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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

6 former Episcopal clergymen are ordained in Catholic Church

Special to the Star-Telegram

KELLER -- Under a huge dome with images of winged angels, six former Fort Worth-area Episcopal clergymen -- including a father and son -- lay facedown at a marble altar Saturday and were ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

In what officials called a historic moment, Fort Worth Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann and other white-robed priests in the diocese laid hands on the priests at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller to welcome them.

It was the first ordination class under Pope Benedict XVI's new Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, created Jan. 1 to allow Episcopal priests to be ordained as Catholic clergy and for Episcopal congregations to join the Roman Catholic Church.

The priests' wives carried in vestments that the priests later donned, assisted by other clergy. Then, standing before Vann, the priests each said, "I will" in answer to his questions about whether they will faithfully carry out their responsibilities.

More than 1,000 in the church stood and applauded.

The ordinariate is headed by a former Fort Worth Episcopal priest, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, who earlier converted to Catholicism.

"This is very moving for me today personally," Steenson said. "These men were all part of my generation, and we all served in Fort Worth."

The pope created the ordinariate to help Episcopal churches and clergy who want to become Catholic but keep part of their Anglican roots.

It's an enlargement of a system begun by Pope John Paul II in 1981 that first allowed married Episcopal priests to become Catholic clergy...

Read the full article at The Star Telegram.

Hat tip to Daniel Page on Facebook.

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