In his opening address at the 32nd Annual Chesterton Conference held at Assumption College, Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, announced that Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, England, has given permission to state that he “is sympathetic to our wishes and is seeking a suitable cleric to begin an investigation into the potential for opening a cause for [G.K.] Chesterton.”
The announcement was met with loud cheers and great emotion as members of the American Chesterton Society have long awaited an official step toward G.K. Chesterton’s Cause for Canonization. Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was a prolific English writer and Catholic convert. His classic works such as “Orthodoxy,” “The Everlasting Man,” his books on St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as the Father Brown detective stories, have inspired and delighted generations of readers. But he has also been a driving force in the New Evangelization as he has proven to be a maker of converts to the Catholic faith.
Dale Ahlquist, who has written several books on Chesterton and is also host of the EWTN series “The Apostle of Common Sense,” is one of those converts and has played a key role in leading the Chesterton revival. “It was a great privilege for me to make the announcement at the conference,” he said. “I’m grateful for all of the work done by Chesterton devotees around the world that has prompted the bishop to make this very important decision. One of the reasons that especially motivated him is the fact that His Holiness, Pope Francis, expressed support for Chesterton’s Cause when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.”
G.K. Chesterton’s prophetic writings are being embraced by a new generation who are drawn to his eloquent defense of the Catholic faith, of the traditional family, the sanctity of life, and economic justice. He is known for his great wit, humility, and profound Catholic joy. He was a major influence on such figures on Archbishop Fulton Sheen, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Day, and Jorge Luis Borges. “I think he is very much a saint for our time and could draw many people into the Catholic Church,” Ahlquist added.
Since 1996, the American Chesterton Society (ACS) has been the leading organization dedicated to popularizing Chesterton’s ideas. It publishes Gilbert Magazine and has started over 60 local Chesterton societies across the United States. The national conference draws hundreds of attendees each year. The ACS works to bring Chesterton’s common sense, profound faith, and joy to a new generation.
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For more information, contact the American Chesterton Society at [email protected] or call toll free 800-343-2425.