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, January 24, 2012

History is Made Again as U.S. Ordinariate Receives First Parish

By Randy Sly
published January 24, 2012

Mount Calvary Episcopal Church has been waiting a long time to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. They have had to watch other parishes come in while remaining patiently in a holding pattern until property issues were worked out. 34 parishioners were received on Sunday. Their Rector, Jason Catania and Associates, David Reamsnyder, Anthony Vidal and Dr. John Huntington will begin pre-ordination formation toward being ordained as Catholic priests.

While parishes have previously been received into the Catholic Church in anticipation of the new Anglican Ordinariate, history was made on Sunday, January 22 when the first parish was received by the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Since the Ordinariate's canonical structure is still being established, the parish remains under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Baltimore for the time being.

Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, who had voted to join the Ordinariate in October 2010, had to wait until their property issue with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland was settled. Fortunately, they were eventually able to keep their building and ended up as the first parish received by the new Ordinary. Their reception took place Sunday morning with a packed out church of parishioners and supporters from the Episcopal and Catholic world in attendance.

Reverend Jeffrey Steenson, the newly selected Ordinary, made it clear during the Mass that he was operating by direction of Cardinal-designate Edwin O'brien, Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He will be officially installed as the Ordinary on February 12.

The Solemn Mass of Confirmation and Reception into the Roman Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter included the best of Anglican hymnody, anthems and chant superbly presented. Lasting more than two hours, for those who appreciate the contribution of Anglican liturgy and music, this was a time when heaven and earth touched...

Read the rest at Catholic Online.

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