Happy New Year!

Dear Friends in Christ,

Te Deum laudamus! May I take this opportunity to firstly wish you all a very Merry Christmas and now also a very Happy New Year! I hope that this year will be filled with many blessings for us all and especially for the Society.

It would firstly be remiss of me to not mention the death of H.H. Pope Benedict XVI yesterday. In the coming days the Society will offer a its own reflection on him which shall be published on the blog. But in the interim, as the Newman Society, we should continue to pray for his soul. We are all most grateful for his pontificate and long life which saw him beatify of our Patron in 2010. Importantly to us all he was scholar, and notably throughout his work we gain an insight into his personal love of the faith, the Gospels and the Church with its 2000 years of history. His theological genius and example of piety will be missed. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. 

This year is our 145th year. This is a source of pride and joy for me as I am sure it is for you all too. Throughout our almost one and a half centuries The Newman Society has served the purpose of promoting the Catholic faith within the University, as well as being the place for the Catholics of the University to socialise. This is a mission which is as important and as relevant today as it was 145 years ago and I hope and pray that over this next year, and many more we fulfil that mission! 
Today brings about a change in the committee of the Society. May I firstly pay tribute to my predecessor, Aloysius Atkinson (St John’s), who has done a notably excellent job over the past year. Some highlights of his tenure have been the visit of Mr George Weigel, a fascinating and I hope precedent setting inter-faith panel with the Islamic Society, the visit of three Members of Parliament and a  Bishop, as well as countless other talks, three dinners, three ceilidhs, a Garden Party and finally three tremendously impactful evenings of Nightfever! Along with Aloysius there are four other Society members who are leaving committee, Wojciech Magier (Exeter), Nicholas Champness (St John’s), Tereza Oprea (LMH) and Alice Laidlaw (St Anne’s). We are all tremendously grateful to them for their many hours of work for the Society and to the wider Catholic community in Oxford.
The new committee are all ready and excited for what this year has in store! In just a few weeks’ time the Hilary term card will be released which has not just the usual brilliant line up of talks and socials but also a couple of new events! Over the course of the year there will also be some special events put on to commemorate our milestone year.
Finally, if you have an item which you wish to submit for the Newman blog please contact the Editor, Peter Murray (Oriel). peter.murray@oriel.ox.ac.uk

I look forward to seeing you all at our events in the next year, but for now continue to have a blessed Christmas vacation and please keep the Society in your prayers!

With all best wishes, and thanks.

Yours in Christ,
William Morris
The Newman Society (est. 1878)