Vatican advice next step for Irish priest’s sainthood cause

Vatican advice next step for Irish priest’s sainthood cause Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan

Waterford and Lismore’s Bishop Phonsie Cullinan will consult with the Vatican before moving forward with the first stages of the canonisation cause of a well-loved Waterford priest.

November 28 saw 104 people from three parishes meeting at Clonmel’s Hotel Minella to share stories about Fr Colm O’Brien, who died of cancer in 2009, aged just 36.

“It was a wonderful gathering, obviously the likes of which I was never at nor anybody else because it was a unique event gathering to celebrate goodness and holiness,” Dr Cullinan told The Irish Catholic, explaining that “here was a young man who exemplified goodness, and we wanted to test the waters and see what kind of popular devotion, if any, there was”.

Explaining how stories about Fr O’Brien were gathered that evening, Dr Cullinan said the next step was to consider how to move forward.


“What we have to do now is take a long look at all of that, because it is obviously a serious thing, and if we’re going to enter it we have to know we have sufficient material,” he said.

“I’m new to this as well, and what I want to do is talk again with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to ask how do we arrange all this material that we’re going to hopefully send, and what are the characteristics that they are looking for. There’s a long way to go, so we haven’t initiated the cause yet,” he said.