Sunday, 22 June 2014


First, our Ordinariate Mission. We were a little worried about moving to a new home. Three members have withdrawn, we hope temporarily. But on our first Sunday a family joined us - they had Anglican connections, became Catholics a few years ago, and now have joined us in the Ordinariate.They are mum, dad and six children. The following Sunday a couple from the Reading Group came to Mass, having recently moved to Bournemouth. Now we are working towards the Ordinariate's open day in September, when we hope to have an opportunity for setting straight some of the misconceptions some people have about us. We ho;pe there might even be some who are moved to join us. We are Catholics, most of us formerly Anglicans, who have found in the Catholic Church the fullness of faith and practice which we had looked for in our former church.

Mgr Burnham expounds on Liturgy to Mgr Lopes
Then on Thursday last we had our Plenary meeting of  Ordinariate Priests at St Patrick's, Soho. Our Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, could not be present - he was on his way to Liverpool where his mother had died. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Eva Cowen.

The Ordinariate is taking continuing priestly formation very seriously. It was particularly good to have Mgr Stephen Lopes from the CDF to address us. He is from California, but has worked in Rome for many years now, and had a great influence on the establishment of the Ordinariate - so we are deeply indebted to him. He set us thinking theologically this week, looking at the working of the Spirit in the sacramental life of the Church, and at the Trinitarian nature of it all.

Fr Bennie with Mgri Mercer and Broadhurst
An indication of the importance put on what we once called CME (continuing ministerial education) is the distances people travel for these sessions in London. Fr Stanley Bennie is probably our furthest flung member (from Stornoway) but we come from all parts of the country, and it is good to hear how the Ordinariate is doing beyond our little concern. In Torbay, worship is happening in a former Methodist Church and the Group is well on the way to raising the money to purchase their building.

Fr John Pitchford from Worcesterhire, Fr Simon Ellis from Notts.
So we gather every few months, priests from north and south, east and west; and when we are all together we realise, as we were reminded last week, that in numbers we make up the equivalent of the priests of an English Catholic Diocese. We are gradually becoming an indispensable element of the Catholic Church in this country (to say nothing of North America, Canada, Australia.....

Now we are getting ready for our visit to Walsingham next weekend. We are bringing a coach-load from Bournemouth, and look forward to a very happy visit. At St Thomas More's there will be only one Mass, at 9.30am, for those unable to come on the Pilgrimage.

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