One day after Cardinal Newman’s beatification, a group of American pilgrims attended the first-ever Mass at the Bl. John Henry Newman Shrine, which is located at the Birmingham Oratory in Birmingham, England. The Oratory hosts some relics of the newly beatified nineteenth-century convert and theologian.
Bishop John Boles and Bishop Francis Irwin, auxiliaries of the Archdiocese of Boston, concelebrated the Mass with Newman Pilgrimage spiritual director Fr. Michael Barber, S.J. and Franciscan University of Steubenville president Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR. All concelebrants were with the Official Pilgrimage to England for Newman’s Beatification sponsored by the Virginia-based Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).
Deacon Jack Sullivan of Massachusetts, whose healing from crippling back pain was attributed to Bl. Newman’s intercession, also attended the Mass. He spoke to the pilgrims after Mass and told them his experience of the miracle.
At the Beatification Mass on Sunday, Cardinal Newman Society pilgrims sat in the VIP section with members of the worldwide Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Bishops Boles and Irwin and Frs. Barber and Henry concelebrated the Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.
The pilgrims were given an opportunity to see Bl. Newman’s home at the Birmingham Oratory, including his personal room, chapel and library.
The library hosts a collection of more than 10,000 handwritten manuscripts. CNS is currently raising funds to build an archive room for their preservation.