Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Great Feast for the "Double Institute" of Redemptorists and Redemptoristines

St. John Neumann,
and Bishop of Philadelphia

Today is the feast of a great Redemptorist and immigrant American saint. It is receiving a great deal of attention from the Redemptorists and in the Diocese of Philadelphia because this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Newmann in Bohemia. In addition, his shrine at St. Peter the Apostle Church in that city has recently undergone an extensive renovation in preparation for celebrations and for receiving many pilgrims.

St. John Newmann was very small in stature, spoke with a strong accent and indifferent to his attire. He did not suit the Catholic elite of Philadelphia set as they were on enhancing their image in the eyes of what was perceived as a critical if not prejudiced Protestant majority. It seems that those who supported John Neumann's assignment as Bishop of Philadelphia were less interested in the the needs of the wealthy than they were in the needs of an ever increasing flow of immigrants into the city. For them, John Newmann was the prefect choice for Bishop, a true pastor. A narrated slide show on the life and work of this saint can be viewed at the Redemptorist website.

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