That was a wonderful few days in the depth of rural Berkshire, where 20-odd of those hoping to be ordained in the Ordinariate spent their canonical retreat. It’s called ‘canonical’ because a retreat is an essential part of immediate preparation for Catholic ordination. The monks of Douai Abbey really made us welcome, we were prayed for at every Mass and the hospitality – from food to accommodation – was just brilliant. Thank you!
Our retreat conductor, Fr Aidan Nichols OP, led us into some profound reflection on salvation, priesthood, prayers and liturgy. It was good that away from our busy daily life of pastoral work, academic study and family life, we were given time and space to think deeply about the steps we are about to take, a great joy and excitement mixed with apprehension, and the need to throw ourselves totally on God’s mercy.
Now that the names of those going forward for ordination have been published on the official Ordinariate site (www.ordinariate.org.uk), we ask for your special prayers that we may truly be open to the great gifts God is about to bestow on us, and that obedient to his will, we may become worthy priests of the Catholic Church.
My date for priestly ordination in the diocese hasn’t yet been finalised, but I will let you know as soon as it’s available, and hope as many of you can attend – no tickets required! The other Ordinariate ordinand in the diocese – Osmond Aisbitt – will be ordained priest on Saturday 2nd June 2 pm at St Mary of Furness Catholic Church in Ulverston by Bishop Michael Campbell OSA of Lancaster, and I hope to be there to lend my support.
Following my diaconal ordination, I will act as deacon at 11 am Mass on the following day, Sunday 27th May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, at St Bernadette’s.
Currently I’m busy writing out in longhand promises I have to make before the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, prior to my ordination. Writing them out, instead of dragging and dropping on PC, does serve to emphasise the nature of promises I will be making – to become incardinated into the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham ‘in perpetuity’, to obey my Ordinary, to fulfil my vocation with my whole heart and mind for the good of the Catholic Church and for the greater glory of God.