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.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Oxford Oratory Silver Jubilee celebration

On Sunday September 27th the Oxford Oratory was delighted to welcome His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham, and two of his assistants - Bishop William Kenney, C.P., the area bishop for this part of the diocese, and Bishop Robert Byrne, Cong. Orat., and many friends to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the arrival of the Oratorians in Oxford.

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The Archbishop is received at the door of the church with a crucifix and holy water:

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He processed to the Sacred Heart Chapel, where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament:
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A Solemn Pontifical Mass, in honour of Our Lady, Queen of the Oratory, was celebrated:
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During the Mass Bishop Robert, the Founding Provost of the Oxford Oratory. preached, and his sermon can be read at  Bishop Robert Byrne's Sermon for the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the arrival of the Oratory in Oxford

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After Mass, there was a fine party in the Parish Centre - something the parishioners are very good at organising:

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A splendidly decorated cake was cut by the Archbishop - who expressed his admiration for the rosary in icing sugar - and said he did not want to be photographed cutting a rosary! :

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The anniversary cake was a great success and very good to eat

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A parishioner catches the camera's eye; the Clever Boy was caught on the right

Photographs by Hannah Chegwyn.

Images: Oxford Oratory website

This was a wonderful occasion upon which to give thanks for all that has been achieved by the Fathers of the Oratory over a quarter of a century. This is to be found in the sacramental and spiritual life of the parish, the pastoral care and the liturgical round  as well as in the restoration of the church building and the development of the parish centre.

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