We’re moving! Here’s why

The Anglicanorum Coetibus Society blog is moving to a new home at the Society’s website that has undergone a thorough renewal.

The official launch for the new site is Aug. 22, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, but you can have a peek now if you like!

Our webmaster Peter Jesserer Smith has led the exciting transformation. I sent him some questions regarding the changes

Why is the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society revamping its website?

The board approved a proposal to transform our website, so we could become the destination for people wanting to learn about the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church, the broader English Christian patrimony, the Ordinariates, and our mission to evangelize and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

We’ve been thinking about how to fulfill our mission better, and had made our journal Shared Treasure available for print and Kindle via a new Amazon store. So the board saw a website revamp as a key next step to advance our mission, and eCatholic provided us the solutions we were looking for.

The board saw eCatholic’s powerful web tools as precisely what we needed, particularly in integrating our blog content with the rest of our website’s multimedia resources. The website is easy for an administrator to maintain and update, and has the benefit of highly responsive customer service that shares our Catholic faith and evangelical missions. Altogether, the new upgraded website will free the ACS to focus on other important projects, which we’re excited to roll out in the months and years ahead.

What is behind the new look?


Well, the mission of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is to promote the Anglican tradition and common identity within the Catholic Church in order to share the Gospel, educate men and women in the beauty of the Catholic faith, and form disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. So we wanted to upgrade our website to enable us to better carry out our mission.

So on the new website itself, you’re seeing the Ordinariate’s Anglican tradition beautifully displayed in a clip of the Solemn Mass, according to our missal Divine Worship, that was offered at our recent Toronto Conference on the Catholic Church’s Anglican tradition. This was for the 10th anniversary year of Benedict XVI’s founding of the Catholic Church’s personal ordinariates for the Anglican tradition with Anglicanorum coetibus.

The website has now beautiful photos and videos throughout that invite people to engage our resources (we feature both ACS original content as well as Ordinariate-related content), discover our Conferences, and become supporters of the Society. What you see here is made possible only by our ACS supporters who have confidence the Ordinariates are a critical part of advancing the Church’s mission inviting men and women into lifelong discipleship of Jesus Christ, who then go out and invite other men and women to know, love, and follow the Lord.

That’s what our whole Anglican patrimony is here for in the first place, and particularly why Benedict XVI saw this as a “treasure to be shared” with the whole of Christ’s Catholic Church.

So we aim the website to be a place where this treasure may be shared abundantly. So the home page prominently features our latest ACS blog and Ordinariate News content, our latest podcasts, and the ACS map of Pre-Ordinariate and Ordinariate communities all over the globe. We also know many people are struggling with going to Mass during COVID-19 pandemic, so we created a place on the homepage that features a livestreamed Sunday Divine Worship Mass. That way people can virtually unite themselves at Sunday Mass, and experience the Ordinariate’s liturgical life in a particular locale, which may be different week to week.

Why is the blog moving to the website?

The ACS’s new eCatholic website allows us to resolve a problem the board recognized, where our blog and website were on two different platforms. The board recognized people may visit the website, but not engage with the blog, or people may visit the blog, but miss the larger resources available on the website.

So the board recognized the time had come to bring those platforms together, and eCatholic gave us the opportunity to bring all these resources onto a single platform. So for example, if you read the ACS’s Ordinariate Newsletter, and something peaks your interest about the Ordinariate or a particular community — you can now stay on the website to learn more.

Additionally, the eCatholic features allow us to feature not only ACS original content, discussions, and contributions but also it allows us to quickly link to the excellent news about the Ordinariate that is being published by Catholic news outlets all over the world. So, if you visit our site, we’ll take you right there.

Additionally, all this information is archived on our blog. We have also created a news archive, which we’re steadily adding to, so people who are new to the Ordinariates and the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church, will have a solid stable of the best news articles to consult.  

Where does the ACS hope to go with this newly launched website?

We’re really only at the beginning of this new adventure, and the new eCatholic website opens a wide vista of possibilities toward which the ACS can chart a course, both for the wider public and our subscribing members. 
So we’ll be building on the content that’s we’ve got there, particularly in strengthening the Ordinariate-related video content, publications, and the news archive. There’s a lot of content out there we want to pull together for people. We’re looking forward to providing more Prayer Book resources as the Ordinariates publish their Divine Office books. So we’ll feature the St. Gregory’s Prayer Book, a devotional primer the ACS had a hand in developing, alongside the office books. The Ordinariate’s Anglican tradition emphasizes the laity and the clergy both praying the office — that was an insight reflected in the Book of Common Prayer tradition, and later affirmed for all Catholics in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the sacred constitution on the liturgy at the Second Vatican Council. We very much want to make sure that we support that.   

We’ve made it easy for people to find out how they can purchase print or Kindle editions of our journal Shared Treasure. Subscribing members have full access to our digital archives, but the board will be discussing proposals for more exclusive subscriber-only content. 
We’re going to be looking very closely at how to create intentional content that equips people to better evangelists in their own community and put the Ordinariate’s Anglican tradition to work spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A rising tide lifts all boats, and we believe the success of Ordinariate communities can be an inspiration to all Catholic churches that Christ’s Gospel has power to transform all men and women it reaches. 
The ACS board is discussing new projects, which we hope to showcase on our website. While it’s premature to say more about them now, we invite people to join us in our mission by becoming regular donors, and subscribing members. We’ve got a great network of talented people who are looking to build up the Ordinariate, and grow the Catholic Church by evangelizing through our beautiful Anglican tradition. So the new website is a start, and ultimately, we hope this is the first step to making the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society the place people seek out for anything related to the Ordinariates, our Anglican patrimony, and how we can go forth and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

A Joyous Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society wish all of you a joyous Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We also have some good news! We’re moving!

On August 22, the Queenship of Mary, this blog will be moved to a new integrated website for the ACS. Stay tuned for upcoming information about our launch!

We sang this lovely hymn: Sing We of the Blessed Mother today at Mass at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa. Here are the lyrics:

Tribute to Isaac Scharbach

Isaac Scharbach, 21, the oldest son of Fr. Albert Scharbach, the pastor of Mount Calvary Catholic Church in Baltimore, passed away August. 1 after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Isaac Scharbach

It is hard to imagine any grief greater than the loss of a son or daughter. All of the members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and beyond join in mourning this unspeakable loss.

Here is a tribute to Isaac in The Catholic Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, that reveals what an extraordinary young man he was.

George P. Matysek Jr. writes:

From the time Isaac Scharbach was a child, prayer was central to his life. Family members remember finding the boy asleep on the floor by his open prayer book late at night. Later, his teachers at Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington recalled frequently seeing the young man alone in the school’s darkened chapel, taking time away from a jam-packed schedule to pray quietly by himself on late afternoons.

Isaac, from a family of nine brothers and sisters, joined the Catholic Church as a child during the 2009 Easter Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Father Albert Scharbach, his father, had been a priest in the Anglican Church, but joined the Catholic Church with his family and was ordained a Catholic priest in 2013.

“As his priest, I gave him Communion daily,” said Father Scharbach, a former pastoral assistant to Bishop Denis J. Madden and the current pastor of Mount Calvary Catholic Church in Baltimore.

“He always received the Eucharist as if it was his first time receiving, his last time receiving, his only time receiving,” Father Scharbach said. “This was evident in his face and his entire bodily posture: peace, joy and an apparent interior ecstasy that communicated there is no place else he would rather be.”

Isaac Scharbach, 21, was killed Aug. 1 when an automobile struck him from behind in Upperco while he was riding his bicycle. The driver remained at the scene, and Baltimore County Police are investigating the crash.

Father Scharbach remembered his eldest son as a “pure soul” who treated everyone with kindness.

“Isaac was always kind, he always thought the best of others and he was always trying to help people,” his father said. “And I mean always, without exception. There are very few other people I can say that about, if anyone.”

There’s a lot more about Isaac here.

A funeral Mass will be offered Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Bartholomew in Manchester. It will be livestreamed here. Social distancing measures will be required.

Memorial contributions to build an adoration chapel at Davidson College may be made here.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Isaac’s family. Nearly $60,000 has been raised so far.

Ordinations on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

May 25, 2020
by Ordinariate Communications
With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God
the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
joyfully announces and invites you to attend
the Ordination of
 
Rev. Mr. Armando G. Alejandro, Jr.
Rev. Mr. B. Nathan Davis
Rev. Mr. Matthew M. Hummel
 
to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
through the Imposition of Hands
and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by
 
Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes, S.T.D.
Bishop
 
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
Monday, the Twenty-ninth of June
Two Thousand and Twenty
at Six Thirty in the Evening
 
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055

Here is a link to the beautiful Solemn Evensong for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Fr. Hayman preaches series for children

Fr. Doug Hayman, Dean of the Canadian Deanery of St. John the Baptist of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, has been doing a series of special talks for children.

We are also blessed to have him as our pastor in Ottawa at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He has one up now for Trinity Sunday in which he describes the Trinity!

You can find his previous talks at his YouTube channel. Subscribe and enjoy!

Toronto Conference Liturgies

All of the liturgies and three of the four talks from the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Tradition Conference last November 15-16 in Toronto are available online at our Anglicanorum Coetibus Society YouTube channel. Please go on over and subscribe!

You can find out more information about the conference at our website. And while you’re over there, why not considering joining us and becoming a supporter of our mission to promote Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church to help form disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.

Here is the Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Anglicanorum Coetibus:

Choral Mattins in the Anglican Tradition

Choral Evensong and Benediction

Three of the four talks are also available at our YouTube channel:

Bishop Steven Lopes

David Warren

Fr. Jack Barker

and soon to come, Fr. Derek Cross

More on The Cloud of Unknowing

Lisa Nicholas looks at Chapter Three of The Cloud of Unknowing, a classic work of English Catholic Mysticism at her Learning God: Readings in the Contemplative English Tradition blog:

She writes:

The subtitle of this chapter promises that it will explain two things: how to put in practice what the book will teach, and why the reason doing so is the most worthy thing one can do.

So first the how: Lift your heart to God, our author says, thinking only of Him, but not of His benefits (“goods”) or any part of His Creation. Think on Him as He is, but not of what He does. This will be difficult, but we must persist in the effort, no matter how difficult it seems, until it is no longer difficult. At first, and for a long time, we will face a great “cloud of unknowing,” but if we persist eventually the cloud will disperse and we will see/know Him as He is, to the extent that this is possible in this mortal life.

Why persist in something so difficult and frustrating? Our teacher encourages his pupil to make the effort, not only for one’s own sake (the benefit of experiencing God as He is), but also because doing so will frustrate the fiends of Hell and benefit the souls in purgatory.

Commentary

The method of prayer introduced in this chapter (to be explained in detail later) sounds a little like that old gag, “Don’t think about elephants.” As soon as someone says that, you find yourself thinking about elephants. So, how do we fix our minds and hearts on God without thinking of all the good things He does for us or all the wonderful things He has created that bear witness to Him? How can we make it our naked intent simply to adore Him as He is, when it is impossible for us to know Him except through the created order, His interventions in the created order, including His becoming Man for our sake?

It sounds impossible, rather like trying to know what we don’t know. Our teacher acknowledges this difficulty — we must not try to think of God with our intellect (we’re not engaging in theology) nor to feel Him with our affections (we can’t conjure Him up with our emotions). But, if not thinking or feeling, what? Our “naked intent” — our will. Our desire itself to know Him.

This, he says, is what the Angels and Saints do: they desire God with a pure and unflagging desire, and their reward is to know Him as He is. This is the encouragement that will help us persevere in what will seem, at first and for a long time thereafter, a most impossible and frustrating task.

Part one of this series is here. Part two is here. Please not only read all three but also read The Cloud of Unknowing for yourself.

Please listen to the two-part podcast with David Torkington on Christian mystical prayer and the role he believes the Ordinariates can play in reviving it. You can find the podcasts at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website here.

Diaconal Ordinations on Ascension will be live-streamed from Houston

From the website of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter:

May 18, 2020
by Ordinariate Communications
With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God
the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
joyfully announces and invites you to attend
the Ordination of

David H. Delaney
Stephen A. Hilgendorf
Samuel N. Keyes
Scott R. Wooten

to the Sacred Order of Deacon
through the Imposition of Hands
and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by

Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes, S.T.D.
Bishop

Thursday, the Twenty-first of May
Two Thousand and Twenty
at Six Thirty in the Evening

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055

I will embed the link to the live-stream when I have it.  Meanwhile, keep an eye on the PCSP website and the website of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham at 6:30 pm CDT or 7:30 pm EDT.

 

David Torkington podcasts now available

David Torkington Width 597 pixelsThe two part interview I did with David Torkington, an author and expert on Christian mystical prayer, is now available on the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website at www.acsociety.org/podcasts.  

I am so blessed to have been able to have this conversation with him!  I hope it whets your appetite to read his works.   He asked me to give you the link to an entire course on prayer online that will soon be published as a book.  You can find it at Dan Burke’s spiritualdirection.com website at this link.

Lisa Nicholas [Please see podcast with Lisa Nicholas on the podcasts page!] had introduced me to David Torkinton late last year.  I found reading his book  Wisdom from the Christian Mystics: How to pray the Christian way and other writings on the web revitalized my prayer life.   His writings prompted me to muse whether a key to evangelization in the Ordinariates for Catholics of Anglican tradition was to make our parishes Schools of Prayer.

Over Lent, a group of us from our parish held a Lenten School of Prayer during which we read Wisdom from the Christian Mystics together.  The school migrated online once the pandemic shutdown began.

Thank you to Tim Motte for the beautiful production of this video.  The music is the Sanctus by Herbert Howells in the Collegium Regale that was sung at the Mass of Thanksgiving that opened the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Churchconference in Toronto Nov. 15-16.

You can find the Mass here: