Fr Alan Cole reminds us of the search by All Saints’ Brisbane for a new incumbent
Assuming the post filled, l went quiet about offering bridging relief while the search was live. I may not be the only Aussie priest in UK ready to help for a short time. ND readers may be aware of catholic parishes (often with SSC priests) managing determinedly under unsympathetic diocesans and with no ‘mutual flourishing’ support as in England.
Society bishops here may not be unsympathetic to catholic parishes abroad; but they are loath to spare slender resource of new ordinands for valuable pastoral experience outside Britain.
Knowing Brisbane and All Saints’ well from seminary days, when thoroughgoing catholic primates and archbishops in Queensland taught and lived the Faith, I know also of another All Saints’. This one is in East St Kilda (Archdiocese of Melbourne). Under its present vicar and his staff of vigorous parishioners across the age spectrum, this All Saints’ would provide outstanding pastoral experience for a visiting assistant curacy (up to three years) to any catholic deacon or priest keen to extend his appreciation of inner suburban parish ministry.
Gone are days when recently ordained catholic clergy might hope for ‘plum’ appointments in the grand old Anglo-Catholic strongholds of England’s greater cities. Under such constraints as the present cohort of well-formed priests, the earnest prayer,“Lord give us priests” is no longer a local call, but global.
My prayer and call is for Christ’s Cross to be replanted in support of catholic parishes down under. The Faith is as vital there as it is here. What value can be put upon a term of catholic witness in the antipodes? It can do no less than to bring back strength to the established church in what was once “The mother country, Our Lady’s Dowry”.
Remember in prayer churches of All Saints’, one in Brisbane, one in Melbourne and many here. May the Lord enrich and nurture them in faith and mission, who have been true to the apostolic heritage at least since Tractarian times.