Friday, August 5, 2016

Newman: Docentium at the Spiritual Life Center

Our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Advance, features a story (page 11) about my presentation on Thursday, August 18 as part of the Spiritual Life Center's monthly Docentium series. The title is: "Blessed John Henry Newman: Faith, Family, and Friends":

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman in September 2010, local author Stephanie A. Mann says, “Something changed about the way Catholics should view this great nineteenth century writer and intellectual. Blessed John Henry Newman is an intercessor and a heavenly patron now, not just an academic interest and research project.”

In the decades after his death in the late nineteenth, his Cause for Canonization moved slowly, Mann notes, but one reason some Catholics believed Newman should be canonized was his influence on others to become Catholic , both in his lifetime and for more than a century after his death. “Some even thought those conversions should be considered the miracles needed for his canonization,” Mann commented.

While Newman has had tremendous influence among converts, his own family rejected Catholicism entirely, and his brothers might even be said to have rejected orthodox, Trinitarian Christianity, in spite of his efforts. His equals in the Oxford Movement, E.B. Pusey and John Keble, didn’t follow his example but remained Anglicans.

Why did someone so persuasive fail within his own close family and friends? What does Newman’s failure mean for those of us whose family and friends have fallen away from Jesus and His Church?

Stephanie A. Mann will explore this aspect of Newman’s life and legacy as part of the Docentium series at the Spiritual Life Center on Thursday, August 18. “Blessed John Henry Newman is a model for us of how to follow Jesus and to reach out to others to follow Him too, despite the cost, difficulty, or failure,” Mann concluded.

Contact the Spiritual Life Center at 316.744.0167 or register online to attend. The Docentium format includes a brief social gathering, buffet dinner, and presentation.

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