Fr Nicolas von Malaise Ordination & First Mass

On Saturday 19th January at St Georges Cathedral, Southwark, Deacon Nicolas von Malaisé was ordained priest by Archbishop Peter Smith. Deacon Stuart Meyers was also ordained priest with him. 

Father Nicolas started his ministry as an Anglican priest, his last parish was in Birmingham, and Saturday was the beginning of a new chapter in his life. Seven years ago as an Anglican priest he married Kirsty and they have a son, Matthias.

After he was received into the Catholic Church he embarked on a course of formation at St John’s seminary in preparation for ordination to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood.

On Sunday 20th January at Our Lady Immaculate Parish he celebrated his “First” Mass.  Fr. Ronald from the Brompton Oratory preached and afterwards Fr. Nicolas gave his first blessing and joined many of the parishioners for refreshments and the cutting of a cake made especially for the occasion by Philip Jaganatharan and his wife.  Fr. Nicolas will work at Our Lady Immaculate parish as an assistant priest until he is appointed as a parish priest later in the year.

Some Catholics ask, “How can a former Anglican be ordained a Catholic priest as he is married?”  A married former Anglican minister can be ordained as a Catholic deacon and then priest, because he is exempt by a special favour or dispensation from the Holy Father of making the promise of celibacy; however, if he later became a widower, then he would be bound to a celibate lifestyle and could not remarry. The promise of celibacy is waived as a favour to those married clergy, given their particular circumstances and their desire to unite with the Catholic Church. However, the Holy Father has repeatedly affirmed the discipline of celibacy on Roman Catholic clergy of the Latin Rite. (The Eastern Rites do not require the promise of celibacy except for bishops.) Pope Paul VI in his encyclical, “Sacerdotalis Caelibatus” (1967) reflected that celibacy is an identification with Christ, who Himself was celibate; an act of sacrificial love whereby a priest gives of himself totally to the service of God and His Church; and a sign of the coming Kingdom of God, where Our Lord said, “In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Mt 22:30).

Canon Anthony Charlton