UK Ordinariate lay people discuss mission at conference

Fr. Simon Chinery, who handles communications for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham posted the following over at Independent Catholic News.

Last week, Worth Abbey hosted the first Lay Conference of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. An initiative of the Ordinariate’s Pastoral Council, the three day conference brought together some 50 delegates from groups across Great Britain to discuss how to move forward the Ordinariate’s mission.

Keynote addresses were given by well-known priest and blogger Fr Ed Tomlinson of the Tunbridge Wells mission and by Catholic historian Dr James Kelly of Durham University. The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, also spoke to the conference. There were also lengthy discussions and Question and Answer sessions where delegates sought to understand the issues and opportunities facing the Ordinariate and identify the best way to address these.

Work is already well underway to identify projects that the Pastoral Council can carry forward and to formulate proposals to the Ordinariate’s Governing Council.

Recordings of the keynote talks are available on the website of the Portal Magazine:

This is great news!   I hope to listen to the keynote talks over the weekend.  I hope you will avail yourself of the opportunity also.

I suspect the issues and opportunities in the UK have some overlap with those in North America and Australia, and differences as well.

How you can support the Church and Pro-Life


For it’s new “Pro-Life action policy”, Real Estate for Life has added the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross to their list of organisations it supports: both organisations are recent fruits of the New Evangelisation: but what does real estate and Anglicans that came into union with Rome have to do with the Pro-Life movement?

When Pope Paul VI wrote his prophetic 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae in support of human life against birth control pills (use of which would later see the rise abortion, euthanasia and pornography) there was already a crack in the dam. The Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion in 1930 had gone against the ancient Christian ban of birth control: the Anglo-Catholic communities which went on to enter union with the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariates knew all too well the reasons for the teaching as they saw once full and vibrant congregations whither away, and marriages fail.

Part of the growing pains that all three Ordinariates are still going through is financial- despite this our ministries contribute far more to the wider Catholic Church than our numbers would suggest. One area of ministry the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross (OLSC) is passionate about is the Pro-Life movement, in the tradition of the Anglo-Catholic slum priests helping the most vulnerable in society. Little did we know that OLSC’s new ‘Pro-Life action policy’ would allow the opportunity for Ordinariate supporters, on three continents, to give much needed financial help- and at no cost to them.

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The renewal of the Shrine at Walsingham

One of our members alerted me to this marvelous interview with the new rector of the England’s national Marian shrine at Walsingham at The Catholic Herald.  I am excited about this because I’m aware of efforts to made better known Canada’s national Marian shrine at Cap-de-la-Madeleine in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, where I will be going for a pilgrimage Aug. 22, on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.

Here’s an except of Mark Greaves interview with Mgr. John Armitage, the new rector, with my emphases:

But Mgr Armitage’s mission is not just about bricks and mortar: he wants the message of Walsingham to be better understood. “There’s a significance to the spiritual health of this country that is linked to this place,” he says. After all, he adds, this was where the Mother of God chose to appear, to “share the joy that her Son became her Saviour”.

Pre-Reformation England was known for its devotion to Our Lady. That’s why it had the ancient title of the Dowry of Mary – that is, a country set aside for Mary. Mgr Armitage suggests that this tradition, while not quite forgotten, is not “to the forefront” of English Catholicism today. Much focus is on the martyrs, but they grew out of this great tradition, he says. “You read the [medieval] writings and you see exactly where they came from.” Mgr Armitage speaks reverently about this older English spirituality. Much was destroyed, he says, but the writings survived. He loves St Aelred of Rievaulx, St Bede, St Anselm, the Cloud of Unknowing. He talks about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century Arthurian romance. Sir Gawain “took his strength when in trouble from the five joys Our Lady had in her Son”. The term the “joys of Our Lady” is a very English way of understanding the Mother of God, he says. Hence the message of Walsingham: to share the joy. “That’s the beauty of nationalities and cultures,” he says. “Every country has something to say – its own spin on the ball.” He wants England to recognise this heritage, “to draw from it”.

Walsingham utterly embodies this tradition, he says. Once it was destroyed in 1538, it was gone – it has no recusant history. When a Catholic convert, Charlotte Boyd, bought the Slipper Chapel in 1896, no local devotion to Our Lady existed.

Things have certainly changed in the 122 years since. As well as receiving huge numbers of pilgrims, it hosts major events such as Youth 2000. It’s a magnet for religious orders: in June the Greyfriars, or Conventual Franciscans, returned to the shrine for the first time since the Reformation. Just recently, 12 large Catholic families have moved into the area. EWTN, the US Catholic television network, has set up a British headquarters there.

Unraveling a marvelous tapestry?

Once upon a time, I believed all that was necessary for salvation was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Knowing that He loved me, died for me, paid the price for my sins was and is Good News.  I knew some things from experience,  and the rest of the Bible, the rest of what any Christian leader had to tell me, I set in reserve until I came to understand, usually the hard way.

Then, I grasped what St. Anselm was getting at when he said, “Credo ut intelligam”  I believe in order that I may understand.  And I realized it was important to believe the  Apostolic faith.  Where could I find it?

Around this time, I also became involve Continue reading

Society member visits Cape Breton

Richard Upsher Smith, Jr. is a former Anglican minister who became Catholic in 2001.  Recently retired as a professor of classics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, he is a member of the Anglicanorum coetibus Society and has written articles for our journal Shared Treasure, that members can access at our website via the “member’s only” menu button.

Professor Smith spent a number of years in Canada’s Maritime Provinces during his Anglican ministry.   Having lived in Nova Scotia for 12 years myself, and Prince Edward Island for almost two, the Maritimes are like a second home for me, I share his love for that part of the world..

The New Oxford Review has published Part I of his Cape Breton Diary, entitled Forgetting & Remembering: Encounters with Three Traditions on the Edge of Oblivion 

This beautifully-written travelogue evokes a lot of memories and makes me wistful the the glimpses of the cultures that once animated this region.   Go on and read the whole thing, perhaps with a pot of tea nearby.

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On the death penalty and the Catechism

In the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus: Providing for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering into Full Communion with the Catholic Church it says the following:

§5 The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.

So, when on August 2 came news that Pope Francis has changed the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding capital punishment, I wondered, hmmm, which Catechism must we now believe?   The one we accepted when we came in?  The new one? Continue reading