Ordinariate Expats Christmas Letter 2015

expats logo with contured stars

Dear Ordinariate members and friends worldwide,

Krippe1As every year at this time we should like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas and God’s abundant blessings for the New Year. May 2016 be a good year for the Ordinariates with joy, prosperity and some more significant growth.

In 2015 we have had much to be thankful for:

  • two new Ordinariate churches: Our Lady of Walsingham and Saint Cuthbert Mayne, Chelston, Torbay, in the UK (formerly Chelston Methodist Church) and Saint John the Baptist, Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, in the USA (formerly Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Church)
  • several new Ordinariate communities, of which at least three are church plantings: in Walsingham (with Mass being celebrated regularly in the Slipper Chapel of the National Shrine); at Katy, Texas (to the west of Houston, where St. Margaret of Scotland Church recently celebrated their first Mass) and at Hunter/Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Others have entered the Church as “groups of Anglicans” and now have a newly-ordained pastor: St. Michael and All Angels, Denison, Texas (Fr. Randall Fogle); St Bede the Venerable in Minneapolis (Fr. Vaughn Treco); Our Lady of the Sign, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (Fr. Richard Harris) and the Ordinariate Community in Adelaide, Australia (Fr. Ian Wilson)
  • the year has also seen a number of ordinations in all three Ordinariates (permanent deacons, transitional deacons and priests)
  • the Ordinariate sisters in Walsingham were officially constituted as a Public Association of the Faithful with the title of “Sisters of Our Lady of Reconciliation”, and Sisters Jane Louise and Wendy Renate took public vows during June’s Ordinariate pilgrimage to Walsingham
  • apart from the merger of the Philadelphia Ordinariate communities to form St. John the Baptist Church with their own church building (see above), the Hockley and South Benfleet groups in the UK joined forces to form the new Southend Ordinariate Mission, and their pastor was appointed priest-in-charge of Sacred Heart parish, one of whose churches (St. John Fisher) is now home to the Ordinariate community
  • similarly Fr. David Waller was appointed priest-in-charge in Chingford, where his Ordinariate group from Walthamstow has also found a new home
  • some communities who have long been without a pastor now have a new priest: Fr. Simon Chinery has been appointed to Hemel Hempstead and Fr. Jason Catania to Rochester, NY (although there are several communities who are still waiting for a pastor)
  • and, of course, a new Ordinary has been appointed for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter: Msgr. Steven Lopes from the CDF, who is to be ordained the first Ordinariate bishop on February 2nd, 2016
  • the new Ordinariate missal (Divine Worship: The Missal) was introduced on Advent Sunday
  • the church and parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Arlington, Texas (the first parish ever to be received as a group into the Catholic Church with their pastor – now emeritus – Fr. Allan Hawkins) have now officially been transferred from the Diocese of Fort Worth to the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
  • a great number of Ordinariate communities worldwide are continuing to flourish and to grow. Here are just a few: Blessed John Henry Newman in Irvine, California, who are now able to use a private chapel almost exclusively and have a second priest (Fr. Jack Barker of Pastoral Provision fame); St. Anselm’s in Pembury, Kent, where a new church hall has been built allowing their multi-purpose premises to be transformed into a church, with new pews, pulpit, narthex, etc.; Most Precious Blood at London Bridge, who had the highest growth of any parish in the Archdiocese of Southwark and have now introduced an ambitious renovation plan; St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, Alberta, who are continuing to grow and also have a capital appeal to purchase the church buildings; St. Thomas More in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where there are various real estate and building projects and where plans to open a parish school are nearing completion
  • 2015 saw a second Ordinariate Festival in London; the fifth Ordinariate pilgrimage to Walsingham; the “Called to be Holy” Pentecost novena (the second in a series of “Called to be …” events) in the UK; an Ordinariate Festival of Our Lady of the Southern Cross (or Open Day) all over Australia; clergy retreats, conferences, plenary sessions in all three Ordinariates; and the opening of the beautiful Chancery building in Houston, Texas
  • three of the UK’s forty-six Walsingham Association local branches are now attached to Ordinariate groups: Coventry, South Birmingham and Walsingham
  • the UK Ordinariate has its first “missionary” priest overseas: Fr. Scott Anderson has been appointed Parish Administrator of Notre-Dame des Étangs, Pont Rémy, in the valley of the Somme, France
  • and our Ordinariate Expats group is continuing to grow: we now have members and friends in eight European countries and a growing number of priests affiliate, with all of whom we maintain regular contact and who participate in our Cycle of Prayer community
  • and …, and … (please forgive us if we have failed to mention something important)

Again we should like to invite you to point any Ordinariate members who are planning to move to the European mainland (whether from the UK, North America or Australia) to our support group and to let us know their contact details (with the member’s permission). Also if anyone from Europe, whether cradle Catholic or (former) Anglican (or …?) contacts you to ask about the Ordinariate, please let us know.

Our “ORDINARIATE NEWS (from Ordinariate Expats)” blog/website will soon be merged with the “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite” blog under the auspices of the newly (re)launched international Anglicanorum Coetibus Society (formerly the Anglican Use Society) – with whom we are actively engaged – and we are looking for new regular co-authors – so please don’t be shy.

Once again we send you all our most sincere Christmas and New Year greetings and remain yours in Christ,

David Murphy
Fr. Scott Anderson OLW (Spiritual Director)
Ordinariate Support Group for Expats in Europe (“Ordinariate Expats”)

Vinnhagen 6, D-48485 Neuenkirchen, Germany

eMail: ordinariateexpats@gmx.de         website: https://ordinariateexpats.wordpress.com

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4 Responses to Ordinariate Expats Christmas Letter 2015

  1. Paul Waddington says:

    It is very useful to have all this information in one place. Excellent report.

    One extremely successful group that does not get much attention is the Darlington group based at Gainford in Co Durham. It is growing all the time, and is very active. Perhaps it deserves a mention.

  2. EPMS says:

    If I had a blog (tentative title “Let Nothing You Dismay…No, Really” ) I would follow up the year end list of notable events with a New Year’s wish list. At the top would be an attractive, up-to-date “Find a parish” page on the OCSP website, where a traveller or local inquirer could quickly locate information about locations, times, and contact information for every group. This would have been top of my list every year since 2012, actually. Then I would wish for a kind of “Bishop’s Diary” feature on the OCSP site so that as Bp Lopes carries through on his plan to visit every Ordinariate congregation in the next eighteen months we could get a snapshot of them (literally and figuratively) and hence a better sense of where the Ordinariate is and how it is living out the spirit of AC. Then I would wish for an edition of Divine Worship–The Missal that cost less than £300 + shipping. Then I would wish for World Peace.

  3. Father David Waller says:

    It is good to see this all set out so clearly. One minor (but significant) point: Fr Lee Bennett and I were appointed at Parish Priests not Priests in Charge – in Fr Lee’s case making him the 1st married PP in the diocese.

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