Historic Ordinations at the Birmingham Oratory

There is always something special about an ordination: men giving themselves entirely to the service of the Church; to administer the Sacraments, to preach the Word of God, and to offer the Sacrifice of the Altar.

The Prayers at the foot of the Altar

Last Saturday’s ordinations, however, had the air of history being in the making.

Saturday’s men were the largest group of ordinands since the “first wave” at the foundation of the Ordinariate, including two the first two men to have completed a full formation course through the Catholic seminary system: the first “home grown” vocations of the Ordinariate.

The Ordinary preaches

The ordinations took place at the Birmingham Oratory, founded by the UK Ordinariate’s patron Blessed John Henry Newman; the first time such a thing has occurred. With the kind permission of the Provost and Fathers of that Oratory; whose welcome and assistance could not have been warmer or kinder.

The Litany of the Saints

The Archbishop of Birmingham was the ordaining bishop. He said at the end of Mass how honoured he was to have been asked to ordain, and what a privilege it was to use the Ordinariate Form. The Fathers of the Oratory also permitted the Archbishop the use of Cardinal Newman’s crozier.

The Gospel, the Archbishop holding Newman’s Crozier

Over 450 people packed into the Oratory for the ordinations, coming from all corners of the country, and from overseas; we were delighted to welcome a seminarian from the Ordinariate of the Chair of Peter, who is in London on a placement, as well as many of those who had studied at Oscott with the two home grown vocations.

The many crowds

What made Saturday’s ordination so special, however, was that it proved the Ordinariate is not dead, nor is it stagnating, but it continues to go from strength to strength. Christopher Smith, a member of the South London Ordinariate (the sending group of one of the new priests) said:

“There were those who predicted that the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham would be a short-lived phenomena. Well, on Saturday a further 8 men were ordained Priest in our patron’s Oratory in Birmingham by the Archbishop of Birmingham and we look forward to more Parishes being given to the care of the Ordinariate.”

The Laying on of Hands

Please pray for the eight men ordained, and for the parishes and missions they will serve, and for more vocations to the Ordinariate.

The Archbishop, the Ordinary, Mgr Burnham and the newly ordained

Frs Timothy Boniwell
Leonard Cox
Jonathan Creer
David Hathaway
David Jones
Thomas Mason
David Pritchard
Michael Ward

Almighty God, give us priests:
to establish the honour of your holy name;
to offer the holy sacrifice of the altar;
to give us Jesus in the holy sacrament;
to proclaim the faith of Jesus;
to baptise and to teach the young;
to tend your sheep;
to seek the lost;
to give pardon to the penitent sinner
to bless our homes;
to pray for the afflicted;
to comfort mourners;
to strengthen us in our last hour;
to commend our souls;
Almighty God, give us priests!

We are grateful to James Turner for the photographs. You can see the full set here.