The Portal July 2018 - Page 13

THE P RTAL July 2018 Jackie asked, “When the decision came to leave the Navy, was it to go back into a parish?” Page 13 navy. It was about contact with people that mattered. My intention was to come here and retire, but little did I know how needed I am here to help out and that’s the Fr Simon’s answer was unequivocal. “I never basis I’m here as a priest. wanted to go back to a parish. Twenty three years in the navy produces a different outlook. You look at “The Diocese of Galloway have been extremely the wider range of possibilities for ministry. People welcoming and Bishop William Nolan said he would in the mainstream refer to any form of chaplaincy like to ordain me. He said it would be lovely to have an as Sector Ministry. But its just another concept to ordination in Whithorn the cradle of Christianity in minister to God’s people. When people use the term Scotland. It’s quite interesting to reflect that I am in a Sector Ministry its almost like pushing it to one side. historic place. This is a new beginning for me, and for Every parish is different, every diocese is different, the Ordinariate as well. We are small but that doesn’t and every country is different. We all work in our bother me. The church was small at the beginning; own sectors anyway. It’s a false construct. They are all twelve blokes were told to get on with it. God’s people. “We don’t know if the “No I didn’t want to go back Ordinariate is going to to parish. I had had a taste of flourish in Scotland. that and I spent a lot of time All the signs are that it’s feeling dissatisfied in the way growing slowly and things things worked in a parish. I are happening. I say the would rather have a degree Ordinariate Mass on a of independence from the Wednesday in Whithorn. restrictions which a parish That takes place from the places upon an individual, and beginning of April to the the expectation a parish places end of September at the on one. So really it was to leave moment. Already we have Sarah and Fr Simon Beveridge in the Piazza Navona the navy and come down here had congregation between to retire. That’s what I was during the Galloway Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome eight and twelve. People are going to do then I said to myself you are a priest you interested in the Ordinariate, people of all experiences. have a vocation you cannot retire from that, so I didn’t. Some are cradle Catholics, some are converts, but they come to Mass and appreciate the uniqueness. Then at Ronald asked, “So there are two questions here. One weekends I help out in the parishes because we only is why here and the other is what about the priest part have five priests to cover one hundred miles. of you. What is that going to do? Jackie asked Sarah how she had been received by the “The two are linked because the ‘why here’ is part people in the diocese? She replied, “I have been made of coming here. I thought mistakenly while coming very welcome. At first people didn’t quite understand to the end of my time in the navy just get to the end and were quite wary. They hadn’t come across a of it Simon. The Church of England had changed so married priest before.” Jackie asked if that made people much. You don’t really feel you fit in. Battles have been wonder if he was real? “Yes: But what they didn’t fought. Results have been turned out. You find yourself understand was as an Ordinariate priest, although he in a strange place because the world has moved on can be received as a married priest, if anything happens while you have been twenty three years in the navy. to me, than he is still under the oath of celibacy. I think its important and helpful for people to understand this. My intention was to just come and retire. They thought how these former Anglicans can get it all, “Then suddenly Pope Benedict announced they can be married, and proper Roman Catholic Priest Anglicanorum Coetibus. I thought ‘Ah’, and it got quite can’t. I think some still find it hard to see where the a reaction when it was published. I thought ‘what’s Ordinariate comes in, but I’ve been made very welcome that all about?’ The more I looked into it, the more I indeed.” Sarah had joined the Catholic Church at the considered it, the more I realised there was quite a fit same time as her husband. between what was being offered and who I was. I got We are grateful to Fr Simon and Sarah for their hold of Fr Len Black and said can I come along and find out more about the Ordinariate. I liked what I saw. time and patience in allowing the P ortal into their The numbers and the size of it all didn’t put me off. I lives. Pray for them, their family and their mission in was used to people not turning up for church in the Galloway.