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

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Newly ordained Fr. Joshua Whitfield & the parish of St. Mary the Virgin

Fr. Allan Hawkins writes in the June issue of Salve!, the monthly newsletter of the parish of St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas:
With joy and thanksgiving we welcome Joshua Jair Whitfield and his wife April Allison, with their little children Magdalene and Peter, into our Parish Family. In fact, of course, they have been part of this family for some two and a half years already; but Josh has now been ordained to the Diaconate and is about to be or- dained to the Sacred Priesthood – so, as Father Josh, that relation- ship to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin will be deepened and changed in character. Josh has a distinguished academic back- ground, including study at Duke University under Stanley Hauer- was. His seminary training was in England at the College of the Resurrection -- a seminary connected with the Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican monastic community at Mirfield in Yorkshire. (My own last parish in England had numerous con- nections with – and vocations to – the Community of the Resur- rection; and my priest-father would make his annual retreat there.) As you will know, Josh served for a number of years in the Anglican priesthood; and thus he is an experienced pastor – most recently, until three years ago, as Rector of the Anglican parish in Mansfield. He and his wife were received into Full Communion in the Catholic Church by Bishop Vann in Novem- ber 2009, at which time they became members of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin; and he has been working as Director of Faith Formation at St Rita’s Catholic Church in Dallas.

Fr. Joshua Whitfield will celebrate his solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for his ordination at St. Mary the Virgin on Sunday, July 8th at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow.

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