Wednesday 15 September 2010

Golden Jubilee July 19th 2009 (posted 01/02/2010)

On July 19th 1959, I was ordained to the priesthood at Ushaw College, County Durham.  Ushaw is one of two seminaries set up by students and professors of Douai College in the Low Countries fleeing from the French Terror in the 1790s. Douai had been established during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to provide priests for the English Mission; very many of these priests were martyred.
After the Mass of Ordination, I remember, we newly ordained (two of us) were allowed to have breakfast in the Profs' Parlour as if we were equals with the professors who had been teaching us for years (which in ordination terms was true but it was a bit weird!).  Then we had to go out into the ambulacra and give our priestly blessing to long lines of students, all kneeling to receive it. Afterwards, duty done, I left for a quiet lunch with my mother and father, brother and family friend.  And the strange feeling of having left the College for the last time, thirteen years of studies and now out in the world! 

And so, fifty years later, on a sunny Sunday morning, I celebrated my usual 9am Mass in the Extraordinary Form (henceforth Latin Mass), and afterwards I was asked to come out into the garden.  Out there, Leo Darroch, the President of the International Federation Una Voce, and Richard Rainbow, the Diocesan Representative of the Latin Mass Society, presented me with a wonderful Papal Blessing and a Greetings Card signed personally by Archbishop Ranjith, the then-Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

At 10.30am, I celebrated my usual Novus Ordo Mass.  There followed a Reception organised by a parish committee in a local club hall -- and an excellent do it was: food, company and chatter.

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