In his blog, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, tells the following about his ordination of Fr. Jürgen Liias for the US Ordinariate last Saturday (the text and pictures are his):
“On Saturday, I celebrated the Ordination Mass of Father Jurgen W. Liias, a former Episcopalian priest of 40 years, to the Roman Catholic priesthood on April 20 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly. He was being ordained for the Anglican Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which is the second Anglican ordinariate that was founded.
In the homily that day, I explained the whole history and rationale for the ordinariate. I talked about how after the Second Vatican Council there was a great enthusiasm for the ecumenical movement. There was a great optimism about the possibility of corporate reunion with historical churches; particularly the Anglican church was seen as the Protestant church that was closest to us.
However, over the years we have seen how doctrinal positions have changed in the Anglican community and have taken a much more realistic view on that kind of corporate reunion. However many Anglicans had been in touch with the Holy See asking to come into the Church. So, Pope Benedict XVI initiated this new system that would allow Anglicans to join the Catholic Church, and to maintain some of their Anglican identity and some of the features of their Anglican liturgy.
The first of these ordinariates was founded in England, and now we have one in the United States. Father Liias was the first one ordained in our area.
The head of this ordinariate, Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, was himself an Episcopal Bishop before he entered the Church.
There were many people from the ordinariate there. There was quite an ecumenical gathering. There were many Protestant ministers who also came to this Mass. A number of people who have come into the Church in the past couple of years came as well, and there was great singing.
Father Liias’ parish will be St. Gregory the Great Catholic Ordinariate Community at St. Margaret Parish in Beverly Farms.”