Thursday, 22 June 2017

Joy in Mayfair as 10 men ordained for the Ordinariate

Joy in Mayfair as 10 men ordained for the Ordinariate

While it was disappointing that illness prevented Cardinal Pell from travelling to London for the Ordination Mass his absence did not dampen the joy of those at St James Spanish place as ten men were ordained as Deacons of the Catholic Church to serve in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  Mgr Newton (and the new Deacons) are profoundly grateful to Bishop Robert Byrne for stepping in at the last moment to celebrate the Mass, and to Fr Christopher Colven for offering the use of St James - the Ordinariate churches in London would not have accommodated the number of candidates nor the size of the congregation!

This, the largest Ordination since the very early days of the Ordinariate, was also the first such celebration to use the Ordinariate's distinctive liturgy - Divine Worship: the Missal.  For many of those present, hearing the wonderful music of Herbert Howell's Collegium Regale Communion Service in liturgical use in the Catholic Church was the fulfilment of many years of longing.

The newly ordaines will spend theirDiaconal year serving the Ordinariate across England, Scotland and Wales and their Ordination brings the number of Ordinariate clergy to 105 - a very significant contribution to the mission of the Catholic Church in this country.

Those ordained on Saturday were:
Jonathan Creer and Thomas Mason, both seminarians at St Mary's College Oscott;
David Prichard and David Hathaway, both attached to the Ordinariate mission in South Wales based at Newport;
Michael Ward, an expert on C.S. Lewis who teaches part time at Blackfriars and will assist Fr Daniel Lloyd with the Ordinariate group at Holy Rood Oxford as well as in the wider Catholic Parish of North Hinksey;
Leonard Cox, former vicar of St Peter's Greets Green, will be assisting Fr Simon Ellis at St Margaret Mary Perry Common;
David Jones, former vicar of St Luke's Jersey who will be assisting in the Nottingham Ordinariate mission;
Timothy Boniwell, formerly an Anglican hospital chaplain who will be assisting with the Ordinariate mission in Coventry with Fr Paul Burch;
Cameron MacDonald and Simon Beveridge  from Scotland who will be assisting Fr Len Black with the Ordinariate in Scotland.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Mass on camp

Next week I am chaplain to a catholic homeschool family camp in the Forest of Dean. Each day I will be offering Mass according to Divine Worship. There will probably be about 50-70 at mass each day. We will sing the propers to simple plainsong chants and sing the kyrie, gloria, sanctus & agnus to simple plainsong mass setting in Latin. The altar will be under a day tent but the 'nave' will be the sky above, trees all around and grass below our toes. 

I have just finished the 8 page music booklet for everyone. It is simple but effective. All I need do now is write 5 homilies for next week.

True freedom and the impossible

Caravaggio's "The Crowning With Thorns"

Our Lord commands us today at Mass (Mt 5:43-48) to do two things which are impossible or nearly impossible for us to do naturally speaking: to love our enemies and persecutors, and to be perfect as the Father is perfect.

To follow Christ means that we must grow to love as Christ loves, and to forgive as He forgives, forgiving those who cause us hurt or wrong in any way.  As we gaze at the crucifix and think of our Lord’s death on the cross for our salvation, let us remember that Christ died for every individual while they were still sinners (Rom 5:10). So it is that Christians must forgive one another as a condition of being reconciled with God. If we forgive others and especially those who hurt us and wrong us grievously, then this action of forgiveness configures us more closely to Christ Himself. Christ wants us to share in His witness that love is greater than sin.

True freedom, such as we hear in the Gospel, cannot be found when we are still enslaved to resentment and hatred for others.

Secondly, Christ invites everyone to the perfection of charity. We would be right to suggest that this is impossible for us – naturally speaking. But as Christians we follow our Saviour not in our own strength but in His grace. And His grace is the divine life being poured into our hearts through the Church not least by the Sacraments. And as we grow in grace and strive to live a life of grace then we grow in supernatural strength to be as Christ is. We are not perfecting ourselves, it is Christ doing this in us. Our part is cooperation, opening the door and not closing the door – avoiding the occasions of sin, repenting when we do sin, filling our minds with godly things and keeping ourselves in a state of grace to receive the sacraments.

Yes our Lord’s commands us to be perfect which is not possible in our own strength, but He does offer us His life, His grace, in order to be able to fulfill all His commands.

Fr Ian

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)