The Priestly Society of St Augustine of Canterbury

It has not escaped my attention of a number of diocesan and religious Catholic priests have expressed interest in the Patrimony of the Personal Ordinariates for a number of reasons, yet usually can only look on from afar. Following up from the excellent recent article from Kevin Greenlee, who rightly points out the role guilds and societies played in the history of our Patrimony and proposed the formation of new Ordinariate ones, I would suggest a society that allows priests in other sections of the Catholic Church to engage with the Patrimony of the Ordinariates, while still remaining as part of their respective jurisdictions.

There is a precedent for such a society: Opus Dei has the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, made up of the priests of Opus Dei’s Personal Prelature and diocesan clergy who are members of Opus Dei and formed in its spirituality, but still are under the jurisdiction of their diocesan bishop. Why cannot the Ordinariates have a similar organisation that provides Priestly fraternity, the ability to partake in the Patrimony, and even the education in our liturgy Divine Worship so they can be granted facilities to celebrate it?

Do we not all know of Catholic priests who were former Anglican clergy, and have not chosen to join the Ordinariates because of their ministries and the people who rely on them? Would this not allow them to engage with their heritage while respecting their present call to mission?

Do we not know of Patrimony groups who wish to form communities far away from Ordinariate parishes and have no clergy support? It might work out that a diocesan priest of such a society could help foster the group to become an Ordinariate community while keeping his commitment to his diocese.

Not being a priest myself, this is just a humble suggestion but I do invite the clergy to consider the idea- and others such as the proposed Guild of All Souls.

Although the Ordinariates should have their own societies and other organisations we should not become insular and should engage with wider Catholic organisations (such as the members of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights for example)- but would it not be good to have one group that met in “our house” as it were, to maintain the policy of united but not absorbed.

2 thoughts on “The Priestly Society of St Augustine of Canterbury

  1. I would say this is a good idea. The more the Ordinariate can be integrated with the wider church in the English speaking world the better. Honestly, I would be overjoyed if the Ordinariates did not need to exist and the Patrimony of English Catholicism were reinvigorated in all diocese which descend from it. Allowing English speakers to adopt the Ordinariate’s patrimony would do wonders for Catholicism in the English world.

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  2. After attending a Mass in a Texas parish [St. Mary the Virgin?[, I was so impressed that I became somewhat envious because it seemed to be perfect to resolve our multiple liturgical dilemmas. What is proposed here seems to be a viable way of fulfilling the desires of those who may have had similar experiences with the Anglican Usage liturgy.

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