The Epistle – February 2017

February’s “The Epistle”, the newsletter of St. Luke’s Ordinariate parish at Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, can be accessed by clicking on the banner heading below:


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Ordinariate Restructuring in West Kent

Father Ed Tomlinson has written in his blog:

All change in Sevenoaks!
1 February 2017

It is all change in Sevenoaks for the Ordinariate. The sad news, for us, is that Fr. Aquilina, for personal reasons, has opted to leave the Ordinariate and been incardinated into the Archdiocese of Southwark this day. He will remain in post at Westerham to continue the good work he has done there. He is a fine priest and a friend and it is a shame he no longer sees his future with us.

So we wish him well personally but Fr. Ivan’s action does, nevertheless, create an obvious problem. The Sevenoaks Ordinariate group is bigger than one man and there remain lay faithful who do not wish to surrender membership. What is to happen to them now that they have lost local leadership? Mgr Newton has a duty of care towards them and this is where the happier news begins…

Mgr. Newton has asked me to gather the group together and kickstart the Ordinariate vision in that place, that new life might be breathed into the group. To this end I met last week with one of their members – Deacon Robert Smith. He remains happy working alongside Fr. Aquilina in Westerham but has no plans to relinquish membership of the Ordinariate, making him the ideal candidate to pastor the group locally and take care of the administration. My role will be to oversee his work and provide a necessary priestly support.

I am really excited about this development. It has long been the vision of Father Nicholas and myself, now that St. Anselm’s is flourishing under a clear Ordinariate ethos, to create a mission model for Pembury. A vision whereby St. Anselm’s holds the centre with smaller satellite groups linked to it. As we form this new model it is hoped that Maidstone will operate as one satellite group, under the watchful care of Fr. Gibbons, whilst Sevenoaks can now become another, under the watchful care of Dcn Smith. There may be even more satellite groups set up into the future, each looking to the more established group in Pembury for support.

We have not yet fleshed out the finer details for Sevenoaks but our first meeting was really positive. We anticipate Ordinariate members in the Sevenoaks group (some of whom worship in Westerham and others in Sevenoaks itself) will continue to support their local parish Sunday by Sunday but will now also come together as a distinct Ordinariate presence – which has not happened to date – for catechesis, worship and fellowship. I will be writing to each member this week inviting them to a special launch evening in Pembury. There we will offer Mass according to Divine Worship and I will deliver a lecture on the Ordinariate vision. The bottom line being that more not less fruit should spring up for the Ordinariate in Sevenoaks.

Dcn Robert will continue to help the diocese in Westerham but, being of the Ordinariate, will make building up our mission a first priority. He will occasionally visit Pembury to assist at our celebration of Divine Worship and strengthen the links between us. He will also join the local chapter of Ordinariate clergy, in place of the departing Fr. Ivan.

In short the transition needs to be managed carefully and that is in hand. But my own sentiment is that there will be growth from this new arrangement that aids the Ordinariate vision as a whole.

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The Portal – February 2017


To access this month’s THE PORTAL, just click on the cover photograph above and follow the “Read The Portal” tab.

In this issue:

  • Women Deacons and the Ordinariates – a personal view from our Editors
  • Joanna Bogle on The “Our Father” project
  • Snapdragon is Agony Uncle
  • Book review: The Struggle Continues
  • Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane visit an Ordinariate outpost and meet Francesca Massey
  • Fr Julian Green on the importance of the Feast of The Chair of St Peter
  • Donato Tallo visits the Island of Gozo
  • Dr Gill James in the Basement at Warwick Street
  • Donal Anthony Foley on The World Apostolate of Fatima
  • Geoffrey Kirk on Multiculturalism: How it works
    . . . and much more.

You will also find all previous issues of THE PORTAL on the Archive Page, including the January 2017 issue, in case you missed out.

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Ordinariate Europe Cycle of Prayer for February 2017

cycle_of_prayer_button_webAfter an absence of one month due to illness, The Cycle of Prayer returns for February.

You are encouraged to join this community of prayer, adding the intentions to your daily prayers, and perhaps using the suggested prayers from time to time.


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I’m Back

After a hiatus of some six or seven weeks, I am happy to say that I am back editing this Ordinariate News site. I have unfortunately been unwell for a time and was unable to keep up all my Ordinariate work. It’s good to be in form again.

David Murphy

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Most Precious Blood Renovation Appeal

Currently approximately 28% of the total target of £250,000 have been raised for the renovation of Most Precious Blood Church in Borough, London., originally planned to be completed by July 2017.

Phase I of the plans, which will permit new floor tiling to be laid and the provision of easier access to the church, requires a sum of £80,000. The current total is £71,312. You can take advantage of the pre-Christmas spirit to donate to this fund by clicking here.


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Newly-redecorated chapel at St. Anselm’s, Pembury

Another post from Fr. Ed Tomlinson:

The beautification of the side chapel at St. Anselm’s, which we have dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has been completed. And what a transformation we have witnessed. The wall having been plastered and painted and the new reredos placed over the altar. And, not shown in the picture above, a new curtain for the confessional has been lovingly made by some members of the congregation. Do click on the images to see enlarged versions.

newly-decorated-sacred-heart-chapelThe magnificent centre piece of this newly restored chapel is a reredos, donated to us from a parish in Surrey, dated 1900 and the creation of a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement: C. R. Ashbee.

The reredos is pictured in Alan Crawford’s book ‘C. R Ashbee: Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist” where he writes the following:

(He created) A reredos…for St. Stephen’s Shottermill, in Surrey, in 1900. When it is open, this reredos reveals faintly Gothic cusping, and sparse vibrant figures carved in decorative low relief by Edward G. Bramwell; but its special feature is that Ashbee designed each of the panels to be about seven inches deep, so that when it is closed it looks like a big box, as his cabinets did, and it is held together by his usual massive hinges. If Ashbee had had a good deal of church work to do, this kind of treatment might have been interestingly developed; but as things turned out these were isolated examples.”

I am indebted to the parish of Shottermill for having bequeathed such a magnificent gift and to the priest friend, a skilled seeker of ecclesiastical furniture, who put me in touch with them. The former parish no longer need it having decided to turn a chapel into cafe space for missional work. I am also indebted to Pat who spent every evening this past week painting the church to ready it for Christmas. What a labour of love! And to the Hoare family for renovating the confessional curtain. How wonderful to witness continued progress in our parish.

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