'It must be a bit of a balancing act', said Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton (above.). He was speaking about the Ordinariate, and our need to preserve our identity yet also be seen to be no less Catholic than the parishes around us. We were at a celebration in Sacred Heart, Bournemouth. Fr Bruce Barnes, the parish priest, had invited me and members of our Ordinariate Group to join his parish for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. He himself had been an Anglican (he was a lad in the parish where I served my Title in Portsmouth) and was ordained into the Catholic Priesthood back in '97. At one time he was Fr Peter Doyle's colleague in St Peter's Winchester - hence the invitation to Bishop Peter to celebrate and preach, It was a marvellously multi-cultural Mass, with a reading in Portuguese and the Gospel repeated in Polish. Besides Fr Peter who ministers to the Polish Community in Bournemouth we had a Mill Hill Father with us concelebrating who is off to Kenya later this week.
That was a great occasion; and Fr Bruce explained that Catholics were not as good as Anglo-Catholics at celebrating Patronal Festivals. So he has retained that part of the Patrimony, together with a liking for incense, good liturgy, and congregational singing led by a very good choir. Those of us who attended from the Ordinariate felt entirely at home, and met many of the congregation at a bunfight in the palatial Hall after Mass.
Then the following day we joined with the Parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace for a Jubilee Party, which involved more eating and drinking, and a Quiz! It was all very jolly; but the night seemed pretty short for I was still preparing notices for today at Midnight, and we were back in Southbourne at 9am this morning ready for our Ordinariate Mass. Later today many of our Group were at a 70th Birthday Party, where we were joined by old friends who (at present) remain in the C of E. There I had the pleasure of blessing the new home of the Birthday Boy, Trvor Vendy, one of our stalwart band of servers.
The best thing of all today was the news that our Deacon, Fr Brian Copus, is to be ordained Priest by Bishop Alan Hopes in Bournemouth at Noon on September 22nd - but more of that later. For now, just put it in your diary.
[There may be more photographs added to this blog later - some of the Group were clicking away at all these events]
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