St Thomas More, Scranton, successfully funds two Music Scholarships!

A quick look at the Kickstarter page reveals the following headline this morning:

St Thomas More Scranton music scholarshipsThe text in the green stripe tells us that the appeal has been successful. Despite the fact that ten days ago only one third of the required amount had been promised, the full sum of $ 2,250 had been raised from a total of 13 donors by the deadline of September 1. As we have reported, this is only one of St. Thomas More’s funding projects this year and it represents a great start! Congratulations.

P.S. To read more about these scholarships go to the Kickstarter site by clicking here.

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Fr. Lee Kenyon recommences blogging

Fr. Lee Kenyon, Dean of St. John the Baptist Deanery, Canada, and pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Calgary, has written to inform me that he has restarted blogging. You can find his blog by going to the parish website and clicking on the tab “blog” on the right.

Here is a section of his entry for yesterday, 31 August, in which he talks about developments at St. John’s:

St John the Evangelist, CalgaryIt was good to be back at St John’s this morning. I was up at 4.30 a.m., the jet lag evidently still working its magic, but I used the time to finish my homily and go to church to set up for the day’s Masses. I offered the 7 a.m. Low Mass, went home for a cup of tea and bacon butty, then returned to church for Mattins at 8.30 a.m. Then it was into the Confessional from 9 a.m. to 9.30 a.m., which left half an hour to prepare for the Parish Mass at 10 a.m., which I offered, and at which I preached. The Sunday Mass concluded at its usual time, around 11.45 a.m., and then our fellowship in the hall went on until 2 p.m. Then to Evensong at 4 p.m., and now it’s time to rest for the remainder of today. Such is the Sunday pattern at St John’s.

There were lots of visitors at the Parish Mass today, which was surprising given that it’s a long weekend, Labour Day falling tomorrow, and a number of our regular parishioners were away. We had 7 at the Low Mass and 129 at the Parish Mass, which was encouraging. I know numbers aren’t everything, and certainly aren’t the only indicator of growth, but it does gladden the heart, all the same, to see average Mass attendance increase consistently across the months. In August 2012, our first year as a Catholic parish, it was 116, in August 2013 it was 123, and August 2014 we have seen an average attendance of 135. In the latter days of the old Anglican parish that was St John’s we would be lucky to get 50 on a Sunday in August. So, things have certainly changed in recent years.

Other than the fact that our initial growth was because we became part of the Catholic Church, within the Ordinariate, — that certainly put us “on the map” — there are many reasons for our continued growth. These range from the sort of liturgy we have to the kind of hymns we sing, but I would offer that it’s largely down to the people of St John’s. They are, without fail, welcoming, joyful, and genuinely interested in the well-being of one another, and of their souls’ health. A two hour fellowship after a two hour Parish Mass speaks volumes about the nature of community in this place, and I really do count it to be an immense pleasure to serve, and to be served by, the community here at St John’s.

St John the Evangelist Calgary - streetview - kleiner

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The Portal – September 2014

By clicking on the cover photo below you can read the PDF version of this month’s The Portal with two insightful articles from Msgr Harry Entwistle and full info on the Called to be One day (6 Sept) and the Ordinariate Festival in London (19 – 21 Sept)

The Portal - Sept 2014By the way, in his second article Monsignor Entwistle answers some of our questions about the appointment of Fr. Lyall Cowell as administrator of the diocesan parish in Mullumbimby. He writes:

“In several cities at this stage, there is only one Ordinariate group, but more than one priest. One of the reasons we are in full Catholic unity is to bring the gifts of the English Tradition back to the wider Catholic Church. The most tangible expression of our patrimony is found in the liturgies of the Ordinariate.

Using the misquote from the film, ‘Field of Dreams,’ “build it and they (he) will come,” I am asking bishops to identify a church in a suburb some distance from the Ordinariate group, or in another part of the diocese where an Ordinariate mass can be said on a regular basis with the intention of gathering a new group. The bishop of one diocese where no Ordinariate group exists has accepted an Ordinariate priest on loan for a set period, to be administrator of the local parish as well as being charged with trying to establish an Ordinariate presence in his diocese.”

This is very different from the current practice, namely that the Ordinariate Use Mass can and should only be celebrated for existing Ordinariate communities. I very much welcome this missionary venture and would advocate emulating it in the other Ordinariates.

David Murphy

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1st September 2014 – Our Lady of the Southern Cross

Today, on their Titular Solemnity of Our Lady of the Southern Cross we congratulate and pray for the Ordinary, clergy and faithful of the Australian Ordinariate as well as of the Church of Torres Strait which, God willing, will itself be joining the Ordinariate soon.

Mary, Help of Christians, is the Patroness  of Australia and of the Archdiocese of Sydney whose Cathedral is called St Mary’s. Under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Southern Cross’ she is patroness of the Australian Ordinariate and the Diocese of Toowoomba as well as the World Youth Day of 2008.

It was Our Lady of the Southern Cross to  whom WYD08 pilgrims were encouraged to consecrate themselves in the spirit of  the motto of Pope John Paul II “Totus Tuus”, I am all yours.

The title of ‘Southern Cross’ derives from  the constellation of stars seen only from the southern hemisphere.

Our Lady of the Southern CrossOur Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of  Christians – pray for us.

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US and Canadian Ordinariate communities arranged by state or province

As the Communities page on the website of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter does not mention the state or province where each community is located, I have put together the following list and added at the end the “pending” communities which we have identified and which are either not yet included in the official list or are in the process of creation (if you are aware of other groups, please let us know):


Mobile, AL  —  Society of St. Gregory the Great

Payson, AZ  —  Church of the Holy Nativity

Fullerton, CA  —  Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church, Orange County
Oceanside, CA  —  St. Augustine of Canterbury

Orlando, FL  —  Church of the Incarnation
Pinecrest, FL  —  Iglesia Católica San Agustín
St. Augustine, FL  —  St. James Catholic Church

Savannah, GA  —  Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Indianapolis, IN  —  St. Joseph of Arimathea

Baltimore, MD  —  Mount Calvary Church
Catonsville, MD  —  St. Timothy’s Church
Towson, MD  —  Christ the King

Stoneham, MA  —  St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church (formerly Beverly Farms)

Collegeville, MN  —  Society of St. Bede the Venerable

Springfield, MO  —  Anglican Ordinariate Society of the Ozarks

Omaha, NE  —  St. Barnabas Church

New York
Rochester, NY  —  Fellowship of St. Alban

North Carolina
Jacksonville, NC  —  Our Lady of Good Counsel Community

Philadelphia, PA  —  Church of St. Michael the Archangel
Scranton, PA  —  St. Thomas More Catholic Parish

South Carolina
Charleston, SC  —  Corpus Christi Community
Greenville, SC  —  St. Anselm Community

Arlington, TX  —  St. Peter the Rock at St. Mary the Virgin
Boerne, TX  —  St. Gilbert Church
Cleburne, TX  —  St. John Vianney Catholic Church
Fort Worth, TX  —  St. Timothy’s Catholic Church
Houston, TX  —  Our Lady of Walsingham

Potomac Falls, VA  —  St. John Fisher Catholic Community

District of Columbia
Washington, DC  —  St. Luke’s Church (formerly Bladensburg, MD)



Calgary, AB  —  St. John the Evangelist

British Columbia
Maple Ridge, Vancouver, BC  —  The Fellowship of Our Lady of Walsingham
Victoria, BC  —  St. Columba’s Church

Cambridge, ON  —  Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr
Oshawa, ON  —  Sodality of the Good Shepherd
Ottawa, ON  —  Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Toronto, ON  —  The Sodality of St. Thomas More


PENDING (USA and Canada)

Kansas City, MO  —  Our Lady of Hope Society

New York
Flushing, NY  —  prospective Ordinariate community at St. Michael’s

Bath, PA  —  Blessed John Henry Newman Society
Newtown Square, PA  —  Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman

Edmonton, AB  —  St. Benedict Public Association of the Faithful

New Brunswick
Fredericton, NB  —  Our Lady of the Sign Community

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON  —  Christ the King Parish

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How to justify remaining in the C of E (?)

In the August edition of “new directions, the lead story explains how an opponent of the ordination of women to the episcopate can still justify remaining in the Church of England.

The argumentation is based on the Statement of Guiding Principles (originally known as the “shared vision”) which was officially welcomed by General Synod in its resolution of 20 November 2013:

1. Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;

2. Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter;

3. Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;

4. Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and

5. Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.

Here is a summary of the basic arguments:

    • Amazingly new directions finds the first of the principles, namely that women bishops will be the ‘true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy’ to be “unproblematic”, since it is possible to appoint even a layperson to the office of bishop. This person, although not sacramentally belonging to the order of bishops, would legally hold the office of bishop and would thus be owed canonical obedience. (This argument is seriously flawed, in that it will not be the intention of the church to appoint a lay person but rather to ordain a priest to the order of bishop with all its attendant rights and privileges. What is even more cynical is that a woman bishop thus “appointed” is compared in the lead story to an Ordinary in the Catholic Church who may in fact not be a bishop but commands canonical obedience.)
    • The requirement in Principle 2 to accept that the C of E had taken a ‘clear decision’ is made light of by stating that “no one can be certain that any ‘clear decision’ will not be questioned or even overturned by future generations”.
    • The argument concerning Principle 3 is that a decision of a Council or Synod (even a ‘clear decision’) is not absolute until it has been received by the whole Church. And by placing the current decision on women bishops within the discernment process of the ‘whole Church of God’ the bishops are in fact acknowledging the provisional nature of this decision.
    • Principle 4 recognises that those who hold the ‘theological conviction’ that women cannot be ordained priest or bishop are loyal Anglicans, that their conviction remains ‘within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion’ and that they should be enabled to ‘flourish’ within the church. (I have no argument with that interpretation of the text, although new directions itself does use the word “toleration” of the opponents by the rest of the church, which might suggest a certain scepticism about the genuine readiness of the church, specifically the bishops, not merely to allow them to exist but indeed to flourish.)
    • The arguments concerning Principal 5 are based on the “acceptance” of teachings of the Roman Catholic Second Vatican Council about the communion of all baptised Christians within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in order to explain full and impaired communion within the Anglican church as a result of the ordination of women (how illogical is that! And, by the way, it is hardly an oath of allegiance to the Anglican church to state that “the Church of England will continue to be composed of Christians who share a common baptism and live in fellowship with each other and therefore in communion — albeit communion that is imperfect” – and that within one and the same ecclesial body! WOW!)

I must admit to being less than convinced by this argumentation. I find it dishonest with oneself to try to justify remaining within the Church of England on the basis of

  • a pretence that the C of E has intentionally appointed laywomen to the office of bishop
  • a conviction that the ‘clear decision’ on women bishops is not absolute
  • the hope that this decision will be overturned
  • a deep-rooted scepticism that one is only tolerated by the rest of the church and that the bishops must prove their readiness to enable one’s branch of the church to flourish
  • no more than the basic communion of all baptised Christians, which in itself is even considered imperfect

There are indeed many perfectly valid personal reasons not to leave the C of E  but I am truly shocked that new directions should try to justify it in this way.

David Murphy

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Ordinariate Expats Cycle of Prayer – September 2014

cycle_of_prayer_button_webClick on the link below to acceed to the Cycle of Prayer for September. It includes prayer intentions for the Australian Ordinariate’s titular solemnity of Our Lady of the Southern Cross as well as the Called to be One Day and the Ordinariate Festival in the UK.

On the second page the appropriate prayers can be found for these latter two days. You will also find prayers for the prospective Ordinariate community in Flushing, NY, and their deceased pastor.

Ordinariate Expats Cycle of Prayer – 201409

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