Cardinal Nichols welcomes appointment of Oscott Rector as new Bishop of Northampton
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has welcomed Pope Francis’ appointment of Canon David Oakley as the 13th Bishop of Northampton.
Bishop-elect Oakley is a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and has served as Rector at St Mary’s College, Oscott since 2013. He succeeds Bishop Peter Doyle, whom he described as “a wonderful spiritual father and great pastor in Northampton”.
Responding to the appointment, Cardinal Vincent said: “I assure Bishop-elect David Oakley of my most sincere prayers and total support as he prepares to take up his appointment as Bishop of Northampton, in succession to Bishop Peter Doyle. Bishop Peter will be much missed; Bishop David will be warmly welcomed.”
Bishop Doyle has worked closely with Bishop-elect Oakley during his seven years as rector of the seminary at Oscott, and knows him to be a man of faith and prayer, and a pastoral priest and wise teacher.
Bishop Doyle “rejoiced” in the news and joined the priests and deacons, and the religious and people of the Diocese of Northampton in giving thanks to God and welcoming Bishop-elect Oakley and praying for him as he prepares for his ordination as bishop.
Speaking at a welcome ceremony in Northampton Cathedral, Bishop-elect Oakley said: “I’m asking Our Lady and St Joseph to give me the courage and inspiration I need [as a new bishop]. I look forward to working closely with the priests of the diocese – some of whom were my school friends!
“On this particular day lots of names and faces come to mind – my family, friends, parishioners and bishops. They have given me courage… It’s not easy to be a person of faith today but we need to concentrate on God’s grace and I’m going to rely on this now.”
The eldest of five children, Bishop-elect Oakley was born on 28th November 1955 to Joyce and Fred Oakley.
The family moved to Birmingham when Bishop-elect Oakley was seven years old. After school, he worked in a well-known department store and entered Oscott in September 1974.
Ordained a priest on 5th July 1980, he has served in several parishes within the Archdiocese of Birmingham. He has always suggested that the parish is his natural habitat.
Bishop-elect Oakley studied catechetics at the Maryvale Institute and was awarded a MEd degree. He was appointed Pastoral Director and Procurator at Oscott in 1994. During this time he researched a PhD thesis in Pastoral Theology, which was later published.
As parish priest at Maryvale, he directed the diocesan Department for Parish and Family Catechesis, developing resources in collaboration with CaFE. At the same time, he undertook licentiate studies in the Pontifical University of St Patrick’s, Maynooth and was awarded the STL degree. Since February 2013, he has served as the 23rd Rector of Oscott.
Cardinal Nichols will celebrate the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Oakley in Northampton Cathedral at 11am on the Solemnity of St Joseph, 19th March 2020.
Picture: Bishop-elect David Oakley. (© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk).