It has been quite the past few days… The parish clergy and I have just returned from spending the inside of last week at our second Ordinariate clergy assembly which, this year, was held at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Illinois, just outside of St Louis, in the United States. (click on photo for enlarged view.)
It was a blessed time, full of joy, charity, fraternity, prayer and worship in our Ordinariate tradition. We were inspired and encouraged as we explored and engaged with issues of identity and mission under the careful guidance of our assembly speaker, Fr Paul Manning, who serves as the Vicar for Evangelisation at St Paul Inside the Walls, the Catholic Centre for Evangelisation in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey.
Monday saw us miss a connection in Denver, and me lose my wallet, which is still being sought by United Airlines, assisted by St Anthony! Friday’s return saw two connecting flights to Chicago cancelled on account of a snow storm there, so we had to re-route through Toronto, delaying us by six hours. So the book-ends, as it were, of the past week, were not a good deal of fun, but the week itself was superb, and I can honestly confess that, without a doubt, this was the very best clergy gathering I have experienced in my years of ordained ministry, Catholic or Anglican. No party politicking, no rivalry, no hidden theological or social agenda, no fears about what the speaker might say. We were truly emboldened in our ministries and in our sense of the shape of mission that the Ordinariate must have. I will say more, in due course, but I must now dash to Mattins…
However, before I do, I can reveal this: the Governing Council of the Ordinariate established five parishes. Whilst the official decrees of erection need to be issued, I am delighted to announce that St John the Evangelist was named a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, joining Christ the King, Towson, St Luke’s, Washington DC, The Incarnation, Orlando, and St Thomas More, Scranton. I was also named the first pastor (parish priest) of St John’s, having formerly been the Parochial Administrator. A number of Quasi-Parishes were also named, and in Canada these include St Thomas More, Toronto, and The Annunciation, Ottawa. Blessed John Henry Newman, Victoria, became a Public Association of the Faithful.
This is wonderful news for us here in Canada, and at St John’s our becoming a parish is a great encouragement as we continue to secure our home in our century-old buildings, and dream our dreams for a future that seeks to restore the sacred in every aspect of our life together. Well done, St John’s! I’m very proud of you, and all that we have achieved together in the nearly three years since we entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
(from Dean Lee Kenyon’s blog)