When the Ordinariates came into existence, they were not only the bearers of the Anglican Patrimony into the Catholic Church; they were also the recipients of the Recusant and pre-Reformation traditions of the Catholic Church in the British Isles. February 4 is an important date, thereby. Although in 2018 it is Sexagesima Sunday, it is also the feast of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (d. 1190), the only English religious ever to found a conventual order – the Gilbertines. Never spreading outside of England, it was suppressed by Henry VIII, despite (or perhaps because of) its flourishing condition. In recent years, even before the founding of the Ordinariates there has been interest in reviving the Order. I have just found out that such an attempt is now underway within the Ordinariate. Pray hard for its success – this kind of retrieval of the Patrimony is precisely the remit of Anglican Ordinariate Catholicism, and if successful cannot help but have huge benefits for the Church as a whole – as will the ongoing revival of other extinct or sadly repurposed orders.
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