On Saturday Father Nicholas joined a large number of people in making the journey to Birmingham where eight men were ordained to the sacred priesthood, for work within the Ordinariate, at the Oratory church. The celebrant was Archbishop Bernard Longley who used the crozier belonging to Blessed John Henry Newman which now belongs to the Oratorians.
Several people have told me that the occasion was wonderfully uplifting- if hot! The Oratorians were all vested to support us and the congregation made up of Ordinariate members and supporters from across the UK. This was a unique occasion because it was the first ordination of men who discerned a vocation from within the Ordinariate; amongst them Thomas Mason who spent a summer chopping down trees and being chased around by the children of the summer holiday club here in Pembury. The Catholic Herald have written about the service here.
Meanwhile I was at Wonersh Seminary in Surrey where Jack Lusted was made a transitional deacon for work within the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Jack was formerly Anglican minister in Robertsbridge and had wanted to join the Ordinariate. But with a family to support and no openings at that time it was eventually discerned that he would better serve the church by joining his local diocese. So a gift from us to them that shows how the Ordinariate is not only growing itself but helping serve the wider church in England and Wales.
Jacks delightful family were, of course, present and it was nice to catch up with them and share news from Pembury. Over lunch I ensured that the very many good wishes from folk in Pembury reached their ears; it is hoped we can organise a group from the parish to support him later this year when he is ordained priest. He will begin his ministry serving the Catholic parish in Crowborough which is positive news for the family as it means they continue living in Tunbridge Wells and schooling etc is not disturbed.
Jack was also supported by various priest friends. Here you see him posing, yes definitely posing, alongside Frs Biggerstaff and Bostock. All three were once students together at St. Stephen’s House in Oxford when training for ministry within the Church of England. They were both on very good form and it was a pleasure to catch up with them.