CATHOLIC CHURCH IN OXFORD (NORTH) DEANERY
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St Thérèse of Lisieux in Oxford - October 2009
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Welcome to Greyfriars
|Our church was built in 1911 by the Jesuit Fathers as a Chapel-of-Ease to St Aloysius' Parish, and designed by a priest of the Brigittine Order. It was handed over to the Capuchin Friars in 1928. The church is Norman in style and is constructd of knapped flints from quarries in Oxfordshire. The church stands on the corner of Jackdaw Lane on the right hand side of Iffley Road as one leaves the city centre, beyond University Playing Fields. The tower of the church can be seen above the trees surrounding the Rugby Ground. Its peculiar copper spire summounted by a weathercock is a landmark in East Oxford. It is situated at Greyfriars, 182 Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1SB
General and Emergency contact (01865) 243694
Travel directions:(from Littlemore roundabout on the ring road) Turn north into A4158 Oxford Road, (later called Rose Hill and then Henley Avenue) which forms Iffley Road eventually, almost at the city centre. The church is on the left with the junction of Jackdaw Lane.
Our Parish Priest is Bro John Delaney OFM Cap
Other Clergy at Greyfriars are Revv Mark Turnham (Guardian), Lucian Zaniewkski (Vicar) Ambrose May, Thomas More Mann, Anthony McDowell. The Community also includes Capuchin Students.
Our Liturgical Services:
|Sunday Mass times: Saturday (for Sunday) 6.30pm, Sunday 9am, 11am, 5.30pm
Holy Day Mass Times: 7.30am, 10am, 7.30pm.
Weekday Mass Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 7-30am (including Morning Prayer)
Wednesdays 7-30am (including Morning Prayer); 7-30pm
Saturdays 8am (including Morning Prayer).
Confessions: Saturday 11.30am to 12 noon, 5.30 to 6.30pm
Holy Hour: Saturdays 5-30pm - 6-30pm with Evening Prayer
Holy Hour for Vocations including Padre Pio and Divine Mercy prayers - Second Sunday of month 4-5pm
Our entry in Deanery shown on left:
Catholic Primary School information (nearest)
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Headley Way, Headington, OX3 7SX. RC School for children from Reception to Year 6 (5-11 years). The Headteacher is happy to meet parents who are considering St Joseph's as the school for their child. If you are new to the area or your child is aged 3 years or above, pleae telephone the school to ask for a copy of the prospectus and make an appointment to visit the school.
Headteacher: Mrs Bunty McCormack.RC
Secretary: Mrs Renate Beale.
tel: (01865) 763357
fax: (01865) 308436
Click below to go direct to the school!
St Francis of Assissi
|St. Francis of Assisi, was born in 1181 and died in 1226, preached joy, contentment, peace and the simple lifestyle in his adult years. He was deeply appreciative of the goodness of God in nature, in the plants and the animals; he has been called the most Christ like man who has ever lived, and has become the patron saint of animals and ecologists. St. Francis sent some of his Friars to England in 1224.|
|The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an expression, intended to indicate with what love Jesus concerned himself with the fallen human race. The heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance, is honoured as a sign of his love even to death. The prayer of the Church venerates and honours the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for mankind, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Our Sacred Heart Chapel on the Gospel side of the Sanctuary, together with its altar is in grey marble. A tablet near by commemorates Miss Otilia Kirner, a Secular Franciscan of the parish, whose benefactions made possible many of the improvements in the church.|
St. Edmund of Abingdon
|You will see St. Edmund of Abingdon on the left-hand side of the triptych. A patron of this parish, and former Archbishop of Canterbury.|
Edmund Rich, as he was known, was born in Abingdon about the year 1170 and in due course came up to the University.
When Edmund was about 12, he went to school at Oxford, and some three years later, accompanied by his brother Robert, to Paris to continue their studies there.
It was at this time he was said to have had a vision of the boy Jesus in the fields, who told him that whoever should before sleeping should trace the words Jesus of Nazareth on his forehead should be preserved that night from sudden and unprepared death. Whence the custom of tracing initials I.N.R.I., with a prayer to the same end.
He is said to have been a scholar of remarkable talents and piety. His connection with the University was broken for a time when he went to pursue his studies at the University of Paris. After was he returned to Oxford and occupied a chair in the University. His biographer tells us that he was characterised by a great love for the poor, and especially for poor scholars, to the extent that he refused to accept fees for his lectures from the latter who could ill afford them. In 1234, at the command of Pope Gregory IX he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury.
Blessed Agnellus of Pisa
|Blessed Agnellus is depicted in the centre of the triptych. He was born the first Franciscan friar to be sent to England by St. Francis in 1224. Greyfriars was the name given to the first Franciscans all followers of St. Francis of Assisi who came to England and Oxford in 1224 AD. Their habits were made of undyed wool and had a nondescript russet colour, which in the Middle Ages was described as Grey. This church is now served by a branch of the Franciscans known as the Capuchin Order.|
|Saint Frideswide is portrayed on the right-hand side of the triptych. A patroness of this parish, and also of the University and City of Oxford, who founded a convent in Oxford. She is shown as an Abbess with her abbatial staff in one hand and in the other she holds a model of her Priory. The story of St Frideswide is bound up with the historical beginnings of Oxford, but it cannot be told here. She was the daughter of a local princeling who built a Priory for her, the site of which is now occupied by Christ Church Cathedral in which the remains of the Priory Chapel were incorporated. She died about the first half of the eighth century and was venerated a saint. The shrine, which contained her relics, was desecrated and destroyed at the Reformation, but was later reassembled and can be seen in the Lady Chapel of the cathedral. The historian, Wood, tells us of Oxford’s devotion to its patron: "Ascension Day the Chancellor of the University accompanied by the scholars and clergy went according to custom, to visit the shrine of St. Frideswide as the Mother Church of University". Hither, too, flocked the common people "with great confidence seeking comfort in their sorrows and counsel in their perplexities".|
Shrine of the Mother of the Good Shepherd
|The Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of the Good Shepherd was formerly a porch and at one time the only usable entrance to the church. However, when it was ceased to be an entrance, it was built up and converted into the present chapel to how is the picture which gives its title to the Shrine.|
The picture is one of the authentic Murillos of La Divine Pastora, as it was known in Spain. Our Blessed Lady in white silk and lace with a rich blue cloak, is seated surrounded by lambs, carrying a white rose. Cherubs hover over them, but in the background a lion is attacking a lamb which has straight from Mary’s side. However, St. Michael, with drawn sword, comes to the rescue. The loving expression of Our Lady, the Shepherdess, has a spiritual quality of surpassing beauty.
It was in the year 1703 that devotion to the Mother of the Good Shepherd was revealed to the Capuchin, Venerable Father Isidore of Seville, and another friar, Blessed Diego of Cadiz, made it the great devotion of Spain. Thus it is purely Capuchin Franciscan in origin and from Spain it has spread throughout the missions.
Inside the chapel, there is a link with the early Franciscans in Oxford in the shape of a capital from one of the pillars of the original Greyfriars, which stood in the neighbourhood of Pensons Gardens, St Ebbe’s. When the Friary and church were destroyed most of the stone was used in building the houses in the vicinity. However, at the beginning of last century, when one of these houses was being demolished, this capital was found and bought by a local Catholic, Mr Rogers, who gave it to the Friars. It has been incorporated in the Shrine where, supported by a short column, it forms the credence table. A tablet on the wall to the right of the shrine tells its history.