Last evening I went over to St Patrick’s, Soho Square, where just under two weeks I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood. It was good to be back – catching up with members of SPES and Fr Alexander. In fact, as an added bonus, I got there slightly early and caught the end of their daily Vespers and Benediction. Perhaps it’s an Anglican thing, but I really find praying the Liturgy of the Hours with other people a beautiful expression of the nature of the Church – militant, expectant, triumphant.
After Benediction, we went down into the newly-refurbished crypt of the church for a quick meeting before around 100 young people turned up for the third session of Fr Robert Barron’s Catholicism, with the added bonus of Fr Barron coming to speak!
I’ve stopped being shocked by the age and passion of the people at events like this, but I will never stop being thrilled. As a lapsed friend said after my ordination – “I never realised the Catholic Church was so young”. It really is so encouraging.
Fr Barron was only there for half an hour – a long day of travelling from Birmingham, via the Bird and Baby in Oxford, to London and a pretty demanding schedule quite understandably leaving him tired. But that didn’t stop us having a good Q&A session in which Fr Barron’s simple, effective, apologetic method – which is ably employed in the series – was on show. At the end, Fr Sherbrooke kindly left the last question to me – with, I hasten to add, about 3.4 seconds to formulate it!
Anyone who has seen the Word on Fire videos will have been surprised by the number of English, and in fact Anglican, theologians which Fr Barron quotes. He seems to have C.S. Lewis, Tolkein, Chesterton, and Newman, all at his fingertips – deploying them to great effect, using the stories and analogies so rife in their writings to explore and explain the fundamental truths of the Christian gospel.
So I asked – How can the Ordinariate help bring these great figures into a wider readership in the Catholic Church? The answer? Find out in the next post.