Magazine article Momentum

Newman University Celebrates Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman

Magazine article Momentum

Newman University Celebrates Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman

Article excerpt

Kansas university puts Newman's educational philosophy into action

On Sept, 19, 201O1 students, staff, faculty and supporters of Newman University in Wichita, Kan., joined with individuals and organizations from around the world to celebrate a long-awaited occasion- the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, the 19th century Cathode theologian and highly influential figure in Catholic higher education for whom Newman University is named.

The celebration didn't stop there, though. In honor of Newman's elevation, the university community is paying homage to its academic and spiritual model with a number of events, lectures, memorials, awards and other activities through April 2011.

Blessed John Henry Newman

Newman was a seminal figure for Catholic higher education, both through his leadership role in establishtng many concepts that continue to guide church and university teaching, and through his great scholarship.

Newman was born in London in ISOl. He became an Anglican priest in 1825. and later became a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, a group of Anglican scholars at Oxford who worked to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots. He gave up a brilliant academic career at Oxford with his conversion to Catholicism in 1845, which shocked Victorian England. He was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. Newman died in his room at Oratory House in Birmingham in 1890, at the age of 89. He was buried in a small Roman Catholic cemetery at Rednal. by the Oratory country house. More than 15,000 people filled the streets at his funeral.

Newman established the Birmingham Oratory and was the founding rector of the Catholic University in Dublin. He was revered for his great intellect and was a prolific writer whose published works range from his highly influential reflections on education in "The Idea of a University" to his autobiography and deeply personal defense of the Catholic faith in "Apologia Pro Vita Sua." His views on higher education centered on creating a university that encompassed a wide range of disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences, performing arts and professions, and that supported the development of the whole person including the intellect, ethics, spirituality and vocation. These ideas, and his views on conscience and the ongoing development of doctrine, have played an important role in the development of Catholic and non-Catholic institutions of higher learning.

Newman's writings made a particularly strong impression on the young Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. who waived the normal requirement of having a Vatican representative preside over a beatification ceremony so that he himself could beatify Newman.

With his beatification. Newman now has the title "blessed," an indication of charity and heroic virtue. Newman's beatification was based on the Vatican's verification of the miraculous healing of Boston-area native Deacon Jack Sullivan, who said his painful, severe spinal condition was healed after praying for Newman's intercession. If Newman has a second miracle attributed to him, he will become the first English saint in close to 40 years.

Tours, Talks and Tea

As part of its celebration of Newman's beatification. Newman University sponsored an eight-day "Cardinal Newman Tour" in England from Sept. 15 through Sept. 22 last fail. Twentyone people went on the trip, including representatives from Newman: the university's founding and sponsoring order, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC); alumni and others from the community. In addition to attending the beatification ceremony at Cofton Park in the Birmingham suburb of Rednal. the group visited many places where Cardinal Newman lived and worked, including the Oxford Oratory. Trinity and Oriel College at Oxford University, and Newman's beloved Littlemore where he asked to become a member of the Catholic Church.

"It was wonderful to see so many of the sacred places in Newman's life," said Director of Mission and Archives Charlotte Rohrbach, a sister of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ who organized the tour on behalf of the university. …

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