Friday, 26 October 2012

Parish Pilgrimage to Newman’s College at Littlemore

Esme Howard reports from Heron’s Ghyll Parish:
The parish pilgrimage to Newman’s College at Littlemore took place earlier in September when a group of eleven parishioners, led by parish priest Fr. Stephen Hardaker, made a pilgrimage to John Henry Newman’s College at Littlemore, just outside Oxford. This is one of four Newman centres administered by the religious community of The Work.

The party were warmly received by Sr. Bianca. Newman went into almost monastic seclusion here in 1841 after his controversial Tract 90 for the Oxford Movement. Here, too, in 1845, he was received into the Church. Mass for the party was celebrated by Fr. Stephen in Newman’s tiny chapel. It was moving indeed to be able to sing ‘Lead Kindly Light’ in that place, so filled with Newman’s presence. After the tour Sr. Bianca gave the party a short talk about Newman’s life and personal association with Littlemore.

The listed buildings, open to the public, are beautifully maintained by the community who, over the years, have assembled a first-class collection of Newman’s written works and memorabilia. Since Newman’s beatification in 2010, the number of annual visitors and private retreats has considerably increased. Littlemore remains, in every sense, a place of prayer and reflection.

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