The Birmingham Oratory has announced that it will work closely with the Cardinal Newman Society of America to promote and fundraise for the Oratory in the United States. The partnership will help develop archives facilities and a visitor’s center in view of Cardinal Newman’s likely beatification in 2010.
Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, a prominent 19th century theologian and convert to Catholicism, founded the Birmingham Oratory in 1848.
“The Fathers of the Oratory are very grateful to the Cardinal Newman Society of America for offering them this influential platform in the USA to achieve these goals,” Fr. Paul Chavasse, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, commented in a Dec. 11 statement.
Fr. Chavasse’s new work will involve extensive periods of travel in the United States during 2010.
Fr. Felix Selden of the Vienna Oratory, the Delegate of the Holy See for the Congregation of the Oratory throughout the world, has been in England visiting the Oratories of Birmingham, London and Oxford before what could be an historic year.
“Fr. Paul has taken on a vital work to make the Birmingham Oratory ready to receive the pilgrims and scholars who will come as a result of the beatification,” Fr. Selden commented. “I am grateful to the Cardinal Newman Society of America and to Father Richard and the Fathers of the Oxford Oratory for their generous assistance.”
The Oxford Oratory has released Fr. Richard Duffield to move to Birmingham, where he will assist the community there in its work both for the Oratory and for the Cause of Cardinal Newman’s beatification.
Cardinal Newman's beatification is expected to take place in 2010, according to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.