I have just returned from Incarnation Catholic Church where, this morning, Deacon William P. “Doc” Holiday became Fr. William P. “Doc” Holiday, Catholic priest.
The whole affair was similar to Thursday’s diaconal ordination. This time, though, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson was in attendance. Though Fr. Steenson is the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, he is not a bishop, so once again Bishop John Noonan of Orlando performed the ordination.
It was announced that paperwork is still being drawn-up, but Incarnation Catholic Church will become a parish in the Ordinariate and that Fr. Holiday will become its first pastor.
At the conclusion of the Mass and after photos had been taken, I received Fr. Doc’s blessing, kissed his freshly-annointed hands, and became his first penitent, making my confession in the chapel.
Afterwards, at the reception, I was pulled into a brief conversation with both Bishop Noonan and Msgr. Steenson. Bishop Noonan termed me “an expert in canon law,” an (erroneous) notion he picked-up when I met with him the first time (about a matter of ecclesiastical law), and they were both enquiring about the office of a titular abbot, wondering if this might be a way to honour certain individuals who were former Anglican clergy who worked towards the Ordinariate, but, for whatever canonical or practical reasons could not be ordained in the Church.
Msgr. Steenson and I had an extended conversation wherein I observed that, with the demise of Morning Prayer in The Episcopal Church and other Anglican sects (in favour of Holy Eucharist every Sunday), and with no strong history in the USA of Evensong in the parishes, one of the greatest treasures of the Anglican Patrimony — namely Anglican Chant — was going to be lost unless the Ordinariate made its preservation and growth a high priority. We seemed to be in agreement on this point.
We spoke briefly about the Customary of Our Lady of Walshingham. He had not studied the book, so I offered to mail him my copy due the very steep price through Amazon. Msgr. Steenson noted that the USA, Canada, and Australia were fairly united in their desire to maintain as much of the Prayer-Book tradition as possible, but the English seemed in great disarray and were not so committed to the traditional Anglican forms.
We also briefly discussed the merits of the recently abrogated Scottish Highland regimental system. (I was wearing a kilt, which started this tangent, and being a Campbell, the Government has long used the clan’s tartan which I was wearing.)
Congratulations, Fr. Doc! I would ask that my readers continue to pray for him.