Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster formally launched the Official Record of the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain at a special Mass in Westminster Cathedral on the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, Saturday October 9.
Before he gave the final blessing at the diocesan Mass of Thanksgiving for the Papal Visit, Archbishop Nichols held up a copy of the book. The President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales expressed his delight and gratitude. He said: “It is my great pleasure to present to you this official record of the papal visit. It is a very beautiful production.
“I am grateful to the Catholic Truth Society and to its author, Peter Jennings, for the work that they have done at great speed but with great care, to produce a really outstanding official record of the visit of Pope Benedict.”
Archbishop Nichols added: “I thank those who have produced the book and I commend it to you all as a worthy record of a most memorable papal visit.”
Following Mass in the Cathedral, packed to capacity for the Saturday morning occasion, Archbishop Nichols visited the CTS bookshop in the piazza where he signed more than 200 copies of the book for customers in less than a hour. More than 5,000 copies of the first impression of the book have already been pre-ordered.
Earlier, Archbishop Nichols had been presented with the first copy of the book by Mr Jennings, during a private meeting at Archbishop’s House.
Mr Jennings, who worked as press secretary for Archbishop Nichols during his nine years as Archbishop of Birmingham from 2000 to 2009, was accompanied by his wife, Stella, and Philip Bonn, who had both assisted in the editorial preparations. The CTS was represented by Richard Brown, marketing manager, Glenda Swain and Llima Cole in the department of design and production.
In Birmingham the following day, Sunday October 10, Mr Jennings presented a copy of the book to the Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham at Archbishop’s House. Archbishop Longley said: “This beautifully and skilfully produced Official Record of the Papal Visit will bring to mind the most vivid memories of a remarkable four days for the Catholic Church in Scotland, England and Wales.”