Crossing the Tiber

Great news from Minnesota!

St. Benet Biscop Chapter of St. John's Oblates

I’m delighted to announce that Stephen Aethelwold Hilgendorf, Obl.S.B., and his family plan to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church, via the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, on 17 September. Also being received that day will be Peter Vanderwaal, who has served as our organist for St. Benet Biscop Chapter liturgies celebrated here at St. John’s Abbey.

The reception into full communion will take place at Holy Family Church in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, the parish at which the Mission of St. Bede the Venerable meets. This will be the day after Bishop Lopes celebrates the liturgy and oblations with us, here at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota.  So he will be able to be present at Holy Family the next day to receive Peter and the Hilgendorfs.

Stephen was, until a couple of weeks ago, the rector of Saint Dunstan’s Anglican Church in Saint…

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4 thoughts on “Crossing the Tiber

  1. Yes, this is fantastic news!

    Noting that the full article identifies Mr. Hilgendorf as the former rector of the Episcopal parish in St. Louis Park, is there any indication as to whether or not he is seeking ordination for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter?



  2. My reason for reporting this news is so that the Hilgendorfs and Peter Vaderwaal will benefit from our prayers and general support.

    Since the world of the ordinariates is still small and still young, news of this nature naturally fosters speculation about where and how each entering individual, family, and group will fit in to the scheme of things. But I wonder if we could develop a tendency towards restraint and decorum in our manner of welcoming this kind of news. I remember the All Saints Sisters of the Poor making a similar request when news of their reconciliation with Rome was announced.

    In the circumstances of the Hilgendorfs and of Peter, the decision to enter into full communion is made with a strong sense of peace and is attended by deep joy. But it’s a decision that also results in difficulties for them all on several levels. I think I can presume to speak on behalf of Peter and the Hilgendorfs in saying that the sense of being scrutinized or made the objects of punditry would be a source of tension they would rather do without.

    United in prayer,

    Br. John-Bede Pauley, O.S.B.


    • I agree completely. It is imperative to respect each individual’s privacy.

      But if an newly received member is seeking, or intends to seek, ordination for the service of an ordinariate, our prayers also should support that goal.


      Liked by 1 person

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