In a statement on Saturday 26 June, Archbishop Bernard Longley, the Archbishop of Birmingham, said: “I am delighted that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will be coming to Birmingham on Sunday 19 September for the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
“Cardinal Newman lived for most of his Catholic life at the Oratory House, Edgbaston and after his death on 11 August 1890 he was buried at the Oratory Fathers’ cemetery in Rednal.
“The finest recognition Cardinal Newman received was from the ordinary people of Birmingham whose lives were changed because of their contact with him, and more than 15,000 people spontaneously lined his funeral route from the Oratory to Rednal as a final tribute to this holy, caring parish priest.
“The decision to locate the Beatification Mass at Cofton Park emphasises Cardinal Newman’s long association with his adopted city.”
The Archbishop of Birmingham added: “I am also mindful of the Catholic parishes and the people of Coventry who have been preparing for Cardinal Newman’s Beatification and I want to acknowledge the dedicated and fruitful work of the local team who have been preparing for this wonderful papal event.
“I know that they will look forward to this Beatification with undimmed enthusiasm and enter into the celebration together with pilgrims from elsewhere within and beyond our Catholic Archdiocese.”
Archbishop Bernard Longley has appointed Canon Patrick Browne, Administrator of the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, in Birmingham, as the Local Co-ordinator of the Papal Visit on behalf of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Archbishop Bernard Longley pictured outside the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, in Birmingham, on Friday 25 June. The Archbishop of Birmingham is wearing the vestments used by Pope John Paul II when he celebrated Mass at Coventry Airport on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday 30 May 1982, during his Pastoral Visit to Great Britain.
© Peter Jennings