Tuesday 10 December 2013

First Mass

Now here is something you would not see at an Anglican Induction - though I have noticed a similar event in the enthronement of some  bishops. That is to say, one's predecessor present and assisting at the start of a new ministry. I do seem to recall a retiring Bishop of Ely handing on his cope and crook to his successor, but former Vicars and Rectors generally are kept well out of the way.

Fr Darryl and Friends
Fr Darryl Jordan had an extraordinary beginning to his taking over responsibility at St Thomas More, Iford. He has never had a parish of his own as an Anglican; and here he was as a newly ordained Catholic priest celebrating his first mass, assisted by his predecessor in the parish, Fr Vitalis Kondo MSP. Concelebrating with them were Fr John Lee who has pastoral responsibility for the Avon/Stour Area (in which St Thomas' is situated), Fr Gerry Onyejuluwa (like Fr Vitalis, a Missionary priest of St Paul Missionaries of Nigeria, and Fr Brian Copus and me from the Ordinariate Mission in Southbourne.

Fr John and fellow supporters
We presented Fr Darryl with a white stole from the Ordinariate, and some of our members laid on the bun-fight   - in reality a cheese and wine party. This time it was Sue who was the organising genius, and it seemed to be very well received. It was good to meet new friends from the parish of St Thomas More, together with a supporters' club for Fr Darryl from many other parishes (both Catholic and Anglican) around the area. After hearing his Texan accents one of the parishioners said to me, "Well, it's going to be different" - and so it is, and that is one of the best reasons Bishops have for making changes within their dioceses. We are less likely to get into a rut, sit back, and say "we've always done it like this".

There are pictures of the Ordination on the Ordinariate website http://www.ordinariate.org.uk/  , and also a large selection on the Portsmouth diocesan site: http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/

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