An Old/New Community, Ordinariate-Bound!

Christ our Good Shepherd has entrusted some of His faithful childen to the particular spiritual care of Blessed John Henry Newman, with the organization of a community dedicated to the beatified convert and cardinal.

Comprised of people who were part of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, the Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman, under the leadership of Bishop David Moyer, is an Ordinariate-bound community of Anglicans, and they will celebrate their inaugural Mass this Sunday, September 4th, at 10 a.m. The location and other details can be found at the website, and if you are in the Philadelphia area, you would be most welcome.

Please pray for Bishop Moyer and the members of the Fellowship as they prepare to take their place in the U. S. Ordinariate as soon as it is established.

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

11 thoughts on “An Old/New Community, Ordinariate-Bound!”

  1. The Lord is good. All the time. The Good Friday experienced by bishop Moyer and the flock under his care this past week will surely turn into a long lasting Easter. !Bendito sea el Nombre de Jesus!

  2. I agree. Wipe the dust from your feet and move to a new place. Despite what VirtuelessOnline says, God will bless your efforts.

  3. My wife and I just came from the first Mass this morning. By my estimate there were a little over 60 people there, and people seemed joyous and excited to be moving toward the Ordinariate.

    1. Perhaps, but it would be normal to weep over the loss of the magnificent building… The ordinariate will need churches (as cohabitation in a Roman parish with the regular congregation, having AU Masses at an impossible time slot will not be workable for long), and all that can be taken from the episcopagan church need to be taken. Plus churches are very much a part of the Anglican patrimony.

      + PAX et BONUM

      1. Yes, Henri, beautiful buildings are very patrimonial, and it certainly makes life easier not to have to share. However, it's possible to build our own beautiful places over time. Sometimes starting from scratch can even help to form a stronger community. In the case of Good Shepherd, the legal decision has been made, and so be it. There will be an Ordinariate parish in that area, whether or not it starts out with a beautiful building.

        1. As one who has recently "planted" a new "Ordinariate bound" mission, I can assure that there is great freedom to be had in doing so. Even though our little group is now meeting in someone's home, we are actively looking for a public place to meet and trust that the Lord will provide. The churches will be built and the altars will be erected, but what matters most is that we come together now and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, offering Him the beauty and holiness of our worship no matter where we may gather to do so.

        2. Very true Fr. Phillips. Fortunately, in this area, there are such a number of beautiful redundant churches, both Catholic churches that have closed or are nearing closure, and even some former Episcopal churches that are now sitting empty and on the market (and no longer belong to TEC) that I think the odds of getting a "patrimonial" style church are pretty good.

          In other news, there are definite signs that the new Archbishop of Philadelphia (whom I expect to have the pleasure of meeting tomorrow) has taken a lively and kindly interest in the success of the Anglican Ordinariate in this area. I think things are looking up, and we may, we may, please God, have passed through the worst of it.

          I would add that tomorrow is not only the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, but also that of Our Lady of Philermos, our "Victory Day" in the Order of Malta, when the Turks gave up the siege of Malta in 1565: I think we may take this as a good sign for our prospective Ordinariate.
          (Lest I be misunderstood, no comment is hereby intended on the outgoing diocesan administration in Phila.)

      2. New congregations shouldn't hesitate to be creative in finding homes. I’ve twice belonged to newly created diocesan parishes.

        In one case, a Presbyterian church graciously allowed us to use their church for Saturday evening and holy day Masses while we rented a volunteer fire department’s social hall for Sunday morning Masses. In the second instance, our budding congregation rented unfinished office space–wide open with no partition walls–in a multistory office building. In both cases, we did this for several years until we raised sufficient funds to build our own churches.

        It was a lot of setting up and taking down of chairs over those years, but it was a great way to make friends and bound us together as a parish. Our current parish has 8,000 members, but that core group still has a special bond.

        My continued prayers for all of you as these last few pieces move into their (sometimes surprising) appointed positions.


  4. I have a doctrinal question.

    The Catholic Church, as led by the Pope, teaches that Anglican ordination is invalid. Therefore, no valid Mass can be held by an Anglican Bishop before being re-ordained as a Catholic Priest.

    The words "Ordinariate-bound" seem to imply that the community accepts the teaching of the Catholic Church and awaits organizational arrangement to join it.

    But how can it, in that case, hold Mass in clear conscience? Should it not hold its bishops and priests to be invalidly ordained, and therefore laypersons, who can certainly preside at Morning and Evening Prayer but not Mass?

    1. This is a common misunderstanding. The issue is not whether Anglican orders are valid per se, but whether the Church can recognize their validity (i.e. whether they outwardly meet the Church's established standards for validity). The Church has consistently determined that it cannot so recognize them because of apparent defects in form and intent at various points in the purported Anglican chain of apostolic succession. These create in almost all cases a presumption of invalidity which is why the Church is forced to treat them in toto as null and void. Any doubt whatsoever about the validity of the Church's sacraments cannot be tolerated, so dubious orders are ipso facto invalid.

      That said, while the requirements for sacramental validity are an issue of doctrine (and thus immutable), whether a specific Anglican ordination has met these requirements is a factual issue on which an infallible determination cannot be made (except by God, of course). Therefore one who shares the Church's understanding of the requirements for validity can still in good conscience believe that a given Anglican ordination met those requirements. A Catholic, however, is bound to accept the Church's disciplinary guidance that, in the matter of Anglican orders, such validity cannot be recognized with confidence whatever one's personal beliefs in the matter on the factual issue.

      Anglicans not in communion with Rome, on the other hand, are not subject to the Church's discipline and can thus act in accordance with their prudential judgment and conscience in accepting the sacramental validity of their clergy and its acts. Once they enter the Catholic Church, however, they will be subject to the same discipline as everyone else and thus will also have to treat Anglican sacraments (other than trinitarian baptism and marriage which do not depend on orders) as null and void.

      I hope this helps.

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