This diocese takes its name from Newport, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants, situated at the mouth of the river Usk, in the county of Monmouth. Before the restoration of hierarchial government in England by Pius IX in 1850, the old "Western District" of England had, since 1840, been divided into two vicariates. The northern, comprising the twelve counties of Wales with Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, was called the Vicariate of Wales. When the country was divided by an Apostolic Brief dated 29 Sept., 1850, into dioceses, the six counties of South Wales, with Monmouthshire and Herefordshire, became the Diocese of Newport in England and Menevia. Menevia is the Latin name for St. David's, and the double title was intended to signify that at some future day there were to be two distinct dioceses. The first bishop of the Diocese of Newport in England and Menevia was the Right Reverend Thomas Joseph Brown, O.S.B., who had already, as vicar Apostolic, ruled for ten years the Vicariate of Wales. A further re-adjustment of the diocese was made in March, 1895, when Leo XIII separated from it five of the counties of South Wales, and formed a new vicariate, which was to consist of all the twelve Welsh counties except Glamorganshire. Since that date the name of the diocese has been simply "Newport", and it has consisted of Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, and Herefordshire. The Catholic population (1910) is about 45,000, the general population being about 1,050,000.
The diocesan chapter, in virtue of a Decree of the Congregation of Propaganda, 21 April, 1852, issued at the petition of Cardinal Wiseman and the rest of the hierarchy, was to consist of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation resident in the town of Newport. As the congregation, up to this date (1910), have not been able to establish a house in Newport, permission from the Holy See has been obtained for the members of the chapter to reside at St. Michael's pro- cathedral, Belmont, near Hereford. The chapter comprises a cathedral prior and nine canons, of whom four are allowed to be non-resident. Their choral habit the cuculla or frock of the congregation with a special almuce. In assisting the bishop they dispense with the cuculla , and wear the almuce over the surplice. The present bishop, the Right Reverend John Cuthbert Hedley, O.S.B., was consecrated as auxiliary on 29 September, 1873, and succeeded in February, 1881, to Bishop Brown. He resides at Bishop's House, Llanishen, Cardiff. The pro- cathedral is the beautiful church of the Benedictine priory at Belmont. There are in the diocese about 40 secular diocesan priests, 21 Benedictines (of whom 15 work on the Mission), and 14 Rosminian Fathers, There are five deaneries. The principal towns are Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and Merthyr Tydvil. The only religious house of men is the Cathedral Priory, Belmont, which is the residence of the cathedral prior and chapter, and is also a house of studies and novitiate for the English Benedictines. Of religious women there are houses of Poor Clares, Our Lady of Charity, the Good Shepherd, Sisters of Nazareth, Ursulines of Chavagnes, St. Joseph of Annecy, St. Vincent de Paul, and others. There are four certified Poor Law schools : one for boys, at Treforest, and three for girls — two, at Hereford and Bullingham respectively, conducted by the Sisters of Charity, one at Cardiff, conducted by the Sisters of Nazareth. There are 50 churches in the diocese, besides several school chapels and public oratories. There are about 11,000 children in the Catholic elementary schools. There are four secondary schools for girls, and one centre (in Carduff) for female pupil teachers.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online