Thanks, reflections and news from Philadelphia’s Ordinariate communities

Fr. David Ousley writes:

The Psalmist reminds us that “it becometh well the just to be thankful,” and we have much to be thankful for at Newman and St Michael’s. Here are a few things:

  • St Michael’s has a new mobile version of our web site, which displays much more attractively and usefully on a phone or tablet. This is entirely the work of Bruno Dantas in his “spare” time. This will be very helpful for those seeking us out on the web from their phones. In addition, he and Eileen are adding a photo page to the site. So if you have good photos of recent parish events, send them along.
  • Thanks goes to Bill Gatens and the choir for superb efforts during Holy Week. St Michael’s people were especially blessed to have the choir for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil at the joint services.
  • Tom Royce has begun assisting Bill Gatens with the chanting of the minor propers at St Michael’s, and continues his training for becoming a cantor.
  • Thanks also goes to all who assisted at the Holy Week services. St Madeleine Sophie is not an especially convenient location for many, so the extra effort to be there is appreciated – and I trust, amply rewarded.
  • The acolyte corps had extra work (including rehearsals) in Holy Week, as you probably noticed, and gave generously of their time and talent. Bruno and Elio Shiffman, Mike Ewing, Joshua Nunziato served throughout the Triduum; Bruno Dantas and Mark Jakubik also served when they were able. Thanks to all!
  • The altar flowers at Easter and at the Altar of Repose do much to enhance our worship, and represent a great deal of thought and effort. We are most grateful to the flower ladies of St Madeleine Sophie for continuing to decorate St Madeleine’s with Beth and Leslie Altena, even though their services were at Holy Cross. Likewise, the flower ladies of Holy Cross adorned the St Joseph Altar (“our” altar) at Holy Cross for us.
  • Given that we do not currently have our own property, we continue to be thankful to Fr Grogan and Fr Carbonaro, and the good folk of Holy Cross and Our Lady of the Assumption for their generosity in sharing space with us. And not just “space,” but glorious, beautiful and holy space.
  • We had a wonderful visit in March from Monsignor Steenson. At St Michael’s in the morning, Bell Anderson organized an exceptional reception, and at Newman, Lisa Livezey and many others provided a great supper. Monsignor reports that he had a great time and was encouraged by what he saw.
  • I want to thank some unsung heroes, whose efforts are essential but largely unseen: Pat Lincoln, who launders all the small altar linens week in and week out, and our two Treasurers: Mark Shiffman at St Michael’s and John Heidengren at Newman, who pay the bills and looks after the accounts. Both tasks are essential, and both occur out of sight.
  • My wife and I also want to thank the generous people of Newman for collecting an Easter purse for us. It is an unexpected and touching (and substantial) gift.

Holy Week – and the challenges of distance and time to being at the services at St Michael’s and Newman – reminded us of the special responsibilities we have (and sacrifices we are called to make) as “early adopters” in the Ordinariate. Being Catholics, we can satisfy our obligation and desire to be at Mass on any given day in any Catholic Church. And most of our folk pass a number of Catholic Churches on the way to St Michael’s or Newman. But, especially given our small numbers, we need everyone to be with us. This is true every Sunday, but especially during Holy Week and the other special observances of the church year. This takes effort! If the mission of the Ordinariate is to succeed, we need to understand our responsibilities, and do what we can to fulfill them. It is a special mission with special responsibilities and sacrifices. I hope you see this as a privilege and an exciting opportunity which God has given us.

Newman’s location and evening Mass make it particularly attractive for college students.
Eastern College is nearby, and recent developments there have provoked interest in the Catholic Church. Joshua and Chelsea Nunziato have been exploring possible ways of making contact with students there. The first-fruits of their efforts comes on April 15th, when Fr Ousley will be speaking there on the Asceticism of the Desert Fathers. This is an opportunity to spread the word about Newman and the Ordinariate, as well as the Desert Fathers. The talk is sponsored by the Philosophy Club, and is at 7 p.m. at the Eagle Great
Room in Eagle Hall.

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