The Newman Society has been honoured with a week-long visit of its Principal Patron, Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney. His Eminence studied for a doctorate in church history at Campion Hall and is an old member of the society.
The Cardinal came in response to an invitation from the society to deliver its inaugural Thomas More Lecture and launch the ‘Faith in Oxford’ appeal (about which more later). In a wonderful but exhausting week His Eminence also attended events organised or facilitated by the society at Trinity College, Merton College, Exeter College, Campion Hall, Blackfriars, and the Catholic Chaplaincy. He also visited Newman’s ‘College’ in Littlemore (where he met with Area-Bishop William Kenny CP), Stonor Park, and the Birmingham Oratory. The Cardinal also gave a witty address at a formal dinner held in his honour at Keble College.
His Eminence celebrated two public liturgies for the society, both of which were accompanied by magnificent plainchant and polyphony and were filled to capacity. The first was a celebration of Vespers according to the Extraordinary Form in Merton College. The second, a solemn Mass of the Holy Spirit in intercession for Cardinal Newman’s beatification at the Oxford Oratory. The Cardinal told the congregation of his deep admiration for John Henry Newman and assured them he would do all within his power to promote his cause for beatification.
During his visit Cardinal Pell formally dedicated the Newman Society to Our Lady of Oxford during a Mass held in her chapel at the Oxford Oratory. The miraculous image of Our Lady of Oxford was brought from Rome to Oxford by Hartwell de la Garde Grissell, one of the founding members of the society.
The society is tremendously grateful to the Cardinal for his wonderful encouragement. Ad multos annos, Your Eminence!
Visit to Newman's 'College' in Littlemore
At Newman's desk in the Birmingham Oratory
Vespers at Merton College