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Vatican officials visit Cofton Park to plan beatification Mass

Mgr Guido Marini, the papal MC, and members of the Vatican Party are pictured at Cofton Park, Birmingham, with Mgr Andrew Summersgill, Canon Patrick Browne, and representatives of WRG, on July 7 (Photo: Peter Jennings)

Mgr Guido Marini, the papal master of ceremonies (MC), and two officials from the Vatican MC office visited Cofton Park last week during a liturgical planning visit to Birmingham, London and Glasgow.

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass and Beatify Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park on Sunday September 19 at the end of his historic four-day state visit. Cofton Park is situated near the Oratory retreat in Rednal, where Cardinal Newman was buried following his death in his room at the Oratory House in Edgbaston on Monday, August 11 1890.

Mgr Marini was accompanied by Mgr Andrew Summersgill, organiser of the papal visit to the Archdioceses of Westminster, Southwark and Birmingham, and Mgr Philip Moger, from the Diocese of Leeds, organiser of liturgy, and Fr Paul Conroy from Scotland.

The Vatican party was welcomed to Cofton Park by Canon Patrick Browne, administrator of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Chad, Birmingham, and local organiser for the papal visit to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

He was accompanied by Fr Jan Nowotnik, parish priest of Our Lady and St Brigit, Northfield, situated near to Cofton Park and deputy local liturgy organiser, and Peter Jennings, press secretary to Archbishop Bernard Longley and to the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The Vatican party also met and discussed the arrangements of the Papal Mass with representatives of WRG and Pamela Hossick, the BBC producer and director of the live broadcast of the Papal Mass and Cardinal Newman’s Beatification, scheduled to be shown on BBC2 television.

After the visit to Cofton Park the Vatican party were driven the nine miles to Cathedral House, situated next to the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, situated in central Birmingham. In the chapter room Mgr Marini discussed detailed arrangements about the liturgy and music for the Papal Mass with Fr Timothy Menezes, parish priest of St Thomas More, Coventry, local organiser for liturgy, and Fr Peter Jones, local organiser for music.

At the end of the meeting the Vatican party left for a visit to Glasgow.