JHN icon.jpgO God, the source of wisdom’s fire,

Who formed the mind of man

In complex and mysterious ways

Within Your loving plan,

We thank You now for calling forth

This priest who praised Your Name

By teaching and exalting you

In words of living flame.


John Henry Newman, England’s son,

Was formed in Oxford’s halls,

Endowed with tow’ring intellect

To answer all the calls

Which Church and University

Gave forth in times of doubt,

A rebirth of the ancient truths

As rain for minds in drought.


He served the Church of England well

With scholarship and grace,

Restoring ancient roots of faith,

Removing error’s trace.

But scorned by leaders of his time,

He left his Oxford home,

In search of kindly, leading light

Which led him on toward Rome.

Attracted by St. Philip’s work,

He joined that band of men,

And as an Oratorian,

He worked with voice and pen,

That heart to heart might ever speak,

Revealing Christ’s own truth,

Unfolding doctrine’s mysteries

For elder and for youth.


As had his Master, Newman found

Suspicion, scorn, and hate;

From those he left and those he joined,

Which nothing could abate;

Yet, undeterred, he struggled on

Beneath this cross’s weight

Through shadows and imaginings

To God’s own truth so great.


O God of subtle craft and mind,

O only Source of light,

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,

Our strength in truth’s own fight:

We give you thanks for blessed John,

Who leads us still this day:

With him, let us in faithfulness

Still walk in Truth’s own way.

© 2010, J. Michael Thompson

Tune:  Forest Green (86.86.D)

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