Catholic League: Eyewitness Account

16 01 2011

From the Catholic League’s blog:

As Archbishop Vincent Nichols remarked at the Mass of Ordination, this is what history looks like as it is being made. Fathers John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton, once bishops of the Church of England, were ordained to the order of presbyter and thus to the priesthood of the Catholic Church in Westminster Cathedral, to create a new configuration of the Church in England & Wales in its mission to serve the truth about Jesus Christ and the unity of his people.

At 10 am, the Cathedral was already half full. In the long corridor linking the Sacristy to the Clergy House and Archbishop’s House, nearly 100 other priests and seminarians had begun to gather, some old friends and colleagues of the candidates, and just as many who were priests of Westminster, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Brentwood and other dioceses, as well as from religious orders, including Abbot Aidan Bellenger OSB of Downside, Fr Aidan Nichols OP and Fr Christopher Jamison OSB, appropriately the director of the National Office for Vocation. There were also over 20 seminarians from Allen Hall. Two days earlier they had saluted the newly ordained deacons with the song Ad Multos Annos, traditionally sung in recollection of those leaving the College at Douai, Allen Hall’s ancestor, on their way back to England in penal times, to face danger and even martyrdom. To those who witnessed this moment on the preceding Thursday, it was a most moving sign of incorporation not only into the priestly ministry of the Catholic Church worldwide, but into everything that being a Roman Catholic priest has meant in the history and spiritual development of England’s national and religious life. As the students sang Vivat!, deacons John, Andrew and Keith entered into, and were embraced by, a rich inheritance that is truly costly.

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