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Welcome! Congratulations, you have done extremely well to matriculate at Oxford Brookes!
The Oxford Brookes Catholic Chaplaincy is for all students and staff at the University. It defines itself with a Catholic priest appointed by the Archdiocese of Birmingham ( Fr Prem Fernando) and all those staff and students that wish to play a part in it, and it is open to all. The Catholic Society (CathSoc) led by students is a wonderful way to be involved with the chaplaincy and to be a part of it as a student. The Catholic Chaplaincy is always welcoming and open to your creative participation! Please do join in.
We attempt to be friends to all, excluding none. Life in the University can be demanding. Lectures can be graded only with correct answers. The clubs and pubs that surround Oxford can be boring, a bit superficial and distasteful. Friends and colleagues can be looking for smart, impressive, celebrity personalities to be with. And so we try to create a friendly welcoming atmosphere to all. We want to do so because you, each and every one of you are very important to us. Much more you are unique, got something special to offer to our life here. So here’s the opportunity to release your strain and stress and be yourself, with some quality social activity by way of parties, BBQs, games, trips and sporting activity with lots of fun and opportunity to meet one another.
"Religion is dangerous."
I guess undoubtedly everyone agrees today, you do not need to define yourself as an atheist to understand it. However, it is not without a qualification. If religion is not open to a continuous, sincere, honest discussion about finding deeper meaning to life and its purpose, indeed it is dangerous and harmful. We could not agree more. Religion must be able to answer the questions of life today in a meaningful, sensible way to validate its existence.
Here’s the bit you do not hear and they do not tell: it is equally true with anything that is an alternative to religion too. Here in the Chaplaincy at Brookes, we try to create the opportunity for this discussion to take place. We like to be challenged, not that we have smart ready answers, but so we too can search with you for a deeper meaning and purpose of our life, and all that we propose for the betterment of our humanity. This is the ‘Oxford Brookes’ ethos; ‘value education that inspires our generation’.
So here’s the opportunity to challenge, discuss and search what you believe or not! Chaplaincy is a wonderful market place, a hub to question faith, dialogue with other faiths and indeed engage faith with various disciplines and the life questions they raise in our university experience. Not just that in the Chaplaincy religion and the particular beliefs itself is opened to be questioned by the believer and so find the reason d'etre within university and in our world. We hold discussions, speaker’s corners, formal talks, study and reading groups.
Yes, we do religion, and no shying and dodging around it. Here’s the opportunity to practice your Christian calling faithfully as a Catholic or search for it within the diversity and richness of western Christianity or for that matter religions of the world. Not as a fanatic, but as a sensible and caring person. We provide pastoral care with a Catholic priest appointed by the Archdiocese of Birmingham and recognised by the University, on hand available for mass, sacraments, spiritual direction, guidance and lots lots more. There is space and time for you to pray in solitude or in community. There is the opportunity for you to come to know better your Catholic Christian faith in the wonderful settings of Oxford, that cannot lay hidden and forgotten in its history. And so one has the opportunity to practice it without fear, shame or doubt any longer!
Would you really want to look for anything more while in the intellectual city of Oxford?
Mass is celebrated regularly during semester time at the Catholic Chaplaincy, 62 London Road, Headington.
Fr Prem is available for confessions. Send an email or call 01865 750463 to arrange an appointment to meet at a convenient time for you