This morning, the Ordinariate announced its list of candidates for Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. Congratulations to all on the list: our prayers are with you, and we share your great joy and thankfulness that the shared journey we have made together into the full communion of the Catholic Church is now leading you onwards on the long and challenging road towards priestly service.
There is one name in particular on that list that causes us to rejoice. It is, of course: Hunwicke, John William. It is wonderful news that this learned, holy and charming gentleman is moving forward in the process towards being ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church. What has happened is not official confirmation or agreement of Ordination, it is simply the publication of a list of candidates, but even so, even if it is no more than a small step forward as part of continuing deliberations, it is to be wholeheartedly welcomed.
Many of us in the Ordinariate owe a lot to the learning that Fr Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes has given us. Those of us who have met him, even if on only a few occasions, are even more in his debt. He is a scholar with an in-depth knowledge of all the best of Anglican Patrimony (and of so much more), who has an unswerving loyalty and devotion to, and love for, Holy Mother Church. He is also a truly lovely man, who has made sacrifices to play his part in answering Our Lord's call to Christian Unity, and who has continued to wait patiently on the Lord while the wheels of process turn.
Fr Hunwicke has featured on this blog before, indeed in one of our most popular ever blogposts. He very kindly agreed to give us permission to reproduce in full a sermon he gave in October 2010 at St Mary's Bourne St. It is an extremely inspiring sermon, on the topic of Our Lady of Victories and the Battle of Lepanto, full of details and wisdom, but entirely accessible even to those less familiar with the subjects covered. Do take the time to read it.
The day after his visit to Bourne St, he posted a very favourable report of his trip to London on his own blog, the comments on which include a few interesting points from Bourne St regulars, on the origins of the sung Angelus in particular (now there's Patrimony for you). His report charmed all of those at Bourne St who read it, indeed my wife and daughters were among those most thrilled to have been mentioned in such a kind way in so elevated a forum.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that we posted an article on the First Mass of Fr Daniel Lloyd of the Oxford Ordinariate Group. The eagle-eyed among you might even have spotted a photo of Fr Hunwicke reading the Prayers of the Faithful that day. Since that group might one day soon, Deo volente, have another priest, as our newest member (a former member of the Oxford group) jokingly notes, it could soon be on its way to being fully resourced for a Pontifical High Mass.
We concluded the blogpost on Fr Lloyd's First Mass with the Haydn Te Deum. Time to post it again, in joy and thanksgiving for this wondrous news. Small steps forward in a positive direction. Prayers for, and congratulations to, all the Ordinariate's candidates for Ordination. What a tremendous sign of encouragement, development and growth that there is a list, let along such a long one. Let us hope, as the process continues, that all these candidates proceed to Ordination, and that the Lord will send us many more priests to serve in His Holy Catholic Church.