical Notary for the Cause.

  • Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, spoke at the Formal Closing Session, reflecting on Blessed Brandsma's life, the faith of Reverend Michael Driscoll,O.Carm., and the importance of the investigation into the alleged miraculous healing of Fr. Driscoll. Because the alleged miracle occurred in the territory of the diocese, the diocesan tribunal was a competent forum for the investigation, and it was tasked with investigating the medically unexplained healing and recovery from Stage 4 cancer by Fr. Driscoll.
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    Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, spoke at the Formal Closing Session, reflecting on Blessed Brandsma's life, the faith of Reverend Michael Driscoll,O.Carm., and the importance of the investigation into the alleged miraculous healing of Fr. Driscoll. Because the alleged miracle occurred in the territory of the diocese, the diocesan tribunal was a competent forum for the investigation, and it was tasked with investigating the medically unexplained healing and recovery from

  • Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma begins the process of signing the paperwork at the Closing Session. The paperwork from the investigation - all 1,232 pages - will be hand-delivered by Fr. Mario to proper Vatican Office in Rome.
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    Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma begins the process of signing the paperwork at the Closing Session. The paperwork from the investigation - all 1,232 pages - will be hand-delivered by Fr. Mario to proper Vatican Office in Rome.

  • As Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, puts his signature on the paperwork, Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, diocesan Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the investigation, stamps the official notarized seal on the documents. Watching from the steps on the altar is Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood.
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    As Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, puts his signature on the paperwork, Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, diocesan Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the investigation, stamps the official notarized seal on the documents. Watching from the steps on the altar is Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood.

  • Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, signs documents that are part of the diocesan investigation. The papers were sealed and taken to Rome as part of the next phase of the process.
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    Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, signs documents that are part of the diocesan investigation. The papers were sealed and taken to Rome as part of the next phase of the process.

  • As part of the Formal Closing Session, each person involved in the investigation takes an oath as part of the stringent and important Church proceedings. Here, Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood (right,) takes the oath as Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma, looks on.
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    As part of the Formal Closing Session, each person involved in the investigation takes an oath as part of the stringent and important Church proceedings. Here, Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause to Sainthood (right,) takes the oath as Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma, looks on.

  • Pictured are (left to right) Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood, and Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause.
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    Pictured are (left to right) Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause to Sainthood, and Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause.

  • Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the Cause to Sainthood, signs the paperwork. Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, appointed Fr. Glen, the diocese’s Judicial Vicar, to serve as the Episcopal Delegate to lead the inquiry.
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    Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the Cause to Sainthood, signs the paperwork. Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, appointed Fr. Glen, the diocese’s Judicial Vicar, to serve as the Episcopal Delegate to lead the inquiry.

  • Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito seated in the bishop's Cathedra chair (far back); Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause (front right); and Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause (front, left), look on as Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, diocesan Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the investigation, writes his signature and stamps the documents.
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    Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito seated in the bishop's Cathedra chair (far back); Very Reverend Albert A. Dello Russo, diocesan Chancellor, and Promoter of Justice for the Cause (front right); and Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Vice-Postulator of the Cause (front, left), look on as Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, diocesan Judical Vicar, and Episcopal Delegate for the investigation, writes his signature and stamps the documents.

  • Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, Judical Vicar of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
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    Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen J. Pothier, Judical Vicar of the Diocese of Palm Beach.

  • Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D., who served as the Medical Expert in the investigation for the Cause to Sainthood (right) takes an oath before those gathered for the Formal Closing Session held at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. As part of the formal proceedings, each person involved in the investigation takes an oath as part of the stringent and important Church proceedings.
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    Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D., who served as the Medical Expert in the investigation for the Cause to Sainthood (right) takes an oath before those gathered for the Formal Closing Session held at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. As part of the formal proceedings, each person involved in the investigation takes an oath as part of the stringent and important Church proceedings.

  • Mrs. Elizabeth Shields  served as the the Ecclesiastical Notary for the Cause. Since the investigation began in July 2016, Mrs. Shields has verified and notarized every single document involved in the case. Here she notarizes the final paperwork from the diocese's investigation before it will be sent to Rome.
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    Mrs. Elizabeth Shields served as the the Ecclesiastical Notary for the Cause. Since the investigation began in July 2016, Mrs. Shields has verified and notarized every single document involved in the case. Here she notarizes the final paperwork from the diocese's investigation before it will be sent to Rome.

  • Reverend Michael Driscoll, O. Carm., (far left) sits with his brother Carmelite priests as he looks on during the Closing Session of the diocesan investigation into an alleged explainable, miracle healing involving him.  Sitting next to Fr. Driscoll is Rev. John Horan, Pastor at St. Jude Church in Boca Raton, and Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church.
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    Reverend Michael Driscoll, O. Carm., (far left) sits with his brother Carmelite priests as he looks on during the Closing Session of the diocesan investigation into an alleged explainable, miracle healing involving him. Sitting next to Fr. Driscoll is Rev. John Horan, Pastor at St. Jude Church in Boca Raton, and Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church.

  • Pictured are (Front row, left to right): Mrs. Elizabeth Shields; Very Rev. Albert Dello Russo, Chancellor; Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach; Right Rev. Archimandrite Glen Pothier; and Rev. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm. (Back row: Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm.; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D.
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    Pictured are (Front row, left to right): Mrs. Elizabeth Shields; Very Rev. Albert Dello Russo, Chancellor; Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach; Right Rev. Archimandrite Glen Pothier; and Rev. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm. (Back row: Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm.; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D.

  • At the end of the Official Closing Session, the Carmelite Religious Brothers and Sisters that attended gathered for pictures with key people involved in the Cause to Sainthood of Blesses Brandsma. Pictured are (Back Row, left to right) Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church in Boca Raton Parish; Rev. John Horan, O. Carm., Pastor at St. Jude Church; Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm.; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D. (Second Row, far left): Rev. Richard Champigny, O. Carm. (Front Row): Mrs. Elizabeth Shields; Sister Ann Dailey and Sister Titus Ramsbottom, both of Lourdes-Noreen McKeen Residence; Very Rev. Albert Dello Russo, Chancellor; Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach; Right Rev. Archimandrite Glen Pothier; Rev. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm.; Rev. Guy Fiano, O. Carm.; and Rev. Christopher Iannizzotto, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church. Frs. Champigny, Driscoll and Fiano are In-Residence at the St. Jude Church.
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    At the end of the Official Closing Session, the Carmelite Religious Brothers and Sisters that attended gathered for pictures with key people involved in the Cause to Sainthood of Blesses Brandsma. Pictured are (Back Row, left to right) Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church in Boca Raton Parish; Rev. John Horan, O. Carm., Pastor at St. Jude Church; Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm.; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D. (Second Row, far

  • The Carmelite Brothers: (Back Row, left to right): Rev. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm.; and Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm. (Middle Row): Rev. John Horan, O. Carm., Pastor at St. Jude Church; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Rev. Richard Champigny, O. Carm. (Front Row): Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church; Rev. Guy Fiano, O. Carm.; and Rev. Christopher Iannizzotto, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church.
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    The Carmelite Brothers: (Back Row, left to right): Rev. Michael Driscoll, O. Carm.; and Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O. Carm. (Middle Row): Rev. John Horan, O. Carm., Pastor at St. Jude Church; Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.; and Rev. Richard Champigny, O. Carm. (Front Row): Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church; Rev. Guy Fiano, O. Carm.; and Rev. Christopher Iannizzotto, O. Carm., Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Church.

  • Mrs. Elizabeth Shields and Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen Pothier.
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    Mrs. Elizabeth Shields and Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen Pothier.

  • This picture of Blessed Titus Brandsma was on display during the Official Opening Session and the Official Closing Session of the Cause to Sainthood.
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    This picture of Blessed Titus Brandsma was on display during the Official Opening Session and the Official Closing Session of the Cause to Sainthood.

  • An article published in the Florida Catholic newspaper broke the story in 2016 of the diocese's investigation into the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma. The article is available to read on the diocese's website at www.diocesepb.org/fr-titus-brandsma
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    An article published in the Florida Catholic newspaper broke the story in 2016 of the diocese's investigation into the Cause to Sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma. The article is available to read on the diocese's website at www.diocesepb.org/fr-titus-brandsma

  • An article published in the Florida Catholic newspaper helps readers understand who was Blessed Titus Brandma, providing information on his entire life. You can read the article at  www.diocesepb.org/fr-titus-brandsma
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    An article published in the Florida Catholic newspaper helps readers understand who was Blessed Titus Brandma, providing information on his entire life. You can read the article at www.diocesepb.org/fr-titus-brandsma

  • The Florida Catholic also published an article
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    The Florida Catholic also published an article "A Miracle Story" about Rev. Michael Driscoll's faith and his alleged miracle healing. You can read the article at www.diocesepb.org/fr-titus-brandma

Catholic Diocese to Send Findings of Alleged Healing Miracle with Local Ties and Investigation into Cause to Sainthood to the Vatican

This week the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach achieved another history-making milestone in the promotion of the cause to sainthood for Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite priest who was killed by the Nazis in 1942* (please see biography at the end of this release). For the past year and a half, the Diocese of Palm Beach has been investigating an alleged miraculous healing that occurred locally to a priest in the diocese and is attributed to Blessed Titus. On Tuesday, December 12, the diocese held the Official Closing Session of its investigation and this week will now send the findings of their extensive investigation to the Holy See. If the case is deemed by the Vatican to be a miracle that occurred through the intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma and Pope Francis approves, the canonization will be declared, and the Catholic Church would have a new saint - Saint Titus Brandsma.

 

The promotion of the cause to sainthood of Blessed Brandsma is a history-making milestone for the Diocese of Palm Beach.  Because the alleged miracle occurred in the territory of the diocese, the diocesan tribunal was a competent forum for the investigation, and it was tasked with investigating the medically unexplained healing and recovery from Stage 4 cancer of a Carmelite priest, Reverend Michael Driscoll, O.Carm., former pastor of St. Jude Church in Boca Raton. In 2004, Fr. Driscoll was diagnosed with a severe stage of malignant metastatic melanoma, an aggressive cancer that was attacking different parts of his body, with some areas of the cancer already in the fourth stage. Fr. Driscoll underwent more than 30 treatments and the odds remained against him. Yet as a sincere devotee of Fr. Brandsma, he prayed for healing through the intercession of Blessed Brandsma. Also praying were members of the Order of Carmelites, parishioners of St. Jude Church, friends, family and the faithful from around the Diocese of Palm Beach.

 

Doctors have stated Fr. Driscoll's cancer is now gone and have said his good health over the past 12 years defies all odds. They have stated his healing and recovery from Stage 4 cancer cannot be explained medically.

 

The Diocese of Palm Beach’s opened its investigation into Fr. Driscoll’s alleged healing miracle in July 2016. Following the required canonical procedure for canonization, the Church’s investigation of a saint’s life and death is a lengthy, meticulous process that involves hours of interviews with witnesses and documentation. Evidence must be presented to convince officials in the Vatican’s office for declaring saints, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, that the candidate, in fact, lived a virtuous life, had faith and had the support and help of God. Miracles are evidence that God is working through that person. Public and private writings of the proposed saint must also be gathered and examined.

 

As part of the investigation, Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, appointed Right Reverend Archimandrite Glen Pothier, the diocese’s Judicial Vicar, to serve as the Episcopal Delegate to lead the inquiry. Very Reverend Albert Dello Russo, the diocese’s Chancellor, served as the Promoter of Justice. In his role Fr. Dello Russo attested that everything prescribed by law in the investigation process has been faithfully observed, which includes interrogations, testimony and documents, pro and con.  On the part of the Order of Carmelites, Very Reverend J. Mario Esposito, O.Carm., was appointed vice-postulator in this cause.

 

The investigation also requires the involvement and assistance of a medical expert, which for the diocesan inquiry was Dr. Anthony Dardano, M.D., as well as an Ecclesiastical Notary, Mrs. Elizabeth Shields, who had to verify and notarize every single document of the investigation – all 1,232 pages. The pages were copied and stored in two boxes, and sealed in a certain manner, ensuring that they may only be opened by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The original documents remain in the archives of the Diocese of Palm Beach.

 

Similar to the Formal Opening Session, this week’s Formal Closing Session involved prayers, recognitions, the presenting of documents, signing and sealing of paperwork, and the taking of oaths by those involved in the investigation as part of the stringent and important Church proceedings. Also in attendance were Carmelite priests and some parishioners from St. Jude Church, Carmelite religious sisters from Noreen McKeen in West Palm Beach, and diocesan officials.

 

There is no set time limit for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to make a recommendation regarding the alleged unexplained medical healing of Fr. Driscoll, whether the healing can, in fact, be attributed to Blessed Titus or if Blessed Titus would be declared a new saint of the Catholic Church. The review and decision process by the Holy See can take months or years.

 

Because of the historic process of the Cause for Sainthood of Blessed Titus, there is naturally great interest among those living within the Diocese of Palm Beach to learn about the process, Blessed Titus’ life, and Fr. Driscoll illness, so the diocese created a special web page -- www.diocesepb.org/titusocarm - where one can visit to learn more and view photos. There is also information on the Titus Brandsma Center in Holland.

 

The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 225,749 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its elementary, middle and high schools.

***

*A Brief Biography on Blessed Brandsma

Father Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite, distinguished teacher, lecturer, journalist and adviser for Catholic editors and newspapers in Holland, was killed by the Nazis, who invaded the country in 1940. He was dedicated to the mission of the Church and put his life on the line defending faith and freedom of the Catholic press. He fought against the promotion of Nazi propaganda in newspapers as required by German law and the spread of Nazi ideology. He also defended the right of the Church to educate students sent to Catholic schools, including non-Catholics. He was arrested in January 1942.

 

He was eventually sent to Dachau concentration camp in Germany, where he joined 2,700 other imprisoned clergy, most of them Catholic priests. Witnesses at the camp later gave testimony saying that Father Brandsma never hesitated to witness his faith and his love of God, even praying for the guards who tortured him and the nurse who finally killed him.

 

Six months after arriving at Dachau, he was placed in the camp hospital where he was a subject for medical experimentation. He died July 26, 1942, after an injection of carbolic acid. He was 61. The nurse who gave him the lethal injection later testified that Father Brandsma had prayed for her. Some reports say that he gave her his rosary and asked her to pray, and that the nurse, a fallen Catholic, experienced a conversion.

 

Father Brandsma was declared a martyr of the Catholic Church and beatified in Rome by St. John Paul II in November 1985. Since then, the promotion of his cause for sainthood has been in progress.

 

Find more information at www.diocesepb.org/titusocarm

 

 

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Category Tag(s): 2017 Press Releases