Newman Legacy Project to Preserve Manuscripts

Society Leads Pilgrimage to Beatification Ceremony

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MANASSAS, Virginia, SEPT. 15, 2010 ( A new project was launched in anticipation of Cardinal John Henry Newman’s beatification with the goal of preserving and promoting the teaching of the Englishman.

Cardinal Newman will be beatified Sunday by Benedict XVI during the Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom, which begins Thursday.

Before the beatification, the Pontiff plans to visit the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham, England, where the man lived and died. In this location there is an archive of works by Cardinal Newman, some of it unpublished.

The Manassas-based Cardinal Newman Society launched a project to preserve these works — over 10,000 handwritten manuscripts — and make them more accessible to scholars.

The society is aiming to raise $1 million for the project in order to build a climate-controlled, fireproof facility at the oratory. A couple from California, Scott and Lannette Turicchi, started off the effort with a donation of $100,000.

The couple affirmed that «Blessed Newman’s contributions to the faith and especially higher education need to be preserved, accessible and made available for research and the sake of future generations.»

As part of the project, the society will also promote Cardinal Newman’s ideas on Catholic education and doctrine. As such, it will plan lectures, offer fellowships for Newman scholars, and distribute films about the cardinal.

Patrick Reilly, president of the society, affirmed, «Newman has much to offer the Catholic Church in America: a strong dose of courageous faith, a commitment to reason and a thorough critique of secularism.»

He added, «It is fitting that Americans would help preserve Newman’s legacy, just as Americans generously supported Newman during his lifetime more than a century ago.»

A pilgrimage, which leaves today for the beatification ceremony on Sunday, has been organized by the society. Some 40 bishops, priests and laypeople will see the Newman archive and attend Mass in the new shrine dedicated to the cardinal.

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