Fr John Hunwicke's First Mass

…at the Brompton Oratory, London.

(There are more pictures at the Transalpine Redemptorists' blog.)

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

15 thoughts on “Fr John Hunwicke's First Mass”

  1. What an example of obedience, faithfulness, and peace he has been for me in this process! God bless him and his ministry daily.

  2. How wonderful to have Father Hunwicke aboard Peter's barque and, at the same time, hard at work in the Lord's vineyard. I've enjoyed reading his views for years now, and I hope he will be able to find the time in what must be a very busy schedule to return to his writing.

    We are richer in our Catholic prayer life for Father Hunwicke's wit,wisdom, and considerable gifts. His life of service to the Church of England has been an icon of Anglican spirituality at its very best. I know he will be instrumental in drawing many to Holy Church.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! But a Low Mass, that deprivation of the Roman Rite? Maybe it has its place but certainly not for such a festive and joyful occasion and when so many priests are present. I guess one cannot have everything.

    1. While I prefer the splendour of the High Mass, or even a missa cantata, there is something remarkable about the simplicity of the Low Mass, as well. As Evelyn Waugh put it,

      “I am old now but when I was young I was received into the Church. I was not at all attracted by the splendour of her great ceremonies – which the Protestants could well counterfeit. Of the extraneous attractions of the Church which most drew me was the spectacle of the priest and his server at low Mass, stumping up to the altar without a glance to discover how many or how few he had in his congregation; a craftsman and his apprentice; a man with a job which he alone was qualified to do. That is the Mass I have grown to know and love.”

    2. It could have been worse. It could have been the Mass of Pope Paul VI. I am happy that we have another shepherd to our 2-billion-strong family!

      I wonder if he has taught many priests?

  4. A true Blessing to Have Father John as a Roman Catholic Priest. I am sure he must have desired the 'old' ordination rite but beggars can't be choosers. I pray he will have Many Years and Many Blessings serving the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Roman Catholic Church.

  5. I wish I had been able to attend this Mass but I was away from London at the time. I am amazed by some of the above comments. For centuries the majority of Firat Masses, including those of the saints, were, and are, Low Masses. First High Masses are usually confined to man-centred Anglo-Catholic circles but, even there, Low Mass is customary, at least it is in Britain.. Fr Hunwicke is now a Catholic and although his preference for the Extraordinary Form is well known from reading his website, I doubt if he would repudiate the ORDINARY form which is the current Roman Rite. If so, he would be little better than a protestant with a small 'p'.

    1. "First High Masses are usually confined to man-centred Anglo-Catholic circles"
      You never give up, do you!

        1. I don't think that Mr Bowles should give up as suggested by LBS………. incidentally the Ordinariate of OLW calendar shows a Missa Cantata on Sept 29th (Nelson Mass) at St Agatha's Church Portsmouth for the First Mass of ex-TAC Fr John Maunder.

    1. Fr Hunwicker would be capable of preaching in Latin with ease, as he has done twice at university sermons in Oxford. I have asked a friend who was present if there was a sermon on this occasion and he said there was not. He also said what an edifying Mass it was.

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