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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Msgr. Steenson delivers benediction at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, was invited to deliver the benediction at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC today. Joining him at the event were Very Reverend Scott Hurd, vicar general, and eight seminarians from the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region who are in the Ordinariate's formation program.

Nearly 800 people attended the breakfast, which featured remarks by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson; a keynote by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; and a spiritual reflection by Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., superior general of the Sisters of Life.

from the US Ordinariate web site.

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, the newly appointed Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter concluded the breakfast with some remarks and a benediction. The words he chose, which came from Book I of St. Augustine's City of God clearly put the call to action heard throughout the morning in context.

From Augustine's writings, part of what Msgr. Steenson quoted said, "But let this city bear in mind, that among her enemies lie hidden those who are destined to be fellow citizens, that she may not think it a fruitless labor to bear what they inflict as enemies until they become confessors of the faith.

"These men you may today see thronging the churches with us, tomorrow crowding the theatres with the godless. But we have the less reason to despair of the reclamation even of such persons, if among our most declared enemies there are now some, unknown to themselves, who are destined to become our friends."

from a Catholic Online story by Randy Sly.

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