A letter written by Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1880 has been discovered at Our Lady Help of Sorrows, Effingham, Surrey. The message to a parishioner turned up in a cardboard box of old papers left by a former parish priest, Fr Loader, who died in 1983. Written from The Oratory, on 1 February, to a Mr Mooney, Cardinal Newman speaks of his sadness at the death of Canon Oakley and mentions that he said three Masses for him. Canon Oakley was a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, and one time parish priest at Islington in London. Writing in the Arundel and Brighton News, Patrick Renison says: "While the letter adds little to what is already on record regarding the Cardinal's life, it is typical of this holy man, revealing his simplicity, sincerity, and lightness of touch. Modest as ever, he apologises for his poor handwriting - he was approaching 80 at the time, and he refrains from signing himself Cardinal." The letter has been passed by the current parish priest Fr John Sheehy to the A&B Diocesan Archives.
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