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, 8 October 2015

Oxford Benedictine Oblates

Last night we held the first meeting of our revived Benedictine Oblates group here in Oxford. For the last couple of years we have languished somewhat but over the summer we made plans to revive it, and have resumed meetings. Our aspiration is to be linked to the developing foundation at Norcia, St Benedict's birthplace.

St Benedict and St Scholastica


Under the name of the Sodality of St Benedict and St Scholastica we aim to meet initially on the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the church of SS Gregory and Augustine; the meeting follows on from the 6pm Mass, and is designed to last for an hour. We are very grateful to Fr John Saward for his welcome and support.

Although only some of us were able to meet last night we found it a suitable, indeed successful format, and certainly achieved a prayerful quiet that to my mind savoured very much of the Benedictine ideal and spirit.

We followed the structure of an Oblate manual from 1937 which had been provided by one of our group, and are grateful to him for his work in producing a traditional and reflective office. Another member had the excellent idea of our turning the month's calendar of Benedictine saints into a litany, which worked well. We had two readings - one from Bishop Fulton Sheen on the Rosary ( it was, after all, the Feast of the Rosary ) and one from St Gregory the Great on the Gospel in the EF for last Sunday. This included an example from the life of his monastery on the Coelian Hill, which seemed eminently apposite. We ended by saying Compline in the traditional Benedictine form.

We hope this can become a regular part of the devotional life of Oxford, and anyone interested would be most welcome to join us at our next meeting on November 4th.


Zephyrinus said...

What a marvellous idea. Thank you for this Post.

May I, respectfully, wish you and all your Confreres every success in your new Benedictine Group. I am sure that Norcia will be delighted with your Prayerful support.

God Willing, when next in Oxford, I may be able to join with you all on a Wednesday Group Meeting.

in Domino

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

We shall be delighted to welcome you, and indeed anyne else who is interested. I will try to give advance notic eof our forthcoming meetiings.