Ordinations in Vienna and Paris 2016
Distances are measured in 1000’s rather than 10’s in the Diocese in Europe. This was especially true of Ordinations 2016. Journeys were made from Paris, Athens, Istanbul and Brussels to Vienna for the pre-ordination retreat which turned out to be a haven of peace on the wooded slopes of the outskirts of Vienna.
Canon John Wilkinson, Canon Pastor at Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral Brussels, led the retreat and preached at both ordination services, in Vienna and Paris. All were hugely appreciative of his ministry. Thankfully, none of the ordinands heeded his warning when he reminded them of the weight of responsibility about to be entrusted to them. “But just in case, there are two exits if you want to get out now!” he told them. More reassuringly, looking back at his own ordination 29 years earlier, Fr John calmed the ordinands’ nerves by referring to the awesome privilege of serving, as deacons and priests, in the Church of God.
At Christ Church Vienna on July 2nd, Mike Waltner was ordained priest to continue as curate in that congregation and Ros Wilkinson was ordained priest to continue to serve at the Church of the Resurrection, Pera, Istanbul. Both were ordained by Bishop Robert. People had travelled from the USA, Yorkshire, Istanbul, Prague and Budapest to name but a few places. On what was a hot Viennese day, the elderflower cordial in the garden following the service was most welcome!
At St George’s Paris, on the following day, Bishop Robert ordained Nicolas Razafindratsima to the Diaconate. Nicolas was supported in particular by his family and the Malagasy community who made this a truly memorable occasion. Three languages were used in their turn. Praise and joyful singing were expressed in Malagache. Appropriately, the sermon was preached in French and the Bishop blessed the bread and the wine in English.
These are hugely significant events in the life of any Diocese, all the more so in the Diocese in Europe where ordinands and families have made long and often tiring journeys to be present at these celebrations. We are grateful, this year, to the clergy and people of Christ Church Vienna and St George’s Paris for being such generous hosts in every way. We thank Canon John Wilkinson for his ministry both during the retreat and at the Vienna and Paris ordination services.
“Father, give to Nicolas, Mike, Ros and Chris skill and gentleness in the practice of their ministry and perseverance always in prayer.”