The new building is now almost ready - and we look forward to showing lots of people around during June. The new rooms, the splendid new parish centre with its bar and kitchen, the office and the library will all make a tremendous difference to our parish and community.
The building will be officially opened and blessed by His Grace the Archbishop on Sunday 4th August. His Grace will celebrate the 11am High Mass, in the presence of Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia, and after Mass will bless the building. Archbishop Longley is in charge of Ecumenism on the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. All are invited to come to the blessing.
The novena in preparation for the Solemnity of our glorious Patriarch begins next Friday, 17th May - at 6.30pm on weekdays and 6pm at weekends.
There will be Solemn Vespers, with a commemoration of St Philip and veneration of the relic, on Sunday 26th May at 5.15pm.
On Monday 27th May there will be a Solemn Pontifical Mass at 6pm, at which the celebrant and preacher will be the Right Reverend Dom Cuthbert Brogan, Lord Abbot of Farnborough.
Fr Richard took the Deanery Year of Faith pilgrimage to Birmingham on Bank Holiday Monday - to venerate three great saints of our Archdiocese: St Chad, Blessed Dominic Barberi and Blessed John Henry Newman.
The first stop was the Birmingham Oratory:
The pilgrims then went to St Chad's Cathedral, where the relics of the great Bishop of Lichfield are enshrined:
Finally they visited Handsworth Convent, designed by Pugin, which was a place where Blessed Dominic Barberi celebrated Mass and heard confessions. This great Apostle of England is our diocesan patron for the Year of Faith.
Pope Francis has invited every Catholic in the world to join him at 5pm Roman time - 4pm here - on 2nd June, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, in adoring the Blessed Sacrament.
Here in Oxford we have the ideal way to do this with the Deanery Corpus Christi Procession, which takes place on this day. It begins at 2.30pm at the Oratory, stops at Blackfriars and concludes at the University Chaplaincy for Benediction at 4pm - the very time the Holy Father has asked us to adore our Lord's Eucharistic presence.
As usual we will be accompanied by the Witney Town Band, and people are invited to wear uniforms, academic dress or First Holy Communion outfits.