|An Icon of Saint Philip the Deacon with the Ethiopian Eunuch|
In the Church of England Tony had served as a priest and after being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church, within the Ordinariate, Tony received approval for formation for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. Tony has been ministering with the Torbay Mission.
The Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of Plymouth Diocese, and we were warmly welcomed by the Dean, Mgr Nannery. The Mass opened with Newman's hymn, Praise to the holiest. We sang the Missa simplex except for the Gloria (missa di angelis); as the ordination had been organised at short notice, we needed something well known. Nevertheless the mass was celebrated with dignity and joy.
Bishop Mark spoke in his homily of the three aspects to diaconal ministry: the word, the altar and of charity. Quoting St Francis of Assisi he spoke about preaching the word as not just about sermons but also living according to the Word, that there needs to be integrity between what is proclaimed and what is lived. In his homily the Bishop also quoted the Pope Emeritus and spoke about the priority of truth. He spoke of his gladness at celebrating the ordination for the Ordinary, Mgr Newton, and how glad he was that we in the Ordinariate had found our home in the Catholic Church. He emphasised the blessing of legitimate diversity within the Church, but also the wonderful unity we share in being in full communion with the successor of St Peter.
During the mass, and just before the Litany of the Saints, a prayer of thanksgiving for Anglican ministry was offered by the Bishop, as follows:
Almighty Father, we give you thanks for the years of faithful ministry of your servant Anthony in the Church of England, whose fruitfulness for salvation has been derived from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church. As your servant has been received into full communion and now seeks to be ordained to the Diaconate in the Catholic Church, we beseech you to bring to fruition that for which we now pray. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.Tony was supported by his wife, Sue, his family and friends, and many of the local members of the Ordinariate who took the trouble to travel across Devon to be with him. Following the mass we moved to Christ the King Hall for cake, tea, nibbles and a few bottles of vino (it was not yet Lent after all!). It was good again to be together as an Ordinariate with much that we share in the journey into the arms of the Catholic Church, and much more that we share now in the mission and vocation of the Ordinariate.
A wonderful day for Tony, for Sue, and for us all.
Fr Ian Hellyer
Group Pastor of the Buckfast Mission