One of the mysteries of Loome Theological Booksellers is that from time to time old things of unknown origin come to light for no apparent reason-- yet with great significance.
Today is the feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman, which is currently a private feast to be celebrated only in Newman's diocese (Birmingham, England) and by those particular communities with special association to him. Loome Theological Booksellers is (unfortunately) not officially one of these particular communities, but we are Newman fans. It should also be said that since Newman was beatified (and assigned a feast day) only two years ago in 2010, Newman's feast day itself is still somewhat of a novelty. Newman died in 1890.
Earlier today, we were discussing how we could commemorate Blessed Newman's day with proper festivity, when shortly after one of our staff opened a box of unidentified papers that turned out to be twenty-four years of Newman newsletters from the International Centre of Newman Friends and The Friends of Cardinal Newman. The coincidences of this discovery go far beyond what we can describe here, but the papers are evidence of an enduring world-wide enthusiasm for John Henry Newman and the decades of dedicated effort that made Newman's beatification possible.
Here are some of our findings:
A letter from the Friends of Cardinal Newman (signed L. Govaert) from February 21, 1978:
"The meeting was a heartening one for all attending it. There were no great events to report, there were no startling advances with regard to the Cause, but everybody felt that we are now really and truly established, and able to see clearly what should be our immediate objectives...."
An encouragement to pray for Newman's beatification as part of an international nine-day prayer in 1987.
An advertisement for the first publication of Fr. Ker's definitive biography of John HenryNewman, 1988.
Records of the 1990 centenary celebrations of Newman's death (August 11, 1890):
Some photographs from an academic symposium in Rome in 1990-- with some familiar faces:
Don't forget the booksellers:
More on Newman Friends:
International Centre of Newman Friends
The Friends of Cardinal Newman (Birmingham Oratory)