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, June 16, 2012

Renegade Episcopal rector to be ordained Roman Catholic church

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Rev David Ousley at Holy Cross Church where
he was ordained on June 16, 2012

The Rev. David Ousley was baptized a Methodist in 1951, was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church in 1979, and left it in 1999 for the Anglican Church in America.

And on Saturday, this 61-year-old married father of three will make one more ecclesiastical leap: he will be ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in a 11 a.m. Mass at Holy Cross Church in Mount Airy.

He is "swimming the Tiber," as Anglicans call conversion to Catholicism — a reference to the river that runs through Rome — but the white-bearded Ousley will not emerge from his swim on some strange and foreign shore.

Even after he becomes a Catholic priest, he can continue to wear his Anglican collar, lead his flock at Vesper services, warble old hymns like "A Mighty Fortress," and read some of the prayers found in the lectionary that the Church of England has been using since King Henry VIII broke with Rome in the 16th century .

After decades of petitioning and negotiating by conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians, Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 approved a constitution, called Anglicanorum Coetibus, establishing the equivalent of national dioceses for disaffected Anglicans such as Ousley. These ordinariates, as they are called, allow laity and clergy from the Anglican tradition to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining much of their liturgies, calendar, and traditions — including married priests.

The ordinariate for Britain was created last year, for the United States and Canada in January, and for Australia on Friday. About 60 Anglican priests and 2,000 laypeople are expected to join the North American ordinariate, headed by the Rev. Jeffrey Steenson, a former rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont and a longtime friend of Ousley and his wife, Beth...

Read the full story with much of Fr. Ousley's biography on the web site of the Philadelphia Inquirer.


  1. Thanks for posting, Mr. Cavanaugh. In the rush to get things done, I failed to notice the story had been published.

  2. Always glad to get the word out. Send me along some photos of this and the 6/17 Mass when they come in and I'll post them as well.