Sunday, 9 August 2009

Prayers at Newman's graveside in Rednal

Last year we expected our annual service of prayer at Cardinal Newman's grave to be the last, as his body was to be shortly exhumed as part of the beatification process. In fact we were quite wrong. Our cardinal had always wanted to be buried with his friend Fr. Ambrose St. John, and he has gained his wish to the very end. It was found that his body had totally decomposed into the soil leaving almost nothing behind.

Hence you can see his grave almost intact. Just before we started, I took a few pictures of Rednal's surroundings. Here is shot of Jackie Parkes:

The entrance gate to the grounds:

Rednal chapel:

The crowd gathering for the prayers:

And very poignantly, the grave of Gerard Tracey, the Birmingham Oratory librarian and archivist, whom I remember well and was for many years a key figure in the life of the Oratory. He was also a great cook and used to provide wonderful buffet dinners for the parish on major feasts such as St. Philip's day and the Epiphany. He died of a brain hemorrhage, and is very sadly missed. Next to him is the grave of Frances Wootton, the matron of the Oratory school under Cardinal Newman.

1 comment:

Mac McLernon said...

Off topic, and I hope you don't mind, but you've been tagged for a meme.