Wednesday 30 June 2021

Ordination of Fr Luke Wilkinson

Last night I had the pleasure of being present at St Mary`s cathedral for the priestly ordination of Luke Wilkinson. I can`t remember the last time I went to an ordination. my hope was it would be something like this:
As it turned out that wasn`t too far off the mark. Priests not invited to concelebrate (and it was good to see we now have red concelebration vestments instead of relying on the white diocesan vestment at all times) were invited to attend in choir dress. Knowing that modern seminarians are rather keen on tradition I thought to myself "What should I take?` I suppose what I used to take to a Wigratzbad ordination in the 90`s" which meant choir dress and birreta as well as a stole for the laying on of hands. Approaching the cathedral there seemed to be a scene which reminded me of those Wigratzbad days as young clergy and seminarians stood around dressed immaculately in cassock and fascia. Mine was not the only birreta to be worn either. For the Mass setting we had the Missa de Angelis and Credo 3 plus some of the proper sung to the Liber. It was good to see Fr Luke having the manutergium ( a piece of cloth wrapped round his hands after they have been anointed and which is given to a priest`s mother and with which she is buried). Back in 1988 I smuggled a small piece of cloth in and let it soak some of the oil for the same purpose but it had to be done surreptitously in those days. In the event I couldn`t find it when my mother died in 2012.
In his homily, the bishop asked us to have a positive outlook on others rather than looking to run them down (53 minutes). The Mass was held at the same time as the second half of the England-Germany match was played. I always seem to have soething else on when these significant games occur but if you listen carefully on the video at 1.40 you can hear the England suppporters cheering which told us that they had scored. Tonight Fr Luke celebrates his first Mass at St Anne`s, Winlaton at 6pm. I look forward to Sunday and his first EF Mass. How times have changed since I was ordained in 1988! I see Cardinal Parolin is being quoted as saying they really do want to crack down on Summorum Pontificum. I fear that there will be quite a lot of unhappy people, if this occurs, who will be looking to resist such a move. This from the pope yesterday sounds rather ominous too.

Sunday 27 June 2021

An update

A belated Happy New Year! I can`t believe it`s almost July. God willing, this pandemic is on the way out in the UK and normal life may be able to resume. Things have been ticking over while we wait. Public daily Mass has been held for quite a while now and numbers are good although not everyone has returned who left with the lockdown. We keep them in  our prayers and hope to see them return before too long.

Next Sunday we have two exciting new events. Rev. Luke Wilkinson will be ordained to the priesthood for this diocese on Tuesday evening at the cathedral. On Sunday after that (July 4th) he will be here to celebrate his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form. This will be a Missa Cantata and I shall be the Assistant Priest. I`ve looked through Fortescue and alas he gives instructions for this in a High Mass and a Low Mass only so I`ll have to cobble something together to make it work for the Missa Cantata. There will be photos I hope. At least no-one will criticise too much as they`ll be ( I assume) none the wiser. So prayers for Rev Luke Wilkinson and wishing him Ad Multos Annos!

Rev Luke Wilkinson

That same day at 3pm we will have Vespers and Benediction. This will be a first for St Joseph`s. We were planning Solemn Vespers with Bishop Robert Byrne last March before the lockdown stopped it happening. No bishop this time but the plan is for this to become a monthly event and I dare to hope that our bishop will join us at some stage. This time it will be a one cope Vespers but we hope this will develop further.

At the same time, there is the worry of the new Vatican document seeking to rein in the Extraordinary Form. The last I heard on this was that it was leaving things as they are but any priest new to the EF must get the permission of his bishop to celebrate.This didn`t sound too bad to me if it means the bishop has to set some kind of test to ensure that new celebrants are proficient in the rite. This could mean setting up training courses to ensure proficiency and thus make it easier for priests to learn who are worried about trying it because they have no Latin for example. At least that`s what I hope will happen.

So things are ok at St Joseph`s Gateshead. The parish priest was appointed to be a canon last April and continues to battle on with Parkinson`s disease, diagnosed 7 years ago. 

I hope to blog a little more often as news arises.