THE PROVOST of the Oxford Oratory, the Very Reverend Fr Robert Byrne, has celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination.
A Solemn Mass was offered on Sunday January 3 at which the choir sang Haydn’s Mariazeller Messe, accompanied by strings and timpani.
Fr Byrne was ordained on January 5 1985 by Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville.
The Very Reverend Fr Ignatius Harrison, Provost of the London Oratory, visited Oxford for the occasion and preached at the 6pm Mass on Tuesday January 5.
After dinner that evening the Fathers took a turn outside in the falling snow. The Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory, Fr Edoardo Cerrato, wrote a special letter to Fr Robert Byrne in which he wrote: “The 25th anniversary of your priestly ordination is a proper occasion to send you the most fraternal felicitations and also to thank you for the work which you perform in presiding over the Permanent Deputation of the Oratorian Confederation. Your joy is certainly deepened by the celebration of the Year of Priests given to us by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. It is the realisation of the radical fidelity of Christ that makes possible our own faithfulness and you will also be encouraged by the forthcoming Beatification of the Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman, founder of the English Oratory, and by the celebration of the third centenary of the death of our Blessed Sebastian Valfrè (of the Turin Oratory).” The Oxford Oratory was established as an independent congregation in 1993.