Holy Week Receptions: Report from Hemel Hempstead

25 04 2011
Mgr John Broadhurst, assisted at the Altar by permanent Deacon Simon Wright, received and confirmed members of the Hemel Hempstead group at S. Marks church at the Easter Vigil.  The joy was added to by 6 younger members of the group, ages ranging from 7 to 14 making their first ever communions (3 of them Mgr Broadhurst’s own grandchildren).  Mgr Broadhurst and Dcn Simon are shown with the whole Ordinariate group in the group photograph.
The drama of the event was enhanced because minutes after we returned indoors from the New Fire a huge storm broke and the rain thundered down on the roof as we listened to salvation history during the Litugy of the Word.
In his homily Mgr Broadhurst spoke of the warmth of welcome from the catholic community that we have all experienced in Hemel and told us that this mirrored his own experience.  He also noted that this evening was an historic moment not just for the individuals being recieved and confirmed, but for all present, because we were all participating in a significant action as part of the blooming of the Ordinariate.
Another reason that Mgr. Broadhurst was pleased to be with us was because the evening provided an opportunity for him to renew his acquaintance with Fr John Byrne who is Parish Priest of three catholic parishes in Hemel – they know each other from when they both served parishes in Wood Green (North London).
The Ordinariate group then entertained the entire congregation at a party, showing with great flair the Anglican Partimony of feasting!  Deacon Simon especially enjoyed the party because he has been fasting from alcohol during Lent.  One of the photographs shows him about half a second from the moment of ending his Fast with his favourite beer!  Another photo shows Mgr Broadhurst and Deacon Simon sharing in cutting the celebratory cake.
Various toasts were drunk at the party, the main one being when the Ordinariate members toasted the Holy Father, addressing the toast for the first time to Benedict OUR Pope.
The group now looks forward in prayerful anticipation to the Diaconal ordinations of the two former Anglican clergy in the group (Gordon Adam and Tim Bugby) which is expected to take place on Friday 6th May.