In October 1997 Fr Robert O’Neil mhm published an authorititave biography of Cardinal Herbert Vaughan entitled: ‘Cardinal Herbert Vaughan: Archbishop of Westminster, Bishop of Salford, Founder of the Mill Hill Missionaries’. At the time of its publicaton it was described as:
“The first published biography of Cardinal Vaughan was a two-volume work by his cousin, John Snead-Cox, then editor of The Tablet. In his Preface, Snead-Cox described his aim as “to write an absolutely candid book … describing the man as he was, in his strengths and in his weaknesses, with his gifts and his limitations.” Fr Robert O’Neil mhm shares that aim, but writes with the advantages of a more objective focus provided by the near century that has elapsed since Vaughan’s death in 1903, a large amount of new material that has come to light, and his own life in the missionary Congregation founded by Vaughan. Extensively researched, drawing on family and other archives not previously accessible, authoritative and at the same time highly readable, this will stand as the definitive biography of a controversial and important figure for many decades to come”.
In a CTS booklet published this past month Fr O’Neil mhm gives a handy and eminently accessible overview of the life and work of Cardinal Vaughan.
“Founding a missionary society would be the achievement of a lifetime for most people” but the Cardinal has “a wide ranging legacy. He shepherded the people of Salford for twenty years and fought strenuously for Catholic Education. He established the Catholic Missionary Society and the Crusade of Rescue. He started The Catholic Truth Society and the Catholic Social Union. He built Westminster Cathedral, a powerful symbol of the Catholic Church’s presence at the heart of the nation.”
“It is important to remember that this astonishing life of action and achievement was based on a rock-like faith. After his death, Fr Bernard Vaughan spoke of how his brother’s life was ‘a beautiful fusion of prayer and labour’. He spoke of how the cardinal brought all his
decisions to the Lord and then ‘from prayer he would arise like a giant refreshed from sleep, saying “I must be about my Father’s business”!'”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols,
Message in the 2016 edition of Cardinal Vaughan