Thursday, 11 September 2008
Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman - Blessing of New Mosaic
Yesterday evening, at the 5.30 pm Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral we blessed this beautiful new mosaic of John Henry Newman (1801-90). I have a great devotion to the Cardinal, for I too used to be a member of the Church of England before being received into full communion with the Catholic Church, and like him, I too am a great hymn writer (only joking!). As a boy, John used to spend his summer holidays at what is now called Newman House in Ham Street, just down the road from where I live at present on Ham Common.
I was privileged to be deacon at the Mass. The Principal Celebrant was Canon Christopher Tuckwell (Administrator of the Cathedral) and the concelebrants were The Very Reverend Paul Chavasse (Provost of the Birmingham Oratory), The Very Reverend Ignatius Harrison (Provost of the London Oratory), Monsignor Anthony Stark (Master of the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom), and Monsignor William Saunders (Private Secretary to His Grace the Archbishop of Southwark).
I am pictured here before Mass with Fr Paul Chavasse (who preached the homily) - I know that this will impress Jackie Parkes - The Catholic Mom of 10.
The mosaic contains the famous words of the Cardinal 'Prayer is a Vital Act of Faith'. Here are some other lovely words written by John Henry Newman.
Firmly I believe and truly
God is three, and God is One;
And I next acknowledge duly
Manhood taken by the Son.
And I trust and hope most fully
In that Manhood crucified;
And each thought and deed unruly
Do to death, as he has died.
Simply to his grace and wholly
Light and life and strength belong,
And I love supremely, solely,
Him the holy, him the strong.
And I hold in veneration,
For the love of him alone,
Holy Church as his creation,
And her teachings as his own.
Adoration ay be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
What splendid words! I pray that it will not be long before we can ask the Blessed John Henry to pray for us!