The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

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Academic Mass

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Each academic year at Blackfriars opens with the offering of a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, at which staff and students gather to consecrate their studies and teaching to God and implore the guidance of His Holy Spirit. Godzdogz newly appointed official photographer, Br Luke Doherty OP, was on hand to capture the event.

The Regent of Studies, Fr Simon Francis Gaine OP, who is simultaneously the Regent of the English Dominican Province and the head of Blackfriars Hall and Studium, presided at Mass and preached. In his sermon, Fr Simon reminded us of the intimacy of knowledge as communion in the truth and noted that by dedication to our studies we image the Blessed Trinity, whose inner life is a communion of knowledge and love. 

On such occasions it is wonderful to be joined both by our regular Mass congregation and by members of the other religious orders and groups that are preparing for priesthood in our studium. This year we are joined by members of the new community of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual established nearby; also pictured are Dominican Sisters involved in the running of the Hall and candidates for the priesthood of the Personal Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

After participating in the eternal banquet, students and staff convened in the Refectory to enjoy a temporal feast. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other a littler better and (we hope) for our guests to enjoy a share in our lives together as brothers. Our community life is greatly enriched by the presence of "so great a cloud of witnesses"!

The students of Blackfriars Hall are drawn from all over the world and study subjects ranging from Migration Studies to Theology, including the archetypal Oxford degree: PPE. Each year we also welcome a number of international visiting students who spend a short period of time with us as part of a broader course of studies elsewhere.

Fr Felix Korlija OP, a son of the Croatian province, works the crowd:

Br Samuel Burke OP (top) and Br Toby Lees OP (bottom) were on hand to serve food and drink to students new and returning:


Oliver James Keenan OP


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