Rome, 9th October 2020
Feast of St John Henry Newman
Dear Newman friends,
one year ago, on 13th October 2019, Pope Francis inscribed John Henry Newman among the Saints. After so many years of waiting, hoping and praying, it was touching to see, on the façade of St Peter’s Basilica, the portrait of Newman, that many of us hold engraved in our hearts. Faithful from all over the world packed the square to take part in the great event of his Canonization by the successor of Peter. A great number of people also attended the religious and academic celebrations preceding and following the solemn Papal Mass.
After the Canonization, Newman now truly belongs to the universal Church, which he searched for so much during his life on earth, as he confidently followed the “kindly light”, and which he found at last and loved with the power of his brilliant spirit. Now from Heaven, with his intercession and his radiant example, he accompanies its renewal and development.
What might Newman tell us about the present challenges offered by the coronavirus crisis? Since he had always underlined the importance of faith and reason, undoubtedly he would not miss the opportunity to urge us “to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, in other words to respect the precautionary measures taken by legitimate authorities. But more than likely he would remind the faithful insistently to “render to God the things that are God’s” (cf. Matthew 22:21)
In a rousing sermon of his Anglican period, Newman invites his listeners to take as an example the Christians of the apostolic times, in order to learn from them what it means to follow the Lord and to give the Lord what belongs to Him. Thus, he shows us some features of a Christian identity that haven’t lost anything of their relevance. Most of all, he wishes to urge us to have confidence and joy in the faith: the Lord is with us every day of our lives also at the present time (cf. Matthew 28:20): The identifying signs of a Christian
The Piccola Casa next to the house of the White Fathers
Probably some of you have already heard that the service of our Sisters at the Generalate of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in Rome will end in December 2020. Our Sisters will leave the “Piccola Casa” (Via Aurelia) to take on other tasks. We wish to express our thanks to the White Fathers, also on this occasion, for the numerous years of excellent cooperation. Since the International Newman Centre in Rome was started (1975), they allowed us to host the specialized Newman library in the “Piccola Casa”.
On Sunday 15th November 2020 we shall officially express our thanks at a Eucharistic celebration, with a restricted group, to the extent allowed by the safety regulations caused by the present crisis. We ask for understanding, since afterwards the Newman Centre will be closed from 16th November to 8th December 2020, to allow its transfer to Via di Val Cannuta, 30A (00166 Roma) where, from 9th December, it will be possible to have access to it again. At the appropriate time we will inform you on our website about opening times and the possibility of contacting us.
The library at Littlemore
At Littlemore, Oxford we have a specialized library at the disposal of students and researchers. A few guest rooms are available for scholars. Since Newman’s Canonisation more people come to The College to pray in Newman’s chapel, to seek light for their lives or to entrust to the Lord, through the intercession of the new Saint, many intentions of the Church and of the world.
With the firm conviction that Saint John Henry Newman is close to all of us with his help,
we send you our regards “cor ad cor”.
Fr. Hermann Geißler FSO Sr. Bianca Feuerstein FSO
© International Centre of Newman Friends, Rome 2020