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May 9th 2011
(Text and photos by Peter Jennings)
Pope Benedict XVI was presented with a copy of the swiftly produced but handsome and comprehensive Official Record of his State Visit to the United Kingdom by Peter Jennings, its author and editor, at the end of the Pontiff’s weekly audience in the Vatican on Wednesday 15 December.
A smiling Holy Father held the second impression of the book, Benedict XVI and Blessed John Henry Newman, The State Visit – The Official Record, and spent several moments looking at a number of the 250 pictures in the book. They comprehensively chronicle his historic and unforgettable four-day Apostolic Journey during September 2010.
Pope Benedict XVI was then presented with a special prayer card for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman, produced by the Catholic Truth Society. The Holy Father took great interest in this prayer card. He looked carefully at the reproduction of a photograph signed by Cardinal Newman, then aged 82, at the Oratory House on 11 March 1883, for a visitor, and then turned the card over and studied the prayer.
Before the start of the General Audience held in the Paul VI Hall, Peter presented a copy of the book to Dr Alberto Gasbarri, Head of the Vatican delegation which organised the Apostolic Journey made by Pope Benedict XVI and which took him to Edinburgh Glasgow, London and Birmingham, during Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 September.
Seated in the front row Peter had the opportunity to give copies of the prayer card to Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household, and Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Copies presented to the Vatican photographer and the Papal Spokesman.
Peter also gave a copy of the book to Francesco Sforza, L’Osservatore Romano photographer, a number of whose pictures are included in it.
Peter knew and worked with Mr Sforza’s uncle, Arturo Mari, the distinguished L’Osservatore Romano photographer, some of whose pictures are included in “The Pope in Britain” – The Official Record of the six-day Pastoral Visit of Pope John Paul II to Great Britain during 1982, also written and edited by Peter.
Peter also gave a copy of the book to Fr Ciro Benedettini, CP, Vice Director of the Vatican Press Office, who had contributed a post-visit reflection to its pages.
Reception hosted by British Ambassador to the Holy See
Ambassador Campbell spoke warmly about the book and in particular the contribution made by Peter, not only to the book and more widely to Catholic journalism, but also by his public relations work in the forwarding of the Newman Cause since the mid-1970′s.
Peter is Press Secretary to Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, and to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, roles he also fulfilled under Archbishop Vincent Nichols during the latter’s time as Archbishop of Birmingham 2000-2009.
Ambassador Campbell paid a special tribute to Mrs Stella Jennings, also present, who, he said, had done “a remarkable job” in securing more than 30 post-visit reflections in time for the book to be published and launched in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 9 October, the Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman. This was less than three weeks after the Visit.
The memorable two-hour occasion was attended by more than 40 guests including senior members of the Roman Curia together with Justin Bedford, Deputy Head of Mission, and Monique Frank, Former Dutch Ambassador to the Holy See.
Among the Rome-based correspondents present were: Joan Lewis, EWTN Rome Bureau Chief; David Willey, BBC; Edward Pentin, The Catholic Herald; Gerry O’Connell, The Universe; James Bone, The Times new man; and Martin O’Brien, Producer of BBC Northern Ireland Sunday Sequence and Associate Producer, “Our Man In The Vatican.”
Other guests included Nigel Swinford, Artistic Director and Founder of the New English Orchestra and Singers, and Director of Music for the memorable Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park on the evening of Saturday 18 September 2010, and Mrs Julie Fry, a singer and Secretary of the NEO.
OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE PAPAL VISIT PRESENTED TO ARCHBISHOP ANTONIO MENNINI, NEW APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO GREAT BRITAIN
His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, was presented with a copy of the beautifully illustrated, comprehensive Official Record of the State Visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and Mr Peter Jennings, its author and editor, on 14 March 2011.
Archbishop Mennini was delighted to receive the book: “Benedict XVI and Blessed John Henry Newman", The State Visit, September 2010, The Official Record” before the Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral to welcome him as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, the Principal Celebrant, warmly welcomed Archbishop Antonio Mennini, aged 63, a native of Rome, at the start of Mass at 5pm.
Fr Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, read the official letter from the Holy See appointing Archbishop Mennini, who had served as nuncio to the Russian Federation since 2003, as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain.
Archbishop Nichols then introduced Archbishop Antonio Mennini to Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, retired Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark, the Bishops of England and Wales, and Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who all greeted him.
His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster was seated next to the Nuncio on the sanctuary.
Archbishop Mennini presented his letter of credentials to HM the Queen on 2 March 2011 for his appointment to the Court of St James. He also presented his predecessor’s letter of recall. His Excellency Archbishop Foustino Sainz Munoz retired on grounds of ill health on 5 December 2010.
His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, pictured in the sacristy at Westminster Cathedral with Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and Mr Peter Jennings, editor / author "Benedict XVI and Blessed John Henry Newman, The State Visit, September 2010, The Official Record". Picture courtesy of Marcin Mazur.
Welcome - His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, pictured in the sacristy at Westminster Cathedral with Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and the Bishops of England & Wales, after the Solemn Mass of welcome.His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the New Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain pictured with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, during Mass in Westminster Cathedral on 14 March. (Picture by Peter Jennings)
The following is a copy of recent correspondence from Peter Finn, reminding us of the significance of the year 2012 to the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa):
February 23rd 2011
The lady with me (above) is Tress Donnelly, sister of Fr. Pat. Donnelly W.F. and long time power behind the Parents and Friends Association in Scotland. She was my Primary 7 teacher way back in 1952/ 53 and a big influence on my joining St. Columba's in '53 along with Stevie Collins.
January 14th 2011