Cardinal Wuerl welcomes US Ordinariate

1 01 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter:

Cardinal Wuerl was the Vatican’s representative for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States

It is with great joy that I welcome the establishment of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, and the announcement that Reverend Jeffrey N. Steenson, DPhil, has been appointed its first Ordinary.

Today’s events are the fulfillment of the hopes of many Anglicans in the United States who have longed and prayed for reconciliation with the Catholic Church while retaining cherished elements of the Anglican patrimony.

The establishment of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter is the culmination of careful preparation and much consultation with Vatican officials and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I am especially grateful for the generous assistance and fraternal welcome that many local bishops have extended to those Anglican clergy and groups seeking to join the Ordinariate.

As the former Episcopal Bishop of the Rio Grande, Father Steenson brings to the position of Ordinary great pastoral and administrative experience, along with his gifts as a theologian. Under his leadership, and through the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter will both flourish and be a rich blessing to the Catholic Church in the United States.

Ordinary welcomes appointment of US counterpart

1 01 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

Monsignor Keith Newton has enthusiastically welcomed the appointment of the Reverend Dr Jeffrey Steenson as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St Peter, erected today in the United States.

On hearing the news of the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, Mgr Newton said, ‘Fr Steenson is a warm and compassionate priest with a wealth of experience, and I am delighted by his appointment’.

The appointment of Fr Steenson marks the official establishment of the second Personal Ordinariate for those from the Anglican tradition who wish to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, whilst retaining those elements of Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony consonant with Catholic faith and practice. Dr Steenson formerly served as a bishop of the Episcopal Church before being received into the Catholic Church, and ordained under the Pastoral Provision.

Speaking of the erection of the US Ordinariate, Mgr Newton said, ‘The Holy Father’s vision for the visible reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See continues apace. As we enter in 2012, we pray that many more will take up Christ’s call – ut unum sint – and fulfil the prayer of generations for an Anglicanism united but not absorbed’.

Biography of the Reverend Dr Jeffrey Steenson

The Reverend Dr Jeffrey Neil Steenson was born on 1st April 1952 and spent 24 years in the ministry of the Episcopal Church, serving in parishes in Pennsylvania and Texas. He holds an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and an M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and completed a doctorate on Basil of Ancyra at the University of Oxford in 1983. In 2005, he was made bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, having previously served there as Coadjutor and Canon to the Ordinary. His resignation as bishop took effect on 1st December 2007, and he was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church that day. Having petitioned for ordination under the terms of Bl. John Paul II’s Pastoral Provision, Fr Steenson studied at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. He was ordained to the diaconate by Cardinal Bernard Law in 2008, and to the sacred priesthood on 21st February 2009 by the Archbishop of Santa Fe, the Most Reverend Michael J. Sheehan. He has since taught at the University of St Thomas and at St Mary’s Seminary, both in Houston, Texas. Fr Steenson is married to Debra, and has three grown-up children.


1 01 2012


La Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, a norma della Costituzione Apostolica Anglicanorum coetibus, ha eretto l’Ordinariato Personale di The Chair of Saint Peter nel territorio della Conferenza Episcopale degli Stati Uniti d’America.

Nel contempo il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha nominato primo Ordinario il Reverendo Jeffrey Neil Steenson.

Rev. Jeffrey Neil Steenson, D.Phil. (Oxon)

Carl and Lois Davis Visiting Professor in Patristic Studies, University of St. Thomas/St Mary’s Seminary, Houston, TX (2009-). Licensed in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Undergraduate course: THEO 3382 — God, One and Triune (autumn, 2009).
Graduate courses: YHS5304 – Patristics; CG5312 – Patrology (spring, 2010).
Received into the Roman Catholic Church (Advent 2007); ordained deacon (Dec. 13, 2008) and priest (Feb. 21, 2009) under the Pastoral Provision for married Anglican clergy; incardinated in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Recipient of Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders (2008).
Sabbatical study at the Instituto Patristico Augustinianum; in residence at the Pontifical Irish College (2008-2009).
Taught core curriculum course (THE2311 – Western Theological Tradition), in the University of Dallas Rome Program (Spring 2009).
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM (2004-2007); Canon to the Ordinary (2000-2004).

Served on the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops.
Member of the Board of Trustees, Nashotah House Seminary.
Member and Officer of the Board of Directors, The Living Church Foundation.
Member of the Board of Directors, The Anglican Digest.
Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, TX (1989-2000).

Member of the Board of Directors, The Living Church Foundation.
Officer of the Episcopal Synod of America.
Member of the Board of Trustees, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.
Member of the Board of Trustees, The University of the South.
Rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA (1985-1989).

Lecturer in Anglican Theology, The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
Member of the Steering Committee of the Evangelical and Catholic Mission.
Assistant, All Saints’ Church, Wynnewood, PA (1983-1985).

Tutor and Adjunct in Theology, The General Theological Seminary, New York.
Doctoral Studies, University of Oxford (Christ Church) (1979-1983).

Assistant, All Saints’ Church, Highfield, Oxford, England.
Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow (1979-1983).
Ordained Anglican Priest by the Bishop of Oxford in Christ Church Cathedral (June 29, 1980).
Sportswriter, The News-Sun, Waukegan, Illinois (1972-1979).


D. Phil. (Theology), University of Oxford, (1979-1983). Thesis: “Basil of Ancyra and the Reception of the Nicene Creed.”

M.Div., cum laude, Harvard Divinity School (1976-1978) (New Testament/ patristics).

MA., summa cum laude, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1974-1976) (church history).

B.A., cum laude (history), Trinity College (1970-1974) (history).


Birthdate: April 1, 1952.

Family: married to Debra J. Arnold in 1974; children: Kristina (33), Eric (30), John Mark (24).

Interests: Flying (private, commercial, instrument-rated, ASEL & ASES).


“The Unopened Gift,” Anglican Theological Review 87 (Fall 2005): 645-651.

“The New Donatists: Why the Fight for Orthodoxy within Anglicanism Must Avoid Ancient

Errors” [T.W. Smith Lecture at St. John’s, Elora, Ontario, 2005] (publication anticipated).

“Intimacy and Friendship: Some Boundary Issues,” Anglican Theological Review 85 (Winter 2003): 97-102.

“Scripture and Tradition: A Famous Irenaean Text Revisited” Proceedings of the Atlantic Theological Conference (Charlottetown, P.E.I., 1993).

“Episcopal Jurisdiction in Athanasius: A Line in the Sand?” [International Patristics Conference, Oxford, England, August, 1991].

“Koinonia and Reception: A Response to the Report of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Communion and Women in the Episcopate” (Episcopal Synod of America, 1989).

“The Teaching Tradition: Scripture and Doctrine” in The Scriptures and Modern Christian Teaching [Proceedings of the Theological Conference 1988] (Charlottetown, 1988), pp. 59-71.

“Patterns of Orthodox Witness: Some Principles from the Nicene Fathers” in Rebuilding the House of God [Proceedings of the Theological Conference 1987] (Charlottetown, P.E.I., 1988), pp. 101-109.

“Basil of Ancyra on the Meaning of Homoousios” in Arianism: Historical and Theological Reassessments, ed. Robert C. Gregg [Patristic Monograph Series, 11] (Cambridge, MA., 1985), pp. 267-279.

Basil of Ancyra and the Course of Nicene Orthodoxy (D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 1983).

“The Date of the Philocalia” in Origeniana Tertia, ed. R. Hanson and H. Crouzel (Rome, 1985), pp. 245-252.

Various reviews, conference papers, and addresses.

Christmas Message from Mgr Newton

23 12 2011

Mgr Newton writes:

Amongst all that is going on at Christmas tide, we know we should never lose sight of the truth of the Incarnation: that God has entered his creation. It is into the mess and mayhem of our world and our lives that Jesus comes. Those who have entered the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate this year have had to adapt to new and changed situations. Many of the clergy have not only had to leave church buildings but their homes as well. This can be very unsettling but no less unsettling for those many lay people who have left churches and worshiping communities that they have known and loved for many years: place is important. This year that which might seem unsettling opens for us the possibility of hearing and receiving afresh the news of the Shepherds; the song of the Angels; and the call of the Magi. It’s into the untidiness and difficulties of our lives that God, in his Son, wants to come.

At this Christmas time, I want to both recognise and thank all those who have been courageous enough to respond to our Holy Father’s invitation to be one with Peter, the Rock on which this child, born for us, built his Church. My prayer for those clergy, their families and the many lay people who have given generously of their time and resources, and who have let go of familiar things which offered security, is that the joy of the birth of Our Saviour may have a new and deeper meaning as we celebrate the Word made flesh who lives among us.

A blessed and holy Christmas to you all.

The Rt Revd Mgr Keith Newton

Anglican Bishop Robert Mercer CR to be received into Catholic Church via Ordinariate

22 12 2011

This news comes via the English Catholic blog:

Dear Brother,

On December 8 while en route to Vienna, Archbishop Hepworth made a 24 hour stop over in England. He lunched with me in Worthing and then went on to celebrate the holy communion at St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, in the evening. In his sermon he reminded us that the BCP of 1662 remembers three conceptions, of the Lord, of the Lady, of the cousin. St Stephen’s College, the fine ACA school in Coomera, Queensland, of which he is President, has an orchestra and a choir which were due to perform in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, a place we associate with the music of Haydn, Mozart and the Vienna Boys Choir. Naturally enough, the President wanted to be present for that. Since he would already be in Europe, he would stay on for some holiday, mostly travelling on trains through the mountain passes of Austria and Italy. His Grace was in excellent spirits and health.

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News from Calgary

18 12 2011

Today, the Revd Lee Kenyon, his family and parish will be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in anticipation of a Personal Ordinariate in Canada:

Dear brethren in Christ,

At a Special Meeting of Parishioners on 21 November 2010, the Solemnity of Christ the King, some 90% of parishioners present voted to accept “unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus”. Only two parishioners voted against this motion. The motion instructed the Churchwardens to begin negotiations with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary to transfer the parish, and its property, to an Ordinariate, when established.

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+Vincent Nichols: Progress on Ordinariate & Principal Church

11 12 2011

This is a transcript from part of the Press Conference following the November 2011 Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales. In it, Madeleine Teahan (Catholic Herald) asks Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales, about progress relating to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as discussed at the meeting.  The full audio can be found here.

MT: As I understand it the Ordinariate was discussed aswell during the time. The first question is, what is the progress on the Ordinariate project and, most specifically, do they have a church yet? [Ed: Second question about holydays of obligation].

+VN: Yes, we had report from Monsignor Keith Newton. He gave us an indication of the present numbers within the Ordinariate, and that was about 60 clergy and about 1000 people. He gave us some indication of those who where coming forward, as it were, in a second wave – at the moment I think he said that there were about 20 clergy, most of them with some groups, but he didn’t specify the size of the groups.  We talked quite a bit about the support of those 60 clergy and how co-operation between the Ordinariate clergy and diocesan responsibilities is going quite well. I think you will have seen that some of the Ordinariate clergy are taking posts in the dioceses. Some of those posts are chaplaincy posts, some of those are parish posts – posts in parishes – and that is obviously helping the Ordinariate to carry its’ responsibilities for its clergy.

With regard to churches: the groups that exist on the whole find their use of the local diocesan church perfectly adequate. I think I read that the Archbishop of Southwark has more or less handed one church into the care of the Ordinariate.  With regard to the suggestion that constantly comes up about a headquarters church, as it were – a cathedral for the Ordinariate – I think that is something probably beyond their resources at the present time, and I don’t think the Ordinariate would thank us, actually, to simply give it responsibility for a church that it would have to then maintain and upkeep.  That day might well come, and it certainly is not ruled out  there are various things under consideration – but the timing of it is not to be rushed, and nor should it be made into some sort of iconic issue: it isn’t. The Ordinariate is getting established, it’s getting ready for its’ second step, and we will see how it develops in that proper organic way.