On the eve of the canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman


The day started with Divine Worship Mass at a chapel in the North American College with Bishop Steven Lopes.

DSC08433With him, was a group of pilgrims and clergy from Our Lady of Walsingham, our cathedral parish in Houston.  Nigel McBain, a seminarian from Australia, was the cantor and what a beautiful voice he has!  It was great to meet all these folks.

Msgr. Carl Reid had just arrived after a long flight from Australia.  So, Nigel and Msgr. Carl and I went to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith so they could get instructions and tickets etc. for tomorrow’s canonization, then we went out to lunch.

After that, Msgr. Carl and I took a cab to the Angelicum for the Symposium on Newman the Prophet: a Saint for our Time.


My brain is too full of the rich discourses by George Weigel on “Lead Kindly Light: the story of a saint; Archbishop Bernard Longley on “Thoughtful belief in a secular age; The Grammar of Assent;” with a response from Sr. Catherine Joseph Droste, OP.

DSC08469Tracey Rowland, a member of the International Theological Commission and on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame in Australia spoke on Newman’s Idea of a University: Catholics in Modern Education with a response from Fr. Guy Nicholls, Cong. Orat.   She is a splendid theologian.

DSC08504Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney, Australia spoke on Conscience, Relativism and Truth: The Witness of Newman.  Thomas Farr, President of the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C. responded.

So interesting to hear what Newman believed about conscience—that it was the heart of God speaking to the heart of man and how the understanding of conscience has become corrupted, even in the Church.

Caught up with Fr. John Hodgins from our Toronto ordinariate parish of St. Thomas More at the symposium.


Among the people at the symposium:    The Papal Posse from Raymond Aroyo’s The World Over on EWTN:   Fr. Gerald Murray and Robert Royal.

Fr. Z was there, too.  I didn’t get a picture, but I did thank him for his blog.

Also, Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane, the co-editors of The Portal were there.  Expect a story on the symposium in the next edition.  Here they are with Gill Newton (on the right), the wife of Msgr. Keith Newton, who was also there.


Msgr. Newton got waylaid by a reporter from the Catholic Herald.

DSC08454As the event drew to a close, there was a reception in the courtyard, and I got to meet Joanna Bogle, a columnist and writer from the U.K.   Very interesting and entertaining.  It was too dark for pictures by then.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson was there, too.  Great to see him again.  Tried to talk him into visiting Canada again and having his trip coincide with our Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church Conference in Toronto Nov. 15-16.   Register now!

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