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The feast of Bl John Henry Newman
Monday 13th October 2014

The Feast of Bl John Henry Newman on 9 October, father of the Oxford movement, founder of the Oratory in England and patron of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was marked with an Apostolic Blessing, several excellent reflections and homilies and the production of a new DVD on Newman's life and work.

Pope Francis' blessing was sent by letter to Bishop Robert Byrne C.O.of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, for the success of the Birmingham Oratory's "Day with Newman" held on 11 October. "The Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing upon all those persons who are participating in this significant event and working in any way for the canonisation of the Blessed John Henry Newman", the letter read. The day in Birmingham included a sermon from Bishop Byrne and a talk by Fr Ignatius Harrison C.O. entitled "why Newman should be canonised". The talk can be read on the Birmingham Oratory's website here

Fr Harrison also wrote about Bl John Henry Newman in the Catholic Herald blogs, arguing that it was Bl John Henry's apostolate of friendship more than anything else that attracted others to the faith. The piece can be read on the Catholic Herald's website here.

In Oxford, Fr Paul Keane, Vice-Rector of St Mary's College, Oscott, preached at the Oxford Oratory on a sermon Newman preached in his Anglican days,on intercessory prayer. Fr Keane's homily can be read on the Oxford Oratory's website here

Masses were celebrated by Ordinariate groups across the country to mark the feast. The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, offered Mass according to the Ordinariate Use at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick street. The guest speaker was Fr Uwe Michael Lang C.O. parish priest of the London Oratory. His homily on Bl John Henry Newman will be published next year in a newsletter brought out by the Friends of the Ordinariate, a charity which supports the Ordinariate's work.

To coincide with the Feast, St Anthony Communications produced a film in which Fr Nicholas Schofield and Fr Marcus Holden present the story of Newman's life and visit the places where he lived and worked. Along the way they explore his writings and teachings, his pastoral zeal for his students and parishioners, his journey of conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, and his enduring message for Christians of today. A trailer of the film can be viewed here. The DVD can be purchased from St Anthony Communications here

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in Birmingham on 19 September 2010. Prayers continue that through Newman's intercession in heaven, God will work a further miracle, and that he will then be officially numbered among the canonised saints.

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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