28 September 2013
Whenever I speak of my conversion to the Catholic Church, I always reference the great influence of Blessed John Henry Newman upon me, especially his "Apologia pro vita sua" which I read during my undergraduate studies.
While on our recent pilgrimage to England we were able to visit Littlemore, just outside of Oxford. It was there that Newman made his retreat when he resigned as Vicar of the University Church, St. Mary's, Oxford, and it was there that he was received into the Catholic Church on 9 October 1845, by Blessed Dominic Barberi. While we were there, I had the great privilege of saying Mass in the little chapel where Blessed John Henry Newman entered into full Catholic communion, and where he received his First Holy Communion as a Catholic layman.
While we were in Oxford we visited the great University Church where Newman served for some years as Vicar, and it was from the pulpit pictured here that he preached his magnificent sermons, which drew huge crowds and which led many people to say, "It was as though one of the ancient Church Fathers had come into our midst."