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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Indianapolis Anglican Community to Join Catholic Church on Easter Vigil

Eighteen members of an Anglican community in Indianapolis will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 7, 9 p.m., at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian Street. Bishop Christopher Coyne, Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, will be principal celebrant.

The St. Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Use Society is the first community in Indiana to join a new national structure created by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglican groups and clergy who are becoming Catholic. Luke Reese, an Anglican priest who leads the group, is studying for ordination as a Catholic priest.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter is similar to a regular Catholic diocese, but national in scope. Pope Benedict XVI established it on January 1 in response to repeated requests by Anglicans seeking to become Catholic, and appointed Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop based in Houston, TX, as the leader. Ordinariate parishes will be fully Catholic while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and traditions, including liturgical traditions.

“We are very grateful to Pope Benedict for giving us this opportunity to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining our Anglican heritage, and to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis which has been very welcoming and kind to our group during this journey,” said Reese.

Msgr. Steenson noted, “I deeply appreciate the support that Bishop Coyne and the Archdiocese have given to this community. This has been a wonderful example of Christian unity and what I believe Pope Benedict intended when he created the Ordinariate."

The members of St. Joseph of Arimathea studied the United States Catechism of the Catholic Church for Adults, working closely with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. They are among more than 1,400 people in 20 communities across the United States who have asked to join the Ordinariate; and the third community in the United States to be received since January. The others are in Baltimore, MD and Philadelphia, PA. Nearly 40 former Anglican priests currently are studying to be ordained Catholic priests.

Throughout Lent, the community has been leading Morning Prayer at Holy Rosary Parish, 520 Stevens St., Indianapolis, IN. The group will attend Mass there in the near future.

For more information on the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, one of only two ordinariates in the world, visit St. Joseph of Arimathea is online at

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