Ordinariate: Another Anglican bishop answers Pope Benedict’s call to unity

8 01 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

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Former Anglican monk and bishop, Robert Mercer, has been received into the full communion of the Catholic Church by Monsignor Keith Newton through the Personal Ordinariate of
Our Lady of Walsingham.

On Saturday 7 January, Mgr Newton celebrated Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship at the historic church of St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, by kind permission of the Reverend John Maunder, who cares for the Traditional Anglican Communion faithful in that area.

Mgr Newton said, ‘It is a great privilege to receive Robert into the fullness of Catholic life. He is a man of unimpeachable moral stature who, through his ministry in Africa and with the Community of the Resurrection, brings many valuable treasures of Anglican life into the Catholic Church’.

Robert Mercer was born in Zimbabwe and has been a member of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, for 49 years. From 1977-89 he was the Anglican bishop of Matabeleland and from 1989-2005 he served as a bishop of the Traditional Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. He retired in 2005 and became the Episcopal Visitor to the Traditional Anglican Communion in the UK.

Six former Anglican bishops have now been reconciled to the Holy See through the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

[Photo credit: (c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Left to Right: Fr Edwin Barnes, Fr Anthony Glaysher (Parish Priest of Ryde), Fr Jonathan Redvers Harris, Mgr Keith Newton, Robert Mercer, John Newbery (Sponsor) and Fr Graham Smith.]





Church Times: Fr Steenson to lead US Ordinariate

6 01 2012

From the Church Times:

Pope Benedict XVI established an Ordinariate for the United States on New Year’s Day, almost one year since the creation of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales (News, 21 January 2011)

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, based in Houston, Texas, will be led by the former Episcopal Bishop of Rio Grande, Fr Jeffrey Steenson, who became a Roman Catholic in 2007 and was reordained priest in 2009. Fr Steenson (left) will be installed as Ordinary of the US Ordinariate on 19 February at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.

A statement issued on New Year’s Day by the US Ordinariate said that it had been created “in response to numerous requests”; it said that more than 100 Anglican priests had “already applied to become Catholic priests for the ordinariate, and nearly 1400 individuals from 22 communities are seeking to enter”. It said that two of the communities “already entered the Catholic Church” in the autumn “after a period of preparation”.

Fr Steenson asked for prayer “that we may strive to learn the faith, laws, and culture of the Catholic Church with humility and good cheer. But pray too that we do not forget who we are and where we have come from, for we have been formed in the beautiful and noble Anglican tradition…”

The Ordinary of the UK Ordinariate, Mgr Keith Newton, said on Monday: “The Holy Father’s vision for the visible reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See continues apace.”

In a pastoral letter published yesterday, the Bishop of Rio Grande, Dr Michael Vono, said that the announcement that Fr Steenson, his predecessor, would be leading the US Ordinariate “has evoked in some a sense of disillusionment, betrayal, sadness and confusion”.

Dr Vono described the new Ordinariate as “a gracious pastoral gesture from the Vatican to those who, with conviction and personal faith, can neither live nor practise their Christianity comfortably in the household of the Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion”. He said that those who had decided to leave the Episcopal Church for the Ordinariate “go with our blessings, prayers and abiding love”.

Dr Vono continued: “Remain steadfast and faithful to the Gospel as you have received it within this Episcopal-Anglican household of faith. Our future is God’s future, and as Lord of the Church Jesus will bring into being what humanity needs in every age. If you are experiencing a sense of betrayal, sadness, confusion or if you are questioning your faith tradition, I pray that it gives way to trust that ultimately God’s will always prevails, and that, in God’s good time, the Church’s definitive future will be revealed.”





Tablet: Funding urgently needed for ordinariate

5 01 2012

To assist with this appeal, please visit the website of the Friends of the Ordinariate.

From the Tablet:

A 10 per cent levy will be charged to each ordinariate group in order to support the funding of the new structure. Mgr John Broadhurst, who is in charge of finance for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said the levy will fund the group’s central administration.

Writing in the ordinariate magazine, The Portal, he said many groups had not yet come forward with the contribution they had promised to make, and the need for more funds was “now extremely urgent”.

The group has to support its 60 clergy, many of whom are married with families, although Mgr Broadhurst said some ordinariate priests are being paid by their local dioceses.





Catholic Herald on US Ordinariate

1 01 2012

From the Catholic Herald:

Benedict XVI has established a personal ordinariate for groups of ex-Anglicans in America who wish to become Catholics and named a married former Episcopal bishop to lead it.

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Telegraph: Hundreds more Church of England defections expected

28 12 2011

Martin Beckford writes for the Daily Telegraph:

Hundreds more disaffected Anglicans will cross over to the Roman Catholic Church this year as the Church of England prepares to take another important step towards the ordination of women bishops.

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Guardian: The Catholic priest with nine children

18 12 2011

Fr Ian Hellyer from the Buckfast Ordinariate Group was recently interviewed in the Guardian:

Father Ian Hellyer is a Roman Catholic priest – but far from being celibate, he’s a father. Not just to a couple of children, either: in true Roman Catholic fashion, Father Ian has lots of them – nine, in fact, ranging from 18-year-old Clare to seven-month-old Rose – taking in Teresa (17), Angela (15), Martha (11), John (nine), Luke (seven), Simeon (four) and Gregory (two) in between.

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Darlington Ordinariate Group: Bishop is to take final service

28 11 2011

From the Northern Echo:

The new Bishop of Durham will preach at a church’s final service before the congregation joins a new branch of the Catholic Church.

Worshippers at St James the Great Church, in Darlington, will hold their final mass at their church, in Albert Hill, in February, before the majority move to St Anne’s RC Church, pictured left, on Ash Wednesday.

The 61-strong group will take Catholic instructions during Lent before being received into full communion and the Ordinariate Church on April 4 – the Wednesday of Holy Week. The Ordinariate is a new branch of the Catholic Church set up for Anglicans wishing to leave the Church of England in protest at the decision to ordain women as bishops. The Darlington group is believed to be one of the largest such groups.

The congregation decided earlier in the year to join the Ordinariate. They were unsure whether they would be able to stay at St James, which has been Anglo-Catholic for more than a century. They found a new church, which they will share with the current congregation at St Anne’s, in nearby Haughton, although services will not clash, but have yet to find a new home for priest Father Ian Grieves.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, the new Bishop of Durham, said a priest would be found for St James, adding: “There’s still a parish that needs a parish priest, and the new incumbent will be part of the tradition of the area which is quite a high church.

“I have known Ian Grieves for a long time. When I was training, in 1992, I did a placement with him at St James and I learnt a huge amount from him. He’s a very good priest and he’s clearly going to be a loss to the diocese and we are sad about that.

“You would be a fool to deny that there are deep divisions in the Church of England over a number of issues and this is one of them.

“This is the path that he and a number of the congregation have chosen. We have friendly relations with him and he’s very kindly invited me to preach on the last Sunday before they leave. I think the tone of that will be to wish them every blessing in their continued walk with Jesus Christ.”

Fr Grieves has spent 22 years with St James. He increased the number of followers from 18 and helped to raise hundreds and thousands of pounds for improvements.

He said it was with great sadness and a heavy heart they were leaving St James, but added it had been a great privilege to serve the congregation, with whom he had shared much and achieved great things.





NCR: Pope Approves Date for American Ordinariate for Former Episcopalians

17 11 2011

From the National Catholic Reporter:

BALTIMORE — Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington announced Nov. 15 at the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore that the Anglican-use ordinariate for former Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church will be established in the United States on Jan. 1, 2012

The announcement comes almost two years after Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus authorizing the creation of ordinariates, which are similar to dioceses, for former Anglicans. It allows groups of Anglicans to come into the Catholic Church while retaining elements of the Anglican heritage and liturgical tradition.

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Rome Reports on US Ordinariate

17 11 2011




Catholic Herald: US ordinariate to be created on January 1, says cardinal

16 11 2011

From the Catholic Herald:

A new ordinariate will be created on January 1 to bring Anglicans into the US Catholic Church, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington has announced at an annual meeting of the country’s bishops’ conference.

Cardinal Wuerl also said 67 Anglican priests had submitted their dossiers seeking ordination in the Catholic Church, and 35 of those had received initial approval from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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