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, 4 November 2010

Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville

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Yesterday at Mass at the Oxford Oratory we were reminded that it was the third anniversary of the death of Maurice Couve de Murville, Archbishop of Birmingham 1982-99.  Not only was he a former diocesan , but it was Archbishop Maurice who invited the Oratorians to establish in Oxford the Oratory that Newman had hoped to establish. Twenty years on from that initiative here in Oxford for Catholics these is an element of saying if you seek his monument look around you.

We were therefore invited to pray for him on his anniversary, something I did, and I am sure many others will have done as well.

I twice attended Mass celebrated by Archbishop Maurice - I was still an Anglican in those days. One was a Newman Society Mass in Merton Chapel  and the other his Oxford Chrism Mass in 1997. He was always a magisterial figure. Seeing him vested and preaching in St Chad's cathedral on television in 1982 he looked like a medieval effigy come to life. He is clearly remembered with affection by his clergy.

The obituary from the Daily Telegraph is here.

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