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, January 30, 2013

Former Anglican priests, received into the Catholic Church, reflect on their faith journey and the role the Knights have played along the way

Msgr. 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 Curry)

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment