John Henry Newman

Feast Day: October 9
Canonized: October 13, 2019
Beatified: September 19, 2010
Venerated: January 22, 1991

At the 2010 Mass that proclaimed John Henry Newman “Blessed,” some of the hymns sung were written by that very man. But John was not simply a man who wrote hymns. He was someone who inspired others with his life and his writings.

A well-respected priest, theologian, and writer in the Anglican Church, John left that faith when he was 44 years old and became a Catholic in 1845. Because of his contributions in spiritual writing, he was eventually named a cardinal. He helped found the Catholic University of Ireland, which today is University College, Dublin, the country’s largest university.

John was born in London, the son of a banker. From a very young age he was interested in learning and studying. He was attracted to the Anglican faith as a teenager and was ordained in 1824. He was a pastor but primarily worked as a university teacher for much of his early life. The more he learned, the more he determined that he needed to be on a different spiritual road. When he decided to become a Catholic, he lost many friends and family members.

After being ordained a Catholic priest, he lectured and continued his writing. John was known as a caring pastor among his working-class parishioners. He served as rector of the Catholic University of Dublin for several years and founded private Catholic schools for boys in England. A number of “Newman Centers” and “Newman Societies” have been created on college campuses all over the world, giving Catholic college students pastoral support.

He died in 1890 and was deemed “Blessed” by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 in ceremonies in England. The pope paid special tribute to Newman’s vision of education, which combined intellectual training, moral discipline, and religious commitment.

Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 6, chapter 15