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.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New Brothers of the Oxford Oratory

St Philip's Chapel
St Philip's Chapel

As many of you are doubtless aware Oratories have, in addition to priests and other full members, an attached External Oratory made up of Brothers. The analogy would be with Benedictine oblates, Franciscan tertiaries or similar groups. There are weekly meetings for much of the year with talks, rosary, formal devotions and intercessions, followed by recreation. It was this type of meeting for laymen organised by St Philip that led to the emergence of the organised Oratories with their own clergy. Each Oratory has its own particulatr pattern of activities. I have been a Brother of the Oxford External Oratory since early in 2006.

This evening two new members joined it. They are both students here in Oxford. Gregory Lippiatt is an American postgraduate historian, and Richard Craddock a computing undergraduate in his final year. Both have been regular servers at Mass and Vespers in the Oratory church.

They were admitted at the end of Mass, celebrated at St Philip's altar, which I served in my capacity of Sacristan to the Brothers, by the Prefect of the Brothers, Fr Anton Webb.

May Our Lady, Queen of the Oratory and St Philip pray for us as Brothers

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