Brief Review of “The Ordinariate Observer”

Having read through the first issue of the US Ordinariate’s new online publication “The Ordinariate Observer”, I think it is fair to say that it promises to be a very valuable resource, albeit only on a quarterly basis (compared to the weekly/monthly appearance of the other Ordinariates’ newsletters).

One particularly distinctive feature through which it differs from the other two newsletters is the large amount of optimistic, upbeat news about a variety of Ordinariate communities and clergy members, also providing personal comment from individual priests.

Another significant theme is clearly “growth”. Not only does The Observer contain a message from the Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson, on this subject – click here for the full text -, but it is stressed in many of the individual group reports, even giving precise numbers, which is indeed an innovation and much to be welcomed.

Unfortunately Canada is grossly underrepresented in the newsletter (only one twenty-fourth of the total space, with three photos and seven half lines of text).

And the reports, at least in this first edition, are very clerically biassed. The Ordinariate is also its lay faithful, and I personally (perhaps because I am a layman myself) would welcome more news and contributions from lay people, families and groups.

David Murphy

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13 Responses to Brief Review of “The Ordinariate Observer”

  1. EPMS says:

    I would also add that many of the articles had already appeared elsewhere: the pilgrimage, the two parishes that are moving, the situation with the group in Newtown Square, the profile of Fr Lilias, tHe construction of the Chancery, the pictures from Toronto, for example. Perhaps it is inevitable that when clergy are invited to submit material they tend to recycle items they have previously prepared. But the message from the Ordinary was definiitely novel in all senses, and as Mr Murphy points out, refreshingly upbeat. Perhaps after the clergy retreat this autumn the editor will be in a better position to be pro-active in gathering news from groups hitherto silent on the web.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I would also add that many of the articles had already appeared elsewhere: the pilgrimage, the two parishes that are moving, the situation with the group in Newtown Square, the profile of Fr Lilias, tHe construction of the Chancery, the pictures from Toronto, for example.

      That’s true, but there were also several items of which I had not previously been aware, including the ordinations of Fr. Jerry Sherbourne, an army chaplain, and Fr. Jonathan Duncan (I have no idea where he is serving). And there was also news of several ordinariate clergy whose names I did not recognize — I don’t recall seeing the names of Fr. Belen Gonzalez y Perez, Brooklyn, NY (I also was not aware that there was an ordinariate presence in Brooklyn!) or Fr. John Worgul, Towson, MD, in connection with the ordinariate before. Also, there’s news of (1) the establishment ofa retirement plan for ordinariate clergy and staff and (2) the appointment of a finance counsel. All of this is quite significant.

      Norm.

    • You are right, EPMS. Indeed, nearly all of these “news items” were reported here on this site as much as months ago. This does not, however, lessen the importance of an official newsletter which collates all this info, gives it a positive spin and reaches out to a multitude of potential readers, some of whom may still be unfamiliar with the news.

  2. EPMS says:

    The OCSP presence in Brooklyn consists of Fr Gonzalez y Perez, at the moment. Baptised a Catholic, he was ordained as a Lutheran pastor and licensed to TEC in 2008. You can read his story in the December 5, 2012 on-line issue of The Deacon’s Bench.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: The OCSP presence in Brooklyn consists of Fr Gonzalez y Perez, at the moment. Baptised a Catholic, he was ordained as a Lutheran pastor and licensed to TEC in 2008. You can read his story in the December 5, 2012 on-line issue of The Deacon’s Bench.

      The point was that his presence in Brooklyn does not seem to show up anywhere on the ordinariate’s web site and has not previously been disclosed on any of the blogs that publish ordinariate news. In any case, one of two things will happen in due course: either (1) Fr. y Perez will gather a congregation in Brooklyn or (2) Fr. y Perez will relocate to serve an ordinariate congregation elsewhere.

      But the bigger picture is that there’s a lot happening “under the radar” and that none of us have a complete picture of what’s really happening with the ordinariates.

      Norm.

    • godfrey1099 says:

      “The OCSP presence in Brooklyn consists of Fr Gonzalez y Perez”
      IMHO, we should be very careful with such generalised statements, as we see only a fracture of the actual picture of the Ordinariate’s activity.
      E.g., did you know before the announcement of Fr. Contreras’ sudden death, that there was an Ordinariate community worshiping at St. Michael’s Parish in Flushing, NY, which had come into full communion only this spring? I didn’t.

      • EPMS says:

        PS According to a news item dated August 19, 2014 on Currents for Flushing, the group has not yet entered the Church; this is scheduled for sometime next year. Fr Gonzalez y Perez also appears on the clip.

      • I must admit to being a little confused as to the status of the late Father Contreras, who died on 9th August 2014, and the group he pastored in Flushing.

        The US Ordinariate website says:

        “It is with great sadness that we report the death of our dear brother Dr. Antonio Contreras, 45, a candidate for ordination to the priesthood in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Dr. Contreras, who formerly served as an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Long Island, was on tour of India and Sri Lanka when he apparently suffered a fatal heart attack in early August.

        This past spring, Dr. Contreras led a group of his former parishioners into the Catholic Church, and they were worshiping at St. Michael’s Parish in Flushing, NY.” (the bold type is mine)

        whilst the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island notes:

        “It is with deep sadness that The Diocese of Long Island announces the death of the Rev. Dr. Antonio Contreras.” and…

        “In honor of the life and ministry of Father Antonio Contreras-Rodriguez, who died on Saturday, August 9, Bishop Provenzano will preside at a Liturgy of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on Wednesday, August 27 at 6:00 pm.” (which, by the way, is today!)

        There is no mention that he was no longer an Episcopal priest!

  3. EPMS says:

    I searched the net carefully on this subject and found a number of articles about Fr Gonzalez y Perez’s ordination and his ministry as a hospital chaplain, but nothing on any Ordinariate group or mass in Brooklyn. I would hope that no Ordinariate group is operating so far under the radar that interested persons cannot discover it exists.

  4. Matthew Markovich says:

    Isn’t it time for a new issue? This just shows me that no one takes this (non-Anglican) Ordinariate seriously. Always excuses.

  5. EPMS says:

    Description of it as a “quarterly” would mean that a new issue was due October 24; however official word per Fr Kenyon is now “Advent”.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Description of it as a “quarterly” would mean that a new issue was due October 24; however official word per Fr Kenyon is now “Advent”.

      There could be many reasons for shifting the timing of a publication, some of which undoubtedly are better than others.

      Norm.

  6. EPMS says:

    Contributions to a new issue of Ordinariate Outlook were solicited well ahead of the recent clergy conference at the end of last month. Presumably there was a shortfall.

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