Friday, October 4, 2013

More on the Christian Heritage Centre

Lord Alton, Lord Windsor and Jan Graffius, the curator of the Christian Heritage Centre collection at Stonyhurst were on EWTN Live last night and talked about their visit to Washington, DC, displaying some the relics and artefacts they hope to display soon in England. The World Over news show was really all about religious freedom and conscience protections last night, as Raymond Arroyo also interviewed the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have filed a class action law suit against the HHS Mandates.

The Christian Heritage Centre segment was highlighted by close ups of a small crucifix owned by St. Thomas More and also a book from the library at St. Omers, where Stonyhurst College began, with doodles by John Carroll and Charles Carroll. John Carroll was of course the first Catholic bishop in the United States--in Baltimore Maryland--and Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Christian Heritage Centre does have a website and they are accepting donations to build the exhibition space needed to have these objects from English Catholic history from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The Catholic Herald writes about the visit of the three to Washington here:

Lord Nicholas Windsor is this week leading a group from Stonyhurst College, in Lancashire, on a trip to the USA to promote the Stonyhurst Christian Heritage Centre Project.

He is accompanied by Lord Alton of Liverpool, a life peer of the House of Lords, and Stonyhurst’s curator, Jan Graffius, who has with her a number of sacred artefacts from the Stonyhurst collection, including St Thomas More’s crucifix.

Lord Nicholas Windsor and Lord Alton are visiting Washington DC, Baltimore and Boston to promote their joint project and to considerably widen access to the extensive historic collection.
Earlier in the week the group attended morning Mass celebrated by the Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at St Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington DC yesterday. Cardinal McCarrick expressed his support for the Christian Heritage Centre project and said that by properly appreciating and understanding our past “we will be equipped to face the considerable challenges which confront us today and which will continue to face us in the future”.

But while we are remembering the Jesuits who collected these relics of the English martyrs and other artefacts, including relics of their own martyrs like St. Edmund Campion, since today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, let us not forget the Franciscan martyrs of the English Reformation. From Blessed John Forest to St. John Wall, they suffered and died for the Catholic faith England.

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