John H. Newman

We can believe what we choose.

We are answerable for what we choose to believe.

John Henry Newman, for which the group is named, was born in 1801. He was raised in London, England as the oldest of six children. He was known in his younger days as a philosophical gentleman who was observant and considerate. He attended private schools through his life and was not known for playing games. He enjoyed plays and was also very religous.School was not meant for Newman, however, as he eventaully gave up his ambitions to take the bar. He then became a vicar and was known for his sermons.Eventually, due to disagreements with the church in England he resigned as vicar. He then began his work in the Catholic church by becoming ordained by Cardinal Fransoni.

Newman then established in England the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri and did missionary work in Birmingham. The church still exists, including a school, and is a memorial to the time Newman spent there. At this time he was also known for his sermons. He was then sent to Ireland to become the rector of the Catholic Church's attempt to establish a university.He resigned from the position when it did not become established as he had hoped. He also attempted to revise the English Catholic Bible. Newman was known as a liberal Catholic and was open to scientific ideas. While others were torn the subjects of faith and technical advancements Newman had already resolved the issue and was a balance of traditon, private judgement, and authority.However he was attacked for his views, and thus, attacked by other Catholics. They felt that he was weaking the Catholic Church in England. It was not seen that Newman, while keeping Dogma sacred he also let his mind a vision of truth based on reality. Others felt that this viewpoint did not agree with the church and kept him under imputations in Rome and diminished his character.

At this time the current pope, Piux IX died and LEo XIII replaced him. Newman was at this time welcomed home to Oxford as an Honorary Fellow at Triniry College, his undergraduate home. Leo XIII then extended to Newman the position of Cardinal. At first a mistake in the newspapers led the public to believe Newman had declined, but alas he arrived in Rome and the mistake was erased. He announced after being created Cardinal-Deacon of the Title of St. George that he in fact did not support liberalism and that christianity was a sentiment and a taste, not an objective fact. In his lifetime Newman was hailed by the English nation and Catholics everywhere. He broke down walls between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. He wrote and answered letters attentively until his death. Newman passed away in 1890. Newman was not only the embodiment of Oxford as a writer of English prose but also was aquainted with so many other teachings. He felt that conscience was the inward reflection of God and Catholicism the otward objective.

This information was taken from The Newman Reader published by The National Institute for Newman Studies. For more information visit their website at

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