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, 1 July 2011

The Mass and Priesthood

Today being the feast of the Sacred Heart when we are encouraged to pray for the sanctification of our priests appears to be a good day to draw attention to the Pope's reflections on priesthood which he gave in his homily on the feast of SS Peter and Paul, when he was also celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of his own priesting. In offering congratulations and good wishes to him as well as pryaers of thanksgiving it is perfectly reasonable to say that he embodies that fidelity to the priesthood and the church that is the ideal all clergy should strive towards. His homily can be read, thanks to Zenit, here.

The Holy Father is not the only church leader to be publically reflecting on priesthood and its liturgical responsibilities. Fr Blake has drawn attention to a recent sermon by the Archbishop of Westminster, also published on Zenit, and with other links it can be read at Vin Nichols on the Priest at Mass. The Archbishop appears to be using the possibilities opened up by the new English translation of the Missal as a means of encouraging good practice.

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