Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Congratulations to Bishop Robert Byrne
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.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake