Sister Kathleen Dietz, FSO, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Erie and an expert on Blessed John Henry Newman's
ecclesiology, pages through “Blessed John Henry Newman: A Richly Illustrated Portrait,” a book she co-edited with
Mary-Birgit Dechant, FSO.

News from the Vatican is causing excitement here at Saint Mark Center in Erie.

Pope Francis on Wednesday approved the canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman following recognition of a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

Sister Kathleen Dietz, FSO, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Erie and a recognized expert on Newman’s ecclesiology, had been eagerly awaiting the announcement.

“I’m personally happy because I feel that I’ve gotten to know Newman through my studies and I know him as a very holy man, but also a very human person,” said Sister Kathleen, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on the Roman Catholic cardinal and scholar.

 “I’m delighted the Church is going to canonize him and count him among the saints,” she said. “The Church should be excited about him because Newman is often spoken of as the father of the Second Vatican Council. His ideas and understanding of the faith have reached into our times.”

Sister Kathleen’s religious community, the Spiritual Family, The Work, promotes Newman’s works and guides the International Centre of Newman Friends, Newman’s residence in Oxford, England. There, pilgrims can visit Newman’s room and the chapel in which he prayed.

Sister Kathleen is one of two diocesan experts on Newman. Father Nicholas Rouch, vicar for Education, received his doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome in 2000. His doctoral dissertation focused on Newman.

Two miracles have been attributed to Newman, both involving Americans: an inexplicable healing of a Boston deacon suffering from a debilitating spinal condition, and the sudden and complete recovery of a woman with a life-threatening complications while pregnant.