|Fr Ian Hellyer|
Westminster Cathedral Hall, and the ordinariate priests of England and Wales (and Scotland) met in conclave with Mgr Keith Newton, our Ordinary, together with two extra Ordinaries, from North America and Australasia. These plenary session are great occasions for catching up with friends, discovering how their Groups or Missions are flourishing, what new ideas are coming up. From Plymouth
|Mgr Keith intent on Mgr Mark Langham's exposition|
we heard about the developments in catechetical opportunities given us by Buckfast Abbey -opportunities which the Abbot and his Community hope we will use with enthusiasm.
We also had visitors; the Chaplain to Cambridge University, Mgr Mark Langham, has long experience in ecumenical matters, so it was good to hear him speak about the Ordinariate as a great new venture in the search for Christian Unity. He is well versed in classical Anglican spirituality, and is pleased to have readings from Thomas Traherne of John Keble to lighten the load of St Augustine's interminable sermon on the Shepherds.
After a picnic lunch we turned our attention overseas. We complain about the cost of getting to
|[l/rt] Mgrs Entwistel, Steenson and Newton: OZ, US, and us.|
London, and the time it takes; but it is trivial compared with Mgr Harry Entwistle's travels. He lives in Perth, on the West Coast of Australia; to get his clergy together (and they are numbered only in tens rather than hundreds) it costs around £6000. It was not so much the differences between the three Ordinariates so much as the similarities which were striking. We are all having to help Catholics of long standing understand what we are about. Of course if they had simply read what the Pope said in Anglicanorum Coetibus it would be perfectly clear.......
|Fr Bould between the Pembury duo|
As always it was less the set pieces than comparing notes with other priests which was really helpful today. I shall post pictures of some of them on Facebook, but here are a couple for this blog.
|Frs Graham Smith & Jonathan R-Harris|
And because Fr Allan Hawkins would expect no less, I did raise with the three Ordinaries the question of married clergy. Are our wives a gift to the Catholic Church, or an impediment to be borne? I believe they are a gift to the whole Church, not to be hidden away or spoken about as an embarrassment.Perhaps, though, we do well to let them speak for themselves, and, as they become better known in Catholic Parishes their lives of dedication and service will become increasingly appreciated.