Thursday, October 09, 2014

Lead Kindly Light

Today, the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, is a fitting day to announce Lead Kindly Light, a beautiful new DVD produced by St Anthony Communications. Presented by Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Nicholas Schofield, the film traces the passage of Newman’s life right from his original roots in Ealing, to his time as a student at Trinity College, Oxford, his near-death experience in Sicily which inspired him to write the hymn Lead kindly light, and his time as a vicar in the Church of England, as he made his gradual journey towards Catholicism. Fathers Holden and Schofield take us to key places in Newman’s story, including Oxford, Littlemore, Maryvale and of course the Birmingham Oratory, where we are shown the library with its treasures of Newman memorabilia, such as the desk at which he wrote his Apologia Pro Vita Sua, his viola, and a facsimile of The Dream of Gerontius which Sir Edward Elgar presented to the Oratory. We are also shown his study which Pope Benedict visited in 2010, now lined with volumes of some of the 17000 letters Newman is estimated to have written in his lifetime, and the private chapel where he said his last Mass on Christmas Day 1889. It is especially touching to see Fr Nicholas Schofield talk of his sense of inspiration drawn from Newman, and Fr Marcus Holden speaks of Newman’s importance to us today: “He foresaw a time when culture would not support Christianity and each Christian would have to be strong and faithful.”

The film features interviews with Fr Jerome Bertram Cong. Orat. and Fr Daniel Seward Cong. Orat. of the Oxford Oratory, Sister Bianca Feuerstein FSO, Mother Winsome SBVM of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Fr Richard Duncan Cong. Orat. of the Birmingham Oratory and the Newman Scholar Dr Andrew Nash. This beautifully presented all-region DVD will be available shortly from Saint Anthony Communications. Readers may also recall other beautiful productions from this stable including Faith of Our Fathers, a film about the English Martyrs and A Surge of the Heart, a film about prayer. A trailer for Lead kindly light follows below. A Happy Feast to Oratorians everywhere!

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