Bishop Gavin Ashenden to join Catholic Church on 4th Sunday of Advent

Bishop Gavin Ashendon, former chaplain to the Queen, is joining the Catholic Church.

This article via Church Militant makes no mention of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, so I have no idea  where he will be incardinated but he will be received into the  Church this coming Sunday.  I will update when I find out.

What a blessing this well-known pastor of souls and communicator will make inside the  Catholic Church!

From CM:

Bishop Gavin Ashenden will be received into full communion by Shrewsbury’s Bp. Mark Davies on the fourth Sunday of Advent at Shrewsbury Cathedral, England.

The outspoken prelate became a global media celebrity after he objected to the reading of the Koran at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Koranic chapter on Mary, read from the lectern at the service of Holy Communion, on the Feast of the Epiphany 2017, explicitly denied the divinity of Jesus.

Under pressure from Buckingham Palace, Dr. Ashenden resigned his royal chaplaincy in order to be free to challenge the rising tide of apostasy in the Church of England.

Later that year, Ashenden was consecrated a missionary bishop to the United Kingdom and Europe by the Christian Episcopal Church to provide episcopal cover to traditionalist Anglicans leaving the Church of England.

Ordinariate member elected Premier of Alberta

The newly-elected Premier of Alberta is a Catholic of the Anglican tradition, belonging to the Canadian Deanery of Saint John the Baptist.29103747_10156137311342641_5846974212161377586_n_0

Yesterday, the Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MLA, a former federal cabinet minister responsible for numerous portfolios, including as Minister of Defence, was elected the new Premier of Alberta with over 55% of the vote, winning 63/87 seats and a huge majority.

The ordinariate Catholic community is delighted to see one of our own elected as the new Premier of Alberta, a province with two ordinariate communities.

Raised Anglican, Jason became Catholic about thirty years ago when in university. Many people see the ordinariates as a gift to those Anglicans still seeking to become Catholic without leaving behind their heritage, but for many of our members, like Jason, the ordinariate is a restoration of the Anglican tradition to Catholics like them who had previously had to give it up.

As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason became acquainted with and befriended religious communities of all cultural backgrounds, and is understood to have met almost all the patriarchs of every Catholic and Orthodox rite or tradition. He surely understands the beauty of the Catholic Church’s diversity in unity, of which the Anglican ordinariate is a special part.

Congratulations to Jason and to his entire team, and may God’s blessings be upon them as they receive this mandate and embark on this time of public service to the people of the great province of Alberta.

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O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion. . . .

The Collect from our Divine Worship: The Missal this week is as follows:

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion: that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace, may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

True religion.  True religion is found in the Catholic Church.  This for many of us was the Pearl of Great Price that was gained through much sacrifice and suffering.

This Collect seems a propos after the controversy following a document Pope Francis signed in the United Arab Emirates on Human Fraternity that said:

The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.

Continue reading

All Saints Sisters of the Poor on Anglican Patrimony

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic community of former Anglican religious, have a wonderful description of Anglican patrimony on their website.

What is this treasure, this ‘Anglican Patrimony’?

The mist on an English moor is elusive and impossible to describe in words, unless perhaps by poetry.  Nevertheless it is quite real.  The heritage of the Anglican or English spiritual way is equally elusive of definition.  It almost needs to be experienced to grasp what it means.  Nevertheless, like the English mist, it is quite real.  No one has all the pieces of this mist, yet here are some brief thoughts with gratitude to others who have pondered this issue.

The Anglican treasure is :

First:  PEOPLE

Consider a list of a few of the more famous converts:

St Edmund Campion (yes, he was a convert)
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
Gerald Manley Hopkins, S.J.
G.K. Chesterton
Ronald Knox

And a host of others who became faithful priests, bishops, religious and lay people in the Catholic Church – and most lately, the All Saints Sisters!

Perhaps the most mysterious gift of this Anglican patrimony is its way of graciously leading souls onward – with the kindly light of Christ – leading, in fact, into full communion and union with the Holy See.


The Anglican treasure presents a beautiful synthesis of prayer and life.  It has preserved a sense of the holy within the ordinary, all encircled and encompassed with God’s loving, Trinitarian Presence.  Here is a quality of down-to-earthness, a “homeliness” (Julian of Norwich’s term), a warm, tolerant and human devotion rooted in love reaching up to heaven.


This part of the spiritual heritage of Anglican converts yet it is symbolized by the old Book of Common Prayer and particularly difficult to explain.  The Roman Catholic Church has nothing like it.  Nothing.  Born in 1549 of the horrible, bloody rupture known as the English Reformation, this one book soon became the corner stone of the English spiritual way.

It preserved a deep reverence for the Holy Eucharist, a central place for the Divine Office as corporate worship for the entire church which gave birth to a delicate sense of prayer, of the heart in pilgrimage, “Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood….something understood.”  (George Herbert, Prayer I)


“You are here to kneel/ Where prayer has been valid.”  ….

“Here, the intersection of the timeless moment”  ….

“So, while the light fails/ On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel/ History is now and England.”      (T.S. Eliot, all from ‘Little Gidding’)

In the Middle Ages, England was called “the land of the Benedictines”.

There is in the English patrimony, a spiritual continuity between the desert fathers and mothers, the monastic led Celtic Church, St. Benedict and his sons: including St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Anselm, St. Aelred the Cistercian, on through the 14th Century English mystics,  the Caroline Divines, the Tractarian priests, Blessed John Henry Newman…..and many holy monastic men and women from c.1850 to 2012.

This monastic quality is revealed in at least three ways:

Stability…not as a vow, but as “in a settled church.” (John Donne)  This is also the English tendency towards ‘balance‘ which is a monastic quality. This is “A serious house on serious earth…” of Philip Larkin’s Church Going

Recollection…As in the Rule of St Benedict (RB) there is an emphasis on ‘conversion of life’ so in the Anglican patrimony there is this emphasis on habitual living in Christ’s Presence in the Church and a meditative approach to life.  As the 14th century English Mystic, Julian of Norwich, put it:

    ‘The fruit and the purpose of prayer
is to be oned with
and like God in all things.’

The Divine Office…Anglicans have long been a people of the Divine Office in which all were expected to participate.  Generations of Anglicans grew up going to church on Sundays (and sometimes on weekdays) to chant the Psalms at Morning Prayer – and often Evensong as well.  The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) preserved the monastic quality of the Hours and made it an integrated system of gathering for community prayer.

Interpreting all things in continuity

Faithful Catholics have a Scylla and Charybdis to navigate in today’s fractious debates concerning interpretations of the Second Vatican Council.  Both dangers concern interpretations of the Council that see it as a rupture.  One one side are those who see this rupture as a good thing; on the other are those who see the rupture as a bad thing.

We Catholics of Anglican patrimony must not fall prey to either of these dangers. Continue reading

The talks at the U.S. Bishops’ retreat

The National Catholic Reporter has provided a link to all the talks the Preacher of the Papal Household Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa gave at the recent retreat he offered for American bishops at the invitation of Pope Francis.

The NCR’s Tom Roberts writes:

Texts of the 11 talks delivered to the U.S. bishops who gathered for a week’s retreat at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago show a heavy emphasis on traditional themes, a robust defense of celibacy, a severe criticism of attachment to money and an endorsement of new lay movements as a replacement for declining numbers of clerics.

I hope to set aside some time to read these talks.   Interestingly, I would say most of the Catholics I know personally have a great affection and respect for Fr. Cantalamessa.  He is especially beloved among charismatic Catholics. Continue reading