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, February 8, 2014

‘Bring people to Christ,’ new society is told

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, head of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, speaks with Father Ernie Davis,
administrator of St. Therese Little Flower Parish, and Jim Carlyle, Jan. 25 after Msgr. Steenson
 formally inaugurated the Our Lady of Hope Society into the ordinariate.
(Kevin Kelly/Key photo)

By Kevin Kelly

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI — It was as simple has handing over a stack of some 20 signed applications.

On Jan. 25, following an Anglican Use High Mass, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson personally received the applications from Father Ernie Davis and accepted the Our Lady of Hope Society as part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

“You might wonder why we do this. It’s because the Pope says so,” Msgr. Steenson said, further explaining that the Vatican wants the ordinariate to have on file the documents from each member seeking full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican established the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter two years ago to receive in full communion former members of the Anglican Communion who also desired to retain their own prayers and forms of liturgy as full members of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI first announced the structure of the “personal ordinariate” which might, though not quite precisely, resemble a “diocese” covering all of the United States and Canada, for receiving former members of the Anglican Communion in 2009 in the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Pope Bendict also appointed Msgr. Steenson as the founding “ordinary”, and elevated him to the rank of protonotary apostolic, the highest rank of monsignor.

Because he is married — “Happily married for 40 years” — he could not be ordained as a bishop, although he is a full member of the both the United States and Canadian conferences of bishops.

Msgr. Steenson however reminded his newest community that they are attached to a parish which remains a parish of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and celebrates its 4 p.m. Saturday Anglican Use High Mass under the care of a former Episcopalian priest, Father Davis, who remains a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, although the community itself is no longer a “personal parish” of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, but now a “community of the Ordinariate.”

“We’re plowing new ground,” he told the community. “Bishop (Robert W.) Finn is the bishop of this place, and that includes our community.”

Confusing? In his homily at the Mass of inauguration, Msgr. Steenson simplified for the community the task before them.

“Fly under the flag of evangelization,” he said. “We need to bring people to Christ.”...

Read the rest at: The Catholic Key

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller.

1 comment:

  1. Great news.

    Does this bring the total number of official communities - I know that there are no canonical "parishes" yet - to 36 in North America?