The diocesan enquiry in the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Fr. Felice Canelli was launched on March 25 in his former parish of the Holy Cross in San Severo, Italy. Fr. Canelli was a diocesan priest and Salesian Cooperator.
The opening ceremony took place within a celebration of the Word at which Bishop Lucio Renna of San Severo presided. There was a large gathering of the faithful in the parish church, where Fr. Canelli had officiated for several years. They followed the proceedings attentively and devoutly as they were introduced and explained step by step.
In his address Bishop Renna mentioned how Fr. Felice Canelli had succeeded in combining contemplation and action. “Fr. Felice,” he said, “has a gigantic stature as a priest, as a man, and as a citizen: one who became a man of prayer and a man of action. He spoke with the Invisible One and contemplated Him with the eyes of the mind and then opened wide his eyes and his heart to the world around him.” The diocesan priest-Salesian Cooperator worked with everyone and especially with the little ones, young people, and the poor.
The vice postulator of the cause, Sr. Francesca Caggiano, FMA, read the formal letter from the postulator of the Salesian Family, Fr. Enrico dal Covolo, which opened the diocesan enquiry regarding the Servant of God. Then the chancellor of the Diocesan Curia read the letter of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, addressed to Bishop Renna, in which the nihil obstat was given on the part of the Holy See for the introduction of the cause and for the decree of Bishop Renna with which the diocesan enquiry is introduced.
Fr. Felice, inspired with the zeal of Don Bosco’s “Da mihi animas,” lived and worked with “tremendous” dedication to win souls for the Lord and to foster charity in every kind of organization or group and all kinds of activity so that every one, from the smallest to the greatest, might feel part of the Church and of the local area. He worked with Divine Providence to building a more human and Gospel-inspired society.