Oscott is a community. Communities as such consist of a group of people with a common interest, living and sharing together. Living and sharing together requires much to ensure that things run smoothly. At the college, all sorts of people can be found, from priests and teachers to domestic staff and those who manage the large cemetery that we have here.
While all of these people work hard to keep the place running, there are some jobs that they can’t do. That’s why we seminarians have house jobs. For the last 12 months my house job was music administrator. Among other things, this involved planning music for Masses and services at the college. But that all of that changed last week when the new house jobs for 2020/21 were announced and I was appointed the chief guest master. This involves welcoming and caring for guests who stay at Oscott, but it also entails raising the college flag on Sundays and solemnities along with opening and closing the main door every day – how exciting! I have three others on my team and so far we’re doing quite well.
Life here at Oscott is centred around the Eucharist. Our daily celebration of Mass is also supplemented by optional holy hours each day and a community holy hour every Thursday evening. In addition, we recently held our annual Quarant’ore weekend. For forty hours, the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly exposed in our chapel. It really was a fantastic experience. Being able to go down into the chapel in the middle of the night and spend some time with the Lord on your own is a remarkable privilege. One thing that Quarant’ore brought home to me is just how fortunate we are here to have the Blessed Sacrament under our roof.
During the event we processed with the Blessed Sacrament out to the front of the college. As Oscott sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Birmingham, the Rector gave a benediction over the city, linking us, through Jesus, with all of the people who live and work there. Furthermore, we managed to raise some money for Across, the charity we are supporting this year, through the sponsoring of candles.