Father Francis Gavin was born and raised in Dublin and is a priest of the Birmingham Oratory. He is perfectly placed, therefore, to offer today’s reflection on Newman and Ireland.
When we talk about Newman and Ireland, we usually dwell on his time in Dublin when he worked to establish a Catholic University there. While the university didn’t succeed quite as Newman had wished, the discourses which Newman gave during this time, and which were later collected together as The Idea of the University, have proved seminal.
Fr Francis reflects on Newman’s time in Ireland and, interestingly, the impact his Irish sojourn had on him as a man, and how he slowly revised his opinion and understanding of Ireland and its people.
“As a native Dubliner it is with no small pleasure that I announce that if you wish to see a church which Newman built you will have to cross the Irish Sea and visit the University Church on St. Stephen’s Green. This is a hidden gem built by John Hungerford Pollen according to the wishes of Newman, who was then Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland. “