Guest post by Kevin Greenlee
Among the multitude of riches which the Oxford Movement added to the Anglican patrimony was the advent of many Anglican devotional guilds and societies such as the Society of Mary and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. While diverse in their specific devotional ends, many of them had as their motivation the desire to restore lost devotion to the English Church and make restitution for neglected spiritual duties.
It’s my conviction that the three Ordinariates would benefit greatly from bringing versions of these societies to life within the full communion of the Catholic Church. Such societies will provide opportunities for lay members of the Ordinariate to grow in holiness while making restitution for neglected spiritual duties, and they will be a gift to the whole Church Catholic.
On July 7, Brother Robert-Charles Bengry and Brother Sean-Patrick Beahen will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood by Bishop Lopes. This is an historic day, not only in the life of the Ordinariate but in that of the Church as a whole, since it is a milestone in the life of the reborn Gilbertine Order. They are inspired by the original order, founded in 1131 by St. Gilbert of Semprigham – the only order of Canons Regular founded in England and confined to that country. The original order came to an end with the dissolution of the monasteries, despite the miraculous deeds of the founder. For some time there has been interest in a number of different quarters in the revival of Gilbertine spirituality May all interested in such efforts find a rallying point in the new foundation in Calgary.
The other day, I decided I would follow Cardinal Sarah’s advice and use the prayer books to pray the daily office instead of using my phone or laptop with their handy links to John Covert’s excellent prayer site that does all the work for you of putting the Psalms, Canticles, Readings and Collects of the day all in one place.
What I discovered when doing so is interesting in light of discussions going on in the Anglican Church in North America regarding its revision of the American 1979 Book of Common Prayer.
This Friday, June 22, is the traditional feast of the Protomartyr of Britain, St. Alban. His cultus was key in the foundation of the patrimony, and to-day he has two shrines: the medieval one in Cologne, and the revived one in the English city that bears his name. The latter, located in the beautiful gothic church of a Catholic-Abbey-turned-Anglican-Cathedral, is once more the centre of pilgrimage. A Catholic Mass is offered there every Friday which means, this year, on the old feast day itself! St. Albans Cathedral was also the boyhood parish of Inkling Charles Williams. The local Catholic parish is the Church of Ss. Alban and Stephen. In the current calendar, the 22nd is the feast of Ss. John Fisher and Thomas More; in the Ordinariates, St.Alban is anticipated on June 20. It does make sense that the protomartyrs of the English “Reformation” should be honoured on that day.
Because of St. Alban’s 3rd century martyrdom, the Abbey founded to house his shrine claimed seniority among the Benedictine houses in England – a claim disputed by Glastonbury Abbey, due to its connexion with St. Joseph of Arimathaea. This controversy went on for centuries, until Henry VIII put an end to it by dissolving them both. In any case, this week should remind us of the ancient roots of the Patrimony and of Recusant Catholicism, to which the Oridnariates and their members are heir.
On June 9th in St Francis Xavier’s Catholic Church, West Cairns, Qld, Kopel Gibuma was the very first Torres Strait Islander to be ordained to the transitional Diaconate in the Catholic Church.
In observance of Torres Strait Island tradition, Mr Gibuma was brought to the door of the church by fellow Islanders, accompanied by singing, guitars and the sound of traditional drummers. He was handed over by them to Msgr Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Ordinariate and Bp James Foley, Bp of Cairns who was to ordain him on behalf of the Ordinariate. The service was an impressive blend of Catholic sacramental worship, devout piety which were enhanced by Torres Strait traditional customs. It was appropriate that the gospel was read by the Rev Ralph Madigan who is the first permanent deacon of Aboriginal descent to be ordained in the Diocese of Cairns.
Following the service, Deacon Gibuma and the worshippers were greeted by traditional singing and dancing offered by Torres Strait islander singers and musicians. Dcn Kopel will assist Fr Gordon Barnier, the parish priest of St Clare, Cairns with Holy Cross Dauan.
For more photos, click here.