Bringing back memories of Oxford

Any visit to Oxford fills me with joy and nostalgia. My three years there as a young man were genuinely happy. It was there that I shared with John Hayes the excitement of the election of Pope John Paul II. John was probably one of the few people in the world who heard the word "Carolus" and said immediately "Wojtyla!". Apparently at the election of Pope Benedict he hesitated at the name Joseph, knowing that there was another Cardinal by that name.

I was at Corpus Christi College from 1977-1980. My two elder sisters both married men from Merton which is next door. Here is a view of the Chapel from the Grove at Merton College.

And here is a view of Mob Quad.

Oxford abounds with stories of tourists. Apparently, an American visitor to Merton asked one of the servants how the lawns came to be so perfect. The servant answered in his Oxford twang
"Well you plants the seed, you waters it, then you scythes it. The you waters it again and they you scythes it. You do that for four hundred years and there you are!"
Here is a view of the front quad at Merton after the Solemn Mass:

As a fresher at Oxford, I was assigned a room in an ugly building near to the College in Magpie Lane. I remember on the first day there that I did not know how to get out. So I climbed out of the window early in the morning in order to attend Mass at the Chaplaincy. So this sign brough back memories for me:

After three years of studying Philosophy and Psychology, I had to take my final exams. These were held in the Examination Schools, an imposing building where one had to wear "subfusc": a dark suit, white bow tie, gown and mortar board. For my last exam, I had a wine glass in my pocket in order to be ready for the reception that I knew my friends would prepare (one of them is now a 22 year professed sister at the Abbey of St Cecilia's in Ryde). So the entrance to the Schools also brings a lump to my throat when I visit. It was great to see be-cassocked clerics entering for the CIEL Conference.

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