Marian consecration and Anglican patrimony

DSC02036When Bishop Steven Lopes visited Ottawa, one of our parishioners asked him about the role of Marian devotions in the Ordinariates.  He told us that when members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter organized a pilgrimage to Fatima this year, they prepared by doing a 33-Day consecration to Jesus through Mary.  He also said he will ask all the priests of the Ordinariate to join him in their respective parishes in consecrating the Ordinariate to Our Lady on Oct. 15.   Then we got the idea maybe we could prepare for this by encouraging our parishioners to make a 33-Day consecration in preparation.

I entered the Church believing the bare minimum  one had to believe about the Blessed Mother, the Marian dogmas and so on.  For our parish, Mary and papal infallibility were the only issues that needed some extra catechesis in our preparation for becoming Catholic.   That’s changed.  I am more of a maximalist now, and having a personal relationship with Our Lady has deepened my faith, “made my crosses sweet” as promised in Marian consecration, and been all around wonderful.   I’ve made several Marian consecrations, as it is a requirement of the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests to make one yearly.

Over the years, I have also witnessed a popular comeback of Marian devotions in the wider Roman Catholic Church and I see good fruit coming from this.

In my work as a journalist for Catholic papers in Canada, the most exciting and spiritually-rewarding story I worked on this year concerned the discovery by some friends of mine of a film documenting the 1947 Marian Congress in Ottawa where Canada was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Father Bob Bedard, the founder of the Companions of the Cross, used to say, “Give God permission.”  And then, something to the effect of, “Then, hold on!”

Well, I believe I have sincerely given God permission many times, but I can’t say I’ve had that “fasten your seat belts” and “hang on” experience, though over the past nine months I have witnessed this happening to my friend Dennis and Angelina Girard.

Here’s a link to the latest story I filed on this now up at the Catholic Register.

The Congress’ “crowning act,” according to Pope Pius XII, was the consecration of the Dominion of Canada to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 22, with consecration prayers read in French and in English by federal cabinet ministers Louis St. Laurent and James J. McCann.

“Obtain for the Holy Church of God peace and complete freedom; stay the rising flood of modern paganism, enkindle in the faithful the love of purity, the practice of Christian virtues and an apostolic zeal, so that the servants of God may increase in holiness and number,” read a portion of the consecration text drafted by the Pope.

Today, as Canada approaches its 150th birthday, Canada’s Catholic bishops have been invited by the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to re-consecrate Canada to the Virgin Mary on July 1 or another appropriate date in their dioceses.



Father Z on Anglicans and Anglicanorum coetibus

Father Zuhlsdorf has a blog post up concerning the latest moves of the Church of England regarding proposals to re-christen people who have had sex change operations.

You can over to Father Z’s to read the post here.   He mentions Anglicanorum coetibus, though the rest is tongue in cheek:

Hence it is time for me to call once again for the Anglicans at long last – at very long last – to issue their groundbreaking and courageous document

Romanorum coetibus!

A few year ago, the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI, gave us Anglicanorum coetibus by which former Anglicans are welcomed into the Catholic Church and they can retain their heritage.  Their ranks are growing and they are exercising a wonderful enrichment of the whole Roman Church.

Even more urgent today is the need for the Church of England to issue their own document Romanorum coetibus, by which they can welcome into their “ecclesial community” all the dissident Catholics who, rebelling against the Magisterium, desire to keep their most treasured customs.  There in the embrace of the Anglicans they can have their clay pot chalices and burlap banners, their ditties and rainbow stoles, free from the interferences of patriarchal oppression… or now fixed genders or sexes!  Under Romanorum coetibus these folks could maintain their cherished 60’s music, progress to the ordination of women and openly – more openly – pray to the earthmothergoddess… all without the spirit-repressing domination of masculine and gender-particular Rome! When everything is a moving target, then by golly it’s the C of E for you.  What a great contribution those newly rechristened Anglicans could offer!


Bishop Lopes leads Eucharistic Procession in Ottawa


Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter visited Ottawa this weekend.  He and I had a meeting Saturday morning concerning the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, then he came to Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary for lunch and conversation with parishioners.

On Sunday, he presided at the annual Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic Procession that we have done jointly for the past four years with St. George’s, a Roman Catholic parish in our neighborhood.


Msgr. Hans Feichtinger, pastor of St. George’s, used to work with Bishop Lopes at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith so they are old friends.   Msgr. Feichtinger recently took on Ottawa’s German-language parish St. Albertus, so for the first time three parishes participated.  That meant we had some parts of the Mass and some hymns in German.  Msgr. Feichtinger is in the centre.  I do not know the name of the deacon on the left. Our Fr. Kipling Cooper is on the right.


I was surprised and impressed when our own Zach Candy chanted the Lesson in German!  That Zach swings a mean thurifer in addition to his many other gifts.


Our relationship with St. Georges has been enriching for us and ensures we are well-integrated with Catholics in the Ottawa archdiocese.  We have participated on their social justice committee and contributed to the support of a Syrian refugee family with St. George’s.

Bishop Lopes brought hot, humid weather with him from Houston. There were threats of severe thunderstorms in the forecast and high winds made it hard for the men to control the canopy over the Blessed Sacrament.  Thus, we only stopped at one of the three stations set up on the way and that decision spared us getting soaked in a shower.   Fr. Doug Hayman, our pastor, did stop to bless our parish even though we did not have the readings, prayers and full Benediction there.

We wrapped up the annual Procession at St. George’s, then proceeded to a pot luck lunch in their air-conditioned parish hall.


There was another similar table laden with food on the other side of the hall, plus a table full of desserts.



Got a picture of Christopher Mahon, who I believe is the first life member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society and Bishop Lopes.


Ten new deacons in the UK

On Saturday June 17th ten men were ordained to the diaconate at one of London’s most iconic Catholic churches, St. James, Spanish Place. Cardinal Pell had been announced as the principal celebrant and ordaining bishop but unless he has shrunk in the wash, it would appear from this really unclear photo published without further comment on the UK Ordinariate’s facebook page that  the ordination was actually performed by Bishop Robert Byrne CO, auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham – as an Oratorian Bishop Byrne is a close friend of the Ordinariate.

The ten new deacons include eight former Anglican priests and two men who found their vocation in the Ordinariate and have been studying first in Oxford, then at St Mary’s College, Oscott, the seminary of Birmingham Archdiocese.

Jonathan Creer and Thomas Mason
(seminarians at St Mary’s College, Oscott)

David Pritchard and David Hathaway
(Ordinariate Mission in South Wales in Newport)

Michael Ward
(an expert on CS Lewis, teaches part-time at Blackfriars, Oxford,
to assist Fr Daniel Lloyd with Ordinariate group at Holy Rood, Oxford,
and the Parish of North Hinksey)

Leonard Cox
(former vicar of St Peter’s, Greet Green,
to assist Fr Simon Ellis at St Margaret Mary, Perry Common, Birmingham)

David Jones
(former vicar of St Luke’s, Jersey,
to assist Nottingham Ordinariate Mission)

Timothy Boniwell
(formerly Anglican hospital chaplain,
to assist Fr Paul Burch with Coventry Ordinariate Mission)

Cameron MacDonald and Simon Beveridge
(to assist Fr Len Black with the Ordinariate in Scotland)

I just do not understand

The last two posts have caused me to wonder what causes people to be spiteful and malevolent. Deborah Gyapong writes about a blogger who has misused her photos to point fun at the Ordinariate. This particular “Cold Fish”-monger seems to have a life mission to belittle the Ordinariate movement, to dwell on our flaws and suggest that we are doomed.

Then there is Michael Davis, who wrote in the Catholic Herald about his “rubbishing” of the Ordinariate in his blog.

I can comprehend a staunch Anglo-Catholic regarding those who have joined the Ordinariates as some kind of traitors to the cause, but it was never our intention to deal a death blow to the Anglican Church or the friends we left behind.

The Ordinariate detractors, on the other hand, seem to have no other aim than to destroy the Ordinariates through their propaganda.

They can rest assured that we will not be disheartened. We will continue to report about the Ordinariate movement and its successes. We will go on enthusing about the ecumenical dream of Pope Benedict XVI of uniting the diverse Church while maintaining the many valuable traditions as treasures to be shared.

We are not blind to problems: we see small groups struggling and are aware that some of these might disappear, we hear the sceptical tones of some in the leadership of the Church who are perhaps not convinced of our mission or are perhaps afraid that our success might in some way be detrimental to them.

But we are certain in the importance of our apostolate. We have found a home in the Catholic Church and particularly in the Ordinariates. So we shall be sticking to the positive message, even if some might accuse us of being naive “cheerleaders”. I for one am happy to cheer about something I believe in to the bottom of my being.

This is the only time that we will mention these spiteful people – they cannot hurt us with their vitriol!

Ordinariate attacker becomes Catholic

On the Catholic Herald website there is a lovely piece about a former Anglican who attacked the Ordinariate publicly, then visits, finds himself converted to the Catholic Church.

Michael Davis writes:

One of my first posts, an attack on the ordinariate and a call for Anglo-Catholic unity under the See of Canterbury, draws the ire of a certain Damian Thompson. We have a heated (but cordial) exchange over email and part amicably, agreeing to disagree.

Winter 2016 After finishing my degree at USYD I decide to abandon academia and pursue journalism full time. A Catholic friend convinces me to visit Boston’s ordinariate community: if I’m going to spend so much time rubbishing it, I should at least do a bit of field research. Reluctantly, I agree.

The liturgy is almost identical to that of the Church of the Advent’s, except on a much smaller scale. The community meets in the basement chapel of a local parish. Its 12 members make the place feel huge. I take a seat at the back and tap my foot, regretting humouring my friend. Then it comes time for Communion.

When visiting Catholic churches, I always go up to receive a blessing, more out of respect to the priest than anything. I take my place at the far end of the altar rail as the priest begins to make his way back down the line. As he draws nearer, something lights up inside me. It’s a kind of sixth sense, like the one you might feel at the airport when your loved one comes through the gates: you can feel them before you see them. This is what I sense, kneeling at the altar. And suddenly it hits me: this, here – this bit of unleavened bread – this is the living God.

It didn’t matter that this particular community was meeting in a basement chapel of a local parish, or that it only had 12 members.

It didn’t matter that compared to the magnificence of a service at the Anglo-Catholic parish of Church of the Advent the liturgy was pretty bare bones.

What mattered is Jesus in the Eucharist.   What matters is hearts transformed by feeding on Him.