Monday, August 27, 2007

Almost One Year Later, the Classical Use plays prominent role in Oxford Again

Fr. Finigan over at the The hermeneutic of continuity has the preliminary goods on the training conference in the usus antiquior which begins tomorrow in Oxford at Merton College.

He has two posts today related to this:

Oxford LMS conference

Tomorrow morning I have a funeral (please pray for the repose of the soul of Maud Nazer). Then I will be off to London again, to catch the bus from Victoria to Oxford for the Conference organised by the Latin Mass Society to introduce priests to the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Because of the funeral, I will miss the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Nichols in the morning but I hope to be there in time for Alcuin Reid's lecture at 3pm. I am looking forward to a couple of days in a City which brings back many fond memories of three years spent in the company of good friends.

My particular role, as well as giving one of the sets of tutorials, is to participate in the discussions with the experience of being a parish priest fostering traditional liturgy in a normal parish. Apparently there are over 50 priests attending. Many lay people will also be coming for the public liturgical celebrations during the conference (at the Merton College Chapel.)

Dom Daniel Augustine Oppenheimer (Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem) will celebrate the Solemn Mass on Wednesday 29 August at 11.45am

Bishop Rifan will celebrate Pontifical Vespers on Wednesday 29 August at 6pm

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma will celebrate the closing Pontifical High Mass in the Traditional Rite on Thursday 30 August at 11.45am.

There will also be traditional Lauds on Wednesday and Thursday at 8am and traditional Vespers on Tuesday at 6pm.

Assisting Bishop Rifan

Bishop Rifan was at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, this evening to celebrate a Pontifical Low Mass. I was scheduled to say a Missa Cantata but was happy to say a private Mass earlier in the parish and act as Assistant Priest for the great man. Mgr Gordon Read was the other AP. Neither of us had acted in this capacity before so we needed some prompts here and there. Fortunately, I managed to retain much of what is in Fortescue's mercifully brief chapter on the subject.

Bishop Rifan heads the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney, established in 2002 in the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, to which about 30,000 faithful are attached. At the end of Mass, after unvesting at the altar and kneeling to say a thanksgiving at the faldstool, he asked us two capellani to accompany him to the back of the Church where he remained to greet all those who had come to the Mass. Nearly all of the people knelt to kiss his ring in recognition of his office as successor to the apostles.

Over dinner afterwards, Bishop Rifan told us of a recently founded group of Franciscans with whom he is great friends. They work with the poor and have established 100 houses in ten years. One of their houses cares for 600 poor people. They have perpetual adoration, live an exemplary life of Franciscan poverty.

Speaking to me personally, the Bishop spoke of how important it is that traditionalists should always show charity to others and avoid bitterness and dissension. His concern was transparently genuine and pastoral. It was a joy to spend an evening assisting him and I look forward to seeing him again at other events this week.

[The NLM intends to provide coverage of this event of course, which is receiving quite a bit of press in England. We should have some of our own NLM eyes and ears there so to speak.]

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