SHU to Celebrate the Beatification of Cardinal Newman

News Story: August 1, 2010
John Henry
Cardinal Newman

On Sunday, September 19th, Pope Benedict XVI will be in Birmingham, England, to formally declare John Henry Cardinal Newman, the celebrated English convert, a “Blessed” of the Roman Catholic Church. His beatification will draw the faithful from around the globe including a delegation from Sacred Heart University led by the University President, Dr. Anthony J. Cernera.

Dr. Cernera, who is also president of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), will preside over an international gathering of scholars from September 16th-18th in Liverpool. “The Idea of a University – Revisited” is co-sponsored by IFCU and the host institution, Liverpool Hope University. The conference is aimed at a wide audience, including university staff with an academic interest in this area, as well as teachers, theologians and those who think more generally about values in education and public life. The conference also includes the option to attend the beatification.

Cardinal Newman, who died in 1890 at the age of 89, remains an incredibly important influence on modern educators, especially within the Catholic intellectual tradition. The most famous Anglican intellectual and preacher of his time, he caused national headlines when he chose to leave the Church of England and become a Catholic. He was eventually ordained in Rome. His Idea of a University continues to inform the discussion on the aims and values of modern higher education. In recognition of his singular contributions to intellectual and academic life, Sacred Heart named one of its residence halls in his honor.

The Cardinal’s legacy will be explored at Sacred Heart University in a number of forums throughout the year. SHU professors, for example, will enjoy two extended opportunities to probe the Newman legacy during the Faculty Conversations series and the Presidential Seminar. These venues promote philosophical and theological exploration of issues connected to the Catholic intellectual tradition and its application to all of life – academic, spiritual, social and professional. The Faculty Conversations during the course of the year will explore “Discourse III: Bearing of Theology on Other Branches of Knowledge,” and “Discourse VI: Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Learning,” both from Newman’s Idea of a University.  Other readings will include James M. Cameron’s “The Idea of a University Revisited” from On the Idea of a University, and Dr. Michael W. Higgins’s “John Henry Newman: A Century of Influence,” found in Grail: An Ecumenical Journal. A panel discussion for the public has been proposed this fall after the beatification, and there will be a full day on Cardinal Newman at the Presidential Seminar session on January 15.