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, 28 November 2013

Bidding farewell to a Carthusian postulant

Yesterday evening I went up to north Oxford to SS Gregory and Augustine to the celebration of a votive EF Mass of St Bruno, the founder of the Carthusian Order.

The intention of the Mass offered by Fr John Saward was for a young man who has been living in the parish for almost a year and who has been assisting in serving and in the sacristy. A former monk of the Anglican Benedictine house at Alton in Hampshire he was received as a Catholic earlier this year and is going to try his vocation as a Carthusian monk. His clothing as a novice will be on Saturday at Parkminster in Sussex. The website of this, the only functioning Charterhouse in Britain, which was established in 1873, can be viewed at St.Hugh's Charterhouse Parkminster, UK, and it has links to pages about the Order.

In his homily Fr Saward stressed the continuity of the Order, faithful to St Bruno's eleventh century vision. He also held before us the fact that the Carthusians would be praying when we are either  asleep or lying in bed sleepless - and that they would be praying for us and on our behalf.

Following the Mass there was abrng and share parish party and achance to did farewell to the Finnish born candidate and to wish him every belssing in his vocation. it was clear that he was widely respected by the congregation and held in real and genuine affection.

We followed this with fireworks on the lawn outside - Fr Saward in cassock, capa nigra and biretta was to be seen enthusiastically setting off rockets, Roman candles and flower bursts of pyrotechnics, with gunpowder rather than incense as the prevailing scent.

I will preserve the candidate's Carthusian anonymity but will aim to keep him in my prayers, and commend him and his new community to those of my readers. 

St Hugh's Charterhouse, Parkminster


1 comment:

TuAutem said...

Absolutely (in my prayers)!