MISSION & VISIONOXFORD UNIVERSITY CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY
A Place of Welcome and Invitation
We welcome students, academics and all those who may find the Chaplaincy
We seek opportunities to make the Chaplaincy known to members of the University and look for ways through social media and through word of mouth to publicise events to ensure that what we offer is as accessible as possible to as many as possible.
We accompany and offer formation for those wishing to be received into the Church or to be confirmed.
Sense of Community
Prayer and Spirituality
We want to help people find a prayer style that nourishes their relationship with God, Father, Son and Spirit. The way of finding God, appropriate to each individual, should allow them to grow in faith and to grow in humanity. We believe it is important to promote forms of spirituality that support a culture of discernment. We make use in particular of the tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises.
To the extent that it is possible, we offer one-to-one Ignatian spiritual direction.
In matters of faith we want to help people towards a deep understanding of the Catholic Christian tradition, in a way which both appreciates biblical, doctrinal and catechetical texts and engages honestly with the intellectual and personal challenges they can sometimes present. We believe that the intelligent appropriation of Christianity is vital for the good of the Church and the world, but that this is a process, undertaken in faith, which can last a lifetime.
Action and Global Concern
We want the Chaplaincy to be a place which fosters informed and intelligent reflection on the Christian call to service of the poor and marginalised and which offers opportunity for encounter with the City of Oxford with its issues of asylum, poverty and homelessness.
We want our liturgy to be joyful, accessible, and reverent. It should open space for the mysterious encounter with Christ at the heart of the worshipping community. We want our preaching to be Gospel based and of a good standard. We want any music to be of good quality and to encourage active participation. We want to include education in elements of the ancient tradition, while focusing on a liturgy that is both modern and of a recognisable integrity and authenticity.To the extent that it is possible, we offer one-to-one Ignatian spiritual direction.
The Chaplaincy engages with University life but is not subsumed by the University. It can offer a space for a different sort of witness and a different way of understanding the academic project in the light of the Jewish and Christian Wisdom tradition. We should like the Chaplaincy to develop as another forum where Catholic intellectual life becomes visible in Oxford, a place for dialogue and friendship among Christians as well as between Christianity, secular culture and other faith traditions.
We seek ways to support Catholic members of the University to engage as witnesses to their faith and as promoters of the Common Good in the life of the University, whether in their Colleges, academic faculties or through the rich diversity of student activities (sporting, cultural, etc.)
The Wider Catholic Community and the Wider World
We seek to foster a sense of Catholic identity in our students through participation in regional, national and international events, in a spirit of openness to all that is good in our world and with a willingness to engage with people of other faiths and with people of good will for the good of all.
Life beyond the University
We keep in mind that for most University life is just a stage in their lives. We aim to offer support and guidance, challenge and encouragement, as students look to how they will live their lives beyond Oxford. In particular we seek to offer support for all who are undertaking vocational discernment; to accompany couples as they prepare for marriage, and to help students understand how they might engage as Catholics in our world today.
We are committed to a pastoral practice that is centred on the dignity of each individual, made in God’s image and likeness. We take active steps to include those who for reason of personal background, identity or disability might be at risk of feeling marginalised from Chaplaincy life. We are committed to Safeguarding procedures that create a safe environment for those under the age 18 and for adults at risk. We seek through the University appropriate training to ensure that we can respond in the best possible way to students encountering difficulties, including those related to mental health, during their time in Oxford.