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, 9 September 2020

Celebrating thirty years of the Oxford Oratory

Yesterday, being the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, was the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Oxford Oratory in 1990. Established from the Birmingham Oratory by Fr Robert Byrne, now the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, and Fr Dominic Jacob, who now divides his ministry between Oxford and the Bournemouth Oratory-in-formation, who were joined by Fr Richard Duffield, now Provost of the York Oratory and Fr Jerome Bertram, who sadly died last October. The Oxford Oratory attained canonical independence in 1993.

Yesterday celebrations had to be somewhat muted because of coronavirus but the Feast and anniversary were marked in the evening by a Sung Mass at which Fr Dominic preached.

So much has been achieved, and is now perhaps taken for granted, at Oxford by the Oratorisns. In 1990 the church of St Aloysius faced the real possibility of being closed had Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville not invited the Birmingham Oratorians to undertake the foundation. Quite apart from creating a living Oratory, the parish has been rejuvenated, young men formed in the Oratorian tradition as priests, and the community has played a major part in establishing the York Oratory and building up the one in formation at Bournemouth.

A day in which to give thanks for so many graces bestowed.

Our Lady Queen of the Oratory, Pray
Our Lady of Oxford, Pray
St Philip Neri, Pray
St Aloysius, Pray

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