Catholic News Agency: Former Anglicans make thanksgiving pilgrimage to Rome

25 02 2012

By David Kerr, CNA

Over 100 former Anglicans from the British Isles concluded a pilgrimage to Rome Feb. 24 in thanksgiving for the creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

“It has been quite poignant because almost all of the people who are with me were not Catholics until Easter last year,” Monsignor Keith Newton, the head of the U.K. ordinariate told CNA on Feb. 24.

The ordinariate was established last year by Pope Benedict XVI to give Anglicans the possibility of entering into communion with the Catholic Church while still preserving their “distinctive Anglican patrimony.”

“Now they have come to the center of Catholicism, they’ve come to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul to pray and to give thanks, and I think they’ve been genuinely moved by this, really,” Msgr. Newton said of his fellow pilgrims.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham already has 57 priests and over 1,000 members throughout England, Wales and Scotland. This Easter it will receive another 200 lay people and 20 priests into the Church.

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Catholic News Service: Former Anglicans celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s, give thanks to pope

25 02 2012

By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For perhaps the first time ever, Anglican hymns, chants and prayers reverberated off the marble walls of St. Peter’s Basilica as some members of the world’s first ordinariate for former Anglicans celebrated their coming into the Catholic Church.

“Wonderful is not a strong enough word to express how we feel to be here,” where the apostle Peter gave his life “and where his successors guarded the faith for generations,” said Father Len Black in his homily.

Mass at the basilica and the pilgrimage to Rome generated “a feeling of coming home,” said the Catholic priest who served as an Episcopalian pastor in the Scottish Highlands for 31 years.

The group of about 94 pilgrims, including a dozen priests, was led by Msgr. Keith Newton, head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established in January 2011 for former Anglicans in England and Wales.

After celebrating morning Mass Feb. 24 in a side chapel, the group moved to the center of the basilica and stood in front of the “Confessio” — a lower chapel honoring St. Peter’s confession of faith that led to his martyrdom — and recited the General Thanksgiving, a traditional Anglican prayer.

“That was very moving, thanking God for all we received this year and for the pilgrimage,” he told Catholic News Service.

The weeklong Lenten pilgrimage highlighted the season’s call to conversion but also was an opportunity to thank Pope Benedict XVI for establishing a structure for welcoming former Anglicans into the Catholic Church. Msgr. Newton, the ordinary, also met briefly with the pope at the end of the pope’s general audience Feb. 22.

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Houston Chronicle: ‘Bringing ex-Anglicans into the Catholic fold’

11 02 2012

By Kate Shellnutt in the Houston Chronicle:

The Rev. Jeffrey Steenson’s colleagues joke that during the past several years, he’s gone from a church heretic to a hierarch.

Even though he has been a Catholic priest for only about three years, Steenson was Pope Benedict’s pick to lead a brand-new structure for Catholic converts from Anglican churches, a position he officially takes on this weekend in Houston.

Catholic bishops and leaders from across the country will fill downtown’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at 3 p.m. Sunday for his installation as the head of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

The ordinariate consists of Catholic parishes that maintain some traditional Anglican prayers and music in services. Like most of the members of these communities, called Anglican Use parishes, Steenson used to be an Episcopalian, an Episcopal bishop, in fact.

He converted to Catholicism in 2007, after spending most of his career studying the church fathers, striving for ecumenicalism and, ultimately, feeling God put on his conscience that the Catholic Church was the “one, true, holy and apostolic” body.

A married father of three and amateur pilot, Steenson joined the church under provisions initially made for former Anglicans in the early ’80s by Pope John Paul II. About that time, the first Anglican Use parishes formed in the U.S., including Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio and Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, now the headquarters for Steenson’s ordinariate.

The announcement came as a surprise to Steenson and members of the local parish, which years ago “had been meeting in borrowed chapels and rented warehouses. We wouldn’t have imagined it would have come to this and that Houston would be the headquarters for this nationwide (ordinariate),” said Clint Brand, a parishioner at Our Lady of Walsingham and professor at the University of St. Thomas. “It’s a recognition of what converts have carried with them into the Catholic Church. We can now reclaim the tradition that taught us to be Catholic.”

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The Tablet: ‘Australian Ordinariate Named’

10 02 2012

From The Tablet:

The Australian “home” for former Anglicans coming into full communion with Rome is to be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

Bishop Peter Elliott, a former Anglican charged with overseeing the establishment of the Australian ordinariate, also said that the structure should be autonomous more quickly than has been the case with its British counterpart.

He made his comments in an article for the breakaway Traditional Anglican Communion’s online journal The Messenger after his visit to England last month for first anniversary celebrations of the British ordinariate.

He added: “At this stage the [British] ordinariate is … a ‘nursling in arms’. It needs much support, care and encouragement as it gradually finds its place in the wider Church.”





Bishop Peter Elliott’s report on the Ordinariate in England

3 02 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of  Our Lady of Walsingham’s official website:

The first birthday of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was celebrated fittingly on Sunday January 15th  2012  at St James, Spanish Place, with Solemn Evensong, Sermon, Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, Te Deum and Benediction. Together with other clergy, I assisted in choir at this act of thanksgiving on the last night of a fascinating two week visit to London.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton presided and preached. What I found most encouraging was not only his “upbeat” message, full of his own warmth and pastoral confidence, but the sense of achievement and joy among the large congregation who had gathered for the celebration.

The choir of St James brought forth the best of the Anglican Patrimony, wedded to the English Catholic heritage,  We entered to Parry “I was glad when they said unto me” (vivid memories of the coronation in 1953). Stanford provided the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!” accompanied the Eucharistic procession, while the canopy over the Sacrament was borne by four robed Knights of Malta. Stanford again gave us his Te Deum, while Elgar provided a limpid O Salutaris, not forgetting the traditional translation of Benediction used across three centuries by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

What I discerned in London is an Ordinariate that is growing steadily, facing challenges, especially church sharing, yet moving ahead. Nevertheless, some Catholic journalists have claimed that undue control is being exercised over the Ordinariate by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. Frankly I do not share that concern.

The Bishops I talked to want the Ordinariate to flourish and are not overprotective. But, to be realistic, at this stage the Ordinariate is very young, a “nursling in arms”. It needs much support, care and encouragement as it gradually finds its place in the wider Church. It will not be absorbed and it will not be turned into an ecclesiastical nature reserve. Nor should we heed mischievous rumors that some people are reverting to Anglicanism out of disappointment. Long ago, that tale was spread about Blessed John Henry Newman himself. It is a standard fantasy, the gossip of those who feel insecure about other people’s choices. In fact, new groups are forming and emerging and individuals are quietly making their choice for unity.

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Former Anglican Vicar received at Spanish Place

3 02 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsigngham’s official website:

The Reverend Scott Anderson, formerly Vicar of St Andrew’s, Willesden Green, and St Mary the Virgin, Lewisham,  has been received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at St James’, Spanish Place for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. He was joined by friends and colleagues, including Fr David Irwin (Westminster), his predecessor at Willesden Green, Fr Chris Marshall (Ordinariate), a former colleague at Kelham Theological College, and fellow curates from Sheffield who acted as his sponsors. Also present was the Rector of Spanish Place and long-time friend, Fr Christopher Colven, who received him as they gathered to celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas). Scott now joins the London (South) Ordinariate Group.





Catholic Herald: All former Anglicans can join ordinariate, says bishop

26 01 2012

From the Catholic Herald:

An English bishop has confirmed that Anglicans who were received into the Catholic Church years ago can join the personal ordinariate created by Benedict XVI last year.

The Pope established the world’s first personal ordinariate for groups of former Anglicans that wished to enter into full communion with Rome in January 2011. There was discussion at the time about whether Anglicans received before 2011 could also join the structure under the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus, the apostolic constitution describing the nature of personal ordinariates.

Writing in the January 2012 issue of The Newman, the journal of the Newman Association, Bishop Alan Hopes clarified that the ordinariate was open to all former Anglicans.

The bishop, who serves as an auxiliary in Westminster diocese and as episcopal delegate to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, wrote: “The personal ordinariate is for former Anglicans – but Anglicans who converted some years ago can, if they so wish, say that they would like to become members of the ordinariate. There is that dual possibility.

“The decision-making body is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They are the people who will be the final arbiters in any question that might arise. There are points in the constitution [Anglicanorum coetibus] that will have to be fleshed out.”

The bishop, a former Anglican who was received into the Catholic Church in 1994, said that the long-term future of the ordinariate was unclear.

“As for the future, it may be God’s will that it should be the present structure, but maybe in 50 years’ time the ordinariate will become fully integrated into the Catholic Church. Who knows? We must wait and see,” he wrote.