The Pope and the Professor


In our preparation to enter the Catholic Church, some of our members struggled with accepting some of the later Marian dogmas and that of papal infallibility.  So, I found myself reliving some of the internal debates we had had back then while reading The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignas von Dollinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age by Thomas Albert Howard. Continue reading

When you are not having a Holy Lent . . .

I always have high hopes for a holy Lent.  I make plans for getting my prayer life on track and for adding some other disciplines.

But usually, I find after a certain point my efforts are futile.  Or, I can make an effort successfully for a day, and then see everything fall apart the next.

For example, I know my prayers in the morning will go a lot better if I do not look at my phone first thing.   If I check my email, or worse, check Twitter or Facebook, then there’s a good chance my prayers will be perfunctory and superficial or worse: they are not prayed at all.  Sometimes, though, even if I don’t check my phone, I can feel like I’m going through the motions as I pray the office, pray the Rosary, and so on, as if these are duties I have to check off every morning.   Certainly, I feel a lot better if I do these things, but is checking off a list what it’s all about?   It seems to take a lot of time to press in to the Lord among crowded thoughts, pressing work, and even when I take the time, it can feel dry some of the time.

Saturday, I woke up, checked my phone, made breakfast and never bothered to do my morning prayers.  I spent the morning on the internet.  In the afternoon, I went to a baby shower where there were all kinds of goodies and I ate everything in sight.  Even though I was doing what I wanted to do in the moment, I had this sense of blowing it, of feeling  “Meh!” and,worst of all, apart from God.  At the same time, I was also asking why I had to work so hard to find Him.  I really had been trying previous days.  Okay, some of them!

I guess God heard my complaint, because before going to bed that night, I had that wonderful sense of being drawn into prayer, instead of having to force myself. My spiritual director  encourages me to sit quietly and ask the Lord for a word, which I often don’t do.   But I did in that lovely peace Saturday night.

What came to me were the words “Ravish me” —-because I vaguely remembered a poem by John Donne, which I rediscovered lately when I googled those words.    Donne was born to a recusant family, but turned against the Catholic Church after his brother died in prison of bubonic plague.  The brother had been imprisoned for harboring a priest.  Donne eventually became an Anglican.   I guess we could call him patrimonial.

This poem became my prayer:

 Batter my heart, three-person’d God

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Fr. Bob Bedard, the late founder of the Companions of the Cross, used to advise people to give God permission.   So, this poem I coupled with giving God permission to ravish me, enthrall me, break through my lukewarm comfort zone, set me on fire.
I am tired of laboring to admit Him—I can’t even do it well, or consistently.   I always think this is the point of Lent, to show us how futile are any efforts we make to improve ourselves.
So, I gave him permission to batter my heart, to lay hold of me, to pierce me with His divine love.

Anniversary Symposium Oct. 15 in Rome


To mark the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus,  the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is holding a symposium on Oct. 15 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome to examine the ecclesial and ecumenical implications of the document ten years later.

Speakers include Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. the Adjunct Secretary of CDF on the historical perspective and other academics who will address the canonical perspective;  the ecumenical perspective; and the liturgical perspective.
 The Symposium will also include a panel of the  Ordinaries:  Monsignor Keith Newton of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in North America; Ordinary-emeritus Msgr. Harry Entwistle; and Msgr. Carl Reid of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
The CDF aims to  make the reality of the Personal Ordinariates better known within the intellectual life of the city of Rome.  However, Ordinariate members are welcome to attend this academic conference.  The symposium is free of charge.  Details on how to register will come soon.

Continue reading

Happy Mothering Sunday!

DSC07123Happy Mothering Sunday!  On this fourth Sunday in Lent, Laetare Sunday, many of us in the Ordinariates for Catholics of Anglican tradition bless a simnel cake and flowers on the altar.  It is one of two Sundays in the Church year where our priest wears rose vestments.  We like to show support for the priest wearing pink rose by wearing it ourselves.


Sadly, because March did not go out like a lamb in Ottawa, our congregation was much thinner than usual because many could not make it because of snow and freezing rain.


At Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa, Fr. Doug Hayman bakes the simnel cake.  Every year, our “Mother of the Year” serves tea and coffee and cuts the simnel cake.  This year, Rebecca Trolly did the honors.

Celebrations are an important aspect of our common identity.  Not all of us would celebrate Laetare Sunday in the same way, but I bet many of you did.  I would love to hear from you and post some pictures from your community.

Every Ordinariate community I know of ensures the fellowship time after Mass is well supplied.    Several times a year, we do something extra.   At Annunciation, we have an annual Thanksgiving dinner in October (Canadian Thanksgiving falls on what used to be called Columbus Day in the United States, a Monday in early October.  We have turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed and scalloped potatoes, squash, peas, cranberry sauce, the works.

We also have an Epiphany Dinner that is more of a potluck affair with lots of crock pots full of chilis and stews, salads, platters of ham and other meats.

In the summer, we have a parish picnic outdoors.  Last year we went to the Eastern Catholic camp in Quebec.

What does your community do for celebrations?

Fr. Carl Reid appointed Ordinary of Our Lady of the Southern Cross

215Pope Francis today named Fr. Carl Reid, the dean of the Canadian deanery of St. John the Baptist of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Ordinary of Australia’s Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

At the same time, the Holy Father accepted the retirement of Msgr. Harry Entwistle, who served the Australian ordinariate since the beginning.

We in Ottawa know Fr. Reid well, because he was our rector and suffragan bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada in the run-up to our being received into the Catholic Church.

He is a deeply faithful Catholic, a leader and this will be quite the adventure for him and his wife Barb.

Here’s Bishop Steven Lopes announcement:

To the Clergy and Faithful of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

March 26, 2019

Dear Fathers,

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter,

It is my privilege and joy to share with you the happy news that our Holy Father, Pope Francis and has appointed our own Father Carl Reid as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.  This comes as the Holy Father has accepted the retirement of Monsignor Harry Entwistle, who headed the Ordinariate there since its founding in 2013.

Let me first express a word of gratitude to my colleague and dear friend, Monsignor Entwistle.  Monsignor Harry has served well beyond the retirement age of 75, all the while laying a firm foundation for the future flourishing of the Ordinariate “down under.”  In addition to its parishes on the Australian mainland, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross has experienced some exciting growth in the Torres Strait Islands, in Japan, and most recently in the Philippines.  Finding a worthy successor to carry on the pioneering work of Monsignor Entwistle was no small task, and I am delighted that the Holy Father recognized in Father Carl both the experience and pastoral virtues to carry on that work.   We should all offer prayers of gratitude to God for the fidelity and example of Monsignor Entwistle, as we wish him and his wife, Jean, well in retirement.

Australia’s new Ordinary, Father Carl Reid, was born on December 14, 1950, and was baptized on January 14, 1951, in the Anglican Church of Canada. He earned a degree in Geological Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1973. He subsequently earned a Master of Divinity Degree from St. Bede’s Theological College. In 2006, he was given the title of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa. He was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada in 1988, and a minister in the same jurisdiction on June 23, 1990.  He was ordained a suffragan bishop of the same communion on June 27, 2007.  Most of his ministry as an Anglican was spent in Ottawa, Ontario.

Father Carl will be installed as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross on Tuesday, August 27, at 7pm at the Cathedral of St. Mary’s in the Archdiocese of Sydney by the Archbishop, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher, O.P.  Archbishop Fisher will be joined by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P., Adjunct Secretary of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Monsignor Keith Newton from the UK Ordinariate and I will be representing our respective Ordinariates at the Installation celebrations.  All of our clergy and faithful are welcome, though admittedly it’s a long way to go for Mass!

Please join me in praying for Father Carl and for his wife, Barb, as they transition into this new adventure.  Those of you planning to attend the Ordinariate Chrism Mass on April 11 will have the opportunity to congratulate Father Carl in person.  I have asked him to preach the homily at our annual Chrism Mass.

With prayerful best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes


Happy Solemnity of the Annunciation!

hb_1973.311.2What a joyous event we celebrate today!  Mary said, “Yes” to God’s plan and God the Son became incarnate in her womb.

We have a sung Mass tonight at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary because this is also our feast of title.

In other news,  I am nearing completion of the paper I promised for a book that will be published in the fall marking the ten years since Anglicanorum coetibus.  Thus, I expect I will be able to return to more frequent blogging.

During the penitential season of Lent, we focus on repentance and on dying to self as we approach Easter.

Our Anglican tradition —in our mass and our offices—does a beautiful job of keeping us aware of our need for mercy, of our status as “miserable offenders,” and our utter dependence upon God for His grace.

Sometimes, however, I wonder if we run a danger of living too much in Romans 7.  Continue reading

Prayers for Cardinal Pell

When Archbishop John Hepworth first disclosed to the Catholic hierarchy that he had been sexually abused from the time he was a young Catholic seminarian, the response initially from the Catholic hierarchy seemed to be that he was crazy or a charlatan.

This response led to attitudes of contempt not only towards Hepworth, but also for the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). he led.  That contempt nearly destroyed the dreams of TAC communities of ever being accepted into the Catholic Church with their clergy. 

I believe it is Cardinal Pell who rescued us, because through a mutual friend of both men, he advised Hepworth to go to through the Melbourne process he had created to handling sexual abuse claims when he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

That process, led by a Queen’s Counsel with vast experience in hearing and weighing clergy sexual abuse claims, vindicated Archbishop Hepworth.  The QC believed him and that marked a turning point, I believe, in rescuing what seemed like our shattered prospects of entering the Catholic church as intact communities,

Because of Cardinal Pell’s help behind the scenes in this case, I join those around the world who find his conviction in a second jury trial of sexual abuse of minors a miscarriage of justice. Continue reading