Catholic recognition for St Bede's Hall, Oxford

Benediction at Oxford Oratory

Benediction at Oxford Oratory

Solemn Benediction was held at Oxford's Oratory Church of St Aloysius where Cardinal John Henry Newman once preached.

A reception followed at the Oxford Oratory Hall on May 27 that marked the first celebration of the official recognition of St Bede's Hall Oxford as a Catholic Institution.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols signed the decree to "confirm and ratify the Constitution and Statutes of St. Bede's Hall, Oxford as a Private Association of Christ's Faithful" when still Archbishop of Birmingham on 25 March 2009.

Fr Sebastian Jones, Chairman of the Board of Management, said St Bede's Hall was established to "perpetuate the work of higher education characterised by the special tradition of excellence that imbued the ancient foundations of this City of Oxford".

In the letter to Archbishop Nichols requesting the establishment of St Bede's Hall, the Board of Management recalled how the "Universal Church introduces a unique genius to academic life when with the cooperation of their pastors the Christian Faithful work to establish institutions of higher education&quot".

A tradition they recalled "nowhere more in evidence than in the great flourishing and contribution of the Religious Orders of the 13th Century to the City of Oxford.";

Dr Penny Cookson, the Provost, introduced the Board of Management and members of the Advisory Board then confirmed the first of the new series of Hess lectures. This will take place on the 3 November 2009 in the Parish Centre of the Oxford Oratory Church of St Aloysius in Oxford when Fr Stephen Innes of Greyfriars will talk about the Life of Fr Cuthbert Hess.

The members of the Board of Management are Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, the Archbishop of Birmingham ex officio, Fr Sebastian Jones, Dr Penny Cookson, Fr Tom Weinandy OFM Cap., Dr Anne Mouron and Dr Alan O'Day. The Advisory Board comprises Dr Susan Frank Parsons, Rev Dr Laurence Paul Hemming and Dr Donal Lowry.

In the decree establishing St Bede's, Archbishop Nichols recalled that the express purpose of St Bede's was to assist the Universal Church in creating a culture where "the Christian outlook should acquire a public, stable and universal influence in the whole process of the promotion of higher culture".

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Source: CCN

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