Cause Opens for US Priest

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ROME, MAY 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The cause for beatification for a 20th-century Massachusetts-born priest officially opened in Rome.

The cause of Father Theodore Foley (1913-1974) officially opened Friday.

For 10 years, Father Foley was the superior general of the Congregation of the Passion, also known as the Passionists.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Benedict XVI's vicar for the Diocese of Rome, described the priest's life during the inauguration ceremony. He invited the Passionist Fathers to walk the way of sanctity, "which Father Foley followed with such dedication."

Daniel Foley was born in 1913 in Springfield to a family of Irish immigrants. He attended the schools the Passionist Fathers, where he heard the call to the priesthood. He entered the Passionists congregation in 1932 and in the following year made his first profession, taking the name Theodore. He was ordained a priest in 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1958, Father Foley became the general consultor and assistant to the superior-general of the Passionists. He was himself elected superior-general in 1964, a post that he held until his death on Oct. 9, 1974.

Father Giovanni Zubiani, postulator of the cause of beatification, spoke of Father Foley as a man open to dialogue "but firm on the principles and charism of the congregation."