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Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
St. John Henry Newman, Three Years after his Canonization

October 13, 2022, will mark three years since John Henry Newman’s canonization in 2019. We recall the wonderful Mass of canonization at St. Peter’s Square and the joy of the faithful during the celebration as well as the days before and after. The official recognition of Newman’s holiness has helped many people to become acquainted with this wise and holy priest and thinker.

Since  the canonization, various groups and Oratories have promoted devotion to St. John Henry Newman. For instance, the St. Paul Catholic Newman Center in Fresno, California, has had a novena to Newman preceding October 9 which would normally be St. John Henry Newman’s liturgical memorial but this year falls on a Sunday.

People who have been introduced to Newman now pray to him for his intercession and ask others to pray to him for their needs, and God grants favors in response to their prayers.

The canonization has likely been the inspiration for conferences and events, and has encouraged authors to continue writing both popular and academic works on Newman and his vast literary output..

The International Center of Newman Friends in Rome has an extensive online bibliography. The National Institute for Newman Studies in Pittsburgh publishes in their journal many good articles and book reviews about Newman. They are continuing to upload a digital library of Newman’s Letters and Diaries and other manuscripts.

We may ask today on the eve of October 9: what are some goals to increase Newman’s influence on Christians? Three goals come to mind:

  1. Working more to spread the study and devotion of Newman at University Newman Centers.
  2. Fostering devotion to Newman through Newman prayer groups and discussion groups, and
  3. Praying that Newman’s feast day be made a memorial in the general liturgical calendar of the Church.

As Victor Garcia Ruiz has said, Newman cannot be reduced to a place among nineteenth century European intellectuals. This is the task that falls upon us who realize all that this saint has to offer the world and the Church. 

The English saint challenges us to venture all for our faith. He writes: If then faith be the essence of a Christian life, and if it be what I have now described, it follows that our duty lies in risking upon Christ’s word what we have, for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without knowing accurately what we are doing, not knowing either what we give up, nor again what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon Him, trusting in Him to fulfil His promise, trusting in Him to enable us to fulfil our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding.”

In line with his patron saint St. Philip Neri and with St. Francis de Sales, St. John Henry Newman opened up a path of holiness for laity and priests in the exercise of their duties and work. On the occasion of his feast day we give special thanks to God for this great saint and future Father of the Church, and hope that by spreading knowledge of his teaching we can better serve the Kingdom of Christ.

Below is a brief selection of recent works on Newman:

  1. Articles and books explaining and discussing his life

Popular works

-John Henry Newman (Pauline Books, 2019) Ryan Marr

-Newman: A Human Harp of Many Chords (Alive Publishing, 2019) Peter Conley

-Brave Leader, Big Heart (Scepter Publishers, 2021) Juan R. Vélez (book for children)

Academic Publications

-St. John Henry Newman, Preserving and Promulgating the Legacy, ed. Robert Christie (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019)

-John Henry Newman and the Development of Doctrine: Encountering Change, Looking for Continuity, Stephen Morgan (CUAP, 2001)

-John Henry Newman on Truth and Its Counterfeits: A Guide for Our Times, Reinhard Hutter (CUAP, 2020)

-My Campaign in Ireland, Part I and II, editions prepared by Paul Shrimpton, Gracewing Publishers

-A Guide to John Henry Newman, His Life and Thought, ed. Juan R. Vélez, (CUAP, 2022)

-Newman Studies Journal- articles and digitalization of Newman’s Letters and Diaries

2. Conferences

Conferences -in person and online

-National Institute for Newman Studies, 2022 Fall Symposium: St. John Henry Newman and  Catholic Modernism

-St. John Henry Newman Association, yearly conference, and online conferences

-The Collegium Institute- 2022 Lecture: Newman and the Limits of Dogma: A Conversation with Eamon Duffy

3. Events

-International Centre of Newman Friends. “Night Walk from Oxford to Littlemore” Oct 8, 2022

-Oratories: various talks and liturgical acts


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The world which sees only appearances cannot comprehend the hidden reality of a heart captive to Christ. 

With this indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have the indwelling of Christ in our souls. Christ is born in us. The Holy Spirit makes us children of God, crying out Abba Father, and restores in us the likeness of Christ.

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About Cardinal John Henry Newman

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A Guide to John Henry Newman will interest educated readers and professors alike, and serve as a text for college seminars for the purpose of studying Newman.

Review by Catherine Maybanks
(Catholic Herald, April 1, 2023)

Review by Serenheed James
(Antiphon, April 2023)

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Fr Peter Conley takes us on an exciting journey into the spirituality and inner life of Saint John Henry Newman.

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Endorsement by Neyra Blanco (Amazon)
I bought this book for my son and he loved it, he wrote this review and urged my to submitted: “I think this book has a very beautiful message, because it shows how the young Newman was so determined to achieve his dream of becoming a priest, but even after his dream he continued to work in the church with passion until the day he died, it’s so admirable that even Newman so old and so weak still had that urge to continued his work of being a priest. And the book is well written with words not too complicated with very enjoyable texts and well illustrated pictures. I highly recommend this book for a 5th grader.  

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What is a Classical Liberal Arts Education? Why is it so important for the development of a person?

Fr. Juan R. Vélez answers these and more questions you might have about University Education in the 21st century. This book is aimed for parents, prospective University students, and educators. It will help you discern why adding Liberal Arts electives to your education will help it form it better, and help the student learn to reason, and not just learn.

He also explains how many Universities have changed the true meaning of Liberal Arts, and the subjects, and gives advise on how to choose College Campus, Subjects, and Teachers.

A wonderful book that every parent should also read way before your children are College bound. A Liberal Arts education can start earlier in life, even from home.

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Endorsement by Christopher Moellering (Goodreads, September 14, 2019)
In Passion for Truth Fr. Vélez gave us an outstanding biography of Cardinal Newman. In this work, he provides a concise overview of his thought and his devotion. This is a great work for someone who, perhaps hearing of Newman for the first time because of his beatification 13 October, 2019, wants to know more about this English saint.Vélez is a wonderful writer in his own right, and the frequent quotations from Newman round out the work nicely. I especially appreciated the frequent citing of Newman’s Meditations and Devotions, which show a different side of his spirituality than his more well-known works, Development of Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Assent.

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Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman, endorsement by Illow M. Roque (Amazon, September 3, 2010)
“There is a time to put direct inquiry on hold and give ourselves to prayer and practical duties.” Sound advice from one of the earlier, thought-provoking reminders in this sparkling gem of a book: Take Five | Meditations with John Henry Newman, written by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Juan R. Vélez and published by Our Sunday Visitor. This particular paragraph, referenced above, which begins with a direct quote from soon-to-be canonized priest, cardinal and poet, John Henry Newman: “Study is good, but it gets us only so far . . .” is actually the 15th in a series of 76 concise, logically organized meditations moving from the elementary to the sublime. Each meditation–one per page–is built upon the great man’s writings and remarkably rich spirituality. Whether taken whole in one reading or in part page-by-page over a course of weeks and months, these wonderfully insightful meditations will open up, even to the busiest reader in the midst of the world, a unique pathway into prayer and contemplation. My advice to spiritual inquirers at all levels, from the novice to the spiritually adept, is to follow the authors’ recommendation to use this book as a guide for daily prayer and meditation. The structure of the book itself is ideal: first, the authors introduce us to Cardinal Newman, the man, where we are given the opportunity to get to know him through a brief sketch of his life and spirituality at the beginning of the book. This is something readers will likely find themselves referring to again and again, prompting many, I suspect, to even wider explorations of this most gifted Christian leader. Then comes the meditations, consisting of a short summary of Newman’s thoughts on subjects taken, as the authors explain, from various salient points for which Newman is justly remembered: The pursuit of objective religious truth; Teaching on the Virtues; Defense of the Catholic Church; A devout spiritual and moral life; and Generosity and loyalty in his friendships, which sets the topic and tone for each meditation to follow. Each meditation consists of an excerpt taken from Newman’s thirty-plus volumes of writings and diaries. Next comes three brief and extremely useful sections entitled: “Think About It,” which establishes a prayerfully resonant tone throughout the book; “Just Imagine,” which provides a vivid, prayerful experience of the Scriptures that tie in, and finally, “Remember,” a pithy summation which the authors suggest may be used as a daily aspiration. Each meditation is given its own page, which makes it ideal for daily reflection for readers on the go. This book is a must have for every serious Catholic who wants to take their faith to the next level, which is to respond appropriately to the universal call to holiness and seek interior union with God.
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