On September 20, one day after Pope Benedict XVI declared that John Henry Cardinal Newman will “henceforth be invoked as Blessed,” Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) pilgrims were privileged to attend the first-ever Mass held at the Blessed John Henry Newman Shrine at the Birmingham Oratory in Birmingham, England, where the new Blessed’s relics are present.
The Mass was concelebrated by retired auxiliary bishops of the Boston Archdiocese Bishop John Boles and Bishop Francis Irwin, Newman Pilgrimage spiritual director Fr. Michael Barber, S.J., and Franciscan University of Steubenville president Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR. All are members of the Official Pilgrimage to England for Newman’s Beatification sponsored by CNS.
Also attending Mass at the Birmingham Oratory was Deacon Jack Sullivan, whose healing from severe back pain is attributed to Blessed Newman’s intercession. Deacon Sullivan spoke to the pilgrims after Mass and gave them an account of his experience with the miracle.
At the Beatification Mass on Sunday, the CNS pilgrims were seated in the VIP section, alongside members of the worldwide Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Bishops Boles and Irwin, Fr. Barber, and Fr. Terrence concelebrated the Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.
The CNS pilgrims have also been privileged to gain an inside look at Blessed John Henry Newman’s home at the Birmingham Oratory, including his personal room and chapel, the library, and also his collection of more than 10,000 handwritten manuscripts, which CNS is currently fundraising to preserve with the building of an archive. See the new video about the project to preserve and promote Blessed Newman’s legacy, which was shown before the Beatification Mass, here:
The Official Pilgrimage to England for Newman’s Beatification continues until this Wednesday, September 22. The events of the pilgrimage are reported by CNS president Patrick J. Reilly on the CNS blog Campus Notes
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