On Sunday 6th May, we were very happy to welcome Bishop Robert Byrne C.O, one of the auxiliary bishops of the Birmingham Archdiocese, to our parish.
Bishop Robert, who is titular bishop of Cuncacestre, or Chester-le-Street, was here to visit the community and to encourage us. He, together with Fr Dominic and Fr Richard Duffield, went from the Birmingham Oratory in 1990 to establish the Congregation in Oxford. Since then, there have been further developments: Fr Robert was made a bishop and Fr Richard has begun the work of building an Oratorian community at St Wilfrid’s in York, and Fr Dominic, as you know, has headed South to help do the same here in Bournemouth.
The principal purpose of the episcopal visit was that he might confer the ministry of acolyte on our Brother Andrew. This he did at the Solemn Mass.
The Acolytate is the next step on the journey of a seminarian to the priesthood. It brings him closer to the service of the altar and the sacred liturgy. We hope that Br Andrew will be ordained to the diaconate later in the year by Bishop Philip. Watch this space!
For the occasion, the choir sang the Ecce Sacerdos by Sir Edward Elgar and Lorenzo Perosi’s Laudate Dominum. The Mass setting was Sir Richard Terry’s Mass in C, a fine Edwardian Congregational setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, which we’ve heard several times now, and people are beginning to pick it up and enjoy it.