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, June 3, 2015

On the memorial of Sts. Charles Lwanga and companions

At the Anglican Use Society's annual conference in Houston in 2009, Dr. Mary Moorman Armstrong delivered this talk about the grassroots ecumenism of Catholics and Anglicans as exemplified in the Ugandan Martyrs, whose feast day is observed today, June 3rd. In the second reading in the Office of Readings in the Roman rite Liturgy of the Hours, we read the following from Pope Paul VI's homily on the occasion of the canonization of these martyrs.

Who could have predicted to the famous African confessors and martyrs such as Cyprian, Felicity, Perpetua and -- the greatest of all -- Augustine, that we would one day add names so dear to us as Charles Lwanga and Matthias Mulumba Kalemba and their twenty companions? Nor must we forget those members of the Anglican Church who also died for the name of Christ.

On this memorial feast, read Dr. Moorman's talk and keep in mind these African martyrs who refused to compromise their virtue or faith; whose failure to comply with their earthly king's immoral demands earned them a place in the court of the one true King, our Lord Jesus Christ.

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