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Cardinal Newman's official beatification biography set for September release
Cardinal John Henry Newman.
Cardinal John Henry Newman.

.- The biography written as part of Cardinal John Henry Newman's cause for canonization will be released at a conference in Birmingham, England this September. The day before the Pope's arrival in the city, several leading biographers will examine the "extraordinary man of God" and his beatification.

The International Convention Centre of Birmingham will be the venue of the Sept. 18 all-day conference, "J. H. Newman by his Biographers," announced through local Church's website for the papal visit.

The event, they say, "is an important opportunity to hear four world-class Newman scholars and biographers talk about the man, the message and his enduring significance."

Fr. Ian Ker of Oxford University and Dr. Sheridan Gilley of Durham University as well as Fr. Michael Lang from the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship will be speaking. The fourth and final speaker is Fr. Keith Beaumont of the Oratory of France, the author of "Blessed John Henry Newman, the Authorized Beatification Biography."

Fr. Beaumont's work, produced as an essential part of the examination process into Cardinal Newman's cause for sainthood, will be officially launched during the conference.

According to organizers, participants in the Saturday conference on Cardinal Newman will have the opportunity for "extended discussions" with Fr. Beaumont and the other three speakers at different times throughout the day.

At the close of the conference, a "Newman exhibition" will be inaugurated at the Birmingham Museum by the city's mayor and, in the late-cardinal's honor, "The Dream of Gerontius" will also be performed that evening in the Birmingham Town Hall.

The music of "Gerontius," which premiered in the same venue 110 years ago, was composed by Sir Edward Elgar and the text was taken from a poem written by Cardinal Newman about a man's death, judgment and arrival in purgatory. It will be performed by the Birmingham's Ex Cathedra choir and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment which plays Baroque, Classical and early Romantic music on original instruments.


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