Well, the service this morning went for two and a half hours! That was due to a combination of factors, eight ordinands + more than a hundred ordaining priests (I didn’t count them – and I am not good at estimating numbers). The laying on of hands and the greeting of peace – two separate rites within the ceremony – took ages, as each ordaining priest laid hands upon / greeted each ordinand.
The ordinands were (for Melbourne) Andrew McCarter, Benneth Osuagwu, Jerome Santamaria, and Kevin Williams; (for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross) Neil Fryer, James Grant, Christopher Seton, Ramsay Williams.
Archbishop Denis Hart was the ordaining minister, and Father Harry Entwistle, the Ordinary of OLSC, was the first of the presbyters to lay on hands after the Archbishop. A suprise visitor and concelebrant (he wasn’t listed on the program) was His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.
The Cathedral was full. I arrived about an hour before the service began (it started at 10am and ended at 12:30pm) to find an long and orderly line up outside the Cathedral door waiting for the doors to open – not something that I have experienced before – perhaps something from the Anglican Patrimony?
There appeared to me to be a great many Anglican folk in the congregation (I saw one pink shirt I didn’t recognise – probably from across the road at St Peter’s Eastern Hill). Of course one cannot just tell from looking who is and who isn’t an Anglican, and judging from the communion line I would not be surprised if many of these well wishers expressed their desire for communion with the Catholic Church by actually taking communion!
The Archbishop gave his homily from the chair just before the ordinations began. After the service, Fr Andrew McCarter spoke on behalf of the ordinands, thanking the Archbishop and also expressing their joy in being able to share their ordination day with their brothers in the presbyterate of the Ordninariate. Then Fr Harry Entwistle (he hasn’t been monsignored yet?) spoke very well and very movingly about this historic occasion. I expect both the homily and the speeches to be on the Archdiocesan Website by tomorrow complete with official pictures.
For the moment, I am looking forward to attending the concelebrated mass of the new Ordinariate priests with Fr Harry Entwistle at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 707 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South tomorrow morning at 11am. A thought just occured to me – if this is a concelebrated mass, with Fr Entwhistle presiding, is it actually a “first mass” for these priests? I know that Fr Ramsay Williams will be celebrating mass again later tomorrow at Mentone. Is that strictly his “first mass”? I ask simply because I want to know about the application of the indulgence for assisting at a first mass.
Here then is my gallery of pictures I took today. The official pictures will be much better – I was half way up the nave – but I think these came out quite well. Unlike Anglicans in the pews, you can tell which ones are the Ordinariate priests and which ones are the Diocesans – the Ordinariate priests are on the left with the grey hair and the Diocesans are on the right with the black hair!