Our community in Vancouver (St. Peter and St. Paul) is being received into the Catholic Church on June 30 by the Archbishop of Vancouver. Congratulations!
STEALS ON THE EAR THE DISTANT TRIUMPH SONG
For our first retreat we were welcomed by our mentor priest, Fr Bruce McAllister, at Westminster Abbey (near Vancouver). Our group is a baker's dozen plus one, stretching all the way from Phoebe, 4 years old, to two or three in their seventies. The monastery has ensuite apartments and we were the guests of Archbishop Michael. Abigail and Phoebe watched with amazement as a pullout sofa bed was revealed. They screeched with delight as it marched across the room and gave it the ultimate accolade: "COOL".
Our mentor priest gave us a heart-felt welcome. There would be several sessions. We would be experiencing the monastic life of the Abbey, and later we would be visiting the Poor Clares. In another talk he explained that in the Ordinariate our baptismal rite would be conformed to Catholic practice with the anointing with the oil of catechumens and the anointing with sacred chrism added to the text. (Anglicans sometimes anoint at Baptism, though it is not actually in the prayer book.) Then in another session we learnt that at our reception at Holy Rosary Cathedral on the 30th of June we would be presented by our Catholic sponsors, we would be wearing the customary red robes, we would sing Gregorian chant and there would be communion in both kinds...
Our second weekend at Westminster Abbey began late on Friday with everyone making their confession. It was very heartening. We all slept peacefully till 6 AM when we were 'donged' back into life by the 10 Abbey Bells (purchased many years ago from the Whitechapel foundry in the East end of London).
The morning was taken up with the Papal Primacy. Archbishop Michael addressed us and fielded questions. Although there is not much about the papacy in the Catechism, the role of the Papacy is enormous...
We followed this session with a visit to the Poor Clares just down the hill from the monastery. Fr McAllister's wife Linda joined us. We attended their office and had a good discussion. The following day was Sunday and the Abbey kept the feast of Corpus Christi. After the mass there was Exposition till Benediction at 5 PM. We left grateful for two happy weekends, and thankful to the Archbishop, to Fr McAllister, to the Fr Abbot and to Fr Mark, the guestmaster and to the cook!.
By Michael Shier
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