Two months today - September 19th - will be a wonderful day for English Catholicism, as Ven. John Henry Newman is Beatified by the Holy Father in what we pray will be a splendid ceremony in Birmingham.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons only a tiny handful of the faithful will be able to attend the Beatification : the last I heard was 60,000, and I suspect that is an overestimate . . . which - for the great majority of us - leaves the question of what we are to do to celebrate this important occasion wide open.
However, report has reached me of at least one significant event that day to which those of us not able to attend the Beatification can go to share - in some measure - in this joyful day. As soon as I have confirmed details, you may be sure they will be posted !
I must make it clear that this is no criticism of anyone who is going to be fortunate enough to be able to attend the Beatification. I sincerely hope that they will go, enjoy every moment of the day, and support the Holy Father joyfully, knowing that they, in turn, are supported by our prayers.
It is, I suppose, implicitly a criticism of the Hierarchy to the extent that they are responsible for failing to organize a venue which would allow the largest possible number to attend - which one would have thought was self-evidently desirable - but no more than that.