Had an interesting conversation with one of our new board members via Skype last night and one thing we discussed was the mission of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.
The mission of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is:
To offer independent and loyal support to the Personal Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.
To foster relations among the members of the Ordinariates worldwide and encourage communion.
To evangelize by encouraging and supporting patrimonial communities outside the Ordinariates which may become communities in formation for the Ordinariates.
To promote and where possible to provide an environment where thinking, pondering, discussing, informing, educating, creating, writing and publishing can take place with regard to the entire span of the received Anglican patrimony – liturgical, intellectual, pastoral, spiritual, theological, literary, artistic, musical, social – which the Ordinariates are called to bring into the Catholic Church as a treasure to be shared.
To encourage full active participation of lay members of the Ordinariates.
To embody the ecumenical spirit of the Ordinariates by reaching out to other Christians who are also custodians of the Anglican patrimony, encouraging them to participate fully in our activities and become members.
Our new member thought this was too big a mouthful, and that we needed something shorter.
I said my “elevator speech” on the Society is that we’re about promoting Anglican patrimony inside and outside of the Catholic Church.
But then our new member asked, what does promoting Anglican patrimony mean? Does it mean preserving it like in a museum?
It means handing it on, I said. That’s what the roots of the word ‘tradition’ mean.
But why? I may not be fairly paraphrasing, but our new member stressed it has to be about the salvation of souls, though with an Anglican flavour or tinge to it—and about finding its fulfillment in the Catholic Church.
Well, yes! Yes!
A priest from Ottawa is attending this event Kairos 2017 going on now in Kansas City —a big charismatic conference and event featuring speakers from both the Catholic and the evangelical world. It’s sponsored by a movement called United in Christ. I know some of the speakers involved, and Pope Francis has encouraged this movement. In fact, Cardinal Di Nardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of the headline speakers.
Alas, the phrase I am looking for is not now on either site, but it went something like this: Tradition means handing on the fire not the ashes.
I’m going to steal that, though it means something different in this context. The purpose of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is to hand on the fire. But the fire is kept and nourished with the equipping we need to ignite the fire, keep that fire burning in us and pass the fire to subsequent generations. We are equipped through our beautiful liturgy; our encouragement of lay participation in the daily offices; our community life; our passion for Holy Scripture and sound teaching; our theologically deep hymns; the beauty of our musical heritage; and our openness to supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
So let’s hand on the fire! This means that our music should never only be a performance; that our preaching should never only be a dry academic exercise; that our community life should never be about clubbiness and cliques; that all the treasures we have as Catholics with Anglican heritage are not merely polished off and displayed for our own benefit but for the salvation of souls.