Saturday 15 January 2011

Out of the Ordinary

Not so very Ordinary!

The blogging paparazzi were out in force in Westminster Cathedral today. There was Fr Ed, looking as though he owned the place, and he already has three postings! But then, Jane and I did have to travel further - and longer. The Railway had decided to play its customary weekend games, so we had to drive to Winchester to avoid being replacement-bussed and took the train from there. Even forty-five minutes before kick-off, the place was heaving. So many friends, it was beginning to look like a Forward in Faith Assembly - but bigger, much bigger.

Fr Bradley was wielding his camera, so I shall not post any of my feeble efforts from half-way back in the Cathedral. Instead, you might like to see Fr Keith, our new Ordinary. He spoke for us all at a reception in the Archbishop's House, thanking particularly Bishop Alan Hopes, who has borne the heat and burden of the days - and nights - of setting up a new part of the Catholic Church in record time.

Bishop Alan Hopes
It was good to see the other two new priests - but I only managed to catch Bishop John with my camera (together with some of his vast family) surrounding Archbishop Vincent as they listed to the Ordinary.

The Archbishop had greeted the crowds as they left after Mass; here I think it was some of the contingent from Bridport saying their thanks. It had been so good to hear him, a Liverpudlian, announcing the name of the new Ordinary, no less a Merseysider. I shall have to polish my CV ... let's see, we were bombed in Birkenhead during the war - does that count?

Bishop Keith thanked the Archbishop, and everyone at the Cathedral, but most especially the Holy Father Pope Benedict in taking this historic step. We had been reminded in Archbishop Nichols' sermon that this was a historic day; and it certainly felt like it. Such a joyful occasion, tinged with sadness because some of those present are not yet able to join the caravan. But they will, surely they will. My own best memory will be the three former Walsingham Sisters, delighted to be taking part and even more delighted that the Ordinariate has been named for Our Lady of Wlasingham. There's Patrimony for you!