We are pleased to announce that Fr Stephen Brown, a priest of the Leeds Diocese, has asked to try his vocation as an Oratorian here at St Wilfrid's. Fr Stephen has visited often in the last eighteen months and will have become known to many parishioners.
Fr Stephen was born in Wallsend in 1964 and grew up in Tyneside, Yorkshire and Kent. He was received into the Catholic Church at St Robert’s in Harrogate in 1984. After studying law at Manchester University he qualified as a solicitor. Fr Stephen trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome and was ordained as a priest of the Leeds Diocese on 22nd July, 1994. He has served as a curate in Leeds and Keighley and as a Parish Priest in Leeds and Bradford as well as being Chancellor of the Diocese. Most recently, from 2008, he has been the Chaplain to the University of Bradford. We are most grateful to the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev. Marcus Stock, for releasing such a gifted priest to come to us.
Fr Stephen will be in York quite often over the summer, but he will also be helping his successor in Bradford find his feet and spending some time in Oxford as well as having a holiday. He should be here full time from September or October. Please keep Fr Stephen in your prayers.
We have had a busy and beautiful month of June at St Wilfrid's and St Joseph's, starting with First Holy Communions, continuing with a Confirmation Mass with Bishop Terence and ending with a beautiful diamond jubilee Mass for Canon Pat Harney. The following photographs taken by Lars Karlsson speak more loudly than words....
2015-2016 marks the fifth centenary of the birth of St Philip, the founder of the Oratory. Pope Francis has written a letter to all the Oratories of the world and their parishioners, friends and associates. You will need to scroll down the page to find the English translation.
We will be celebrating this event in York later this year. There is a reliquary bust of St Philip visiting all the Oratorian houses in the world. Fr Richard has been entrusted with organising the English section of this visit, to our houses in Birmingham, London and Oxford, the houses in formation in Manchester and York and our schools in Reading and London. This will take place in the autumn. The relics will come from the Spanish Oratories and go on from here to Canada and the USA.
Br Adam and Br Henry with Tessa, the new member of the community at St Wilfrid's. Tessa is an eight week old cocker spaniel. We thought her colouring was quite Carmelite, hence the name, after St Teresa of Avila, the founder of the Carmelite nuns. The first photo shows some of Tessa's many brothers and sisters at a farm near Appleton Roebuck.
There is an interesting article in the York Press about the exciting restoration project at the Bar Convent. We're all looking forward to visiting when it's finished, but not as much as the sisters are longing for an end to the chaos! Meanwhile we are very grateful at St Wilfrid's for the church treasures which the Bar Convent has passed on to us here.
Our adult formation course has now finished for the year with the Solemnity of Pentecost. We will begin again in the autumn using the Evangelium Course to help newcomers and old hands alike come to a deeper knowledge of the Catholic faith through Christian Art. Meanwhile a number of people have asked for the group to continue over the summer, so we are showing a series of films about the Catholic faith by Fr Robert Barron. Click on this link to read more about the Catholicism series.
Today is the Solemnity of St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory. Our small community will join our brethren in Oxford for the visit of Cardinal Burke this evening. But we couldn't leave York without having our own morning Mass for the novices at St Philip's Altar.
Quite a few parishioners have gone to Lourdes with the Middlesbrough Diocesan Pilgrimage. Theresa Caddy has sent us this photograph with the Bishop. There were quite a few petitions in the box so they have some prayers to say.....
St Wilfrid's Parish enjoyed a lovely visitation from our Bishop, Terence Patrick. On Saturday afternoon he visited some of the sick around the parish, as far out as Linton-on-Ouse. Elsie Lyon's cat refused to pose for a better shot. This morning the Bishop celebrated and preached at the 8.30am and 10.30am Masses and met the people. At the 12 noon Latin Mass he sat on the Bishop's Throne in choir and preached. (We think we got the ceremonial right!)