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, August 17, 2013

Catholic Church receives former Anglican parish

Omaha, Nebraska
August 16, 2013

Father Robert Scheiblhofer, parochial administrator of St. Barnabas Church in Omaha, said he felt joy as he watched church members being confirmed during a historic July 10 ceremony welcoming the former Episcopalian church into the Catholic faith.

At that time, Father Scheiblhofer had resigned his Anglican orders to become Catholic. He was ordained a priest Aug. 10 by Archbishop George J. Lucas at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

Prayer and faith sustained the church of about 50 people during its long journey, which dates back to St. Barnabas' founding in 1869 as part of a movement reestablishing Anglicanism's Catholic roots, said Father Scheiblhofer, 62.

"We've been working and praying for this for many years," he said. "It's literally the answer to that prayer."

Becoming part of the Catholic community was the highlight of the ceremony for Vicki Bohn, 69, a member of St. Barnabas for 12 years with her husband, Mel, 70...

Read the full story about the reception of St. Baranabas on Catholic Voice Online.

Read the related story on St. Baranbas' long history of ecumenism, which begins:

St. Barnabas has long history of ecumenism

St. Barnabas Church in Omaha - an Anglican congregation that came into full communion with the Catholic Church during a Rite of Reception ceremony July 10 - has a history of Anglican-Catholic ecumenism dating to its 19th century ties with Father Paul Wattson, whose ministry included Christian unity.

Father Wattson - an Anglican who later converted to Catholicism - assisted at St. Barnabas while part of a group of Episcopalian priests who lived in community in Omaha, said Father Robert Scheiblhofer, parochial administrator for St. Barnabas...

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