Friday, June 10, 2011

Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

On Saturday I  attended the ordinations of the first seven priests for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The were ordained by Archbishop Peter Smith in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, and the photograph above shows him kneeling to receive their first blessing.
I had previously attended, as Chairman of Conference of Diocesan Directors of Vocation, the ordination of the Mgr Keith Newton and his two companions, and I thought it was important to be there in the same capacity for the first of eleven or twelve ordination ceremonies across the country. By a happy coincidence it took place in my home Cathedral.
The priests of the Ordinariate are not priests of Southwark diocese although many of them may well be working here at least for the present. Although he has not been ordained a bishop, their Ordinary is Mgr Newton. In other words, he has the same juridical authority as a diocesan bishop although he lacks the sacramental powers associated with episcopal ordination. In time the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will raise up its own vocations to the priesthood and also to the religious life (it already has a community of religious sisters). I look forward to the appointment of a vocations director to join the CDDV.
Please keep Mgr Newton and the members of the Ordinariate in your prayers. It is still early days for them and I am sure there will be teething problems none of which will be insurmountable with God's grace.

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