Fr Hunwicke’s Ordination

Fr Daniel Lloyd writes…

Last night, members of the Oxford Ordinariate Group joined family, friends and well-wishers at the Oxford Oratory for the ordination to the priesthood of Fr John Hunwicke. I first got to know Fr Hunwicke and his wife Pam when they moved to Oxford a few years ago: Fr H was then the newly-appointed House for Duty priest at St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, which had been a leading site in the history and development of the Oxford Movement in English parishes. Indeed, when its tiled floor was raised in the 19th century, one of the subscribers to the project was the Rev’d John Henry Newman. A Short History and Guide by Mr John Whitehead, who worships with us and who was in attendance last night, is the best source for more on this history of this important church.

The ordaining bishop was the Rt Rev’d William Kenney, CP, area bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, who shares his membership of the Passionist congregation with Bl Dominic Barberi, who received Bl John Henry Newman into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Littlemore. The bishop sang the Prayer of Consecration, and led the Canon of the Mass in Latin, with Fr Hunwicke taking the Communicantes as a concelebrant. The Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Mgr Newton, was also present, as was Mgr Andrew Burnham, Assistant to the Ordinary and pastor of the Ordinariate Group in Oxford. ‘The Vicar’ vested Fr Hunwicke in stole and chasuble, a gift from one of the ordinand’s daughters.

Music was provided by the ever-excellent Newman Consort, under the direction of Paul Kolb. They sang the Gregorian propers for the Mass of St Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. They also sang the Kyrie, Sanctus and Benedictus from Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, and Dominique Phinot’s setting of the reponsory ‘No longer do I call you servants’. During Holy Communion, William Byrd’s Sacerdotes Domini and Victoria’s Dixit Dominus were sung. Praise to the Holiest, Glory be to Jesus, and Sweet Sacrament divine formed the hymnody.

We were joined in the sanctuary by priests of the Ordinariate, including Frs Heans, Pearson and Lungley, and Fr James Bradley, who sang the Litany of the Saints in Latin; the Very Rev’d Fr Daniel Seward, Provost of the Oxford Oratory was also present; among the other clergy were: Fr Mark Woodruffe of the Catholic League, Fr Robin Sanders of the St Barnabas Society, both of which organisations have given great support to the Ordinariate financially and morally, and the Dominicans Fr Aidan Nichols, OP and Fr John O’Connor, OP, Prior of Blackfriars’; diocesan priests from Portsmouth and Birmingham, including Fr John Osman, of St Birinus, Dorchester, Fr Paul King, priest-in-charge of Holy Rood, where we worship, and Fr John Saward, of SS Gregory and Augustine, Oxford; among those in choir were Fr Tim ‘Hermeneutic of Continuity’ Finegan, and two representatives of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, of Papa Stronsay. The Rev’d Richard Budgen, of Holy Rood, was the deacon of the Mass, and we were sorry to miss Deacon Stephen Morgan, who was unavoidably detained in Leeds.

The serving of the Mass was ably co-ordinated by Mr Richard Pickett, to whom we are very grateful. After Mass, we repaired to the beautiful garden of St Benet’s Hall, the Benedictine Permanent Private Hall in Oxford, for wine and an array of cakes baked by Dr Alex Lloyd. We look forward now to Fr Hunwicke’s first Mass in Oxford on Saturday, 30 June at 6pm, and wish him the very best for his future ministry.

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