THE STORY OF A MIDLAND PARISH
What do they know of Oscott who only Oscott know? How lacking in knowledge, that is to say, are many Catholics whose acquaintance with the Birmingham college connects that foundation only with its present fine quarters.
Much history has already been made in Mr Potter's buildings since the New College had its blessing and
opening a hundred years ago; but that was the flower: the seedtime and the budding were elsewhere.
modest brochure of thirty-four pages has appeared opportunely, in New Oscottei centenary year, by which we may learn the story of Old Oscott as part of The History of Maryvale. Modest, in this case, is the pondered and right word: the little book Is innocent, on its title-page, alike of author's name, and publisher, and price.
From the Seventeenth Century
A Catholic mission existed at Old Oscott.—the name, " Maryvale." was given to the property by Newman—even before the time of the scoundrelly Titus Oates, one of whose victims, condemned to death but afterwards reprieved, was the Rev. Andrew Bromwich.
With that priest the story begins, and we follow the fortunes of the estate, Continued at foot of next column. stage by stage, until the opening of the college and seminary. under the Rev. Dr. John Bew, in 1796. Much building had made that step possible.
But if we want to connect Maryvale with educational work still further back. we can do so. Place aux dames : a Mrs Johnson removed thither, with her boarding echool for young ledies, some years before Dr. Bew's time. That lady's stay, however. was brief. History was to give the boys better faring. One of the early students had the distinction of being the that priest since the Reformation to receive his entire education in England.
Dr. Milner Takes Over
About 130 years ago Oscott acquired a new government under Bishop That doughty champion of the faith became sole proprietor, director. His interest makes a progressive chapter in the story. New buildings were put up as extensions. and above the sacristy a room was fitted up as an oratory.
This Maryvale chapel has a devotional interest for every Catholic in the country, since it contains in its window the picture of the Sacred Heart which the Bishon brought from Rome and erected when he dedicated the first sacred Hee rt chapel In England. The Sisters of Mercy, who have bad their orphanage at Maryvale since 1851, have
gladly shown this chapel to many visitors from near and far.
The Newman Period When Oscott's staff and students migrated in 1838 to the new college Maryvale had to wait some years for fresh interest. This came when Dr. Wiseman invited John Henry Newman and his colleagues among the Oxford converts to enter into possession.
It was then that the. house got its new and beautiful name. There the early Oratorians. Joined by Father Faber and his " Wilfridians," from Cotton Hall, had for a time their quartern. Birmingham and London respectively were eventually to absorb the community into two Oratorian houses. and the stillenduring orphanage was Maryvale's next experience.
Dependence on The History of Naryvale ntuet not go to the length of borrowing in detail from its rages. Detail there is in plenty—sketches of many worthies of the past, glimpses of life in times that to ourselves seem far back in the annals of the Catholic Revival. An interesting and an historic place, Old Oscott, Maryvale, deserves welt, in all ways, of our taeople: for there are now many houses in the noiehhnurhood. and larger orovision by school and church is needed for the souls therein.