Sunday 16 January 2011


is how my Grandmother would have described yesterday's ordinations in Westminster Cathedral.

She did witness a large group of Anglicans being received into the Catholic Church in the wake of the vote to ordain woman to the priesthood in 1992.

She and my aunt had popped off to what they thought was going to be a quick Saturday Evening Mass. Quite a while later they returned having stumbled into something else. Hungry but happy as they say.

I love the commentaries that say it's all a bit rushed. From the outside it looks to be running to a measured but very purposeful timetable. Announcement of the Ordinariate, Papal Visit and Beatification of Newman, these latest receptions and ordinations with other people to follow. And the ones that go on about the lack of money, buildings..., no they've just got the important things sorted out.

Certainly, judging by the huge number of people there yesterday along with the very enthusiastic responses from so many people and the documentation from Rome and the statement of Cardinal Levada ending with the Pope's Apostolic Blessing and the name and the patron, anyone wondering what to do has been given several very welcome shots in the arm

As I have said before, by the summer holidays I want a few more places I can go to Mass.


Dominic said...

Yes, it will be very interesting to see just where the Ordinariate's principal church (i.e. approximate equivalent of cathedral will be).

I am of course presuming that it will be in London. It strikes me that there are, as far I know, two very underused Catholic churches (now used as chapels of ease, with only one mass each Sunday) in "Central London" (by which I mean, more or less, within the confines of the Circle line - although in fact, technically both are just a short walk outside that circle). Although neither of them seem to be either sufficiently large, or fittingly elegant.

...But yes it is all most exciting and wonderful.

leutgeb said...

I bet there's one ear marked and maybe in time the Ordinariate will build its own principal church. After all, at the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in 1850 we didn't exactly have a full hand of Cathedrals. Westminster was build way after.

Buildings are important in that you do need a church, but there's nothing to stop anyone in time building one that is considered 'fitting.'

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'm an Catholic convert here in Texas who spent 15 years as an Episcopalian (i.e. American Anglican). I was received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2009. I myself live in a parish that has no Anglican connections. We use just the ordinary regular English language mass (although we have masses in Spanish also, like most parishes in our area do). Admittedly, I don't think any Anglican Ordinariate "agenda" is even on the radar at my parish.

However, about 10 miles south of me is an Anglican Use Catholic church (but still part of the same Diocese that I'm in). They use liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer. The entire parish was Episcopal and became Catholic many years ago. Another parish 15 miles northwest uses the ordinary mass liturgy (either English or Spanish). Two of their four priests are cradle Catholics (one is Hispanic). But the other two priests are former Episcopal clergymen who came in under the 1980 Pastoral Provision of John Paul II.

Meanwhile, I have a dear friend in Missouri who was an Episcopal priest, and is now a Catholic layman studying to be (God willing) a Catholic priest in a couple of years under the same Pastoral Provision. My friend won't be part of any Anglican Ordinariate, obviously. But all these things lead me to follow what's happening now with great interest.

It is my prayer that those Anglicans and Episcopalians, who are so very close to Catholicism but just can't bring themselves to submit to Rome, might eventually come home. God willing, many will -- whether by way of this new Ordinariate, or by the "standard route" like the rest of us.