I attended the ordination of Fr.Edwin Barnes on Saturday.
Many, many years had he laboured in the Anglican ministry ,touching lives,bringing the message of the Gospel to hundreds over the years,following in his master's footsteps.Yet there he was prostrate before the Altar in St John's catholic cathedral willing and ready to start all over again, this time as a catholic priest for the Ordinariate.He follows his colleagues,Fr.Keith Newton,Fr Andrew Burnham,and Fr.David Silk, former Anglican Bishops.They are the pioneers then of this movement,the leaders of the Ordinariate,entrusted with the care of Anglicans on the road to Rome,and the Church that Christ founded.Brave men treading into the unknown ,responding to the invitation of the Holy Father with joy and humbleness.
The Lay people following, will leave their churches this Ash Wednesday and begin a course of instruction,continuing through the weeks of lent,and finally being received at Easter.They will leave their buildings,their friends,their old forms of worship and join the exodus,the final destination being,membership of The Holy Catholic and Apostolic church.God grant them safe passage.
Through the efforts of the Holy Father , the arms of the Church are open, ready to embrace its returning children,the true ecumenism of return.Anglican ministers also are handing in their resignations at this time,albeit a little harder for them.Many have young families,no jobs to go to ,no livelihoods,no certainty of ordination,and yet they too, in spite of these obstacles are setting out on the journey.Momentous times for the Catholic church in this country,this influx, this wave of faith so close to the Holy Father's heart.So my prayers this lent will be for the ordinariate ,and especially for those that waver on the brink uncertain, afraid and hesitant.
May Our great Lady of Walsingham be with all those who travel this road,may she be also with those left behind.