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.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Bishop Robert Byrne back at the Oxford Oratory

This evening at Vespers at the Oxford Oratory Bishop Byrne was back in his full plumage as a bishop following his episcopal ordination last Tuesday. Clad in his Roman purple choir habit and rochet he sat in choir for the Office, and then presided in cope and mitre and with his  crosier, given to him by the parish, at Benediction. This cannot have been seen in an Oratorian community since the time of Bishop Bagshawe of Nottingham (1874-1902; d.1915). Earlier in the day he had celebrated Solemn Mass for congregation at the Oratory in formation at St Chad's in Manchester.

Talking to some of the congregation afterwards the new Bishop was clearly happy to be in his old home and with old friends but also relaxed in beginning his new ministry.

Although he will be missed from the Oratory in Oxford we hope that he will be back when he can, and certainly for St Philip's Day later on this month.

No comments: