Newsletter 12

 

John Henry Newman

 

John Henry Newman
John Henry Newman was born in 1801 in London. He attended the University of Oxford and was ordained an Anglican priest. He was a major figure in the Oxford Movement which was responsible for trying to bring back the Church of England to its Catholic roots. Through his study of the history of the Christian Church and its doctrines, he eventually left the Anglican Church and became a Catholic, being ordained priest in Rome in 1847. He was a great theologian and wrote many books both as an Anglican and as a Catholic e.g. Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine in 1845.

 

He was impressed by the Oratory, a congregation of priests founded by St. Philip Neri in the sixteenth century. He founded the first English Oratory at Maryvale on the outskirts of Birmingham in 1848, later moving nearer the town centre where he converted a disused gin distillery into a chapel.  He was very much involved in working among the poor of Birmingham.

 

He expressed new ideas which are thought to have influenced the thinking of the Second Vatican Council.  For example, he wanted to have an educated laity who would be well-versed in Christian doctrine and the teachings of the Church.

 

He was not too popular among the Catholic clergy who were rather suspicious of him but despite this, he worked tirelessly among the poor. Eventually, his labours were recognised by Pope Leo XIII who made him a Cardinal in 1879.  Cardinal Newman died in 1891 aged 89 years.  In 1991, he was given the title of Venerable which is the first stage of sainthood.  He was beatified (given the title of Blessed) on 19th September, 2010 when Pope Benedict XVI visited Birmingham.

 

see www.birmingham-oratory.org.uk/JohnHenryNewman/tabid/58/Default.aspx   

 

 

Visit to Britain of Pope Benedict XVI

Visit to Britain of Pope Benedict XVI
Our Holy Father, the Pope will visit Britain from 16th to 19th of September, 2010. This will be the very first state visit ever of a Pope to our shores. When Pope John Paul II visited in 1982, his was a pastoral visit and not a state visit but he was the first Pope to visit Britain. The Pope will meet the Queen at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. He will then fly to London to meet with civil and religious leaders and also with people of other faiths including a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and will join him in a Service of Evening Prayer. Then he will fly to Birmingham for the beatification of John Henry Newman.

 

See www.thepapalvisit.org.uk   for more information on the Papal Visit.