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Saint John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman, a great scholar, teacher, and pastor, is attributed with the founding of Catholic Student Organizations on college campuses, such as our very own Newman CCM. His writings encouraged and inspired societies for Catholic students attending secular universities.


Originally an evangelical Oxford academic and clergyman in the Church of England, Newman was a leader in the Oxford Movement, a High Church effort by an influential grouping of Anglicans wished to return the Church of England to many beliefs and foundations of the Catholic faith--the sacraments, episcopal governance, and apostolic succession. However, through his studies, he soon became convinced that Rome, not Canterbury, was the home of the true Church.


Newman then began a new life as a Roman Catholic. He was officially received into the Church on October 9, 1845, and was ordained to the priesthood the next year. His work with the Church included establishing the Oratory of St. Philip Neri near Birmingham in 1848 and helping to create the Catholic University of Ireland, now University College, Dublin (U.C.D.), where he served as rector from 1854 to 1858. It was during this time that he founded the Literary and Historical Society, a debating society which is now one of the most prestigious and well-known student societies in Ireland. In 1858, Newman projected a branch house of the Oratory at Oxford. When Catholics did begin to attend Oxford from the 1860s onwards, a Catholic club was formed and, in 1888, it was renamed the Oxford University Newman Society in recognition of Newman's efforts on behalf of Catholicism in that university city.


The 1870s brought Newman special recognition for his work as both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic. In 1877 he became the first person elected to an honorary fellowship of Trinity College. At the age of 78, in recognition of his vast contribution to the Church as one of the preeminent theologians of the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII made him a Cardinal. His many scholarly works were a significant force that helped shape religious thought not only in his own time, but also throughout the 20th century. His historical, sacramental and scriptural approaches to theology so much anticipated those of the twentieth-century Church that he is often called "The (Absent) Father of Vatican II."

Cardinal Newman's "Radiating Light" Prayer

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.

Information found from Elon University Catholic Campus Ministry

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