Term Card

Unless otherwise stated, meetings start at 8.30pm and are held in the Blue Room at The Old Palace (Catholic Chaplaincy), Rose Place, just off St. Aldates. Please ring the general door-bell for admission.

The dates and times of some events are still to be confirmed (‘TBC’). Details will be posted on the website in due course.


Freshers’ Drinks Party - Tuesday 11th October, from 8pm

We have reserved the Wadham Room at the King’s Arms, Broad Street, for drinks from 8pm. The President will say a few words of introduction about the society. Wine will be served at the start and afterwards drinks can be purchased from the bar.


Professor Andrew Louth

‘Aquinas and Eastern Orthodoxy’ - Date & time TBC

Porf. Louth taught theology at the universities of London and Oxford, before taking up a post at Durham University, where he currently holds the chair in Patristic and Byzantine Studies. His writings include Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition and Discerning the mystery: An essay on the nature of theology, as well as books on Dionysios the Areopagite, Maximos the Confessor and John Damascene.

Eight years ago Prof. Louth was ordained a priest of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchal Diocese of Sourozh and he currently serves a parish in Durham. He will provide an assessment of St. Thomas Aquinas, Western Christendom’s greatest theologian, from an Orthodox perspective. - A joint event with the O.U. Catholic Society and the O.U. Orthodox Society -

Evensong of St. Frideswide & Benediction

Wednesday 19th October, Blackfriars, St. Giles, 7.30pm

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was created by Pope Benedict as a means of enabling Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. The service of Evensong forms an essential part of what the Holy Father has called ‘Anglican patrimony’ and the Vatican, in an historic move, has authorised its use by the Ordinariate. This service of Evensong for the feast of St. Frideswide, Patroness of the University and City of Oxford, will be one of the first occasions in which the new liturgy is solemnly used. The Celebrant will be Monsignor Andrew Burnham (who will speak to the society later this term) and the Preacher will be the Rt. Rev. Aidan Bellenger, Lord Abbot of Downside. The service will be followed by a drinks reception, to which all are invited.


Dr. Paul Shrimpton

‘Newman’s Pastoral Idea of a University’ - Tuesday 25th October, 8.30pm

Dr. Shrimpton is a member of Opus Dei and has taught at Magdalen College School for twenty-four years. He has published A Catholic Eton? Newman’s Oratory School and is currently working on a book on Newman’s pastoral idea of a university education. He will examine how the idea of human flourishing underpins Newman’s conception of education, influencing his idea of the university in which the true object is not instruction in a particular subject, but the development of a mature human individual.


Speed Dating!

- A joint event with the O.U. Catholic Society - Date & time TBC

Dr. Roger Litten

‘Psychoanalysis and the Church’ - Tuesday 1st November, 8.30pm

Dr. Litten has a degree in Research Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He came to England in the early 1990s to complete a doctorate in Psychoanalytic Studies and a Postgraduate Practitioner Diploma in Counselling Psychology. He is currently is chairman of the London Society of the New Lacanian School. His talk will examine Roman Catholicism from a psychoanalysist’s perspective.


The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pinsent

‘Science, Religion and Priesthood’ - Tuesday 8th November, 8.30pm

Fr. Pinsent is Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Religion and Science at Oxford University and a member of the University’s Faculty of Theology. He has a doctorate in particle physics from Oxford, a degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in philosophy from St. Louis University. He is a named author on thirty-one papers of the DELPHI experiment at CERN, Geneva, and has also published articles, reviews and popular books, including a critically acclaimed catechetical course, Evangelium. Drawing on his own experience as a Catholic priest and as a scientist, Fr. Pinsent will speak to us about ‘Science, Religion, and Priesthood’.

The Rev. Monsignor Andrew Burnham and others

‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic: Possibilities for Church Unity’ - Date & time TBC

Two years ago the Right Rev. Andrew Burnham, Anglican Bishop of Ebsfleet, visited the Newman Society and spoke about the possibility of re-union of Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church. This term he returns as one of four former Anglican Bishops now ordained for service as priests within Pope Benedict’s newly-created Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Pope Benedict has been described as the ‘Pope of Christian Unity’. His dialogue with the Orthodox Churches, with Anglicans, and with the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre is recognised as one of the hall-marks of his papacy. In conversation with a panel of experts drawn from the church’s Religious Orders, Fr. Burnham will discuss how Christ’s injunction ‘That they may all be one’ can be realised today. - A joint event with the Catholic Society -


Ambrose Hogan & Rashad Ali Merton College - 15th October, 8.30pm

‘Religion in the Media: Misrepresentation of the Church and Islamic communities in Britain’

A Christian and a Moslem will lead a discussion on the presentation of religious groups in the British media. Does our media have a secularist bias, or is its religious reporting balanced and impartial?

Ambrose Hogan is an Education specialist and is Programme Co-ordinator of a Master’s Degree in Moslem Societies and Civilisation at London University’s Institute of Education. He also writes regularly for the Jesuit’s on-line journal ‘Thinking Faith’.

Rashad Ali lectured and taught in Saudi Arabia and has an interest in Islam related issues. He was also involved with non-violent Islamist extreme political parties for several years, before renouncing these views for a more traditional version of Islam. He currently works for CENTRI, a counter-extremism consultancy specialising in issues related to Islam, faith, cultural diversity, and integration.


The Very Revd. Dr. John Drury

‘The poetry and religious significance of George Herbert’ - Tuesday 22nd October, 8.30pm

Dr. Drury is an Anglican clergyman and holds Oxford University’s highest degree, that of Doctor of Divinity. Since 2003 he has been Chaplain and Fellow of All Souls’ College and he previously served as Dean (Head of House) of Christ Church. He is an expert on the poetry of the seventeenth century Anglican Divine, George Herbert, and has a particular interest in Herbert in his historical context and his poetry’s relevance for the present-day.


Termly Mass and Dinner - Date & time TBC

The termly Mass will be a Sung Mass in the extraordinary form. In his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontifcum Pope Benedict encouraged re-engagement with the Church’s ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Writing to the world’s Bishops the Holy Father identified the tradition’s relevance for young people, saying ‘it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist’.

Following the Mass there will be the society’s termly black-tie dinner. Details about dates, venues, and times will be announced in due course (check the website).

MEMBERSHIP – Membership forms are available at meetings or upon request from one of the Society’s officers. The rates are: life membership: £20; university membership: £12; annual membership: £6.

SPEAKER DINNERS – Members are invited to dine with the speaker before meetings. Places are limited and there is a small charge. To enquire about attending e-mail the President: sofia.abasolo@merton.ox.ac.uk.

COMPLINE & DRINKS – We conclude each Speaker Meeting with drinks. When the meeting takes place at the Catholic Chaplaincy, there is also Compline or another form of prayer in St. Thomas More’s Chapel.

ELECTIONS – Nominations for the positions of President-Elect (to be President in Trinity Term), Treasurer, Secretary, Social Secretary, and Publicity Officer can be submitted to the Returning Officer at the above address until 1pm on Friday of Sixth Week. See the website for the full Constitution.

THE ‘FAITH IN OXFORD’ APPEAL – Our Patron, Cardinal George Pell, has launched an appeal to raise an endowment to support the society. See the appeal section on the website for further details.

TIES – Society ties (gold, red & blue) can be purchased at Walters on Turl Street. Ask at the counter


HRH The Duchess of Kent

His Eminence George Cardinal Pell

The Rt. Rev. Arthur Roche

The Rt. Rev. Peter Elliott


President: Sofia Abasolo, Merton

Senior Member: John Eidinow, Merton & St. Benet’s

Past-President: Emeric Monfront, Christ Church

President-Elect: Krishan Nadesan, Christ Church

Treasurer: Richard Pickett, Exeter

Secretary: Timothy Sherwin, Merton

Social Secretary: Charlotte Irwin, St. Anne’s

Publicity Officer: Michael Towers, Christ Church

Junior Officer: Thomas Treherne, St. Catherine’s

Returning Officer: Gregory Stacey, Trinity