Father Nicholas is currently holidaying in the Far East ahead of visiting his eldest son in Hong Kong. This week he travelled to Japan where he hunted down Fr. Kajiwari; a most fascinating cleric occupying a unique role within the Catholic church.
For Fr. Kajiwari is a former Anglican, and one time student of the Cuddesdon theological college, who has gone on to establish the only Ordinariate Group in Japan. The group is only small but very committed to the vision laid down by Pope Benedict and is linked to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross whose Ordinary is based in Australia.
Fr. Kajiwari was delighted to welcome Fr. Nicholas, not least because the group is, for matters of geography, somewhat isolated. Not that they are the most remote group within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross…that honour goes to a group in a most remote part of Papua New Guinea whose services can only be accessed by canoe!
There is something heartwarmingly eccentric about little offshoots of the Ordinariate springing up across the globe in the most unlikely of places. It certainly reflects an Anglican Patrimony! But it serves as a reminder to us that our mission is not only local but universal, a call to be part of the reform of the reform, with its dedication to good preaching and liturgy, that lay at the heart of Benedict’s pontificate.
May God richly bless Fr. Kajiwari and the Japanese Ordinariate. And all groups of Christians throughout the world who witness to something special despite being small in number. Where two or three are gathered….
And this morning we had holidaying visitors too. Father Andrew Starkey of the Ordinariate group in Manchester concelebrated the 11am Mass and a good portion of his family were in the congregation. We were especially grateful to his son, Thomas, who stepped in and played the organ.