Regular readers will know that there is a travelling bust of St Philip, made in Seville for his five-hundredth anniversary year, which has been travelling around the Oratories of the world. We had been expecting it some time ago, but heard that it was delayed, somewhere between Maastricht and Alcala de Henares.
Then, quite unexpectedly, and enormous crate was delivered last week:
The box took quite a lot of effort and ingenuity to open, but when we succeeded, inside was the bust of our Holy Father.
The bust shows St Philip, filled with the Holy Spirit, pointing to his heart, which was enlarged by the Spirit's action. The bust contains a relic of St Philip's body.
We have put the bust on St Philip's altar to give people the opportunity to pray before it. As to when and where the image will go next: St Philip has a habit of surprising!
On Friday 6th November, a large and enthusiastic group of students from the University coordinated Nightfever in our church. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and volunteers invited passers-by to come in, light a candle, and pray. Over one hundred did so, and there was a steady stream of people adoring the Blessed Sacrament throughout the evening.
At the High Mass on Sunday, the Solemnity of All Saints, Br Oliver was instituted as an Acolyte. The acolytate is one of the 'ministries', formerly called 'minor orders', on the way to the priesthood. Anciently, the acolyte carried candles and tapers for the liturgy, and took a fragment of the Pope's Host to Masses elsewhere in the City of Rome. This state is one that reminds us of the holiness of the liturgy therefore.
The candidate is called forward:
He is blessed:
He is handed the ciborium, containing the bread which will be transformed into the Holy Eucharist, as a sign of his service of the altar:
He assists the Deacon in preparing the altar:
He washes the Celebrant's hands:
The elevation of the Chalice:
The Ecce Agnus Dei:
The recessional of the Mass:
Photographs by Hannah Chegwyn.
There was a full house on Saturday for Fr Jerome's first talk on the Catholic history of Oxford.
In this first talk, Fr Jerome spoke about Oxford before the University: the founding of the city by St Frideswide, the problems with the Danes, the collegiate church of St George and the thirteen parishes established in Oxford in this period. This coming Saturday he will move onto mediaeval history with "Saints and Scholars".
Also on Saturday, Fr Daniel showed a group of students from the University, and visitors from Catholic chaplaincies in the south of England, around some of Catholic Oxford. They began by praying at the supposed tomb of St Frideswide at Christ Church. They then headed to Merton College, before going to see where Blessed John Henry Newman prayed in the chapel at Oriel and then where he preached in the University Church. Br Samuel Burke, O.P. showed them Blackfriars, and finally all sang the Salve Regina before Our Lady of Oxford in our church.
Here is the group in Tom Quad at Christ Church: