The Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory are delighted and honoured by the news that Pope Benedict will beatify John Henry Newman at Cofton Park in Rednal. This location is of tremendous significance. Cardinal Newman was buried in the cemetery at Rednal. But this was also the place where Newman and his community came for rest and recreation in the Lickey Hills. Rednal has continued to serve that purpose to this day, welcoming parishioners and children from the Oratory schools as well as pilgrims to Newman’s grave. The Fathers hope that Pope Benedict and the thousands attending the Beatification Mass will find in Rednal the same peace and renewal that they and their founder have enjoyed there in the last 160 years.
The Fathers are also delighted that the Holy Father will visit the Oratory itself on his way to Oscott. He will be the first pilgrim to pray in the shrine to the new Blessed. He will also be the latest and most distinguished of the many visitors who have come to see Newman’s room and library since 1890.
This itinerary means that Pope Benedict will have a complete picture of Cardinal Newman’s life in Birmingham. From Oxford, Newman began to visit Bishop Wiseman at Oscott in the 1840s, beginning a link with the city of Birmingham that was to last until his death in 1890. In his journey across Birmingham from Rednal to Oscott, Pope Benedict will have an experience of every aspect of Newman’s relationship with the city where he made his home.
Press Officer for the Beatification of Cardinal Newman
t: 020 7243 9417