Following the news about Bishop Moyer and the Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman from the Pennsylvania Ordinariate group we should perhaps read Bishop Moyer’s own words in an excerpt from his midweek message to his parishioners:
My dear people and friends of the Newman Fellowship,
… Most of you knew that today was my final Easter Mass as a priest/bishop. When I climbed into bed last night, I obviously thought of the day to come and feared that I wouldn’t make it through the Mass; but God provided an abundance of grace for me to stay focused and joyful. It was only after the Mass that the finality of it hit, as I sat in a front pew listening to the Postlude and watching the acolytes and others remove our particular Anglo-Catholic sacramentals from the sanctuary. My oldest daughter, Rachel, saw what was happening to her father and came to me with a hug and words of comfort.
During “The Watch” on Maundy Thursday, I did what I said I would do – in giving to our Lady (as Father Jay Hughes did) my priesthood. Whether I can resume it is up to God in Christ who called me to it many years ago. But in the reality of the present (and I don’t mean this to be some form of theological gymnastics for my benefit), “priesthood,” when a man is called to it, manifests itself in many ways – not just in liturgical ways, and in a designated position of parochial oversight for a particular parish church.
Priesthood is about (among other things) being the intermediary between God and man so that man is brought to God.
Since I cannot go forward in preparation for the Catholic priesthood, I have been applying to many agencies and institutions that seek “mental health” assistance. Many of you know that in the Providence of God, I did earn a Master’s degree in marriage and family counseling after seminary, and then a Doctorate in ministry which was focused upon pastoral counseling.
I pray that God will use me in some way to assist individuals, couples, and families who seek help in their particular distress with ingredients for healing, and for a new or renewed connection to the living Lord.
My final Sunday as Pastor of the Newman Fellowship will be on the Solemnity of the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 22nd. I do believe that by that time (or much before), the Newman Fellowship will know what is unfolding for its journey forward to Eucharistic communion with the See of Peter.
… (On Sunday May 4th) Father David Ousley, Pastor of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Mount Airy, will speak to us about the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Rita and I will absent ourselves from this meeting, as we did with the meeting with Monsignor Steenson in February of 2012. We will be on the property praying.
I know, at least as much as you do, that this is a time of both grief and hope, of endings and beginnings.
I have said it in many different ways because it repeatedly needs to be said, that when things don’t work out; when what we hoped for doesn’t happen; when what has happened seems unfair; and when (going to the theological depths of things), God allows people who will not be reconciled, and who will not forgive in order to retain power over others who seek reconciliation and forgiveness…there is absolutely nothing we can do, but to pray…pray…pray. Whether others on the “other side” of conflicts see what has been going on is way beyond our control. Again, pray…pray…pray.
What you and I know is that Christ is risen! The human forces of power and authority did their best against Him. The dark forces of Satan put a full court press upon Him. But Jesus did what He came to do as the Incarnate Son of God – to take the hits and to absorb the sins, and to basically remain silent, and just do what He was to do. And what He did, in obedience to the Father, ushered in a new reality for all mankind. The new reality (in part) is that Christ desires forward movement and thinking, while Satan desires old stuff, old hurts, old thoughts and judgments to determine the day. Lord, have mercy.
A favorite hymn of mine is “God moves in a mysterious way” (#310 in the 1940 Hymnal). Each of its stanzas are rich, but the fourth very much speaks to me (and possibly to you) at this time: Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
Christ is Risen!
+David L. Moyer