Three or four queries a week

In the most recent edition of the Ordinariate Observer, the publication of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the vocations director Rev. Rick Kramer writes:

“One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: ‘Are you still receiving inquiries from Anglican clergy who are interested in converting?'”

“The Vocations Office receives three to four new inquiries each week,” Kramer writes. “Most of the men who contact the Ordinariate are somewhere on their journey into the fullness of the Catholic faith.”

“Foremost, they desire to know, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, how to become Catholic.”

This is encouraging news!

Meanwhile, I would encourage Anglicans who are still discerning whether to become Catholic to consider joining us at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.  Our mission is to promote the Anglican tradition and common identity in the Catholic Church for the purposes of evangelization, education, deeper conversion and the glory of God.

For me, the traditional Anglican worship of my parish was key in my coming to the Catholic faith–and we find that spiritual ethos now expressed in our Catholic Divine Worship Missal, our offices, our hymnody, our spiritually meaty sermons, and community life.  As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Anglicanorum coetibus:

Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

If one is a clergyman or a lay person eligible for membership in the Ordinariate, the Society hopes you will consider forming a patrimonial group.  It is as simple as holding a monthly Evensong at a fixed time and location and letting us know so we can put you on the map at our website.

Some other encouraging news in the Ordinariate Observer.  Rev. Kramer reports the Ordinariate is “in the early stages of planning an Ordinariate house of formation, which will complement seminary formation, for the express purpose of transmitting the Anglican patrimony to seminarians.”

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus gives the Ordinaries permission to create these houses of formation in Anglican patrimony:

§ 5. Candidates for Holy Orders in an Ordinariate should be prepared alongside other seminarians, especially in the areas of doctrinal and pastoral formation. In order to address the particular needs of seminarians of the Ordinariate and formation in Anglican patrimony, the Ordinary may also establish seminary programs or houses of formation which would relate to existing Catholic faculties of theology.

 

18 thoughts on “Three or four queries a week

  1. Pingback: SVNDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  2. The comment about “three or four queries per week” is absolutely wonderful news! I pray that these queries will translate into real growth for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in due course.

    Norm.

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    • There are many competing values in this discussion.

      1. The restoration of Christian unity — our Lord’s express wish (John 17:20-23) and a critical element of our evangelical witness — won’t come about if a handful of people leave one denomination for another. Rather, it requires healing of what now divides us. Thus, the Holy Spirit genuinely calls many to work toward this reconciliation from within their current denominations rather than to leave one denomination for another.

      2. Also with respect to restoration of Christian unity, one must consider what happens within another denomination if those who are most receptive to unity with the Catholic Church and to a Catholic expression of Christian faith leave that body. With their departure, the remnant of the body moves in the opposite direction because the contrary voices and less receptive members gaining greater influence, causing a significant setback for the cause of ecumenism.

      3. There’s considerable value in both the established pastoral relationships where pastors know the need of their parishioners and the bonds of Christian community that exist within existing denominations and ecclesial structures. A congregation or larger ecclesial structure that comes into the Catholic Church with its pastors is much more capable of responding to the spiritual needs of its members than an established Catholic parish that receives a few individuals into full communion.

      4. Customs of great value that have led to the discovery of valuable elements of Christian faith that seem foreign to many people who self-identify as Catholic, and that even have the desire for Catholic communion have taken root in many non-Catholic bodies. These customs clearly are very worthy of preservation, further development, and even expansion within the Catholic Church. A parish or larger unit that comes into the Catholic Church intact is in a much better position to provide “critical mass” to foster these customs than a few individuals received into full communion and absorbed into an established Catholic parish.

      So I applaud the former pastors of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) for their sincere efforts to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church as a body. I’m still deeply disappointed that, for various reasons, some elements of that body chose not to come. However, the door is still open.

      Norm.

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  3. as the Anglican church moves further and further left to at some level, mollify its left base, expect a dramatic increase. I recently attended a weekend and it was clear to me my conservative views were not welcomed

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  4. I’m a Roman rite Catholic from Puerto Rico. After seeing the Ordinariate mass online I wonder if I will ever have the blessing of attending to one here in Puerto Rico. I have no anglican background but I would love to join a local group if it ever become a reality.. Have some group of anglican from PR asked about joining the Ordinariate? God bless you all.

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    • John,

      I’m not aware of anything that would preclude formation of an ordinariate congregation in Puerto Rico if there’s enough interest among current and/or former Anglican Christians. However, Puerto Rico is not exactly a bastion of Anglican Christianity.

      But if such a community were to come into being, it most likely would become an extraterritorial parish or mission (canonically, “quasi-parish”) of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter since Puerto Rico has its own episcopal conference separate from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

      That said, there is one additional catch. There is no approved Spanish translation of the Divine Worship liturgy so the Spanish-speaking congregations of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter must use the ordinary form of the Roman Rite if they wish to celebrate the liturgy in Spanish. I’m hopeful that this will change in the not-too-distant future, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

      Norm.

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      • Hello Norm.

        First of all thanks for answering to my post. I am aware and agree with most of what you wrote.

        Most likely a misson in Puerto Rico or in any part of Latin America would have to be, at least initially, a part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. I do not think that would be a problem for anyone.

        I remember back in 2011 or so there were interest in joining the Ordinariate by Bishop Garcia (ACA) and his congregation. What’s more, as recently as sept. 2017 in the article “Why the Ordinariate is the ‘living form’ of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism” (The Catholic Leader) it is stated that:
        ‘There are also talks of starting in Puerto Rico with communities who were evangelised by Anglicans 100 years ago”

        We’ll have to pray and wait to see what the future brings. Till that day I hope that the priests that celebrate mass in the Ordinary Form in Puerto Rico watch and learn from the Ordinariate mass (ad orientem, the solemnity, reverence) and apply those elements it in their masses.

        Blessings,
        Jose

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      • Hi Deborah. I find the idea of a Patrimony Group very interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

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      • Jose,

        I think that Deborah’s suggestion of starting a patrimony group with like-minded individuals is a great idea if you are interested in forming an ordinariate congregation where there isn’t one, including Puerto Rico. A stable group that prays Evensong together and shares in fellowship on Sunday evenings would be a clear indicator of the viability and sustainability of an ordinariate congregation, even if clergy are not immediately available.

        That said, the issue of reverence in the liturgy is a big one — and it existed, but was largely unrecognized, at the time of the Second Vatican Council when all Roman Catholic parishes celebrated mass according to the Tridentine missal, ad orientum at an altar placed at the very back of the sanctuary. Perhaps you are not old enough, but I remember that era far too painfully even though it was in my childhood. Most so-called “low” masses on Sundays were over in less than one half hour, and many were considerably shorter. There was a priest in my parish who would celebrate Sunday mass in 16 minutes, including distribution of communion to the whole congregation — I know, because I personally timed him on several occasions. It was an era in which most parishioners cared more about how quickly they could get out of church than whether interior transformation was taking place or not. The custom of ringing bells before and at the elevations began in an era when parishioners routinely conversed among themselves during the anaphora, as an attempt to gain their attention during at a critical moment, and Roman Catholic clergy subsequently encouraged laity to pray various devotions during the anaphora in an effort to stop the social chit-chat. The situation in most Roman Catholic parishes is not nearly as bad today as it was back then. Most parishioners at least remain silent even if not participating fully in the liturgy by making the responses and singing the hymns.

        Reverent liturgy does not come though externals, such as the direction in which the principal celebrant happens to face or the selection of a particular style of liturgical music. Rather, reverent liturgy flows from the internal disposition of those who celebrate it — both clergy and laity. Where the liturgy is lacking in reverence, it is the spiritual disposition of those who celebrate it that is in very serious need of attention. No change in any liturgical rite is going to fix that problem by itself. If those who celebrate the liturgy are not tuned into the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them, they are empty vessels whose actions mock, rather than glorify, God.

        Norm.

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      • Norm you are absolutely right. Reverence does not come from the rite but from all us attending the Holy Eucharist. I have the blessing of recently attending Tridentine Mass and it was a very beautiful experience. But thinking in your comment, I have to acknowledge that it was because the priest and the congregation were involved in body and spirit in it. I think that same priest and congregation would have celebrated equally beautifully in the ordinary form as well.
        Also from your previous comment, do you know if there are currently any efforts of translating Divine Worship to any other language? What about the communities of Japan? Are they english speaking communities?

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      • Hi Deborah,
        I find the idea of a Patrimony Group very interesting. I will look into that and see if it can be done.

        Norm,
        You are right. Reverence is a matter of the disposition of the congregation as a whole, not of the rite. Every rite is beautiful if well celebrated.

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