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

The Glory of These Days

Newly priested Fr. Timothy Perkins writes in July's Portal Magazine:
Letter from America
The Glory of These Days
by the Revd Timothy Perkins

News concerning the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter here in the United States has been coming at a rapid pace of late. Indeed, reflecting on the six-month history of this new Ordinariate, the developments have been breathtaking.
Within this short time, an ordinary has been installed; the first offering of clergy formation was not only begun, but completed; first deacons were ordained, a first priest was incardinated, and a pastor for the principal church was named; and before another month will have passed, some thirty men will be priests. “My heart is indicting of a good matter...”

Not Slow as Some Count Slowness

Swept along by all these things, I have tried to find moments of recollection, not wanting to become so involved in these matters that I miss the experience of wonder over the marvellous works of God being accomplished in our time. So doing, I have called to remembrance that the months leading up to these quickly passing days often felt excruciatingly slow.
The release of Anglicanorum coetibus in November of 2009 was followed by a year of uncertain efforts to convince others to embrace the Spirit-inspired offering contained therein. After my resignation from ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth the following October, a community of people came together and continued formation in the faith.
At that time, we entered what felt like a very long period of waiting, a time of walking “by faith, not by sight” as we prayed with longing for the work of an Ordinariate in this country to commence. A little over a year later, that holy desire was realised, and the hurried pace began.

Taken Up by a Whirlwind

Just over two weeks ago, I and five close friends and colleagues were ordained deacons by Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth for the Ordinariate. On the evening of the Liturgy it felt as if we had arrived at our destination. Beginning the next morning, life has been in the fast lane.
The days have passed in a glorious swirl of ministerial activity; and I may have caught a glimpse of the experience of Elijah when the LORD rushed him up to heaven! Opportunities to serve at Masses have combined with extra occasions of preaching and necessary preparation, not only for the upcoming ordination to priesthood on June 30, but also for the liturgical life of my community starting the very next day, to put me into a time-bending swirl. It is an exhilarating experience of rejoicing in the Lord.

Rush of Mighty Wind

Perhaps one of the additional graces that will be conferred along with priesthood will be a calming, a relaxing of this frenetic stirring, but I suspect not. The sound of the coming Holy Spirit at Pentecost was powerful and enkindled flame in those chosen to minister and lead.
My expectation is that all of the newly ordained will rush into their sacred ministries, carried on their way on the wings of a holy Wind. I pray that I and they will be driven along the paths of righteousness, sweeping up all whom we serve, lead, and encounter in our ministries into the glory of the Catholic faith.

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