MISSION & VISION

OXFORD UNIVERSITY CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY

A Place of Welcome and Invitation

We welcome students, academics and all those who may find the Chaplaincy a support on their journey of faith. We want to help all who come here to encounter Christ, to find a home in the Church of our times, and to engage positively, generously and intelligently with our faith and with our world.

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

We want the Chaplaincy to be a place where hospitality is important, where people can enjoy one another’s company. It should be an environment where there is a sense of common purpose and shared projects. Special interest groups are supported by and support the life of the whole community. It is a place where people can grow in openness to others and learn respect for companions who may be on faith journeys different from their own.

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.

Intellectual Formation

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.

Liturgy

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 University

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. 

Best Practice

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.

Student rooms are still available for the Michaelmas term

The Catholic Chaplaincy has offered accommodation to a number of students for a long time.  Living at the Chaplaincy offers a rare experience to be part of a Christian community in Oxford which is distinctly different from College life or ‘living out’. 

Find out more and apply by clicking the link below:

Chaplaincy Accommodation Application

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