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The AC Society’s 2019 Conference on the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church, held last weekend in Toronto, was a big success, and attendees — having come from as far away as Texas, California, British Columbia, and many other places in between — report having come away edified and excited about the future of our Anglican Catholic tradition and community.
On the Friday evening, we were honoured to have with us both Bishop Steven Lopes of the North American ordinariate, as well as Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, our host for the weekend. Bishop Lopes gave some encouraging words of welcome to everyone, and the Society presented Cardinal Collins a gift in recognition of his role as the Holy See’s liaison for Anglican groups interested in forming an ordinariate. The Society even received greetings from the Papal Nuncio!
There were three beautiful, and very Anglican patrimonial, liturgies held in Toronto’s St Michael’s Cathedral, celebrated by Fr Lee Kenyon, our former Dean of Canada for the ordinariate. The music – representative of the very best of the Anglican musical tradition – was provided by a professional ensemble, including renowned Canadian organist Matthew Larkin, directed by Toronto’s own Peter Mahon. That our liturgies were hosted by the Cathedral of the Latin diocese was a powerful sign of how the Anglican tradition has been fully welcomed into the Catholic Church. The experience of a Solemn Mass and Te Deum, Choral Mattins, and Evensong & Benediction, all done in accordance with the best of our Anglican tradition and in such a preeminent Catholic setting was deeply moving for everyone.
There were four insightful and fascinating talks throughout the day on the Saturday. Bishop Lopes spoke first, talking about identity and mission. Then David Warren gave remarks on the catholic thread running throughout the Anglican patrimony and Anglican history. Fr Jack Barker’s prepared remarks recounted in significant detail the history of the discussions between Anglican priests and the Holy See in the 1970s that led to the establishment of the Pastoral Provision and the Anglican Use. Finally, Fr Derek Cross gave a prepared talk entitled “St John Henry Newman on the liturgical act, a patrimonial reflection”. It’s fair to say conference attendees came away quite edified by all four contributors.
An Anglican patrimonial conference, of course, would not have been complete without multiple opportunities for fellowship and socializing, and our 2019 conference featured two cocktail receptions, a fantastic lunch, coffee breaks, and a pub outing. A great time was had by all.
Finally, on Sunday, participants in the conference attended the regular Sunday Mass at Toronto’s ordinariate parish of St Thomas More, a parish that has a long tradition of beautiful sacred music.
This Anglican Tradition Conference was the Society’s ninth such, and it most certainly won’t be our last. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers and organizers who helped to make it possible. We could not have put on such a successful conference without the help of members of the Society from both Canada and the US, members of St Thomas More’s, as well as a significant group of young, faithful Catholics from Ontario from various liturgical traditions, including our own Anglican, the traditional Roman, and the Ukrainian Byzantine, who eagerly came out to help to build up our common Catholic community.
Over the coming weeks, we will be uploading some video excerpts and highlights from the talks and liturgies, and in the coming months we will feature excerpts from the talks as well as some related written material in the Society’s journal. Stay tuned.