28 February 2010

Termly Mass and dinner

The termly Mass will take place at the Oxford Oratory on Monday 8th March at 7.15pm. The Mass will be a solemn Mass in the 'extraordinary form' and will be celebrated by the Abbot of Farnborough (NB Not the Abbot of Belmont, as previously scheduled).

The society is grateful to the Latin Mass Society, the St. Catherine of Sienna Trust, and Mr. Julian Chadwick for their generosity in sponsoring the music (which should be excellent) and other expenses associated with the Mass.

The termly black-tie dinner will follow after Mass and will take place at Benet’s Hall at 8.30pm. The cost is £40 (members), £45 (non-members). Cheques are payable to ‘Oxford Newman Society’. RSVP to Mr. President: newman @ herald.ox.ac.uk.

27 February 2010

Dom Anthony Sutch on Catholic education

At the society's meeting this week the former Headmaster of Downside, Dom Antony Sutch OSB, spoke on Catholic education, not just in schools, but in the wider world. His talk took the form of a lively discussion for the last twenty minutes, in which was discussed the matter of teaching the faith to one's children and the need to educate others in the world around us about the faith.

20 February 2010

Re-reading Shakespeare

Last Tuesday, 16th February, the independent Catholic academic, Claire, Viscountess Asquith of Oxford addressed the Newman Society on the Catholic readings behind Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. Viscountess Asquith shed light on this highly dramatic, but complex tragedy, drawing on the language and symbolism of the play that reflected the brutal world of 1590s Elizabethan England. Her argument was stimulating as both an historical insight into violent, troubled era of religious persecution, and also as a spiritual reflection upon the cruelties carried out both by and upon Catholics in past centuries.

Newman Society stars in major BBC series

Well, not quite.  The BBC's excellent Our Man in the Vatican series follows a year in the life of Francis Campbell, HM Ambassador to the Holy See.  If you look very carefully at around 11.50 in episode one you can see the society's recent invitation letter on his desk.  Woo!  Hurry, the programme expires on the iPlayer in just 19 days!

Francis Campbell delivered our second Thomas More Lecture on the subject of 'Faith and Foreign Policy' back in May.  The text of his lecture appears here on the Foreign Office website. 

17 February 2010

Cardinal Pell visits Newman's Oratory at Birmingham

During Cardinal Pell's visit to the society last year some of our members accompanied him on a trip to the Birmingham Oratory.  The following report has recently gone up on the Bishops Conference's web-site.

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, took the opportunity during a visit to England to make a short private visit to the Oratory House in Edgbaston, opened by Cardinal Newman in 1852, writes Peter Jennings.

Cardinal Pell was shown the shrine of Cardinal Newman's remains in the Oratory Church, visited Newman's Library and celebrated Mass in Latin at the altar in Newman's Room, on Thursday, 5 March.

Fr Paul Chavasse, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory and Actor of the Newman Cause, showed the Australian visitor Cardinal Newman's galero - the famous red hat once given to new Cardinals by the Pope.

Cardinal Pell shared his thoughts about his first visit to the house where Cardinal Newman spent much of his Catholic life: "I was profoundly moved. I thought it was deeply significant that Cardinal Newman's desk and chapel were together in the same room. All of his work was very much of a unity and I prayed that a smidgen of his ability to preach the word of God effectively to his contemporaries would pass to me.

"I noticed that there was a crucifix in front of me as I stood at the altar. I always find this a big help to recollection in celebrating Mass. This is the same at every altar where Mass is celebrated but is especially true of the altar where Cardinal Newman celebrated Mass."

Asked about Newman's beatification, Cardinal Pell replied: "I would very much like to see Cardinal John Henry Newman beatified. All of his many admirers would like to see this happen soon."

Asked about the significance of such a beatification, the Australian prelate emphasised: "Cardinal Newman knew well the two worlds of learning, Catholic and Secular. We need his memory and example to inspire many other Catholic writers and preachers today."

Cardinal Pell added: "Their task is to explore the opportunities now open to us to explain the Christian message - the romance of orthodoxy - to the many people throughout the world who are uneasy and searching."

At the end of his visit to Newman's Room, Cardinal Pell wrote in the visitors book: "A special thanks for the privilege of celebrating Holy Mass in this room where the work of the Kingdom was carried forward so wonderfully."

Cardinal George Pell was in Oxford (4-7 March) at the invitation of the Newman Society of Oxford University, to deliver the inaugural Thomas More Lecture on the subject: "Varieties of Intolerance - Secular and Religious." (Friday, 6 March).

Cardinal Pell also visited Newman's two Oxford Colleges, Oriel and Trinity.

During a previous visit to England the Cardinal had visited Littlemore, where Newman was received into the Catholic Church on 9 October 1845, by Fr (now Blessed) Dominic Barberi.

Phogrographs by Peter Jennings

10 February 2010

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe calls for compassionate Catholicism

Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, the former world wide Master of the Dominicans, addressed an audience of sixty at the Newman Society on the theme of 'Being a Christian in the 21st Century'. He spoke movingly about the significance of the Trinity as a realisation of God's love for humanity, and the importance of dialogue on this basis. At the heart of his talk lay the core theme of the Church as both a dynamic, relevant force in the world today, which still adheres to ancient tradition and principles. Fr Timothy spoke about the Catholic's life being enriched by the appreciation of both, and how this in turn fosters a greater understanding and compassion towards those of other faiths.