Cofton Park, Birmingham, Sunday, 19 September 2010
Most Holy Father,
it is with great joy that I welcome you here to Birmingham on the final morning of your visit. Over recent days you have been among us as a pilgrim sharing your own search for the truth and goodness of God. As our Supreme Pastor you have led us closer to Jesus Christ to be refreshed from the “well-springs of the Trinity”.
In following your Apostolic Journey we have seen you reach out and touch the hearts and minds of many, within our countries and beyond, by being in our midst and by making us more aware of the presence of Christ the Good Shepherd. As the Successor of Peter you have encouraged us to draw closer to the rock upon which the Church is built and to recognise it as the true source of living water that can quench our thirst.
Now, Holy Father, we are united with you in prayer in this city which was the chosen and adopted home of the Venerable John Henry Newman. We gather close to the place where his earthly remains were laid to rest and in these hills where he would often come for refreshment and peace. In this place we thank you for presenting him to us anew – a sure well-spring of goodness and truth where we may find refreshment and strength for our own pilgrimage of faith.
As we come to celebrate his Beatification with you today we give thanks to God for all those whose influence brought blessings to Cardinal Newman – especially for those who had nurtured his faith within the Church of England and for Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God who first ministered to him sacramentally within the Catholic Church.
We ask you, Holy Father, to draw us again into the eucharistic presence of the Lord so that we may soon acclaim the Venerable John Henry Newman among the Blessed.