WelCom October 2019:
On 1 July 2019, Pope Francis announced at the Consistory of Cardinals his intention to canonise Cardinal John Newman on 13 October 2019. Pope Francis decreed the British theologian will be canonised during a Mass at the Vatican along with a Swiss laywoman, an Indian nun, an Italian nun and a nun known as the ‘Mother Teresa of Brazil’.
Their canonisations will take place at St Peter’s Square during the 2019 Special Synod of Bishops from the Pan-Amazonian region to be held at the Vatican, 6‒27 October.
John Henry Newman (1801–1890) was a Catholic theologian, philosopher, poet and cardinal who converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism in October 1845. Born in London, Newman was ordained an Anglican priest in 1825. Before becoming a Catholic he was one of the most prominent members of the Anglo-Catholic branch of Anglicanism. He later founded the Oxford Movement, which emphasised the Catholic roots of Anglicanism, and advocated reintroducing older practices into worship. Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Catholic. After a series of clashes with Anglican bishops made him a virtual outcast from the Church of England, he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 44 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1846.
Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 while respecting his wishes not to be ordained a bishop. Cardinal Newman founded the Oratory of St Philip Neri in England, and was particularly dedicated to education, founding two schools for boys. His writings are considered among some of the most important Church-writings in recent centuries.
Cardinal Newman died in Birmingham in 1890 at the age of 89 and his sainthood cause was opened in 1958. In 1991, Newman was proclaimed ‘Venerable’ by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in 2010, at an open air Mass in Birmingham, during his state visit to the United Kingdom.
Canonisation will make Newman the first English person who has lived since the 17th century officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church, and the first British saint since Scottish St John Ogilvie in 1976. Prince Charles will attend the October 13 Canonisation of Cardinal Newman at the Vatican.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said he was ‘delighted’ about the announcement. ‘Cardinal Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ. His ministry, especially among the poor, is a permanent sign of the Church’s pastoral compassion and a challenge to us all today,’ the cardinal said.
Crux, Catholic News Agency