New book sheds fresh light on Cardinal Newman

'A fascinating personality with important things to say'

The life and times of Cardinal John Henry Newman provide the subject of a new book by a well-known Merseyside priest.

Rev Dr Rod Garner, who is an honorary fellow of Liverpool Hope University, says that completing ‘Bright Evening Star – A Portrait of John Henry Newman’, has fulfilled ‘a long-standing personal ambition’.

In February it was announced that Cardinal Newman was closer to being canonised after a second miracle in his name was confirmed by the Pope. Two authenticated miracles are required before sainthood and Newman, who was already credited with curing a man's spinal disease, is now said to have healed a woman's unstoppable bleeding.

Newman, born in 1801, will become the first English saint since the 40 Martyrs, who were canonised in 1970.

Rev Garner, who is also Canon Emeritus of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, retired last year after 23 years at Southport's Holy Trinity Church. He said: ‘Writing this book fulfils a long-standing personal ambition and reflects my abiding interest in Newman as a writer and deep religious thinker. I hope it introduces him to a wider readership as the Catholic Church prepares to make him a saint. He is a fascinating and complex personality with important things to say to us today concerning how we might live faithful and creative lives.’

Professor Michael Wheeler, chairman of Gladstone’s Library and author of ‘The Old Enemies’, said: ‘Rod Garner’s reading of Newman is informed, perceptive and personal.’

The book, which is being published by Liverpool Hope University Press, will be launched at Liverpool Hope on Thursday 6 June at 1pm in Seminar Rooms 1&2, Conference Centre, Hope Park.

There will be a further two book launches at Southport College on 11 June (7pm) and Ince Blundell Hall on 20 June (6pm). To confirm your attendance, email rgcfgarner@gmail.com.