The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Community marks centennial of reception into Catholic Church

November 2, 2009

By Beth Griffin

One hundred years before Pope Benedict XVI captured headlines by establishing a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Catholic Church, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement became the first religious group to be received into the church in its entirety. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican ambassador to the United States, said the pope's recent overture to the Anglicans could be seen as a fruit of 100 years of prayers offered for the unity of the church by members of the Society of the Atonement.

Archbishop Sambi spoke at Mass Oct. 30 celebrating the centennial of the society's reception into the church. The Mass was concelebrated by New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at Graymoor, the society's headquarters. In remarks to some 400 people after the centennial Mass, Archbishop Sambi said, "Your charism is a charism of the future." From its founding in 1900, the Society of the Atonement has dedicated itself to Christian unity...

Read the rest at Catholic News Service.

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