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Ordination of Fr Bernard Sixtus in Wales
Saturday 5th July 2014

On Wednesday 2 July Bernard Sixtus of the Ordinariate (Wales South East group) was ordained to the priesthood in St David's Metropolitan Cathedral, Cardiff by Archbishop George Stack, in the presence of the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton, and a large congregation. It was the first priestly ordination in the diocese for seven years.

More than twenty priests of the diocese were there, along with several priests of the Ordinariate, including Fr Peter Clarke of the Bristol group and Mgr Robert Mercer of the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth group. The cathedral choir sang pieces including the William Byrd setting of Haec dies. The recessional hymn Calon lân, was sung in Welsh.

In his homily, Archishop Stack referred to two paintings in the National Gallery in London, which had hung together in an exhibition called "Seeing Salvation". One was "Noli me Tangere" or "Do not touch me" by Titian; the other, Benjamino Strozzi's "The Incredulity of St Thomas" depicting Jesus drawing the finger of Thomas to his wounds. Archbishop Stack said  the pictures showed different aspects of the life of faith, where sometimes one needed to touch and be reassured and at other times, one had to walk by faith alone.

Archbishop Stack said that, for Fr Sixtus, the love of his wife and children, his relationship with Christ and his theological formation had all brought him certainty and security, but that he had also had to deal with the uncertainty of his place within the Anglican community and his questions as to how and where he was being called to serve Jesus as a priest.

Addressing Fr Sixtus directly, the Archbishop went on: "that discernment has been long and thorough and led you into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. It has called you to place your trust in the unique expression of Catholic life which is the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Your journey of faith will continue to be a challenge and a comfort to those who have been sustained by you as they, too, discern the fullness of Christ's Church which subsists in the Catholic Church".

Fr Sixtus, whose mother is German, was formed both in the German Lutheran Church of Hanover and the Church of England. He was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in March 2013 and ordained as a deacon in January 2014.

He is director of religious education in the Archdiocese of Cardiff and he is now to take on a pastoral role serving the parish of St David Lewis and St Francis Xavier in Usk. He also leads the Wales (South East) Ordinariate group, which has a new home - provided for it by Archbishop Stack - in a chapel in the Cathedral.

To read the Archbishop's sermon in full, click here


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