Newman Fellowship settling in at Strafford – Reception into the Church on November 2nd !

Fr. Ousley reports the following good news on The Blessed John Henry Newman Fellowship, now of Strafford, Pennsylvania:

Blessed John Henry Newman Fellowship

The Sunday evening Fellowship Mass is now at six o’clock instead of five, and celebrated at Our Lady of the Assumption in Strafford (which is just west of Wayne on the Main Line). OLA is an Archdiocesan “ethnic” parish for Italians, located at the Strafford train station on Old Eagle School Road just above Lancaster. Fr Dennis Carbonaro, the Pastor, and the good people of the parish have made us wonderfully welcome, and are enthusiastic about the mission of the Ordinariate and of the Newman Fellowship. While Fr Carbonaro was away for our first Sunday, both of the other priests who live at OLA came to see if we needed any help setting up. Fr Woodeshick also stayed for Mass with us. We are most grateful to OLA for their generosity in taking us in and providing space for worship, fellowship and catechesis. As nice as the Latvian Lutheran Church was , it is much more comfortable spiritually to be in a Catholic Church, with our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament. At least through October, the schedule of Mass at 6, followed by supper and catechesis continues. If you hear of others who might be interested in an Ordinariate Mass on Sunday evening on the Main Line, please let them know we’re there!

As I mentioned last month, the formation process is drawing towards its conclusion, and we have set a date for the reception into the communion of the Catholic Church of those in the Fellowship who are prepared to make the commitment at this time. It is to take place on the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, November 2nd, at the six o’clock Mass. Monsignor Steenson has asked me to minister the sacraments of initiation (penance, confirmation, communion) on his behalf. I hope that others, especially from St Michael’s, will be able to attend to support the members of the Fellowship as they join us in the full communion with the See of Peter. This is something that they have longed for and prepared for for a long time. I’m sure it will bring them an unexpectedly abundant share of the same joy we experienced two years ago. For those needing to make their confessions before being received, we have scheduled time on Sunday, October 26th, after Mass. If another time is better, let me know, and we can set something else.

Blessed John Henry Newman’s Feast Day is October 9th. We have transferred the Fellowship’s Feast of Title to the following Sunday, observing it on October 12th (that’s today), at the usual six o’clock Mass.

I want to extend a special thanks to the folks that helped with the move from the Latvian Lutheran Church to Our Lady of the Assumption: the Livezeys (Lisa, William & Trevor) and Raynor Sherlock. David and Rita Moyer also came to help clean up the Lutheran space so it could be left in good shape. Thanks also goes to Fr Grogan and our friends at St Therese and Holy Cross for the long-term loan of a cart to store the hymnals and service booklets at OLA, as we do for St Michael’s at Holy Cross. They had an extra cart which they were willing to share – which saves the Fellowship a significant expense. I also want to express my thanks (and awe) to those who have been providing such splendid suppers every Sunday after Mass. This sustains everyone for the formation class which follows. All very impressive!

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4 Responses to Newman Fellowship settling in at Strafford – Reception into the Church on November 2nd !

  1. Having looked at the website and parish bulletin of Our Lady of the Assumption, it would seem that this parish may indeed be demographically “ethnic”, meaning that the parishioners are predominantly Italian of descent, but this does not seem to mean that this parish has a particular mission to Italians, masses are not celebrated in Italian, etc. One cannot really speak of a “personal” parish in any way.

    I write this because the ethnic question had originally intrigued me. I have always seen a number of problems in a large diocesan parish hosting a small Ordinariate community, not least of which is that it can often be difficult for the Ordinariate group to develop and maintain a sufficiently distinctive identity in this larger parish community.

    This is why the idea of an Ordinariate community being hosted by a larger Church community which is itself also “personal” in nature (cf. St Benedict the Moor in St. Auugustine, FA, which is predominantly a black parish and attracts black Catholics beyond its parish borders) seems to offer inbuilt advantages. The challenge here would not so much be to develop and maintain distinctiveness but to develop ways of collaborating effectively with the host parish and the wider diocesan Church (at e. g. deanery level) .

    David Murphy

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: Having looked at the website and parish bulletin of Our Lady of the Assumption, it would seem that this parish may indeed be demographically “ethnic”, meaning that the parishioners are predominantly Italian of descent, but this does not seem to mean that this parish has a particular mission to Italians, masses are not celebrated in Italian, etc. One cannot really speak of a “personal” parish in any way.

    Although linguistic issues were a major impetus for the establishment of so-called “national” parishes (personal parishes erected for persons of a particular nationality and their families) here in the States a century ago, they were never the sole impetus. Rather, ethnic Catholics from various European countries have long had their own patrimony, manifest especially in the festivals of saints that had taken root in their culture. Here, one thinks of the prominence given to St. Patrick by those of Irish descent, St. Anthony of Padua by those of Italian descent, the virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes by those of French descent and under the title of Our Lady of Fatima by those of Portuguese descent, etc. Although the need to provide services in the respective ethnic languages diminished as successive generations of ethnic families became more integrated into American culture and society, the cultural prominence of these festivals has persisted as a source of distinction in many of these parishes.

    You continued: I write this because the ethnic question had originally intrigued me. I have always seen a number of problems in a large diocesan parish hosting a small Ordinariate community, not least of which is that it can often be difficult for the Ordinariate group to develop and maintain a sufficiently distinctive identity in this larger parish community.

    Any ordinariate community that maintains its own liturgy and fellowship and that continues to celebrate the festivals that are of greater importance within its patrimony should have no trouble sustaining its patrimony and its identity, even if it shares facilities with much larger diocesan parish. These cultural elements will sustain its distinct identity.

    Norm.

  3. EPMS says:

    I think that in the case of an OOLW group using the same OF liturgy as the host parish the potential for gradual absorption is great. This would also be the case for a Spanish-speaking OCSP community sharing with another Spanish-speaking diocesan parish. But a group with a distinctive liturgy, which would be most of the groups in the OCSP, has better prospects, one would think, although some groups are so small that the loss of a few elderly members or one family might be a time to re-evaluate the situation.

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