Dear brothers and sisters
This coming Sunday is the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, that is, a very special feast day in the church's calendar.
It is also a special moment in the journey we have made.
In many ways it seems so very long ago, when at the beginning of Lent we left our home in the Church of England and began our journey to find our home in the Catholic Church. Following the priestly ordinations tomorrow, I will be in a position to celebrate the mass for you, the 'Buckfast Group' of the Ordinariate. It is a special moment for me; it is a special moment for all of us.
I want to say thank you to each of you for accompanying me in this quiet and gentle conversion. It has been all the easier for our companionship along the way. Now we embark on a new phase and a new set of challenges. We begin in a very small and poor way. We don't even have a bank account yet! We don't have any property (which is a relief). We do have the friendships we are building with each other, and the new friends we have found in the Abbot and Abbey community. And we have our faith renewed by God's grace, so what else do we need?
God called us here and we have answered. We have tried to be obedient to him. But now we begin something new within the Catholic Church: what is called, the Ordinariate. What is that?
I don't know about you, but I feel a very ordinary sort of person. I am the son of a boiler-maker, who did moderately well in his education, but is no academic high-flyer, that's for sure. I am not the life and soul of a party (although I do enjoy a celebration now and again). I have not done extraordinary things in my life. But maybe this Ordinariate is for ordinary people like me. Some people are expecting exceptional things from the Ordinariate, but I do not feel capable of extraordinary things, do you? My belief is that we are not called to excitement so much as faithfulness; not called on special missions as obedience; not called to be extraordinary witnesses as to live an ordinary Christian life depending not on our own abilities but on the grace of God alone. It would be a privilege if you would continue to accompany me in this and I could serve you as God has called me to.
Please remember me in your prayers for I need them all. I will continue to keep you in mine. I, and Frs Robin and Colin, will be offering Mass each Sunday at 3pm in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Abbey. I look forward to seeing you, but above all I look forward to the future of the Ordinariate. Thanks be to God for His mercy and love.
A very ordinary pastor,