Newman College appoints honorary Pope Francis Fellow

Thursday 1 December 2016

Tiffany Davis, Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation

On Wednesday 16 November at the Newman College council meeting, Archbishop Denis Hart launched the honorary Pope Francis Fellow position.  From 2017, the position will be held by Brother Mark O’Connor.

Every Pope brings a special gift to the Church and the wider world. In recent times, Paul VI was a man of dialogue and peace; John Paul II, a tireless world evangelist who also helped liberate millions from totalitarianism in Eastern Europe; and Benedict XVI, a great theologian pope who showed extraordinary humility and love of the church.

Since 2013, Pope Francis—Jorge Mario Bergoglio—has brought his own special gifts as ‘servant of the servants of God’.

Servant of God

A Jesuit skilled in the discernment of spirits, Pope Francis has shown extraordinary global leadership since March 2013. With a warmth and deep concern for the beauty and dignity of all persons, Francis has inspired and attracted millions with his witness to the Good News of Jesus.

Francis has tirelessly reached out to remind the Church and the world of our responsibilities for the poor, refugees, the suffering, the environment, families and all those alienated from the Church.

The Petrine ministry of this pastor from Buenos Aires has been shaped by the experience of the People of God in Latin America.

The Dom Helder Camara lecture series which was launched in 1985 (now based at Newman College) seeks to promote the witness of another Latin American bishop. In Dom Helder Camara the passion for justice and passion for God were united—just as they are in Pope Francis. It is fitting that Newman College now also seeks to promote the teaching and witness of yet another great Latin American— Pope Francis.
                Brother Mark O'Connor fms, inaugural  Newman College Pope Francis Fellow
The position

The Pope Francis Fellow will promote and disseminate the witness and teaching of Pope Francis by:
  • organising two prominent international Catholic speakers each calendar year to deliver the Helder Camara lecture at Newman College on themes connected to the thought of Pope Francis in the spirit of Dom Helder 
  • conducting annual symposiums on key documents of Pope Francis such as:
    • Evangelii gaudium (The joy of the Gospel, 2013)
    • Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you: On care for our common home, 2015)
    • Amoris Laetitia (The joy of love: Post-synodal apostolic exhortation on love in the family, 2016)
  • developing—at the direction of the Rector of Newman College—seminars and retreats for undergraduate and graduate students at Newman College
  • coordinating a two-week study tour in Rome that introduces participants to the mission and witness of Pope Francis within the context of global Catholicism today.
For more information on the work of the Pope Francis Fellow, go to
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