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.
Yesterday evening I attended with a friend the 6pm Mass at SS Gregory and Augustine here in Oxford. Instead of the usual Friday evening celebration of the EF the liturgy was the traditional Dominican rite, celebrated by Fr Richard Conrad O.P.
September 19th is the feast of the Dominican lay brother St John (Juan) Macias, 1585-1645, of whom there is a biography here.
St John Macias
St John, who was canonized in 1975, and having been born in Spain, worked feeding the poor in Lima in Peru. Fr Conrad recounted in his homily how the saint trained his donkey to go to the houses of benefactors by itself and to wait until gifts of food were placed in the panniers on its back. His canonization followed from a miracle in the twentieth century - a Spanish priest's housekeeper was accustomed to cook and provide meals for the poor on a daily basis. On one occasion she found she had only a few grains of rice and invoked the then Bl. John Macias' aid. The resulting, overflowing multiplication of rice was attested to be many independent witnesses.
I have attended the Dominican Rite celebrated by Fr Conrad in its Solemn form at Blackfriars here in Oxford on LMS Pilgrimage days, but this was the first opportunity I had to attend it in the Low form. The differences in form from the EF are not many - the most obvious being the preparation of the chalice at the beginning of the liturgy - as in the Sarum Use - and we were provided with very clear service booklets. The Mass wasa quiet and meditative one - ideal at the end of a day - and one came away feeling refreshed but also privileged not just in attending Mass at all, but one in so venerable and elegant a form.