Bishop Carl Reid ordained Douglas Nicholson to the priesthood today. Six years ago, on the exact same date, Douglas was ordained a deacon when Father Jim Tilley was ordained to the priesthood. Father Jim, who servers our Oshawa parish, was among the clergy who attended this happy event. The ordination took place in a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, hence the red vestments in Advent.
In the front row: Father Jim Tilley from our Oshawa parish who was ordained priest on this date six years ago when Douglas Nicholson was ordained deacon; Father Douglas Hayman of our Spencerville Parish and chaplain of Augustine College; our retired Ottawa priest Father David Walsh; and Father Kipling Cooper, our former Ottawa curate who established our Barrhaven parish.
In the second row, our organist, cantor, seminarian Michael Trolly; Mark Voyce, who is my God son, since I sponsored him at his Baptism after he took an Alpha course at our church years ago; Father Douglas Nicholson, our new priest; Bishop Carl Reid; and Bill Stewart, our treasurer.
I had met Father Douglas a few times in passing, but never spoken with him before Friday when a small group of us sang Mattins in plainsong, did a said Eucharist in choir-like precision, then went out to breakfast at The Diner, a few blocks walk from our church.
I had invited my Anglican Communion friend at the last minute to join us for plainsong as he loves it and sings really well and the worship was so beautiful because all of us were strong singers and familiar enough with plainsong to really enter into the psalms and canticles in a worshipful way. I thought of Brother Stephen Treat and what every day must be like for him! I was so glad to see my Anglican Communion friend. He's one of these people who is so easy to love. And he was all excited about a course he is taking on the Pentateuch. He could not join us for breakfast, so it was just me and then Deacon Douglas, Michael Trolly and the bishop. The Diner was packed and they stuck us in the corner in what seems like a sun porch with windows on three sides. So it was as if we were plunked on the sidewalk, able to see the gray skies and the passersby in the trendy Westboro neighborhood. We all ordered the breakfast special but asked them to hold the meat, since it was Friday.
This was what made me fall in love with Douglas Nicholson. There was a baby sitting in a high chair about three feet away from him. His father was trying to feed him. He must have been eight or nine months old. He had yogurt or something creamy smeared around his mouth and suddenly he was so captivated by the warmth and the playful affection of this priest-to-be that he lost interest in his breakfast. I love a man who loves babies and children in a fatherly way. Actually, our whole table was besotted. Bishop Carl pulled out his phone and tried to take a picture of this enthralled and charming baby boy — alas it was too blurry to be reproduced here. Michael Trolly, who can't wait to have a whole pile of kids of his own, was also goo-goo-eyed. But then another family sat down a few tables away with a baby girl with huge blue eyes and a fascination for the men in black and the little lad next to us had competition.
Today during the ordination service, the two-year old twins Kyle and Tristan kept up a running commentary in the back, causing many of our parishioners to shoot amused glances at each other over the music of their voices. "Let's go home!" one of them said and mom had to take them downstairs.
Our society has become a place that is less and less welcoming to children and old people. We have a parish where we cherish the young and the old. Father Douglas strikes me as an authentic, loving and faithful priest. It is a happy day for us in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. May our new priest serve the Lord many years in faithfulness and love.
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