|It was a great joy last Saturday to ordain Rev. Edward Hauschild to the priesthood, with many priest concelebrants present and people from all over. Fr. Edward’s parents and close family were there and many friends from different stages of his life. Also taking part were some of our seminarians, Fr. Stephen Wang, Rector of the English College Rome, Fr. Joseph Corola SJ from the Gregorian University, Canon Dominic and the Knights of St. Columba from Jersey, as well as brothers and sisters from the other Christian communities, including Revs. Maureen Roberts, Sarah Hall and Philippa White. Fr. Edward, who said his First Mass in Chandlers Ford where for many years he was an altar server, now returns to Jersey as assistant priest.
Here is an extract from the sermon I preached.
It is hard to think of a more fitting day for the ordination of a priest that this feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. This is the day that changed the world, when God became man and humans became Divine. This is the Good News of salvation a priest is ordained to proclaim. But this feast invariably falls in Lent or in Passiontide, reminding us that the One conceived in the Virgin’s womb is the only Person in history born not to live but to die. He has come to do God’s will. He has come to lay down His life for us in perfect love. He has come to offer Himself to the Father for us and for our salvation. Jesus Christ is humanity’s High Priest and the offering He makes on the Cross is Himself, His Flesh and Blood. He the Priest, He is the Victim. This is why in Christianity to be a priest means to be a victim. We see this also in Mary. Her yes to the angel changed everything. She lived a lifetime of maternal self-offering, bearing, supporting, following Her Son and standing at the foot of the Cross, She united Her self-offering to His supreme sacrifice. In this way Mary too is a perfect icon of the priesthood, shewing what all Christians are daily called to do.
These days when people think of being a priest, they often imagine that celibacy must be the hardest thing. It’s true; it does have its moments. But of the promises we make, obedience is surely the more challenging. Edward, in a moment you will promise respect and obedience to me, as your Bishop, and to my successors. You will become the Bishop’s Man. This is a profound undertaking for which I thank you. Obedience, from ob-audire, means to listen to. You are promising to listen to what God wants of you, not only interiorly through your own prayer and reflection, but externally through Christ’s Church and what legitimate authority asks of you. This is countercultural, for we live in a world that prizes individualism, innovation and initiative. Yet here again, the Blessed Mother is a perfect example. She shews us how to be obedient. For every day She listened out for God’s Word; She welcomed It when It came, believed It, pondered It and put It into practice: Let what you have said be done to me. In the Catholic Church, no presbyter can ever be a lone-ranger, someone who does their own thing. So Edward, I ask you to stay close to the Bishop, to make it your priority to know his mind and will, and generously to collaborate with him in the service of the Church.
We wish him well in his Ministry.