A celebrated writer who was inspired to convert to Catholicism through his friendship with a Heckmondwike priest could be made a saint.
GK Chesterton, whose Father Brown character was based on Holy Spirit Church founder Fr John O’Connor, could be canonised after Bishop Peter Doyle, from his diocese of Northampton, said he wished to start the cause.
Born in 1874, Chesterton wrote hundreds of poems, essays and short stories. Fr O’Connor is said to have inspired his conversion to Catholicism in 1922. He made regular visits to Heckmondwike, and famously wrote a poem about it. He died in 1936.
Pope Francis is said to have expressed support for his canonisation when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Two miracles must be attributed to any candidate for canonisation, and it must be debated in Rome – a process which can take years.
Peter Moreland, from Holy Spirit Church, said: “This is wonderful news. He was a great visionary, writer and philosopher.
“It is believed he inspired many conversions to the Catholic church. This, his writings and humble lifestyle are the reasons for the cause. We at Holy Spirit are delighted someone with such strong connections with our church should be so honoured.”
An event for former St Patrick’s pupils takes place on Monday August 19 at 7.30pm at the RAFA club, Darley Street.