It was good to catch up on the first evening here with Fr. Joe, who has long established links with our parish in Pembury due to his charitable work in Ghana. He was on fine form and joined Father Nicholas, Mary and myself for supper. The Roman Aperol Sprtitz certainly helped. It was still the drink of choice the following evening when I briefly met another friend of the parish, Fr. Marcus Holden.
It hasn’t all been drinks and food I can assure you. On Saturday morning the Ordinariate held a Mass at the Venerable English College where the recently deceased of the parish, Mike Blande and Mick Covill, were prayed for. An afternoon of lectures followed ending with a Vigil of Prayer and a musical concert. After which Mary and Joe Hoare, pilgrims from Pembury, met up with us for supper.
Then it was Sunday morning and an early walk took us to St. Peter’s square for the reason of the trip. The canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman. It was a wonderful occasion so full of meaning and importance for the whole church but especially for those of us within the Ordinariate. More on this in a separate post.
In the evening over 50 members of the Ordinariate present in Rome gathered for a celebratory supper. I especially chatting with our two Japanese priests, Fr. Kato and Fr. Masaki. They were raising their glasses in a toast to the Japanese rugby team whose remarkable progress to the quarter finals of the World Cup is impressive indeed.
Today a trip to St. John Lateran for a special mass of thanksgiving presided over by Cardinal Nichols at which English Catholics aplenty will be in attendance. And tomorrow we have a day long symposium of lectures before the journey home on Wednesday.