St. Mary's College, Oscott

St Mary's College, Oscott, often called Oscott College, is the Roman Catholic seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England, though it admits students for the priesthood from various dioceses of England & Wales, as well as some overseas students. Recently it has also become the Diocesan Centre for the formation of candidates for the Permanent Diaconate.

The College was founded in Old Oscott, in present day Great Barr, in 1794 both for the training of priests for and for the education of lay pupils. In 1838 the college moved to a new site, which came to be known as New Oscott. The new building was designed by Augustus Pugin and Joseph Potter at a cost of £40,000. It is grade II* listed. The college quickly became a symbol of the rebirth of the Catholic faith in England and played a prominent part in the life of the Church in the 19th century. In 1889, the college was closed, but reopened the following year as a seminary only. The college is not immune from the scarcity of vocations but nevertheless has approximately 30 students and therefore produces about five priests a year.

Pope Benedict XVI visited on 19 September 2010 following the beatification, earlier that day in Birmingham's Cofton Park, of Cardinal Newman who stayed at the College in the late 1840s. During his visit to Oscott, Benedict met and had lunch with the Roman Catholic Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales. The Oscott visit was the last scheduled event during the four day 2010 State Visit of Benedict to the UK. The Pope would later depart the UK from Birmingham International Airport.

Notable alumni
  • Edwin de Lisle, MP.
  • Bishop David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham (2007-)
  • John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
  • George Jackson Mivart
  • Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo
  • Bishop Terence Brain
  • See also: Alumni of St. Mary's College, Oscott