I mentioned Wilberforce in this post back in 2004:
I am also working my way through the Gracewing/University of Notre Dame published ‘Birmingham Oratory Millennium’ edition of Newman’s ‘The Church of the Fathers’ which has a preface by Marist Francis McGrath FMS. In it he notes that when Newman re-issued the work as a Catholic in 1857 he added a dedication to the recently deceased Robert Isaac Wilberforce (1802-57), one of the most significant converts who crossed the Tiber under Newman’s influence. He was the son of prominent Evangelical social reformer William Wilberforce. (It’s worth noting that three of his sons converted to Catholicism, whilst one became an Anglican bishop.) Having converted in 1854, Wilberforce moved to Rome to study for the priesthood as a Dominican, but died a few weeks before ordination. His funerary stone can be found set into the pavement of S.Maria Sopra Minerva, about three-quarters of the way up the right hand side of the church. Newman’s dedication reads:I also visited the Gesu (head Jesuit Church) recently. I had a little shock when I saw this in one of the side chapels:
TO A FRIEND,/WHO IS AS DEAR TO ME NOW,/AS WHEN HIS NAME STOOD HERE,/AND THREW LIGHT OVER THESE PAGES;/WHOSE HEART IS IN GOD’S HAND,/TO BRING INTO THAT SACRED HERITAGE,/WHICH IS BOTH THE CHURCH OF THE FATHERS,/AND THE HOME OF THE CHILDREN.
My first thought was that it was a horrendous modern art exhibit - 'Crucified Christ Tanning Himself, with Plastic Bottles.' However, closer examination showed that the crucifix in question is being restored and the restorers are working in the side chapel.