Yesterday, Pentecost Sunday, our community celebrated Father Hubert’s sixtieth anniversary of ordination. Father Marius had mentioned during the week that it was his fifty-fifth, and Father Eustace and Father Justinian will be celebrating their fiftieth in December, but a sixtieth of ordination is quite an achievement. Father Hubert decided that he would be able to be principal celebrant the 12.00 Mass. Now that his eyesight is almost completely gone, he hasn’t said Mass in the Church for a couple of years. Father Eustace assisted him with the parts of the Mass which were proper to the Feast of Pentecost; the rest of the Mass, including the Eucharistic Prayer, he knows by heart. Here is Father Anthony (a mere forty-nine years ordained this year) vesting for the Mass while Father Marius looks on. You can see me in the mirror taking the picture.
Father Hubert arrived in good time. Here he is washing his hands before vesting.
And here he is heading for the vestments, wearing his new habit for the first time. It looks as if it doesn’t fit very well, but that’s only because he is wearing three sweaters in case he might feel cold in the church.
Father Hubert invited me to give the homily which, I must confess, was more on his life and virtues than on the Feast of Pentecost. However, on his jubilee prayer card he had put the words of Blessed John XXIII: O Holy Spirit, Paraclete, perfect in us the work begun by Jesus.
We celebrated Father Hubert’s jubilee a few days early because, although the actual date of his ordination is 31 May, he is leaving for Rome the day before to attend the Canonisation of Father Charles. -Not bad for an eighty-six year old!