St. Peter’s square is prepared for a very special weekend during which, for many of us, the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman will be the highlight. It is an auspicious day for the English church especially as one of our own countrymen is made a Saint. How good to see his image displayed.
It is amusing and pleasant walking the streets of Rome today. Around every corner is a familiar face and friend. It seems like most every priest in England is here. And little wonder for Newman is an important figure for us, and especially for Oratorians and the Ordinariate for whom he is patron.
Lunch saw three members of St. Anselm’s in Pembury meeting up. The journalist Tim Stanley joining myself and Father Nicholas in entertaining our good friend Deacon Stephen Morgan who is over from Macau.
It was a fortuitous encounter because Tim is producing an article on Newman for the newspaper and he couldn’t have hoped to meet a more learned scholar on the subject than Deacon Morgan. The good deacon is also an entertaining man, so amidst much serious talk about a soon to be Saint was also much laughter and jollity.
After lunch I took a gentle stroll with Father Nicholas through the streets of Rome. We bumped into dear Joanna Bogle resting by an ice-cream parlour and saw several brethren from the Ordinariate. This evening we dine with our dear friend Father Joe from Ghana before the serious business begins. Blessed John Henry Newman pray for us.