Rome: Bishops follow in steps of Cardinal John Henry Newman

Cardinal Newman

Cardinal Newman

The bishops of England and Wales, currently on their ad limina visit to Rome, visited two places connected ot the life of Cardinal Newman yesterday:  the Chapel of the Three Kings, where he was ordained, and the  chapel inside Missio headquarters, where he celebrated his first Mass.

Cardinal Dias,  head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples,  the President of the Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Vincent Nichols  and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor concelebrated the Mass attended by Missio staff.

The Archbishop of Westminster spoke about "the constant call to conversion" that resides in the heart of everyone and seen clearly in the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who will hopefully soon be beatified (declared 'blessed'). He also spoke of the great longing that Newman experienced for a "universal and infallible authority,' which was what 'eventually led him here."

In fact, Newman was not only ordained a priest and said his first Mass in the chapel in what is now the headquarters of the Missio, but he also lived and studied inside the building. Archbishop Nichols called Newman 'a remarkable convert' and said that it was 'moving for us to be in this place, where we come so close to him.'

As Archbishop Nichols mentioned at the close of the Mass, this visit to the chapel of Cardinal Newman's ordination as a Catholic priest, had been a "precious part" of their visit to Rome and would remain forever in their memory.

After the Mass, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster commented that the forthcoming beatification of John Henry Newman, "a great Englishman," was an important event in the Catholic Church, but also for the ecumenical movement in England and Wales, as he is "revered by Catholics, Anglicans, and all as a scholar, a gentleman, and soon a saint." 

Speaking from Missio's London office, Monsignor John Dale, the National Director, said: 'It is a great privilege for Missio in this country to be associated with such an important person as Cardinal Newman. Just as Newman bridged a gap between Catholics and Anglicans at a time when relationships were not always easy, so Missio works to bridge differences in language, culture and religion as it works across 120 countries to support the Church in the developing world. That Newman spent such a significant period of his life in the building that would become the headquarters of Missio's global outreach to the poor and suffering makes his forthcoming beatification a very special celebration for Missio in England and Wales."

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