OXFORD has changed quite a lot in the past 500 years, so the Greyfriars can be forgiven for taking some time to find their feet.
The Conventual Catholic friars moved back to the city this summer, for the first time since the English Reformation in the 16th century.
But already as they settle in to their new friary, formerly the All Saints Convent in East Oxford, Friar Daniel Geary said they have had a warm welcome.
He told the Oxford Mail: “Everyone is starting to settle in here. We will all be here together by September 26, when there will be 12 of us.

“People in Cowley have been very welcoming and warm and receptive. It has really been overwhelming.
“Many of the friars have come by to see our new home for the first time.
“We are planning to now spend time getting to know local groups.
“We are in a very diverse area and yet just walking distance from the city centre where our friars go to school at Blackfriars Hall. There is no doubt we are truly blessed.”
The friars moved in to the former convent, in St Mary’s Road, after it was vacated by the All Saints Sisters of the Poor.

Friar Geary, the group’s formator who is responsible for teaching young recruits, said they have now been recognised by the Greyfriars in Rome, meaning it is now affiliated with the wider Catholic Church.

“We are known officially as the Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Friary – after one of the friars who settled in Oxford in 1224, sent to the British Isles by St Francis of Assisi.
“But at the moment we are hoping people will become familiar with just ‘the friary’.
“Our aim is to start working with Helen & Douglas House hospice, our neighbours, and also to help the homeless – where there is a big need in the Oxford area – as well as the elderly, the poor, the disabled and local families.”

They will also still be on the look-out for men interested in becoming friars, he added, who can go through a process to see if they are suitable to live in the friary.
During their first period in Oxford, the Greyfriars – so called because of the colour of their robes – had a church that was in the area where the Westgate Shopping Centre now stands.
But in 1538 their friary, along with others around the country, fell foul of King Henry VIII during the English Reformation.

That saw the King reject the authority of the Pope and make himself head of the Church, so he could grant himself a divorce from his Spanish first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Years later, in 1906, the Greyfriars returned to England, with another branch of Fransiscans, the Capuchin Franciscans, moving in to what is now known as Greyfriars Hall in 1928.
Last September the Greyfriars took a house in Holton, near Wheatley, before they made the move to Oxford at the beginning of July.

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Richard Dawkins, prominent atheist is in the news again, this time for his cold-hearted, oh-so-civil proclamation on Twitter that yes, Down Syndrome babies should be aborted, after all they are only fetuses and do not have human feelings. After receiving some backlash, he then goes on to clarify that of course he wasn’t suggesting that we should abort living persons with Down Syndrome, simply the fetuses of the unborn with Down Syndrome. He retweeted a comment from Ulixes that the problem is that you are all incapable of distinguishing “abort now” from “you should have been aborted.”

No, Dawkins, it is you who is unable to distinguish between good and evil. This is so wrong. This is what happens when we allow moral relativism, atheism and our disdain for our Creator to to rule our culture. This is the culture of death and we are so steeped in it, we cannot even detect the stench anymore.

EVERY HUMAN LIFE from the moment of conception to natural death is valued, sacred and has the right to life.

If you’re on Twitter (or other social media), I urge you to speak out, retweet Dawkins, engage in the discussion and stand up for TRUTH and for LIFE.

(Reblogged from mycatholicmusings)
(Reblogged from mycatholicmusings)

“The Church is alive!” How the faith of young people is renewing Catholic life in the UK.

Fr Stephen Wang of the Archdiocese of Westminster writes:

"I’m just back from the Youth 2000 Summer Festival in Walsingham. One of the many highlights was the final evening of Thanksgiving and Testimony, where a good twenty or so young people had the courage to stand up and speak about how their lives had been touched by the weekend. Often simple things: learning to forgive someone; a deeper faith in the Eucharist; the clarity to make a difficult decision; thinking about vocation for the first time. And one or two very dramatic stories of small miracles that had taken place in their lives.

The Festival was in part a celebration of 25 years of Youth 2000. Here is the introduction I wrote for their commemoration booklet:

What is Youth 2000? It’s a witness to the beauty of the Christian faith. It’s an experience of the Church. It’s the love of Christ, and of his mother Mary, transforming the lives of young people.

There is nothing extraordinary about the content of a Youth 2000 retreat. It’s just Catholicism pure and simple. The Eucharist at the very centre; dignified and joyful worship; devotion to Our Lady; the teaching of the Catholic Church presented in a straightforward, unapologetic, inspiring and practical way; the power of conversion through the sacrament of confession; the challenge of connecting faith with life, study, work, relationships; the call to vocation and service; lay people, priests and religious sharing their lives very naturally – and being renewed in their own vocations; prayer, music, food, fellowship, fun; young people serving other young people, and witnessing to their own personal faith.

The fact is that it ‘works’. I don’t mean there is some kind of magic formula that can guarantee you a profound spiritual experience or a radical conversion. I just mean that when the Catholic faith is lived joyfully and presented with real integrity, then it touches people. When you see the ‘wholeness’ of the Christian faith – teaching, sacraments, community, mission – and when you see the way this faith transforms the lives of ordinary young people, you can’t help being changed yourself.

It’s a beautiful thing to see the hearts of young people gradually open up to the Lord as a retreat unfolds; to see the almost tangible effects of his grace on their lives – a sense of peace and spiritual joy, a knowledge of his mercy, a new sense of purpose, a desire to share their faith, a living hope.

The whole purpose of Youth 2000 is for young people to evangelise young people, to lead them to Christ and his Church, so they can live their faith in their parishes and communities. I thank God for what he has given to the Church through Youth 2000. I pray not just that it will continue the wonderful work it has done over these twenty five years, but that it will be brave and adventurous enough to find new ways of evangelising, risking anything and everything in order to share Christ’s love with others.


(Reblogged from sacrumcorpus)

Fleeing Iraqi Christians reveal horror of Islamic State

(Reblogged from topofreddit)
(Reblogged from hashtagnovicelife)
(Reblogged from acatholicrose)