A delightful account from the 100th priest

Fr Michael Ward, the 100th priest to be ordained a Catholic priest for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham shares his experience of ordination with The Catholic Herald.  Here’s an excerpt. Please go on over and read the whole thing!

As I drive up the M40, I rehearse these parallels more to amuse myself than for purposes of serious reflection. Newman was the greatest theologian of the 19th century and some say his was the most powerful Catholic mind since that of St Thomas Aquinas. I, on the other hand, know a lot about Narnia.

In The Last Battle, CS Lewis’s final Chronicle of Narnia, the foolish donkey, Puzzle, finds himself standing next to the noble unicorn, Jewel. Jewel is very kind to Puzzle, “talking to him about things of the sort they could both understand, like grass and sugar and the care of one’s hoofs”. That’s the sort of conversation Newman would have with me.


The clergy gather in the sacristy. The time is drawing near. We vest with more solemnity than usual. The archbishop greets the candidates quietly and warmly, one by one. Everyone lines up. The room goes quiet. Then someone whispers urgently to the archbishop: “Where’s your crozier?” Sudden panic, it seems. But someone just forgot: he won’t be using his own crozier because these are ordinariate ordinations, not diocesan ones.

A young oratorian hastens from a doorway, carrying what the archbishop has agreed to use. Like wildfire the news runs round: it’s Newman’s crozier! My heart lifts. Newman’s crozier. How often is a precious relic actually pressed into present-day use? But here is the very shepherd’s crook Newman himself carried. I eye it with awe as I pass into the church.

Congratulations Fr. Ward and to the other new priests!

 Fr. Michael Ward is the author Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of CS Lewis

2 thoughts on “A delightful account from the 100th priest

  1. I am thrilled to learn that he has entered the fold. I’ve been a fan of Michael Ward since he published Planet Narnia, a book that has chamber and deepened the critical study of Lewis’s fiction forget. Now I can stop thinking, “It’s a shame he’s still an Anglican.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not actually the 100th priest to have been ordained for the Ordinariate OLW (three have died and two have moved to other ministries in the Catholic Church) but the ordination which first brought the number of priests serving the Ordinariate to 100.


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