4What was Newman’s childhood like? John Henry Newman was born on 21February He had three younger sisters and two brothers. He had a very happy childhood.In 1808, Newman went to a boarding school in Ealing in London. He was clever and enjoyed school.He wrote this letter about coming home for the holidays.
5Did Newman have difficult times when he was young? In 1816, when Newman was 15, his father lost a lot of money and the family had to move into a smaller home.In 1816, Newman became very ill. As he was getting better, he had a strong sense of God’s love for him which remained with him all his life.
6Where did Newman study?Newman went to Oxford University when he was 16. He studied hard but became too tired and almost failed his exams.He did not give up but took another exam at which he did very well and became teacher at an Oriel College, Oxford.
7How did Newman develop a sense of God’s call for him? In 1825, Newman became an Anglican (Church of England) priest. He taught students and looked after poor people.In 1828, he became Vicar of St Mary’s, the University ChurchIn 1833, he went on holiday to Italy.He became very ill and nearly died.As he got better, he had a sense that God had a definite purpose for him.By kind permission of the Wardenand Fellows of Keble College, Oxford
8How did Newman understand God’s call? This is what Newman wrote:God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good. I shall do his work.
9Lead, Kindly LightOn his way home Newman was becalmed at sea and wrote the hymn ‘Lead Kindly Light:Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me.
11Why did Newman become a Catholic? As a result of his studies, Newman began to think the Catholic church was the true Church.In 1842, went to live with friends in a small house, which had been a stable at Littlemore, near Oxford.In 1843, he gave up being in charge of St Mary’s Church.
14How did Newman become a Catholic In 1845, he decided that God was calling him to become a Catholic.A visiting priest Father Dominic Baberi heard his confession and received him into the Church. Next day Father Dominic used Newman’s desk as an altar for Mass.
15How did Newman’s life change when he became a Catholic? When he became a Catholic, Newman gave up being important.He lost some of his Anglican friends because Catholics were not trusted and liked. Some people did not speak to him for years.He had to leave his home at Littlemore.He also had to leave Oxford because Catholics could not work at the university. He did not go back to Oxford for 32 years.
16What happened to Newman when he became a Catholic? Newman studied in Rome and became a Catholic priest in 1847.He became a member of the Oratorians, a group of priests who live in community, and in 1848 founded an Oratory community in a poor area of Birmingham.He worked as a parish priest and wrote books, novels and poems.But his life was not always easy.
17Why did Newman face many difficulties as a Catholic? There was a lot of suspicion of Catholics in Victorian England. Once, Newman was accused of lying, and almost went to prison.He had many difficulties in his work setting up a university in Ireland and running the Oratory.He was accused of not telling the truth by a famous writer Charles Kingsley. In reply Newman wrote his life story called in Latin the Apologia Pro Vita Sua or the Apology for his life.
18How did Newman cope with all his difficulties? Newman always trusted God would support him whatever happened.He remained full of hopeHe was kind and helpful to other people.He kept trying to follow God’s call and listened to God in prayer.
20We can learn about Newman from his thoughts and prayers The voice of Jesus is so touching and His smile so winning and his kindness so loving that for Him I give up the world.Dear God, place me always under Mary's smile.God's love is the sun, and we, like plants, prosper in His holy sunshine.By prayer all may be done, which is naturally impossible.
21How did Newman become a Cardinal? In Pope Leo XIII made Newman a cardinal. It was a great honour because Newman was only a priest. For a priest to become a Cardinal without having been a bishop was almost unheard of. After all his difficulties Newman described it as ‘the cloud lifting forever’.You can see Newman’s coat of arms on this slide. Why do you think he chose the motto ‘Heart speaks to heart?
22What happened to Newman after he became a cardinal? Newman lived for another 11 years. He went back to Oxford on a visit and was reunited with old friends.He died on 11 August 1890.He wanted to be buried somewhere where he might be forgotten. He wished that his soul return to God and his body to the earth.But after his death he became even more famous. His ideas are very important and lots of books have been published about him.
23Why are people beatified? Being beatified is the first step to becoming a saint. Everyone is called to be a saint. Living a holy life means trusting God, and loving everyone. particularly the poor and those in need. How does Newman’s life show that he did this?
24What shows that Newman was a very holy person? Think about Newman’s life. What can you discover that shows Newman’ holiness?
25Did you find any of these signs of Newman’s holiness? Newman had a deep trust in God and a sense of God’s presence. He was devoted to Jesus and the Virgin Mary.He listened to God and followed God’s call to become a Catholic, a priest and to serve others.He followed his conscience even when it was difficult.He struggled with his difficulties and did not give up.He worked hard for the poor and people in need.He was humble, gentle and loyal to his friends.
26Called to be saintsWe are all called to be saints. How can you follow your calling?
27AcknowledgementsThe Catholic Education Service is grateful to the following for help in producing this Power Point:St Mary’s University Church, Oxfordmazur/catholicchurch.org.ukThe National Portrait Gallery, LondonOriel College, OxfordThe Warden and Fellows of Keble College, OxfordThe Work, Littlemore, Oxford