DeKalb Newman Center Celebrates Brand New Saint
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
October 17, 2019
DEKALB—It was a day of celebration Oct. 13 at the Newman Catholic Student Center at Christ the Teacher University Parish here, when Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century educator, theologian, writer and convert, was officially named a saint during ceremonies in Rome.
Father Kyle Manno, Christ the Teacher  parochial administrator and diocesan vocations director, said it was Newman’s search for the truth as well as his written works and intense studies that make him such a good example for students. 
“Reading and studying is what led him into the truth of the faith. That’s what we want to do with the students. He is so good for the students, because through his prayers we are seeking out the truth,” said Father Manno, who attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb prior to attending seminary.
The British cardinal (1801 to 1890) is fascinating, he added, because he was actually an agnostic, then he became Anglican, then became a Catholic priest in his 40s, and later a cardinal. 
“I think it’s very cool and interesting that he is finally becoming a saint,” said parishioner Jared Johnsen who, with his wife, Rachel, an RCIA teacher, has been a parishioner here for 10 years. 
Student Gina Alderson, also a parishioner, said she hasn’t read up on St. Newman yet. 
“I think I would like to know more about how he relates to the parish,” she said.
According to writer Christopher Wright, Newman’s work also inspired those who opposed the Nazis during WWII, and inspired many of his contemporaries to espouse the Catholic faith. 
Newman wrote about 20,000 letters, including many to prominent people in 19th century England such as the Duke of Norfolk, in defense of his position, and helped found the Oxford Movement with other converts. The Oxford Movement attempted to “renew” Catholic thought within the Church of England.
Red and white carnations, balloons and streamers decorated the Newman Center Library and added to the 9 a.m. celebration for the brand new saint. About 100 parishioners attended. 
A second celebration was planned for students, following the 8 p.m. Mass Sunday.
During the Masses two hymns written by St. Newman were sung: “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height.”