Blessed John Henry Newman (AD 1801-1890)  




N October 9, we celebrate Blessed John Henry Newman. Bl. John Henry Newman was a famous convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism in England during the 1800s. He was a nationally known Anglican priest who became a Catholic priest and cardinal.

Newman is mainly remembered for giving intellectual credibility to English Catholicism during the 1800s, for founding University College Dublin and the London Oratory, and for his writings (Parochial and Plain Sermons, Idea of a University, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, many prayers, and the hymn “Lead, Kindly Light”).

Newman had an intense conversion experience when he was 15. He became an evangelical Calvinist and believed the Pope was the antichrist. After graduating from Oxford, he became an Anglican priest at age 24 in 1825.

From 1828 to 1833, Newman’s views gradually became less Low Church and more High Church. However, he was still firmly Protestant: in an 1832 letter, he described Rome as “the most wonderful place on Earth,” but the Catholic Church as “polytheistic, degrading, and idolatrous.”

From 1833 to 1841, Newman was one of the main authors of Tracts for the Times, a series of pamphlets defending High Church ideas like apostolic succession, fasting, prayers for the dead, religious orders, vestments, the Eucharist, confession, etc. This movement was called the Oxford Movement or the Tractarians.

In 1843, Newman published a retraction of the hard things he had said about Catholicism in the Oxford Conservative Journal. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1845. His conversion alienated many of his colleagues, friends and family. In 1846, Newman was ordained a Catholic priest in the Oratorians. In 1879, he was made a cardinal.

Newman’s spiritual routine consisted of celebrating the sacraments, the Divine Office, the rosary, study, and spiritual reading, especially the Bible. His favorite saints were the Virgin Mary, St. Philip Neri, and St. Athanasius.

Personality-wise, Newman was a shy and spiritually sensitive intellectual. Many of his writings touched on the theme of beauty, and he often referred to Jesus as “The Beautiful One.” He deeply loved his friends and the truth.

When he died, Newman was buried in the same grave as his lifelong friend Ambrose St. John. The pall over his coffin said “Heart speaks to heart” (a quote from St. Francis de Sales) and the tombstone read “Out of shadows and phantasms into the truth” (a reference to Plato’s allegory of the cave).

“O my Lord Jesus, low as I am in Your all-holy sight, I am strong in you, strong through your Immaculate Mother, through your saints and thus I can do much for the Church, for the world, for all I love.”

“To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant.”

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!

For a weekly dose of English Catholic Patrimony, if your Ordinariate parish or parochial community would like to receive our This Week in English Catholic History articles in advance in single page black-and-white pdf form (perhaps inserted in the bulletin), please contact us at <>, and we will be happy to oblige, gratis

Written by Mr. John Burford, IV and Dr. Foster Lerner of Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida; a parish of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (C) 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 9.06.47 AM.png                                  image1.jpeg

John is the founder and owner of Magnolia Prep, an SAT and ACT tutoring business with branches in several major US cities. Foster holds a Doctorate in Medicine from  Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in medicine.

Annual Conference of the Three Ordinaries Oct. 13-17 in England

This came across the proverbial transom:

Bishop Lopes (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the USA and Canada) and Monsignor Harry Entwhistle (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Australia) will be visiting Monsignor Keith Newton (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, UK) October 13-17 for the annual Ordinaries’ Conference. Please note the following events for your calendar (the two Masses on Sunday morning October 14th take place at more or less the same time and in different locations): Continue reading

Pope Francis opening address to the synod on “youth, the faith and vocational discernment”

Here is Pope Francis’ opening address to the synod that began today in Rome on youth, the faith and vocational discernment so you can read it in its entirety and not just the parts that will get picked up by various blogs.

Those of us coming from the Anglican tradition have reason to view synods with much trepidation, though the Roman Catholic version is not one that allows doctrine to be decided by a majority vote.   At least not yet!

So, hold onto your prayer books and rosary beads and use them as it will be an interesting ride over the next month.   The address follows:

Continue reading

Philip James French: the Fake Catholic Bishop of Whitby

In my recent article James Atkinson-Wake:“Who wears the Mitre of Satan” about the identity changing individual who heads a questionable international network of Episcopi-Vagantes and has been targeting Anglo-Catholics, I mentioned a Philip James French- the only one of the many “bishops” of the “Catholic Church OF England and Wales” (CCEW) which seems to actually have a Church building in the UK, St Ninians Whitby. Soon after this I was contacted by residents of the small town of Whitby asking if I could help them- it did not take long to uncover a disturbing tale, back up by official statements of multiple churches familiar with French.

The numerous allegations against Philip James French including abusive behaviour towards Whitby residences (including old women), alcohol abuse and drunken behaviour, it being an open secret he is in a homosexual relationship with the other “monk” at his cottage based monastery, and a long history of misrepresenting himself as a ‘Roman Catholic’ priest: which many only find out he is not after complaining to the local Catholic diocese. Of course it helps when allegations are back up with official statements from several different churches and screen shots like this Facebook conversion after a night out drinking: Continue reading