Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oxford Pilgrimage to Littlemore

On Saturday we had the first LMS Pilgrimage to Littlemore, with Mass in Greyfriars and Vespers with the Sisters at Littlemore. The Pilgrimage was a joint event with Juventutem Oxford and the Oxford Newman Society.
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Mass in the Church of SS Edmund and Frideswide, the parish church which is also the chapel of the Fransiscan Priory, Greyfriars, was celebrated for us by Fr Anthony Conlon, Chaplain of the Oratory School outside Oxford. Fr Mark Elvins OFM Cap, the Guardian of Greyfriars, was present (see below, sitting on the left of the picture). It was accompanied by the Schola Abelis (videos will follow I hope).

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We visited the site of St Ignatius', the first Catholic church built after the Protestant Revolt and the place where Bl J.H. Newman attended public Masses after his reception, in St Clement's. It was de-consecrated in 1911 when Greyfriars was opened. We started the Litany of Loreto there and sang it, and other things, including Newman's 'Firmly I believe and truly', and prayed the Rosary, as we walked to Littlemore.
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We walked from there to The College in Littlemore. Here we are in Newman's Library.
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The College went through a period of neglect and other uses before being restored as a place dedicated to Newman's memory - and now a place of pilgrimage. The famous fireplace in front of which Bl Dominic Barberi, soaked to the skin from his journey, heard Bl J.H. Newman's confession, has been lost but in its place there is this charming tromp d'oeil.
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Newman's tiny chapel, where we had First Vespers of Sunday. We were joined by the Sisters of the community who live there and look after it, and pilgrims, of the Society of the Work.
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It was a great devotional occasion and great fun. More photos here.

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