Thursday, 20 December 2007

Cardinal Heenan

This fine picture of Cardinal Heenan shows him in the sitting room at Archbishop's House. In the background can be seen the Pugin Mitre.

Born 26 January 1905, of Irish parents, John Carmel Heenan studied at St Ignatius College, Stamford Hill, and aged 17 moved to Ushaw seminary near Durham. At the age of 19 he entered the Venerable English College in Rome. Ordained in 1930, he was sent to St Ethelburga’s, Barking, in Essex. In 1951 John Carmel Heenan was named Bishop of Leeds. There, he revitalized the diocese, choosing to live close to his people. In 1957, he moved to Liverpool as Archbishop, where he launched a competition to build a new Cathedral, resulting in the consecration of the famous Metropolitan Cathedral in 1967. However, by 1963 Archbishop Heenan had moved to Westminster - he is shown arriving at the Cathedral, below - and in 1965 was created Cardinal.

Cardinal Heenan attended the Vatican Council from 1962 – 1965, and was cautious yet determined about implementing its decisions in his diocese. He furthered ecumenical dialogue through his warm friendship with the Chief Rabbi and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Below, he is shown with Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, during his ground-breaking visit to Westminster Cathedral in 1968.
In 1967 Cardinal Heenan suffered a serious illness and for the remainder of his life battled ill-health. He died on 7 November 1975 aged 70. At his own wish he was buried in the nave of the Cathedral (below), close to the people he had served, so that he might be assured of their prayers. His galero (Cardinal's hat) hangs above his tomb.

1 comment:

Andrew Teather said...

For a moment, I thought the Archbishop was holding Mr. Heenan's cope!