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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Letter from America: “Glory Be”

by Timothy Perkins
“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, in full accord and of one mind.”
Philippians 2:2

THiS YEAR has already been filled with celebration. The erection of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter on the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, on January 1st, was an occasion of joy, not only for us in the United States, but for all who, having been nurtured in faith within Anglicanism, are now coming into the fullness of the Catholic Church.
This time of rejoicing transcends the present moment. It draws to mind the blessings of times past, is experienced in the here and now, inspires confidence for the future, and awakens hope that knows no end. It awakens the perception of a complete joy of the sort that St Paul recognised could be experienced only through unity.

A particular occasion of the past in which we rejoiced last month was the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on January 15th last year. The remembrance marks a momentous first step in the fulfilment of the Holy Father’s vision of incorporating our Anglican patrimony into the life of the Catholic Church.

In his remarks on the occasion, Monsignor Newton expressed what I believe all of us feel, “The sentiments of joy and thanksgiving, two great Christian words, are ones which should characterise our first anniversary celebration.”

Similar “sentiments of joy and thanksgiving” were apparent at the Epiphany gathering of the small community of St Peter the Rock with whom I serve in Arlington, Texas. The following day was the anniversary of our first offering of worship at the Chapel of the Catholic Centre in Fort Worth...

Read the rest of Mr. Perkins' column in the February issue of The Portal Magazine (page 14)

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