Ordinariate letters in every parish in England and Wales this weekend

Archbishop Nichols with (from l to r) Monsignori Broadhurst, Burnham and Newton

Archbishop Nichols with (from l to r) Monsignori Broadhurst, Burnham and Newton

Archbishop Vincent Nichols is this weekend [September 21/22] urging Catholics in every parish of England and Wales to support and welcome the clergy and faithful of Britain’s Ordinariate for the “particular gifts they bring to the Catholic Church and the contribution they make to its life and mission”.

He makes the appeal in a letter to the Catholic faithful, in which he also speaks of the beauty of the Anglican heritage in which members of the Ordinariate – former Anglicans, now in full communion with the Catholic Church – were nurtured.

The Archbishop’s letter has been sent out by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, along with one from Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, as part of an initiative to present afresh the contribution which the Ordinariate is making to the life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and deepen understanding of it within the wider Catholic community.

Parish priests have been requested, where possible, to read out Mgr Newton’s letter to congregations or make it available in the back of their churches this weekend, to coincide with the closest Sunday to the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Mgr Newton’s letter explains how the Ordinariate came about, what it does and how it is organised. It also lists some of the aspects of Anglican patrimony which have been remarked on by people attending Ordinariate Masses. “People have spoken positively about the conviction of our preaching, our strong musical tradition and hymn singing, our pastoral outreach and the welcoming nature of our gatherings afterwards” Mgr Newton says. “This puts us in a strong position to play a full part, with the whole Church, in the urgent task of the New Evangelisation”.

The Ordinary concludes his letter by underlining the Ordinariate’s significance as a step towards the ultimate goal of Christian unity. “The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has begun in a small way”, he says, “but it is a concrete expression of the Church’s desire to fulfil our Lord’s command that ‘they may all be one.”

The initiative to increase awareness and understanding of the Ordinariate is organised by the Friends of the Ordinariate charity, which was set up by lay Catholics to support the work of the Ordinariate.

(Press Release of the Friends of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham)

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6 Responses to Ordinariate letters in every parish in England and Wales this weekend

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: The Archbishop’s letter has been sent out by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, along with one from Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, as part of an initiative to present afresh the contribution which the Ordinariate is making to the life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and deepen understanding of it within the wider Catholic community.

    Parish priests have been requested, where possible, to read out Mgr Newton’s letter to congregations or make it available in the back of their churches this weekend, to coincide with the closest Sunday to the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

    Mgr Newton’s letter explains how the Ordinariate came about, what it does and how it is organised. It also lists some of the aspects of Anglican patrimony which have been remarked on by people attending Ordinariate Masses. “People have spoken positively about the conviction of our preaching, our strong musical tradition and hymn singing, our pastoral outreach and the welcoming nature of our gatherings afterwards” Mgr Newton says. “This puts us in a strong position to play a full part, with the whole Church, in the urgent task of the New Evangelisation”.

    This is fantastic — and, I dare say, long overdue. This communication about the existence, purpose, and mission of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham probably will draw former Anglicans who came into the Catholic Church previously to consider joining the ordinariate, probably strengthening many of the ordinariate’s smaller groups considerably!

    You wrote: The Ordinary concludes his letter by underlining the Ordinariate’s significance as a step towards the ultimate goal of Christian unity. “The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has begun in a small way”, he says, “but it is a concrete expression of the Church’s desire to fulfil our Lord’s command that ‘they may all be one.”

    Yes, the ordinariates clearly are a model by which groups from other denominations that have distinct liturgical traditions and patrimony might also bring their treasures into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

    Norm.

  2. EPMS says:

    Although, as I observed previously, a letter at the back of the church is not the best idea we can come up with in the 21st C, IMHO, it is certainly better than nothing. However I do not envy the priest who is asked to read aloud an appeal for the hearer to consider attending, or recommending to others, a different parish/service: one where the preaching, music, pastoral care, and fellowship will be superior to what he or she is commonly receiving.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Although, as I observed previously, a letter at the back of the church is not the best idea we can come up with in the 21st C, IMHO, it is certainly better than nothing. However I do not envy the priest who is asked to read aloud an appeal for the hearer to consider attending, or recommending to others, a different parish/service…

      A true pastor wants his flock to experience and profit spiritually from the fullness of the church’s riches — NOT simply to show up at his parish and feed his collection plate.

      There’s also the reality that former Anglicans who have been received into the full communion of the Catholic Church have a right to be informed about the existence of the ordinariates and their right to join them.

      You continued: … one where the preaching, music, pastoral care, and fellowship will be superior to what he or she is commonly receiving.

      The fear that parishioners who experience something better elsewhere and abandon a parish should motivate each pastor to fix what is deficient in his or her own parish.

      Norm.

  3. EPMS says:

    Had I borne the burden and heat of the day ministering to a parish of 600+ families with minimal resources, I hope I would be enough of a saint not to resent Fr Lacey Cotta and his little band presuming to show me how it all should be done.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Had I borne the burden and heat of the day ministering to a parish of 600+ families with minimal resources…

      A parish with over six hundred families does not have minimal resources. It has over six hundred families — a phenomenal resource.

      Let’s do a little arithmetic here. A parish with over six hundred families has over a thousand adult members. If each adult member volunteers just two hours per week or is equivalent (one Saturday per month, for example) in service to the parish and its mission, that’s over two thousand man-hours per week — the equivalent of fifty people working full time. That is not exactly an insignificant resource!

      The real problem is that we have too many pastors who still think that they need to do everything in the parish themselves rather than equipping and empowering the people of the parish to do it. It is no accident that, in all four gospels, our Lord’s baptism marks the beginning of his public mission. This fact speaks very profoundly to the significance of baptism: the mission of the church is the province not solely of the clergy, but rather of all of the baptized. That is one major lesson that we all can learn from our evangelical Protestant brothers and sisters.

      Norm.

    • EPMS, I hope you will also find a Fr. Humble with his curate Fr. Lessiz Moore.

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