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History

The Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Price was originally introduced in the Archdiocese of Hong Kong, where Father Price died. The transfer of the Cause to the Archdiocese of New York was approved by the Vatican in 1992, given the scarcity of time Father Price lived in China and the location of the majority of documentation regarding the life of Father Price in the United States at the Maryknoll Catholic Foreign Mission Society in Maryknoll, New York.

His Eminence, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect for the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, recently accepted the recommendation of the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, that the Cause for Father Price would best be carried out in the Diocese of Raleigh, where Father Price was born and lived most of his life. Some documentation regarding the life of Father Price is maintained in the archives of the Diocese of Raleigh, as well as in the archives at Maryknoll, and in other places.

In order to be canonized, a person must have lived a life of heroic virtue – at a level above and beyond the ordinary practice of Christian virtue. Born on August 19, 1860, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Father Price was the first native North Carolinian to be ordained to the Priesthood. Father Price was known by many for his great love of God, his holiness of life, his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his faithful dedication to priestly ministry.

In the midst of his extensive twenty-five years of missionary work throughout North Carolina, Father Price developed an interest in dedicating his priestly ministry to the foreign missions of the Catholic Church. In 1911, together with Father James A. Walsh, Father Price founded the Congregation of Maryknoll. In 1918, Father Price accompanied the first group of Maryknoll missionaries, who were sent for ministry in China. Shortly after his arrival in China, Father Price died in September 1919, following a brief illness.

The diocesan inquiry that was officially opened in Raleigh on March 9, 2012, will begin the formal study of the life, virtues and the reputation for sanctity of Father Price. A Tribunal will carry out these duties and will be led by the Very Reverend James F. Garneau, V.F., Ph.D., Pastor of Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Mount Olive, North Carolina, whom Bishop Burbidge has appointed Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Father Price. The Tribunal will also include Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, appointed by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints as Postulator of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Father Price, and other members, assisted by a Historical Commission and a Theological Commission. In his role as Episcopal Delegate, Father Garneau will represent Bishop Burbidge and coordinate the work of the Tribunal and the commissions, as well as receive all witness testimonies regarding Father Price.