"Just like the early Church" is the constant refrain of one of the members of our Ordinariate Group - and increasingly I believe she is right. Whereas in large congregations, the names of the sick go past making little impression, with us we seem to recognise each person; "yes, that's John's dad - he's having a hard time just now... Ah yes, Ray - such a dear man - was Head Server, now he is confined to his nursing home, but he receives the Blessed Sacrament each week". And so it goes on. Today though was a day of happiness; for one of our members had been to the Royal Marsden for a consultation about his cancer, and there the Professor was far more positive and helpful than anyone had been before. So we rejoice with those who rejoice.
There is a marvellous commitment among the members of our Group. When we heard about the lecture at Buckfast (over 100 miles West of us here) our organising genius, Madeleine, set about finding details. Eventually some went by car, others by minibus, and we were the farthest-flung group to hear Professor Tracey Rowland on the New Evangelisation. It was good to hear how much the Holy Father has taken from the teaching of Blessed John Henry Newman. Some of it was pretty hard going, but we were glad to know that before long we shall be able to read what Professor Rowland said, and ponder it at greater leisure. There are pictures from the day on Flickr, posted by Fr Bradley on the Ordinariate site. [Above, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where we celebrated Mass, and before leaving sang Evensong.] Most of us were home again soon after 8pm (many having set off around 6am) and everyone managed to get to the 9.30 Mass today. We are beginning to get a few enquirers joining us, so there are more to add to our prayers.
Now the Group is gearing itself for the big day in September; on 22nd at Noon in Sacred Heart church, Bournemouth [picture above], Deacon Brian Copus is to be ordained a Catholic Priest, together with Deacon John Maunder from the Ordinariate Group at St Agatha's, Portsmouth. We have been given responsibility for organising the day, so Fr Bruce Barnes, the Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, comes over soon for a meal to begin planning. At the same time we are making contact with the Portsmouth Group to ensure that we are not going off at a tangent. Please pray for these two candidates for the Priesthood; and pray too for the Church of England, preparing for an important Synod in a week's time. Romans 12.15 seems especially appropriate just now.