Quite a remarkable event occupied some of us over the weekend of Friday September 19 to Sunday September 21: a great and happy Ordinariate Festival. We have not had too many of these. Clergy meet frequently; but this was the laity as well ... loads and loads of them. The meetings in Westminster Cathedral Hall were absolutely glorious ... you could tell it was all clicking superbly by the way that everybody laughed at even the slightest provocation. Highlights were the Mass in the Cathedral (there were some seats available at the back, but most of the Cathedral looked pretty jam-packed) and the final address by the Ordinary, which found him in his finest and most rousing form. There was also an extremely important address by Cardinal Nichols, who will have been left in no doubt from the response he received how enthusiastic the gathering was and how very warmly his most gracious visit was appreciated. On the Friday evening, those present had been able to hear a lecture in Warwick Street by Dr William Oddie, who had been invited by the Ordinary to be 'indiscreet'. He responded with a fascinating account of the unsuccessful attempt to set up an Ordinariate-style-organisation back in the 1990s and the negative response it had received in those faltering days before the great and glorious Pontificate of our very own Pope You-Know-Who XVI! Enormous appreciation is also due to those who organised everything, and not least to Fr Ron Crane, responsive as ever to the mood of the occasion. How very much happier and more forward-looking we are now than we were when we used to meet as Forward in Faith in that strange cold evangelical hall near Church House! How very truly we have come home; and what a warm and welcoming home it is. Somebody whose name I cannot now quite remember used to keep saying, on those earlier occasions, "RITA! Rome Is The Answer!" How right he was. Or, I should say, is.
I hope soon to give some account of the addresses.