On Wednesday, Monsignor Nicholas Hudson was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood.
In his homily, the archbishop of Westminster, the principle celebrant of the Mass, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, spoke of the anointing from which Jesus takes his title as “‘the Christ’, ‘the Anointed One’, a reality of grace in which we are invited to share.”
“The journey through life of each of us, in faithfulness to Christ, is always the work of the Holy Spirit. Only through the power of that Spirit is faith planted in our souls. Only through the Holy Spirit can we take to heart the transforming Word of God: that Jesus, the Word made flesh has conquered death and in that way completely transforms the horizons of our daily lives. Now we see beyond death. We live each day in the hope and promise of eternity.”
Addressing the newly-ordained Bishop Hudson directly, the cardinal said: “You, Nicholas, are now bound so closely to Christ, the Bridegroom, that you look on the Church, on us all, with the eyes and the love of Christ himself. With this anointing you change posts, as it were, now standing with the Bridegroom. That is why we see in the bishop a special presence of our beloved Lord.”
Recalling the Lord’s question to St Peter, “Peter, do you love me more than these?”, the Cardinal spoke about it as “a question addressed not in order to elicit precedence or privilege or any cause for boasting, but simply the measure of the service that Peter is going to give.”
“It is an unmistakable sign that discipleship is costly,” he said. “We may like to think that we have chosen to follow the Lord, to enthrone him as our Master. But in fact he has chosen us, and he will do with us just whatever he wants, for the sake of his kingdom.”
Cardinal Vincent concluded: “You are here for the sake of his kingdom and in receiving you as his gift we know that we need you, your goodness, your experience, your clarity of mind but most of all your love of the Lord.”
Among those in attendance at the ordination were Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; Archbishop Peter Smith, of Southwark; Emeritus Archbishop of Southwark Michael Bowen; Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; and Msgr. Vincent Brady, representing the Apostolic Nuncio The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams of Oystermouth, was among the ecumenical guests present at the ceremony.
Bishop Hudson will have responsibility for the pastoral care of Central and East London, consisting of the Deaneries of Camden, Hackney, Islington, Marylebone, Tower Hamlets and Westminster. He will also have oversight of the Agency for Evangelisation.
Before receiving his new appointment as bishop, Msgr. Hudson had since 2013 served as parish priest of Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, the parish where he was baptized and later ordained.
In 2000 he was appointed Vice-Rector and in 2004 Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, where he served until 2013.