Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.
I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.
Thinking of visiting Oxford?
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
Today being the feast of the Sacred Heart when we are encouraged to pray for the sanctification of our priests appears to be a good day to draw attention to the Pope's reflections on priesthood which he gave in his homily on the feast of SS Peter and Paul, when he was also celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of his own priesting. In offering congratulations and good wishes to him as well as pryaers of thanksgiving it is perfectly reasonable to say that he embodies that fidelity to the priesthood and the church that is the ideal all clergy should strive towards. His homily can be read, thanks to Zenit, here.
The Holy Father is not the only church leader to be publically reflecting on priesthood and its liturgical responsibilities. Fr Blake has drawn attention to a recent sermon by the Archbishop of Westminster, also published on Zenit, and with other links it can be read at Vin Nichols on the Priest at Mass. The Archbishop appears to be using the possibilities opened up by the new English translation of the Missal as a means of encouraging good practice.