August 18, 2019

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There are some important dates already affixed to your calendar. August 26: The First Day of School. September 6: The Msgr. T.P. Scannell Cup Golf Tournament which raises money for our parish school and the retired priests of the Diocese of Arlington. September 28 The Annual Fall Festival. November 5: Election Day when we get to choose our representatives to the Fairfax County School Board and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Here is another one: October 13: That is when Pope Francis will canonize Cardinal John Henry Newman along with Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan (1876- 1926), foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family; Sister Giuseppina Vannini (1859-1911), co-foundress the Daughters of St. Camillus who served the sick and elderly; Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes (1914-1992), member of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and foundress of a Catholic workers' organization, health clinics, schools, orphanages and elderly care centers and even a hospital, and Marguerite Bays (1815-1879), a consecrated virgin of the Third Order of St. Francis known for her spirituality in the face of great physical suffering and for bearing the stigmata of Christ. They hail from England, India, Italy, Brazil, and Switzerland respectively. Their canonizations will take place during the 2019 Special Synod of Bishops from the Pan-Amazonian region to be held at the Vatican Oct. 6-27.

John Henry Newman was a 19th century theologian, poet, Catholic priest and cardinal. Originally an Anglican priest, he converted to Catholicism in 1845 and his writings (especially Apologia pro Vita Sua, The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, and An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent) are considered among some of the most important Church-writings in recent centuries. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1847, he was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, although he was not a bishop. Newman’s conversion to the Catholic faith was controversial in England, and resulted in him losing many friends, including his own sister who never spoke to him again. Cardinal Newman founded the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. He died in Birmingham in 1890 at the age of 89.

To help us understand him better I am pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher Blum, Academic Dean of the Augustine Institute, will come to St. John the Beloved to speak about Cardinal Newman on Wednesday, October 9. Mark that date too.

God bless the rest of your summer!

Fr. Christopher J. Pollard

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13,8)