Sunday, 26 April 2015

What will it take...?

This morning I had a round trip of forty miles to say Mass. Fr Bill, the Parish Priest in Southbourne, is off work after an asthma attack. Meanwhile another retired priest was celebrating in Lymington, where I live, because our Parish Priest, Fr David Adam, is off work with a back injury. Just up the hill from us is the Priory of St Joseph, and their priest, Fr Richard Saksons O.Praem. is in hospital..

So, dear friends still ministering in the Church of England, may I ask you that if you believe (as many of you do) that your future lies in Communion with Peter in the Catholic Church, why delay an longer?  Your ministry is needed now. What will it take to persuade you? You are concerned for your present faithful Anglo-Catholic congregation. Of course you don't want to abandon them; but one day, through retirement or death, they will not have your ministrations. Look around at neighbouring former Catholic strongholds and see what has become of them. Your people are going to have to decide at some time, and far better that you should give them a lead while you still can.

There is a pressing need today in the Roman Catholic Church in this country for more priests. The faithful are there, ready and waiting - and hugely appreciative when a priest makes an effort to help them, whether the journey is twenty miles from Lymington, or the distance from Thames to Tiber. Daily I am grateful to Pope Benedict for making it possible for groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church together. On this day when we hear Our Lord in the Gospel say that he has other sheep, not of this fold -  can we do more to realise what he said -"there will be only one flock and one shepherd".

6 comments:

  1. Well said, very well said!
    We love you and want you to be with us. Please come!

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  2. I think you may have inadvertently put your finger on something. When I became a Catholic I was astonished at the work load of parish priests. My old Anglican vicar had long ago cancelled the mid-week and the Saturday morning celebrations, Evensong likewise. There was no parish visiting done and it was hard to say where he was most of the time, although his knowledge of recent films was so comprehensive I suspect many afternoons were spent in the cinema. Could it be that many Anglicans are very fond of being their own boss?

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  3. Dear Father, I fear we in the cradle Catholic stable remain some distance from humbly acknowledging the patently obvious; that we have confused the ministry of celibacy with the ministry of priesthood. We are paying a very high price for pride. Might the Ordinariate, among many other gifts, be used by the Holy Spirit to speak of the different yet equally valuable priestly ministry that comes with being married? Just a thought. Thank you for all you and colleagues do for the local Church. John

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  4. When one dials the number given for contact with the Ordinariate one hears that "the number you have dialled has not been recognised"..Your eloguent plea may go unanswered if people cannot telephone you.

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  5. My phone number on the Bournemouth Ordinariate webpage is correct - not sure why you got a 'not recognised.' response unless you inadvertently misdialled? But the site must be updated as I am no longer its pastor

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