St Newman’s Conversion
The founding rector/president of Ireland’s only Catholic university, precursor of University College Dublin (UCD), John Henry Newman was canonised by Pope Francis, Sunday October 13th at a ceremony in Rome’s St Peter’s Square.
Born in London in 1801 Newman converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism and in 1851 was invited to Dublin to set up Catholic University of Ireland, becoming its first rector in 1854. His conversion to Catholicism, was something he pondered deeply and felt it to be the right move. However it cost him dearly and he even became estranged from many of his friends and family.
Michael Collins’ book “Newman: a Short Biography” is an accessible biography of the saint that opens a window into the heart and mind of a complex and conflicted individual, who above all sought the truth.
In this second part of our series, he talks about Newman’s early life, his conversion to Catholicism and how it estranged him from friends and family. Collins does however explain that in many ways he also built bridges back later in life when he published the book, “Apologia Pro Vita Sua” and that many of those who had initially shunned him found themselves reaching back out to Newman.