We are only a few days away from the annual Anglican Use Conference, to be held June 10 through 12. The event, produced by the Anglican Use Society, will be held this year in Newark, New Jersey, at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. The alert reader will ask, why Newark? Is there a Pastoral Provision congregation there? No, but Archbishop Myers, the Archbishop of Newark, is the Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision.
Each year, members of the Society gather with an eclectic mix of Roman and Anglican laypeople and clergy to discuss a wide range of matters under the broad umbrella of Anglo-Catholic interests. In prior years, there was a heavy emphasis on the Pastoral Provision, and most conferences were hosted by Pastoral Provision congregations. (Recent annual conferences were held in Houston, San Antonio, Washington D.C. and Scranton.) This year, the emphasis will shift, and in ways that are difficult to predict, because in the interval since the last annual conference, the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus has been published. This promises to be a lively event, with much speculation, both informed and uninformed, and who knows, perhaps even some reliable news.
Mr. Campbell has summarized the official program in his post of last week, and the conference agenda is published on the conference website. The lineup of speakers is of the quality we have come to expect each year from Anglican Use Society president Joe Blake and the conference planners. Prospective attendees should keep in mind that some of the most informative moments of each year’s conference occur informally, between sessions.
It is not too late to register for the conference, and I want to urge all readers who have the ability to participate to consider attending.
Newark is not generally considered a tourist destination, or place of pilgrimage, except perhaps by diehard fans of The Sopranos. In fact, Newark is one of America’s great cities and contains one of the most important pieces of American Catholic material culture, the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. This spectacular example of French Gothic architecture, and the fifth largest cathedral in America, will be the site of the conference liturgies. The 37-foot diameter rose window alone is worth the trip, and it is just one of more than 200 stained glass windows. The pipe organ is notorious and is said by some to be largest ever built. As the photos show, Chartres has nothing on Newark.
This magnificent building was envisioned by the first ordinary of the Newark diocese, Bishop James Bayley, who acquired the land and set the planning and design in motion. Bishop Bayley was later made Archbishop of Baltimore, and the work was continued by his successors. There is an interesting Anglican footnote to this story. Bishop Bayley was a cousin of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Like Mother Seton, Bishop Bayley was a convert from Anglicanism.
Mr. Campbell has kindly invited me to provide reports from the Conference, and I look forward to posting in the days ahead.
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