Tuesday 27 March 2012

A Happy Portsmouth Day

As Bishop of Matabeleland, and then as a Bishop with the TAC, Robert Mercer C.R.brings great wisdom and experience into the Ordinariate. Bishop Alan Hopes came to Portsmouth Cathedral on Lady Day to Ordain Robert a Catholic Priest. I began to write about this on another blog, but a gremlin entered the works, so I shall try to put into this post some of the pictures from the day. (Click on the photograph below and you might spot Fr Robert just ahead of Mgr Keith's linen mitre.)

Very good that there were two C.R. priests from Mirfield to support their brother. Equally, there was a good turnout of TAC members from St Agatha's Portsea (where Fr Robert will now exercise his ministry) and Ordinariate priests from the diocese of Portsmouth and beyond. Good, too, that Mgr Broadhurst was there with Judy giving their support to ex-Anglican Bishop number 6 in the Ordinariate.

Fr Peter Geldard quipped about welcoming this new blood into the Church - he made the move from Secretary General of the Church Union to Catholic University Chaplain in Canterbury many years ago - in time to give great hospitality to those fighting a rearguard action against the forces of 'modernisma' at the '98 Lambeth Conference. With his in the photograph is another pioneer, Fr Christopher Colven, now Parish Priest at St James' Spanish Place in London, but for many of us a real pastor when he was Master of SSC in those troubled years on the '80s and '90s. Certainly some of us have taken too long to see the light: but we also have a good influx of younger members in the Ordinariate who have woken up and smelled the coffee (as they say)more quickly than we did.

Now we have to get organised for our first Ordinariate Holy Week and Easter, and get ready to welcome the next influx of erstwhile Anglicans. What a great time this is to be alive!