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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Friends of the Ordinariate in Philadelphia

From the monthly newsletter of St. Michael's in Philadelphia:
We are this month launching the Friends of the Ordinariate in Philadelphia. Its purpose is:
  • to support the mission of Ordinariate congregations in the region of southern and central New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware (currently St Michael's is the only one).
  • to help develop new Ordinariate congregations in the region.
  • to connect Anglicans, whether already in communion with the See of Peter or not, with the Ordinariate.
  • to articulate the purpose and mission of the Ordinariate to Catholics and others interested in it.
The aim is to involve people in the mission of the Ordinariate in the region even though they may not be members of St Michael's. The Ordinariate is a new thing after all; we need help getting the word out that we are up and running. We also need help explaining what it is we are about, especially to those in the Latin Rite. And we need help identifying those who might benefit from being a part of an Ordinariate congregation. We will be inviting those who have visited St Michael's to join, as well as those who have been a part of our larger family over the years. If you know of people who might be interested, please let me know and I will see that they receive an invitation to join. As I have mentioned in the past, Msgr Steenson has asked us to serve as the portal for the region. So we need to find those who are part of the Anglican patrimony and are ready to establish Ordinariate congregations, and then help them to do so. My hope is that the Friends will help with this, as well as supporting St Michael's with our various needs as we get more permanently settled. It is important for us to think of our mission not just in terms of building up St Michael's, important as that is. We are part of this great experiment, which the Holy Father has launched, of preserving and developing the Anglican patrimony within the fold of the Catholic Church. This is an exciting task. Daunting as well. If we give ourselves to it generously, God can and will do some great things.


  1. Better hope the incoming Ordinariate congregations don't have an Ex Form Mass, or there will be hell to pay from Msgr. Steenson.

    A fairly serious concern if a parish was pastoral provision and had an EF. Or if it was Anglican, but the parishioners have an attachment to the EF.

  2. I don't understand this attitude and it's become tiresome. I'm hopeful that someday we'll have Sarum or some other ancient Latin Rite. But for now I think we need to stick with our common elements and for most that's not EF.

    I don't go to my AU parish for an EF. I go for the Anglican heritage which for the past almost 500 years has been English in a different form and a somewhat different spirituality. I want my Old Scottish Chant Gloria, Merbecke, Anglican chant and those glorious hymns. When I need an EF (which is frequent) I know where to go. I turn left & drive 2 miles instead of right & drive 7 miles.

    We don't know what's ahead regarding liturgy. Those who do are very quiet. Until then I think we should all count our blessings, be grateful for what has been given to us and build on those elements that bind us until we're a cohesive lot.

  3. Ryan, I have to agree with Ray. This post has nothing to do with the form of the Mass, and bringing it up is not contributing to a discussion; it is acting like a blog troll! The discussion on the TLM/EF is not trivial; but it is not the only item. I'm pretty sure that you'll find that none of the incoming groups already celebrate the Extraordinary Form; the only parish that did so was Mount Calvary, and that started after they entered the Ordinariate.

    The real question regarding this founding of a "Friends of the Ordinariate" in Philadelphia is how much buy-in will come from Bishop Moyer's group, currently meeting in Gladwyne, PA. Hopefully, the right hand of fellowship will be extended and warmly received.

  4. Any news on what is going on with Bishop Moyer's group? Are they still Ordinariate bound or have they decided to go a different route? Is Bishop Moyer still trying to clear his name and reputation?
    I wish them well. Do you know if they are using their own ANGLICAN SERVICE BOOK or the BOOK OF DIVINE WORSHIP? Did they buy or lease the Gladwyne Methodist Church?

    1. Bishop Moyer's sermons are posted weekly, and he still says that the purpose of the fellowship is membership in the Ordinariate. I am sure that his own status is part of the reason they remain on the threshold, but I am not privy to any details other than what is publicly available. I bellieve that Gladwyne Methodist is being rented. As for their service book, I am not sure. Given the unavailability (and unsuitability as a pew book) of the Book of Divine Worship, I would imagine that the ASB is what's being used. I'm sure you could find out on the site if you dig around ;)

    2. They still use the ASB, which was published by Good Shepherd.

  5. I was actually specifically-referring to Mt. Calvary. And who knows what pastoral provision parishes won't want to come in now that their rights have been restricted illegally. I also have to wonder if a certain Scranton-area parish regrets incardinating in the Ordinariate, when they could pretty much do as they pleased as a pastoral provision parish.

    It's not trolling, because it raises the question as to why a parish would want to join the Ordinariate if there is a sentiment in the parish for the Ex Form. Why wouldn't a parish in this position instead want to use the pastoral provision, or (God forbid) stay out of the Church entirely.