Monday 16th September 2013
On Sunday 15 September, Andrew Harding was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Church of Our Lady of Victories, Southwell by the Bishop of Nottingham, the Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP. Fr Andrew is the first married man who had not previously been a minister in the Church of England to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood.
Priests from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Diocese of Nottingham, St John's Seminary, Wonersh - where Fr Andrew was the Ordinariate's first seminarian - and clergy from Southwell Minster, the nearby Anglican cathedral, joined parishioners from Southwell and Calverton for the Ordination Mass and reception.
Fr Andrew, who is married to Janina with whom he has two children, sought reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church while training for the Anglican priesthood. In his homily, Bishop McMahon acknowledged this unique situation: "In your very special case, God has offered you another source of holiness and that is the grace of matrimony of your marriage to Janine. The sacramental sign which you give reminds us that we one day will all be one in Christ" he said.
Fr Andrew has been appointed assistant priest in the two parishes of the Holy Trinity, Newark with Our Lady of Victories, Southwell and St Anthony's, Calverton in the Diocese of Nottingham.