Greyfriars Return After 500 Years

From the Oxford Times:

Greyfriars are coming home after a 500-year-long exile
8:30am Saturday 17th May 2014

[Image: 17om03monks.jpg]

THEY fled the city almost 500 years ago during the English Reformation.

But this summer, after centuries away, the Greyfriars will finally return to Oxford.

The Conventual Catholic friars are to settle in All Saints Convent, Cowley, in the next two months, once it is vacated by the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, who are moving to a smaller building.

Greyfriar formator Friar Daniel Geary, 53, said: “It is going to be quite a wonderful and historic moment.

“There will be 12 of us in the house of formation, with many being involved in training and going to classes.

“But part of that process is also to become involved with the area. Cowley is a very rich and diverse place and we look forward to joining the community.”

Know as the Greyfriars for their grey robes, two members of the Franciscan Conventuals first arrived in Oxford in 1224, having been sent to England by St Francis of Assisi, a medieval saint famed for creating the Nativity scene.

The monks lived in Greyfriars Hall, in Iffley Road, and provided aid to city’s growing population, helping the poor and founding academic institutions.

But in 1538 their convent, 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 first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

What followed was a purge of catholic monks loyal to the Vatican and the order was forced to flee the country.

Years later, in 1906, the Greyfriars returned to England. Then in 1928 another branch of Fransiscans, the Capuchin Franciscans, took over the care of Greyfriars Hall.

But last September the Greyfriars took a house in Holton, near Wheatley, and since then they have been hoping to move back to the city.

Paul Kennedy, 28, is currently training to be a friar. He said an increase in young recruits like himself prompted the monks to come back to Oxford.

He said: “We thought it was a good reason to come back, it’s really quite exciting for all of us.

“It has been a struggle to find somewhere that has enough bedrooms for all of us.

“But we heard the All Saints sisters had left their convent because it was too big and they were more than happy to let us move in.”

The new convent is also next door to Helen & Douglas House, established by the sisters, and the St John’s residential care home, which Mr Kennedy says the Greyfriars will offer their services to.

He added: “We have already had much support from local groups and many of us study at Blackfriar’s Hall [in St Giles’].

“The reason we wanted to be back in a city is so we can work closely with the homeless, the poor and local schools.

“We hope if people know we are here they will come to us when they need us most.”

More information about the Greyfriars

This is so beautiful. So great. Will pray for them!
Does anyone know if the Greyfriars teach traditionalism, i.e. doctrine, pre-V2 Catholic commitment to faith and morals, and defend the church's authority?  Poking around at their website would suggest the answer is a resounding NO.  Sorry, Vox. I wish them peace, but their spirituality is not mine.  Oxford was the center of Catholic revolt against Henry VIII and the murderous Elizabeth I.  500 years later and Cranmer's table continues on.
"Teach traditionalism"? That is an odd expression, to say the least.
They have to teach Catholicism,which is not restricted to traditionalism, however much one may appreciate traditionalism.
Well since V2 the Franciscan family has been getting closer to it's roots (radex), and so the various branches have become more radical.

I was in the OFMs for 6 years in the 80's and then you would rarely see a friar into a habit. Nowadays you can rarely see them out of their habits.

They have been "rediscovering " Francis (and Clare) through new translations of the original writings, and by peeling away the accretions of time, and the impositions of a monastic lifestyle which was not their charism or part of their Rule.  The Rule has become far more central.

At the same time the Friars have left their monastic style buildings, and like these Conventuals are spending more time with the homeless and the poor, and those on the margins.

What mass do they say? 

the mass of  ST. POPE JOHN XXIII  or Paul vi.
Well, I hope it is the Mass of Jesus.
(05-20-2014, 03:41 PM)voltape Wrote: Well, I hope it is the Mass of Jesus.

Which one is that?
The one where He becomes truly present Body Blood, Soul and Divinity.

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