On Sunday September 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, Catholic convert and exceptional apologist. Newman was ordained an Anglican priest but after a number of years reading the writings of early Church Fathers, Newman felt called to enter into the Catholic Church. Twenty-two years after his ordination into the Anglican Church, he was welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church in 1846.
• SWBAT describe the life of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman.
• SWBAT describe why he converted to Catholicism.
• SWBAT defend a Catholic doctrine using his writings.
• Paragraph Report
• Argument Outline
Reading Material Needed:
• Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at Cardinal Newman’s beatification.
• John Paul II’s letter to Archbiship of Birmingham to open his cause for beatification.
• Writings of Blessed John Henry Newman: www.newmanreader.org
1. Prayer from John Henry Newman (from Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on the day of his beatification)
Praise to the Holiest in the height
And in the depth be praise;
In all his words most wonderful,
Most sure in all his ways!
(The Dream of Gerontius).
2. Explain the day’s objectives:
- Describe the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman
- Describe why JHN converted to Catholicism
- Defend a Catholic doctrine using JHN’s writings
4. Have students do online searches on computers to create a mind map, outline, timeline, or other form of note-taking on the life of John Henry Newman. Some specific websites might include:
- The Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10794a.htm
- SQPN: http://saints.sqpn.com/blessed-john-henry-newman
1. Prayer (from Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman):
God created me
to do him some definite service;
he has committed some work to me
which he has not committed to another.
I have my mission -
I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next…
Therefore, I will trust him…
If I am in sickness,
my sickness may serve him;
my perplexity may serve him;
if I am in sorrow,
my sorrow may serve him…
He does nothing in vain;
he may prolong my life,
he may shorten it,
he knows what he is about.
2. Create a class mind-map based on the reports. Have students silently come to the board to add to the mind map or write their suggestions as they share them out loud.
3. Think-Pair-Share Class Discussion: Why did John Henry Newman convert to Catholicism? Have students think or write individually about why they JHN converted, then have them discuss their thoughts with a partner. Have students share their thoughts and discussion with the class.
4. Have students revisit their paragraph reports. Below their reports, have them write what additional information they would add to the report to help readers understand why Bl. John Henry Newman joined the Roman Catholic Church.
5. Provide students with a list of topics they could spend some time researching related to the writings of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman. As a convert, Newman was a wrote prolifically to defend the faith for which he dedicated his life. Topics could include: the Real Presence in the Eucharist, sola scriptura, apostolic tradition, purgatory, indulgences, the divinity of Christ, intercession/praying to the saints, the priesthood, devotion to Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and the immaculate conception of Mary. Have students use the website www.newmanreader.org to find Newman’s writings related to these topics. Use the search feature to find the write work.
6. (If necessary, choose a specific topic and direct students to certain readings. For example, if you choose a topic on Mary, use excerpts from Newman’s Letter to Dr. Pusey.)
Video about Newman’s Beatification: