Our Contributors
“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared: “Go down again – I dwell among the people.”

Father Juan Vélez

Fr. Juan  is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei who resides in Miami. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the University of Navarre. His doctoral thesis was on John Henry Newman’s Eschatology. Fr. Vélez has a medical degree, also from the University of Navarre, and was previously board certified in internal medicine.

Prof. Barb H. Wyman

Barbara H. Wyman, M.A., M.F.A., teaches English and Latin at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana where she lives with her husband, also professor at McNeese. She is Assistant Director of the Honors College and has written on Boethius, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins and others. With Scott Goins she has edited and translated Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy” (Ignatius Critical Editions, 2012).

James Toler

James Toler helps as a Website designer/developer and provides technical support to the team. He spends most of his time assisting persons with disabilities in their work as a Vocational Rehab Counselor/Job Coach. He is also an Opus Dei cooperator and member of the Legion of Mary. 

Patricia Sharp

Patricia Sharp (here with her daughter Janis), emigrated from Hong Kong to the U.S. in 1959, having graduated with an Honours degree in English. She was employed in the executive suites of Chevron, U. S. Steel, and as administrative assistant to the President of Itel Corporation. She feels honored to work with our group and with her keen eye checks our grammar, punctuation and makes sure we dot our I’s and cross our T’s.

David Warren

David John Warren is a Catholic and freelance writer who lives with his wife and daughter in Glen Ellyn, IL. He has a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He also works as a tennis instructor.

Robert Kirkendall

Robert Kirkendall teaches Humanities at St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh, NC where he lives with his wife Staycie and daughters Petra and Carmen. Raised Protestant, he and his wife became Catholic in 2017 largely due to Newman’s writings and witness.

Father Peter Conley

Fr Peter Conley is Assistant Priest at St Joseph the Worker and Assistant Chaplain to Warwick University in Coventry, England. He popularizes the life and thought of St John Henry Newman for the Archdiocese of Birmingham and is the author of Newman: A Human Harp of Many Chords (2019).

Fr. John Henry Hanson

Father John is a Norbertine priest of St Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California. He entered the community in 1995, earned his STB and Masters in Theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2006. He teaches English  at St Michael’s Preparatory School, the boarding school operated by the Norbertine Fathers, preaches retreats, and is chaplain to the cloistered Norbertine Nuns in Tehachapi, California. He and his community are cooperators of Opus Dei.

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In Fasting a Source of Trial, Newman reminds that we must not forget its main purpose: to unite ourselves with Christ.

As we gain happiness through suffering, so do we arrive at holiness through infirmity.

St. John Henry Newman’s sermon “The Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in his Passion” is a moving description of the spiritual sufferings …

We need to remember our mortality, so that we may be ready to meet Our Lord each and every day. Lent and lenten mortifications have a role in this preparation. We must die to self daily, so that we may be brought to the glory of His resurrection. 

For forty days we are in ‘spiritual circuit training’, with the goal of joining St Peter on his morning run to Christ’s tomb.

But our Lord is clear: He said “to all” that “if any” man, and in doing so both offers Himself to every man and leaves no room for half-hearted disciples.

Newman encourages us to be more of what we are: courageous Christians who do all we can, to our utmost, for His Kingdom.

In this ingenious poem, “Candlemas,” Saint John Henry Newman weaves together the entire liturgical year using the theme of light as the thread

Our Books

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.
About Newman
Fr. Peter Conley

Slopes, Popes and Newman

Newman wrote, “I have been accustomed to consider the action of the creator on and in the created universe, as parallel in a certain sense to that of the soul upon the body.”

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Sermon Blog
David Warren

Endurance, the Christian’s Portion

Today, on Good Friday, we remember our Lord’s crucifixion, not as though it was a wrinkle in His otherwise peaceful earthly life, but rather as the focus and the pattern of His life.

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About Newman
Fr. Juan Velez

Fasting and Holy Week

In Fasting a Source of Trial, Newman reminds that we must not forget its main purpose: to unite ourselves with Christ.

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