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.

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Diaconate

This evening Br Nicholas Edmonds-Smith C.O. will be ordained as a Deacon at the Oxford Oratory by Bishop William Kenney, titular Bishiop of Midica and assistant bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Not only is this an occasion upon which to pray for Br Nicholas and his future ministry, but also to reflect upon ministerial order.

The traditional seven stages of ordained ministry

Image: New Liturgical Movement

Back in January Fr Hunwicke posted a series of articles on the nature of the diaconate, and in particular emphasising that its real function is liturgical rather than, as has often been argued since Vatican II, designed as a welfare ministry. His five articles can be read here as follows Diaconia (1) , Diaconia (2) , Dicaconia (3) , Diaconia (4) and Diaconia (5) at Vatican II and later.

Please pary for Br. Nicholas and all others approaching diaconal ordination.

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