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:
- Working more to spread the study and devotion of Newman at University Newman Centers.
- Fostering devotion to Newman through Newman prayer groups and discussion groups, and
- 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:
- Articles and books explaining and discussing his life
-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)
-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
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
-International Centre of Newman Friends. “Night Walk from Oxford to Littlemore” Oct 8, 2022
-Oratories: various talks and liturgical acts