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.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Celebrating Bl. John Henry Newman at the Oratory


Earlier this evening I attended the Solemn Mass for the feast of Bl. John Henry Newman at the Oxford Oratory. The visiting preacher was Fr Paul Keane, Vice-Rector of St Mary's College Oscott. 

After apologising for being a Cambridge man he cited Newman's own, very positive, description of a visit to Cambridge, and spoke of Newman's presence in his own life as a former student of the London Ortory School and of the abiding memory of the Second Spring sermon in the chapel at Oscott.

Then, citing Newman's collection of photographs as aide-memoires in his room and chapel at the Birmingham Oratory and his habit of making lists of people to pray for, Fr Keane urged the importance, the value of making intercessory prayer for friends and strangers alike, and stressed that we may be the only person praying for another at a critical time.

Fr Keane's sermon can be read at Sermon for the Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman

On its website today Rorate Caeli also has a reminder of another key address by Newman, his Bigletto speech of 1879, in a post by Fr Richard Cipolla, which stresses Newman's prescience and significance as a theological and spiritual guide in Blessed John Henry Newman: "I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion."

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