Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Congratulations to Bishop Robert Byrne

Bishop-elect Robert Byrne (Mazur/
I was quite sure what Pope Francis was saying about the appointment of new Bishops, he wants them to be pastors and evangelists, to go out to the peripheries, to care for the poor, to be sons of the Church etc. etc. etc.

Well, I didn't expect the appointment of  Fr Robert but actually he is precisely what the Holy Father has been calling for.
I remember going for the first time to St Aloysius, Oxford, what is now to Oxford Oratory 25 years ago, it was in the hands of the Jesuits, it was unloved and was obviously failing. The congregation was quite tiny, then a year later Fr Byrne arrived from Birmingham with a few Oratorians and gradually, well actually rather quickly the Oratory became an important player in the life of the city of Oxford. The Oratory was unapologetically Catholic, the liturgy was careful and precise, the preaching clear and demanding, Oratorians in their habits were seen on the streets of Oxford, not only that there were processions in the streets, the church filled, people came.
The Oratory itself grew like topsy and vocations came and the big headache became space for more Oratorians. Oxford Oratory is a success, now it has a daughter, York Oratory.
I am pleased the new Bishop has had lots of parish experience and has spent time as prison chaplain, as well as hours in the Confessional and celebrates happily both forms of the Roman Rite.

Fr Robert Byrne - Auxiliary Bishop-elect for the Archdiocese of Birmingham from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo.


Jacobi said...

“hours in the Confessional and celebrates happily both forms of the Roman Rite”

In that case he won’t go far wrong!

Hughie said...

In 2008 my son left St Andrews University and moved to Abingdon as his new job was based near Oxford. Visitng him, one Sunday morning I drove into Oxford and accidentally attended Mass at the Oratory. Accidentally because I had hoped to attend Mass at Blackfriars but missed it. Mass at the Oratory was absolutely beautiful. 50 years ago, on the Tuesday evening of Easter Week (March 31, 1964) as a chorister in Motherwell Cathedral Choir, I was one of the 400 boys from 20 British member choirs of Pueri Cantores who sang High Mass in Westminster Cathedral. That Sunday morning in Oxford took me all the way back to those far happier times. I just pray that the hierarchy of England and Wales don't stifle yer man. And may he soon get his own See. Motherwell's sede vacante!

BJC said...

What a shocking riposte for the Tablet. Is he being lined up for Westminister when ++Vincent retires? Looks like it to me, he's only got 6 years left. With any luck he'll be able to sort out not just 1 major diocese but 2.

Nicolas Bellord said...

An interesting appointment. Perhaps we may see some equally welcome appointments and things may be getting rather better than we feared.

Chrissy said...

Things are certainly looking up at long last.

John Nolan said...

The best news I've heard this year.