Things are beginning to pick up in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia! The Ordinary, The Very Rev. Harry Entwistle writes:
The week leading to the ordination to the priesthood of Neil Fryer, James Grant, Christopher Seton and Ramsay Williams was a happy, blessed, but exhausting time for them.
I was privileged to conduct their pre-ordination retreat which began on Tuesday at the Retreat House of the Sisters of Nazareth in Camberwell, Victoria. This proved to be a true ‘rest’ and spiritual time in which we reflected on the journeying of God’s people, and our journey to the Ordinariate.
The ordination to the diaconate on Tuesday evening was administered by Bp Peter Elliott in the convent chapel. Bp Elliott was the Australian Apostolic Delegate for the Ordinariate, so we were privileged to have him celebrate this sacrament for us. We were fortunate to be supported by Catholic priests, the Sisters of Nazareth, as well as Capuchin and Dominican friars, and friends of the candidates.
On Friday, as Ordinary, I admitted laity into the full communion of the Catholic Church and administered the sacrament of Confirmation. This enabled them to receive communion with their new priests and fellow Catholics at the Ordination to the priesthood the following day, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady.
I am not sure whether thus far any other ordinariate candidates have been ordained alongside candidates from the local diocese, but in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral, this was a very symbolic gesture of our shared priesthood. Archbishop Denis Hart was the ordaining bishop and we were privileged to have George Cardinal Pell of Sydney, and Bp Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore, present on this occasion as well as the other Archdiocesan bishops.
There is a report and video stream of this historic event on the Melbourne Archdiocesan website. The following link will enable you to share the joy experienced by over 2000 members of the congregation.
On Sunday 9 September the newly ordained priests and Fr Ross, the parish priest of the Catholic parish of Caulfield, concelebrated mass with the Ordinary, the Very Rev Harry Entwistle. The Melbourne Ordinariate group is grateful for the welcome it has received from Fr Ross and his parish as they begin to share the use of Holy Cross Church.
At the end of the Ordination mass in St Patrick’s, I delivered the following short address on behalf of the Ordinariate:
ADDRESS BY VERY REVEREND FATHER HARRY ENTWISTLE ORDINARY OF THE ORDINARIATE OF OUR LADY OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS GIVEN AT THE END OF THE 2012 ORDINATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL IN MELBOURNE ON 8 SEPTEMBER 2012.
Those ordained by Archbishop Denis Hart for the Archdiocese of Melbourne were Rev Andrew McCarter, Reverend Benneth Osuagwu, Reverend Jerome Santamaria, Reverend Kevin Williams.
Those ordained by Archbishop Denis Hart for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross were Reverend Neil Fryer, Reverend James Grant, Reverend Christopher Seton and Reverend Ramsay Williams.
In response to the request for unity with the Catholic Church by several groups of Anglicans, the Holy Father has made provision for those Anglicans with a Catholic heart who seek unity, to enter into full communion while maintaining much of the Anglican tradition and liturgy that is commensurate with Catholic belief.
To achieve this, the Holy Father has authorised the erection of an independent diocese within the boundaries of the Catholic Bishops Conference.
Within Australia this prophetic initiative in furthering the goal of Christian unity is known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Anglicans and Catholics who have an Anglican background as well as Catholics with a family member who belong to the Ordinariate can be registered as a member. Of course any Catholic is welcome to worship and receive Communion in the Ordinariate and vice versa.
Part of the Holy Father’s vision in his quest for unity is that the priests of the Ordinariate and the local diocese should work alongside each other to grow God’s Kingdom and bring others to salvation.
What greater sign of this sharing the task can there be than for priests of the Archdiocese and the Ordinariate to be ordained side by side? One Church, one priesthood, one mission, but enriching the tapestry of the Catholic Church by our bringing our own liturgy and spirituality to be shared by all.
As Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, I wish to thank Archbishop Hart and Bishop Elliott for ordaining our candidates to the diaconate and priesthood on my behalf.
Today is a historic moment for the Church in Melbourne, unity is a step closer, and so we rejoice.
Thank you all for being here and please continue to pray for us in our mission and ministry.