27 minutes ago
Friday, 21 January 2011
Jane and I would like to thank everyone who has remembered us in prayer for our Reception today into the Catholic Church. It was a lovely occasion; a beautiful, cold morning, and a very good number of the faithful in church. Anglican friends had turned up (one couple having set off very early indeed from Caversham), another couple who are preparing to be received came from Bournemouth. To my amazement there was a choir, augmented with singers from the Catholic Church in Brockenhurst. Fr Danny, the parish priest, generously stood aside to let Mgr Peter Ryan celebrate the Mass and Confirmation. Peter was an Anglican priest himself, but became a Catholic many years ago and served in Liverpool. Now, like us, he is retired in Lymington. He kindly undertook the task of preparing us in a 'crash course'. He spoke to us this morning with great warmth, and with affection for the Church of England.
I had asked Norah, one of the regular congregation at Our Lady of Mercy, to act as my sponsor; Jane had an old friend, yet another fomer Anglican now a Catholic Priest, to sponsor her, so Fr John Catlin drove over from Winchester to support us. After Mass we had a great reception in the parish room, with tea and coffee and home-made cakes and biscuits; a bun-fight to remember!
It is so good to be in Communion with the Catholic Church, to be part of it. We were so warmly welcomed, not least by two Dominican Sisters from their House in Sway - the picture above is of their Chapel. Thanks to everyone; but above all, Thanks be to God for his loving care for us and for all his children.