Conference offered chance for fellowship

20191117_125242Among the many highlights of the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church conference last weekend was the chance to meet people from ordinariate communities across the country.

20191117_140733What was especially delightful was how many stuck around through Sunday, so they could attend Mass at St. Thomas More, the ordinariate parish in Toronto.

There was both a professional photographer and videographer at the conference and audio recordings of the amazing liturgies, so I was a little lazy about taking my own photos on my phone.

But Sunday, after Mass, I thought I’d get a few shots of some of the folks who stuck around for the fellowship time in the parish hall.

20191117_140652 (1)Here are Pam and John Covert, who took the train from Boston.  John is the mastermind behind the Daily Morning and Evening Prayer site that I use every day.20191117_140613

Christopher Mahon, who organized the conference, is in the centre of this photo, probably  relieved it was over and a great success.  His grandfather, Albert Mahon, in the red sweater, was Healey Willan’s cantor. It was great to meet the Mahon patriarch.  What a font of interesting stories!


Heide Seward (left) flew up with her husband Bernie from Northern Virginia.  Here she is with Katie Bisson from our Ottawa parish.  We had a good contingent from Ottawa, but most left on Saturday.  I understand though that the two ladies who thought taking the train would be a less stressful alternative than driving didn’t make it back until 3 AM on Sunday due to some problem on the line!

20191117_140316 (1)Jackson Perry, one of the members of the Connecticut Ordinariate Group, is shown here with Peter Jesserer Smith who came with several members of the Rochester ordinariate parish.   Peter writes for the National Catholic Register and has written a series of Anglicanorum coetibus 10th Anniversary stories.   Here’s a link to a recent interview with Mons. Keith Newton:

Now, again, as I said, we’re a very small thing. So you can’t say of the Ordinariate, “Well, there’s the great hope for evangelization.” But one of the things it does do is say there’s an English form of Catholicism, which perhaps has been neglected in the past, for obvious reasons. When the [Catholic] hierarchy in England and Wales was restored in the 1850s, it was very much a sort of Italianate or Irish sort of tradition was brought into England, so that we almost forget the pre-Henry VIII Catholic Church in England, which was very vibrant, with lots of great saints who have almost been forgotten. It’s a reminder of all that, and all the great writings of “the Cloud of Unknowing” and Julian of Norwich, and all these great English spiritual writers. That is something I hope that we can remind the whole Catholic Church of, which is a sense that there is an English Catholicism.

Do you think that the Ordinariate also helps you make the case to people that Catholicism is not truly foreign to the United Kingdom?

Absolutely. That’s exactly the point, that it’s not. There has been the sense in England that [Catholicism] is exactly that. I think the Ordinariate should be reminding people that it’s not really [foreign]. That is to say, there is a long history of the Catholic Church in England. It’s almost as if, isn’t it, that the Catholic Church finished in England at Henry VIII, and then restarted in 1850. But that’s not really the case. I mean, certainly there was a whole Recusant witness throughout those years of many Catholic families and ordinary Catholic folk who were worshiping in difficult circumstances. But also there was a sort of reminder that there was an Englishness that was Catholic, and some of that was maintained in the Church of England. I think that’s what the Holy See was saying, that these were things which impelled us towards unity.

20191117_140725 (2)

I had the great pleasure of hanging out with Tony Clark from  Arlington, Texas.  Some of the Ottawa contingent gathered on Friday afternoon at a restaurant/bar before Mass, and Tony joined us.  For a while he was the only man among all the Ottawa ladies, until Michael and Rebecca Trolly arrived.

20191117_140627 (1)Here’s Father John Hodgins, the pastor of St. Thomas More in Toronto.  Great to see him and his lovely wife Jane.  I stayed with her twin sister Judy and her husband Colin.

20191117_140753And meet our Toronto seminarian Luke McDonald who is attending St. Philip’s, the Oratorians’ seminary.


1 thought on “Conference offered chance for fellowship

  1. Pingback: St. Thomas More gets a 10 too from the Mystery Worshipper! | Anglicanorum Coetibus Society Blog

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