Thought-provoking article by Damian Thompson in the Catholic Herald

Britain’s Ordinariate is in peril. Here is how to save it
by Damian Thompson, Catholic Herald

Hostility from the authorities, and apathy from its own clergy, have put the Ordinariate’s future in danger. But there could be a simple solution

cartoon-800x500The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is a canonical structure for ex-Anglican clergy and lay people who have been granted – by a mighty and irrevocable decree of Pope Benedict XVI – their own English Missal based partly on The Book of Common Prayer.

The experiment has not been a runaway success, as members of the Ordinariate readily admit. Ever since the body came into being five and a half years ago, I’ve been listening to Ordinariate clergy predicting that it can’t last.

One priest was still wearing his Mass robes as he declared, à la Private Frazer, that “we’re dooomed!”

If so, there will be few tears shed by the bishops of England and Wales. They are queuing up to preside at its Requiem Mass. (They can do nothing about its sister ordinariate in America, now flourishing under its own 41-year-old bishop, Steven Lopes.) Continue reading

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Ian Westby was ordained deacon on July 21st

On Thursday, 21st July 2016, Ian Westby was ordained to the diaconate for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham at St. Mary’s Church, Stockton-on-Tees, by the Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. Below are some photographs from the service. Please keep Ian in your prayers as he begins his ministry as a Deacon in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood.


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Interview with Bishop Lopes in the Jesuit “America” magazine

Catholic Worship in the Anglican Tradition: An Interview with Bishop Steven Lopes
by Sean Salai, S.J., Aug 16 2016

Bishop-elect Lopes 20151124 - 2Bishop Steven J. Lopes is the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, a structure equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics in the United States and Canada who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. The ordinariate is among three personal ordinariates in the world, which were created to provide a path for groups of Anglicans to become fully Roman Catholic while retaining elements of their worship traditions and spiritual heritage in union with the Catholic Church. Established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012, and headquartered in Houston, Texas, the ordinariate serves Roman Catholics in 42 parishes across North America.

Appointed by Pope Francis in November 2015 and ordained a bishop on Feb. 2, 2016, Bishop Lopes succeeds Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, a former Episcopalian bishop and married priest who was named ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter when it was founded in 2012.

A California native and the son of two educators, Bishop Lopes attended Catholic schools and the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco before entering seminary. During his training for the priesthood, he studied philosophy at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned an S.T.L.. Ordained by Cardinal William Levada as a priest in San Francisco in 2001, he served two parishes in the archdiocese before returning to Rome to earn an S.T.D. from the Gregorian, where he also taught theology while serving the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith as an aide to Cardinal Levada from 2005 to 2012.

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Lopes secretary of the Vatican commission Anglicanae Traditiones, which developed Divine Worship: The Missal, a new book of liturgical texts for the celebration of Mass in the personal ordinariates around the globe. This new missal replaced the Book of Divine Worship (2003) that Pope St. John Paul II authorized under a 1980 “pastoral provision” that also allowed married former Anglican Communion clergymen to be ordained as Catholic priests. On July 18, I interviewed Bishop Lopes by email about his ministry and the Ordinariate. Continue reading

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Do you want to help the four seminarians introduced in this new video?

One of our readers wrote:

“The Ordinariates’ potential to ‘produce’ celibate vocations has been put into question on numerous occasions, with predictions going even so far as to the gradual fading of the Ordinariates as more and more elderly priests of the ‘first wave’ retire. … Now, this beautiful video presents three quite new seminarians (in addition to Evan Simington, whose story has already been much publicised by the North American Ordinariate).”

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Blessed John’s is reaching out in many directions

A study of the website of Blessed John Henry Newman Ordinariate Church in Irvine, California, especially the recent changes and additions to the site, show how this community which was built from scratch only four years ago is now putting into practice a wide-ranging evangelisation and mission initiative. This outreach extends to children (in formal education but also in home schooling) then to young adults (specially targetted at the lapsed and the non-Catholic) and subsequently to the whole community of Catholic faithful (within and outside the Ordinariate). It ranges from the now stable Sunday congregation (using the Divine Worship Missal) to daily massgoers (celebrating in the Ordinary Form). Geographically it is spreading from the home base in the Queen of Life Chapel to the new chapel-of-ease (the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham in the Santiago Retreat Center in Silverado) to a new place of worship in Pasadena and most recently to an exploratory group in Riverside.

Here are some extracts from the website to demonstrate this major project:

Newman Academy is a co-ed Catholic parochial day school planned to serve Orange County. We will start with a K-3 and 60 students and add grades as we grow. The academics are based on the seven liberal arts and the spirituality is firmly within the Catholic faith. Faculty and staff will annually promise fidelity to the Magisterium, daily Morning Prayer and Mass according the Ordinariate’s liturgy will be offered, the academic standards will be high, and character formation will be higher. And yet Newman will not form isolated students but well-prepared and well-rounded students who will make a change in society due to the formation they themselves have received.

Newman Hall: We also hope to develop a separate but compatible home school co-op called Newman Hall, which will feature home-based educational materials and a local network connecting into the school and parish.

Kings Cross is a Catholic, monthly Bible study central to the campuses of Orange County. We exist to introduce college students to Jesus Christ and His Church and call them to walk with Him for a lifetime. KX meets every third Monday from September through May in the Queen of Life Chapel in Irvine. Starting in Fall 2016, both non-Catholic and fallen away Catholic young adults are invited to enroll in our inquirers/initiation class each fall; non-Catholics will be eligible to be confirmed at Easter. The final event in May will be a mass honoring those Catholics who have returned to the Church through Confession as well as those who became Catholic at Easter, for both have chosen to personally fulfill Christ’s prayer: “that they all may be one” (Jn. 17:21). KX begins with worship, a talk drawn from a passage of Scripture, followed by more worship and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Sacrament of Penance is available during this time as well. Here are a selection of songs currently sung at KX led by the Adore band.

Theology on Tap Orange County meets at Valiant Brewing in Orange and is an outreach of Blessed John Henry Newman parish in Irvine. You can access the archive by clicking here.

Theology on Perk, a time for more in-depth discussion, meets at Bl. John’s itself. a video of a talk on Exorcism is available here. (It is amazing to see just how many young people there are in the video and on the photo of Theology on Tap. – Ed)

Evangelium is a course used for adult catechesis (RCIA) especially designed by Catholic converts for people with a basic understanding of Christianity who wish to go deeper. All teaching is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is for non-Catholics who are wanting to explore Catholicism, for fallen-away Catholics who wish to revive their faith, and for Catholics who simply wish to go deeper. Non-Catholics who complete this course are eligible for confirmation at the Easter Vigil.

Home Base: Bl. John’s meets in the Queen of Life Chapel, 2532 Dupont Drive, Irvine CA 92612.

Mass Schedule: SUNDAYS – Low Mass 9am, Sung Mass (Anglican Use of the Roman Rite); MONDAYS-FRIDAYS – 11:50am (Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite)

Tallis Chapel Society is the professional choir of Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church specializing in English Choral music. You can listen to the Advent Lessons and Carols 2015 by clicking here.

Walsingham Chapel: The renovation and expansion of the Rosary Chapel at the Santiago Retreat Center and its transformation into the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham will begin Summer 2016 to better serve those who camp and retreat each week. Divine Worship Mass is celebrated from Monday to Friday at 11:30am.

Pasadena Ordinariate Group is a new parish-in-formation for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter serving the San Gabriel Valley of California and neighboring Los Angeles. Regular Anglican Use Evensong on Sundays will begin soon.

Riverside Ordinariate Group is in the exploration phase at this point. The goal is to measure serious interest and commitment in starting a new parish for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter serving the Inland Empire.

We shall be following all these developments at Blessed John’s with considerable interest and with our prayers.

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Sister Jane Louise is one of the Catholic Women of the Year for 2016

As we can read in this month’s The Portal magazine, the Catholic Women of the Year in the UK have been announced and will be honoured at the 48th Catholic Women of the Year Luncheon on Friday 28th October at the Amba Hotel, Marble Arch, London.

Four women have been chosen this year, and for the second time there is an Ordinariate presence among them (you will recollect that we reported in 2014 that the wives of Ordinariate clergy had been similarly honoured).

This year’s laureates are:

  • Dr Caroline Fairey, a leading figure for many years in training catechists to teach the Faith, initially at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham and now with the pioneering School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey in Devon.
  • Dr Olive Duddy, a general practitioner and senior tutor for the Natural Family Planning Teachers Association, who has promoted the now widely accepted natural and ecological fertility care.
  • Catherine MacMillan, a writer and musician, who became pregnant at the age of eighteen, unmarried, and preparing for University. Rejecting abortion, with the help and support of her parents she went ahead with the pregnancy, giving birth to baby Sara. The child was born seriously handicapped and sadly died earlier this year when almost six. Catherine has given public witness to the sanctity of every human life in her writings and speeches. (See this article and the video)

… and …

  • Sr Jane Louise - Catholic Woman of the Year 2016Sister Jane Louise, who joined the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, along with two other sisters from the Anglican Sisters of St. Margaret, where they had been for several years. This meant leaving behind the security of an established home, and venturing into an unknown future. Later one of the sisters joined another Catholic order, and sadly Sister Wendy died, leaving Sister Jane Louise alone. She works at Walsingham, especially with catechesis for children in the many pilgrimage groups who arrive every week. Others are now interested in joining what is planned as a full community at the shrine, part of the revival of this ancient National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

We congratulate all of these women and especially Sister Jane Louise, who has a special place in our hearts, and we hope and pray that the Lord will call many young women to join her in forming this new community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Reconciliation.

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The Portal – August 2016

This month’s issue of The Portal magazine is now available online. To access the homepage just click on the front-page photo below, then on the tab “Read The Portal”.

The Portal - Aug 2016

In this issue:

  • Joanna Bogle meets a Bishop from Downunder!
  • The Catholic Women of the Year for 2016 are announced
  • Snapdragon joins the debate about ad orientem or versus populum
  • Fr Mark Woodruff explains that Catholic does not only mean Roman
  • Fr Julian Green explores the Assumption of Our Lady
  • The Revd Dr Stephen Morgan compares two ideas about love
  • The Revd Paul Benfield on the General Synod of the Church of England
  • Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane were at the Pilgrimage to Saint Philip Howard
  • Fr John Hodgins asks, is Marriage a Sacrament that can be changed by a vote?
  • Donato Tallo takes inspiration from St Benedict
  • Iraq: Daesh (ISIS) left, destruction remains – Aid to the Church in Need
  • Here am I Lord – Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane talk with Michael Thrusfield
  • Taverner: Missa Mater Christi sanctissima & Western Wynde Mass
  • Nor do I collect postage stamps – Geoffrey Kirk offers a personal view
    . . . and much more.
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