Fr Frank writes:
My dear friends,
Today is a great day for the Church in England and Wales as JOHN HENRY NEWMAN IS CANONISED IN ROME. Newman is not only an important figure for Anglicans and for members of The Ordinariate, but for all Catholics.
St John Newman was born in 1801 and raised in an Anglican household. As a young Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford he was drawn to the Catholic Church as a result of his studies into the early Church Fathers. Matters came to a head in 1833 when the Tractarian (or Anglo Catholic) movement was launched by fellow Oxford academic, Rev John Keble (Professor of Poetry). This movement sought to re-discover the Anglican Church’s Catholic heritage. This was a difficult path to follow, and Newman, who faced much criticism, was eventually Received into the Church in 1845 together with a number of his Oxford contemporaries. After studies in Rome he was Ordained and established the Oratory in Birmingham.
Later in life his was made Cardinal for his contribution to the life of the Church in these islands. Among other things he established the Catholic University in Dublin. Newman was a prolific writer. As well as many works of theology he was also a poet and novelist. Newman was a genuine polymath in addition to being a man of great personal holiness.
He was beatified at a beautiful Mass in Cofton Park, Birmingham in 2010 during the visit of Pope Benedict XV1, a Mass at which, together with hundreds of priests, I was privileged to concelebrate. And now, at last, England has another Saint.
St John Henry Newman, pray for us.
Two professorial types walking past a gothicky building with bikes parked outside. One says:
“If a philosophy lecturer goes on strike and all his students sleep through it did the strike ever take place?”