Texas has a great history, and nowhere more than the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis. Once it was all oil and cattle. Those are still there, but Texas is also high-tech, and where the Church is concerned it is making history. Perhaps the largest (so far) of the Anglican Use communities in the USA is in San Antonio. Not so large, but equally important to the Church in the States — and beyond — is the Pastoral Provision parish of St Mary the Virgin, Arlington. That church and congregation was one of the first to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Catholic Church. Now they are eagerly looking forward to being part of the Ordinariate in North America.
This week they are hosting a Conference at which two Englishmen are among the many distinguished speakers, Msgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the English & Welsh Ordinariate, and John Hunwicke, redoubtable former Vicar in Oxford and soon (we hope) to be a Priest of the Catholic Church.
Both their addresses are recorded and may be heard via the Ordinariate website. Msgr Keith gives a rundown of where things are now in the United Kingdom, and speaks of his hopes for the future. He also encourages us to ensure that as Ordinariates are established across the world we shall deepen and extend our ties of friendship. Certainly I found huge enthusiasm to learn about the way the first (English) Ordinariate was going, when I visited Arlington three months ago. Since then, of course, there has been huge progress, and it is worth listening to Msgr Keith's take on events.
John Hunwicke gave a masterly account of part of our Patrimony, a part which non-Anglicans, and perhaps even non-Englishmen, find hard to understand. He told how Dom Gregory Dix was thoroughly disliked by the hierarchy — because he had both wit and scholarship on his side. Now does that remind you of anyone? He spoke about Ronnie Knox and his devastating dismembering of Pilgrim's Progress (the work of "pseudo-Bunyan") using the techniques of Biblical analysis popular in his day. I should like to hear him, sometime, on Knox's proof that "In Memoriam", attributed to Alfred Lord Tennyson, was in fact written by Queen Victoria. He had the audience rocking with laughter when he spoke about Bishop Headlam being locked in her Wendy House by his wonderful young grandaughter. I do hope and believe that the Catholic hierarchy can understand our English sense of humour, for otherwise the future of the Ordinariate might be beset with difficulties.
There are more addresses and events recorded, but time has prevented me from viewing all of them yet. That will be a pleasure to savour after the two Masses in Southbourne where I preach this evening and tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you have a moment, do latch on to the Anglicanorum Ustream site (but remember the time difference if you want to hear a live broadcast).