Friday, 18 February 2011

Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of Fr David Silk

Today, we were very warmly welcomed by Father Abbot as a large congregation of Catholics and Anglicans gathered in the nave and choir of St Mary's Abbey, Buckfast.  A very fine and fitting liturgy was celebrated for Fr David Silk's ordination and welcome into his new ministry in the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. The Ordinary, Fr Keith Newton, was present together with Bishop Alan Hopes.  As on Tuesday, Bishop Christopher Budd's welcome was heartfelt, and acknowledged Fr David's great contribution to the Anglican Communion, not least as a Bishop in Australia.  Bishop Christopher once again used Fr David's characteristic crossier (made in Papua New Guinea).  Fr Keith presented Fr David to Bishop Christopher, asking him to ordain Fr David priest, under the authority given the Ordinary by the Holy See. 

The Abbey choir sang Hutching's Kyrie, Gloria from Byrd's Mass for four voices, Psalm 109 by Sebastian Wolff OSB, plainsong: Alleluia, Sanctus, Our Father, and Agnus.  The Communion motet by Byrd: Laudibus in Sanctus. 

It was very pleasing to see so many who had come to support Fr David.  No doubt many Anglicans present are preparing to enter the Ordinariate, but others uncertain of their future who nevetheless wanted to show their support.  The diocesan clergy were present in good force and welcomed their new brother with the laying on of hands and kiss of peace. 

After the mass we were beckoned into the guest hall for drinks and nibbles where Fr David gave thanks to all those who had made this possible, not least Bishop Budd and Father Abbot.  Fr David explained why the hornbill was a symbol of the bishop in Papua New Guinea:  it was a social bird and never found alone (pointing to the collegial nature of bishops) but also that it spread seed as it travelled all over the island!

Many repaired to The Grange for lunch and we continued to talk excitedly about the near future and the emergence in the south-west of ordinariate churches.  Thanks be to God who has made this possible.  May our Lady of Walsingham and Blessed John Henry Newman continue to intercede for us.

(Please look at the Links for some excellent photos of the Ordination)