Fr Nye marries noble couple in Austria

Fr Tony Nye SJ marries Johannes and Ekaterina in Aigen, Austria: Bunte
Fr Tony Nye SJ marries Johannes and Ekaterina in Aigen, Austria: Bunte

When Johannes, who comes from an aristocratic Austrian family, and his fiancée Ekaterina - originally from Moscow – decided to get married, they were living and working in London. They naturally turned to their local Catholic church – the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street, London – to prepare them for their marriage and their lives ahead, and struck up a friendship with Jesuit priest, Fr Anthony Nye SJ.

However, Johannes and Ekaterina wanted to be married in the village church of Aigen, just outside the beautiful city of Salzburg, close to Johannes’ family home. But since Fr Nye had provided them with marriage preparation, they asked whether he would perform the ceremony – and flew him out to Salzburg with two members of the Mount Street Community to perform their wedding in English.

The happy couple after their wedding: Bunte

“Nearly everyone spoke perfect English,” says Fr Nye. “There were so many young families there and the children were so well behaved!”

As I visiting priest, Fr Nye needed a Certificate of Dispensation from the diocese in which he is based (Westminster) in order to officiate at the ceremony; and this caused its own excitement. “The parish priest was so pleased with the embossed certificate of Dispensation from the Archdiocese of Westminster complete with coat of arms,” Fr Nye recalls. “He kept showing it with pride.”

After the wedding, Fr Nye had the opportunity for some sightseeing. “I had a few pleasant days as a tourist in Salzburg with echoes of The Sound of Music,” he says, “but age prevented me from climbing every mountain!” Fr Nye is 84.