Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in East Mt. Airy hosted a truly groundbreaking event on Sunday, May 20.
The event, accompanied by a Mass, marked the formal introduction of the Anglican Catholic parish of St. Michael the Archangel, which worships at Holy Cross, into the Roman Catholic communion. St. Michael’s is the first Anglican parish in Greater Philadelphia to be received into the U.S. Ordinariate and one of the first nationwide.
The Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a non-geographical structure established by Pope Benedict to provide Anglicans with distinctive liturgical elements of their church while moving them to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church of St. Michael the Archangel began as the Episcopal Church of St. James the Less in East Falls, which was founded in 1846.
The congregation of St. James the Less left its historic property in East Falls in 2006 and has not had its own church since then. The congregation had disaffiliated itself from the Episcopal Church in 1999 and had become a member of the Anglican Church in America...
The local Episcopal diocese sued for the property in 2001 and subsequently won the case.
While individual dioceses and the Episcopal Church as a whole were moving in the direction of following the spirit of the times, Ousley and his fellow parishioners at St. James the Less were not willing to do so. Upon disaffiliating from the Episcopal Church, the parish joined the more traditional Anglican Church in America.
When asked why he and the parish decided to join the newly established Anglican Ordinariate, Ousley said the move to reconvene with the Catholic Church seemed like the right thing to do, “The catholicity of the church is important to us, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to be assured of the catholicity of any of the Anglican church bodies in the United States,” he said. “We were afraid of ending up with the externals of the faith but losing the substance"...
Read the full story on Chestnut Hill Local.
Hat tip to Fr. Ernie Davis via Facebook.