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, October 23, 2011

Mount Calvary Baltimore gets ready to enter Catholic Church

The Rev. Jason Catania writes in the October issue of Crux Fidelis:
On several occasions, I have suggested that the day when we would begin our new life as a Catholic congregation was in sight, only for there to be another delay. And no doubt many of you share my frustration in seeing other groups board the Barque of Peter ahead of us. But I can assure you that at this point, every indication suggests we do not have much longer to wait. As I announced from the pulpit recently, Mount Calvary is about to enter into mediation with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland under the guidance of Judge Joseph Kaplan. This very positive development promises to result in a final property settlement in short order.

Another encouraging sign of progress is that those who attend the Episcopalian service in our All Souls Chapel at 9 o’clock Sunday mornings have been informed that this service will be coming to an end this month. They will need to find another church home should they wish to remain Episcopalians. Mount Calvary has permitted this service as a gesture of goodwill, but the Diocese of Maryland has determined that it can no longer be justified for the very small number of people who attend. This, I believe, is a tacit acknowledgement that in the near future, only the Catholic Mass will be celebrated at Mount Calvary...

In June, the Holy Father’s delegate for establishing an Ordinariate in this country, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, informed the American Catholic bishops that Rome desires it to be established this fall. To that end, throughout the summer, dossiers for Anglican clergy applying for ordination as Catholic priests within the Ordinariate have been sent to Rome for review. I am pleased to share with you that mine was among the first batch of dossiers delivered to Rome, and that it has been granted a nulla osta, which means there is no canonical impediment to my ordination. I have now submitted further documentation needed for final approval of my ordination as a Catholic deacon and priest. Fr. David and the other clergy associated with Mount Calvary expect to be informed of their own status very soon.

The speed with which this has all been done suggests that an announcement regarding the formal establishment of the American Ordinariate and the naming of its Ordinary is not far off. Once the Ordinariate is established, Mount Calvary will be able to go about the process of becoming a canonical parish within it, assuming of course that a final settlement regarding our property has been agreed to.

Read all the news at Mt. Calvary Church in Crux Fidelis.

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