Sunday, 23 January 2011

A morning in Westminster

So many people have posted about the ordinations last week that it seemed perhaps we didn’t need any more said.  However, last Saturday was truly memorable.  Firstly, actually being present when history is made is an extraordinary experience.  When the Archbishop asked everyone to sit down at the beginning of Mass I (like I expect most other people) could feel the anticipation rising.  We were not disappointed.  The announcement of the ‘Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham’ was made and greeted quite quietly (the applause came later).  And what an amazing name!  The shrine at Walsingham is celebrating its 950th anniversary this year.  The trajectory of history made visible.  It seems to me a direct link had been forged with England in those days when she was known as ‘Our Lady’s Dowry’.  Moving down time – Blessed John Henry Newman, the Oxford movement and of Fr Hope Patten who restored the shrine seem to have been linked together in a powerful way.

Once the Ordinariate had been officially launched we proceeded through Mass and the Ordinations of Fr John Broadhurst, Fr Andrew Burnham and Fr Keith Newton.  The thing which struck me forcibly was the complete calm surrounding these men.  The impression I received was they knew what they were doing and why.  So now the Ordinariate ahs three priests – in addition to two wives and three sisters, who themselves are a link to the shrine at Walsingham.  Then there was the music.  The choir was stunning and the congregation did pretty well too - despite the fact that the Cathedral ran out of orders of service!  And there was the amazing moment when (as the procession left the Cathedral) a wave of applause accompanied Frs John, Andrew and Keith.

Altogether what a day!

UPDATE: my apologies for getting the number of people who are members of the Ordinariate wrong.  I omitted David and Joyce Silk and Edwin and Jane Barnes who have all now been received! Sorry..

Friday, 14 January 2011


Does anyone fancy meeting at the bookshop by the Cathedral - at about 9am ish?  I gather people are coming from far and wide!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Statement from Archbishop Vincent Nichols

The Ordination to the Priesthood of Three Former Anglican Bishops and the Establishment in England and Wales of a Personal Ordinariate

On Saturday 15th January, it will be my privilege to ordain John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton to priesthood in the Catholic Church. This ceremony will take place in Westminster Cathedral.

On or before this date, I expect the Holy See to announce the establishment of the first Ordinariate for groups of former Anglicans and their clergy who seek full communion in the Catholic Church. The three men ordained on Saturday will be the first priests of this Ordinariate.

This is a unique moment and the Catholic community in England and Wales is privileged to be playing its part in this historic development in the life of the Universal Church.

We offer a warm welcome to these three former bishops of the Church of England. We welcome those who wish to join them in full communion with the Pope in the visible unity of the Catholic Church. We recognise the journey they are making with its painful departures and its uncertainties. We salute their depth of searching prayer and the desire which leads them to seek to live within the community of the Catholic Church under the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. This is the faith we share.

We are deeply grateful for the depth of the relationship which exists here between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. This firm, positive and on-going relationship is the context for Saturday’s important initiative. We are grateful, too, for the sensitive leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He graciously acknowledges the integrity of those seeking to join the Ordinariate and has assured them of his prayers. This is the noble spirit of true ecumenism between the followers of Christ.

Pope Benedict has made clear his own intentions: that the Ordinariate can serve the wider cause of visible unity between our two churches by demonstrating in practice the extent to which we have so much to give to each other in our common service of the Lord. With this in mind he describes this step as ‘a prophetic gesture.’

With great trust in the Lord, we look forward to Saturday, to the new phase of Church life it brings and we ask God’s blessing on its future development.

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

The London Group is on its way!

Our Ordinariate meeting on 9 January, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, has now happened.
Much was discussed, including what is now known of the timetable for the establishment of the Ordinariate, how it would operate and what it would look like. We looked at the Evangelium course, which will provide the material for the preparation of those who decide to take up the Holy Father’s offer.
Most importantly, it was decided that a Catechetical group will be established, meeting for the first time on Sunday 6 February at 2.30pm in Gordon Square to begin the preparation sessions.
Until the beginning of Lent, this will be open, not only to those who have now made up their minds to join, but to those who are still making up their minds.
In the meantime, please continue to pray as the establishment of the Ordinariate draws ever closer. Please pray, too, for John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton as they prepare for their Ordination to the Priesthood this coming Saturday. We are all encouraged to go to the Ordination Mass, which is being celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nicholls at Westminster Cathedral at 10.30am.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Ordinariate Day on 9 January

A reminder that this is taking place at
Christ the King, Gordon Square on Sunday 9 January at 2.30pm.

What will we be doing?
First, we will be catching up on all the news. My betting is that the next few days are going to be very exciting. The Ordinariate may well have come into existence by the time we meet. Who knows, we may even know who the Ordinary is going to be. What is less clear at this stage is where some Ordinariate groups will be worshipping. However, a number of possibilities are taking shape which we will be able to talk through on the day.
Second, we will be discussing in more detail the preparation for those now willing to commit to the first wave and looking at the Evengelium, which will provide the source material.
So, we look forward to seeing you at Christ the King on 9 January.