Jeffrey Steenson, head of the Ordinariate of the
Chair of St. Peter, is
pictured at Our Lady of
Walsingham Shrine in Houston. (photo by Chris
by Monica Hatcher
The journey has consisted of gut-wrenching decisions, difficult
conversations, tests of personal faith, and moral resolve. But for
former Anglicans looking back on the first anniversary of the Personal
Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, it was all worth entering the
true fold of Christ.
“Like Jesus’ parable of the man who sells all he has to buy a pearl
of great price, that is what becoming Catholic has been,” said Msgr.
Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop who was appointed by Pope
Benedict XVI to lead this historic homecoming.
A Catholic priest since 2009, Msgr. Steenson serves as ordinary, a
title that carries the same administrative and pastoral authority as a
bishop, although he cannot ordain priests. He is a member of St. Cyril
of Alexandria Council 8024 in Houston, the seat of the Ordinariate of
the Chair of St. Peter, which was erected Jan. 1, 2012.
The ordinariate is comparable to a diocese, but geographically covers
all of the United States and Canada. A year after its official
inauguration, the ordinariate has ordained 28 priests and welcomed more
than 1,600 members from 36 communities into the new ecclesial structure.
In early 2012, the Knights of Columbus made a key contribution to the
critical task of forming the scores of former Anglican clergy who are
seeking to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood. The Supreme Council
donated $100,000 to purchase technology for a specially designed,
long-distance formation program at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston.
Where logistics and travel expenses could be prohibitive, this equipment has allowed multi-
participant video conferencing and makes it possible for many to
pursue their vocations. So far, approximately 70 men across North
America have sought candidacy — nearly more than the ordinariate can
handle, Msgr. Steenson said.
The principal task of the ordinariate in the months ahead, Msgr.
Steenson added, will be to build up fledgling communities and to help
new converts feel comfortable in the broader Church. In this work, too,
the Knights of Columbus has already played a role..
Read the whole story on the web site of the Knights of Columbus
Hat tip to the Ordinariate Community of St. John Fisher via Facebook.
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