Dr. John Freeh, director of the Newman Institute, traveled with a group of our students to Rome for the canonization Mass of Saint John Henry Newman, the Newman Center's patron and namesake, on October 13th.
There, students had a plethora of rare opportunities they say, “will only happen when you travel with the well-connected Dr. Freeh!” The group met Cardinal Robert Sarah and gifted him a HuskerCatholic mug, shirt, and booklet of Newman's writings. They received a blessing by Pope Francis; met with Father Ian Ker, who is regarded as the leading authority on John Henry Newman; and even “crashed” a British Embassy reception where one of our students informed Prince Charles what a Husker is. Bishop Conley was able to accompany them throughout the trip and offered Mass at St. John XXIII’s crypt at St. Peter’s Basilica on the saint's feast day. Listen to Dr. Freeh in a post-trip interview on Spirit Catholic radio.
To extend the festivities locally Father Matya installed some temporary banners near the entrance of our Newman Center, depicting inspiring quotes and portraits of the new saint, and offered Newman bookmarks and a booklet collection of Newman’s writings to Mass-goers. It was also an appropriate day to teach students about the life of Newman and how he is still influencing our lives and the Church today. In his homily, Father Matya noted that the authentic friendships being born through the Newman Center are an appropriate tribute to Saint Newman and a visible sign of Newman’s motto, “Cor ad cor loquitur” (“Heart speaks to heart”).