Thursday, June 28, 2012
I had the rabbit
I couldn't get to Fr Hunwicke's Ordination last night, at the Oxford Oratory, I heard it was very beautiful, there a few pictures here. I also heard the celebrant preached against the wickedness of "rubricism"; a little unfortunate as following them with a degree of precision is the great charism of our English Oratories.
Today however I actually met Fr Hunwicke, at the London Oratory, where he celebrated his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Lady Altar. We have corresponded for some time and have friends in common and I have felt something of his pain at not being able to celebrate Mass. I recognise in him a truly priestly soul. The Mass was beautiful, it was low, no sermon, some rather exquisite vestments, over and done in 35 minutes. There were about 50 in the congregation including Supertrad Mum, who I met but didn't get chance to talk to.
Mass was served by Br Martin from Papa Stronsay, and Fr Michael Mary was also in attendance doing a little photographing, there should be some pictures on their blog soon.
It was the first time I met any of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer and despite Fr Michael Mary saying he thought I must be in my eighties, apparently the picture on side bar doesn't do me favours! I liked him very much indeed, in fact both of them were very impressive, there seemed to be very healthy father/son relationship, a real sense of mutual respect, with a gentle sense of humour between the two, always a healthy sign in religious community. I have heard such good reports about them lately, it was good to see it for myself.
After Mass we had lunch together, I had rabbit, Fr H a marmite of fish, Br M quail and Fr M steak. I know it was Vigil in most places but in Westminster it was the Feast of St John Southwell and of course for us a celebration of a first Mass. We did debate the decency of posting pictures of our food on our blogs and decided it was a bit foreign fad.
But it was a lovely lunch, a great deal of laughter, a little talk about whether SSPX will be reconciled, the mad Bishop of Bux, a little Gregory Dix from Fr H, lots of stories of "patrimony". One of the important things I have always said about the Ordinariate which I think cradle Catholics just don't get is its humour which Fr Hunwicke supplied in heaps. Again, what I was impressed by was that the Sons were so positive about the long process of the reconciliation they are still going through, which will be completed when they are canonically erect as a religious institute and also about those who have actually been their detractors, who they have left behind.
It was a really beautiful celebration for the eve of St Peter and Paul; Fr Hunwicke in communion with the Church and now a happily a priest of the Catholic Church and Br Martin and Fr Michael Mary in communion with Peter and joyfully hoping for the canonical erection of Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer and trusting in the goodness of Bishop Hugh Gilbert.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake