Great News from Calgary

Fr. Lee Kenyon, Priest-in-Charge of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, Alberta, would like to share the following letter with the readers of The Anglo-Catholic.

17th December 2011

Dear brethren in Christ,

At a Special Meeting of Parishioners on 21 November 2010, the Solemnity of Christ the King, some 90% of parishioners present voted to accept “unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus”. Only two parishioners voted against this motion. The motion instructed the Churchwardens to begin negotiations with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary to transfer the parish, and its property, to an Ordinariate, when established.

Since that time our Churchwardens have, with great diligence, carried out this mandate. Formal negotiations with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary have now come to an end. An Offer to Lease the present church, hall and rectory over a five year period – with an option to purchase at the end of this time – is currently being negotiated between the Roman Catholic and Anglican dioceses, and the Vestry met last Wednesday, the 14th December, to approve the terms of this Offer. It is still too early, at this stage, to speak of specific details, but we are confident that a formal agreement will be signed early in the New Year. In the meantime, we remain in our church, confident that we will have secured for future generations of St John’s parishioners a stable and lasting future which honours all that has been built up since the parish was founded almost 107 years ago. Whilst securing our parish church for future use has been a very important factor in our process of transition, it is clear is that money has not been at the centre. Our journey towards the full communion of the Catholic Church has not depended on bricks and mortar. It is us – the people of God – who are the living stones, and we will continue to bear the great responsibility of passing on all that we have received.

Within four months of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, we were, as a parish, taking time to pray, study and discuss what it would mean for us to enter the Catholic Church in a corporate manner. Our November 2010 vote confirmed our growing intention to unite ourselves with the Successor of Saint Peter and the Apostolic See. Indeed, this was but a logical fulfilment of our life and mission as a parish rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism; a movement which has always placed a great emphasis on sacramental worship and prayer, and which stresses the continuity of the Church’s traditions, beliefs and practices both before and after the Reformation. Our own tradition at St John’s is perhaps best summed up by St Vincent of Lerins (ca.5th Century) who wrote that in the Catholic Church “we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.”

Over the past 18 months we have been lovingly encouraged and assisted by the Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Revd Thomas Collins, the Holy See’s Delegate for the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, together with the Bishop of Calgary, the Most Revd Frederick Henry, and by our appointed mentor priest, Fr Michael Storey. Through their pastoral care and wisdom it has been possible for us to enter the Catholic Church at this time, prior to the establishment of an Ordinariate in Canada. We are confident that Anglicanorum Coetibus will be implemented in Canada – and that we shall be a part of it from its inception – but we are grateful to be able to fulfil our primary imperative immediately, without delay, namely to enter into the fullness of communion with the Pope and the one billion Catholics throughout the world.

On Saturday 17 December Father Kenyon ceases to be our Priest-in-Charge, and Father John Wright ceases to be our Honorary Assistant. They will both enter the Catholic Church the following day, being received as Catholic laymen until such time, God willing, that they are ordained as Catholic priests. In the interim period Fr Michael Storey will be appointed as Chaplain to our new parish. Vestry has requested that the Anglican Diocese of Calgary disestablish the Anglican parish, effective 31 December 2011, and a new Parish Pastoral Council is being organised to maintain the governance of our community. Shortly after this time we anticipate the formal establishment of an Anglican Use parish – the first in Canada – within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary.

Both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Dioceses of Calgary have issued a joint press statement, which may be found here.

On Sunday 18 December 50 parishioners will be received into the Catholic Church by the Bishop of Calgary in his Cathedral Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On 15 January 2012 a further 11 parishioners will be received. In addition, 10 baptised and confirmed Catholics will be reconciled to the Church of their birth. As a group of 71 we rejoice in all that God has done to make it possible for us to reach this historic stage in the life of our parish, and in this centenary year of St John’s present church building. We are full of hope and joy that we will be able to enjoy this fullness of communion without losing that which has been so precious and nourishing to us as Anglicans. We will continue, as an Anglican Use parish, to celebrate the fullest expression of our deep Anglican patrimony – in our liturgy, our music and hymnody, and in our spiritual and pastoral traditions – “as a precious gift nourishing [our] faith . . . and as a treasure to be shared.” (Anglicanorum Coetibus)

Our first Catholic Mass, according to the Anglican Use liturgy, will be celebrated on Christmas Eve, at a 10.30 p.m. Midnight Mass. The music of the Mass will be sung by a quartet from the Spiritus Chamber Choir and will be Tomás Luis de Vittoria’s 16th Century Missa O Quam Gloriosum est RegnumO how glorious is the Kingdom. How glorious indeed as we contemplate all that has come to pass, and rejoice in Our Saviour’s Nativity! This will be an historic milestone in a long journey in the life of St John’s and in the wider Anglo-Catholic movement.

We are deeply thankful to Bishops Hoskin and Henry and the Anglican and Roman Cathiolic dioceses for facilitating this important transition. We recognise that the Anglican Diocese of Calgary has done all that they could for us in what have been unprecedented circumstances. Whilst we may not have always viewed circumstances in the same way, we wish to acknowledge their efforts to achieve what we see to be an amicable parting of the ways, and we continue to pray for one another as we seek the unity Christ wills. We pray that our entrance into the Catholic Church may serve as an illustration of the Lord Jesus’ constant call to that unity amongst Christians so that we might be more effective witnesses for the sake of the Gospel: “The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.” (St John 17.22-23).

Yours in Christ,

The Revd Lee Kenyon, Priest-in-Charge
Mr Richard Harding, Rector's Warden
Mr Tim Dunne, Assistant Rector's Warden
Mrs Vera Reid, People's Warden
Mr Bruce Travis, Assistant People's Warden

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.

42 thoughts on “Great News from Calgary”

  1. You folks couldn't have a better mentor than Michael Storey+. I don't need to tell you that, I'm sure. Fr Michael is steeped in the older tradition of the RC. He is most emphatically a godly man. Back in the '70s, I thoroughly enjoyed a several day visit with him at Oyen. Over the years, we've lost track of each other. I'm pleased he's available to help you folks on your way.

  2. Welcome, parishioners of St. John the Evangelist! How wonderful it is that we should be preparing in these final days for Christ’s coming together.

    O how glorious is the Kingdom, indeed!

  3. May God richly bless this historic moment in Canada. May Jesus richly bless this community. May their prophetic witness be a light to the world around them for generations to come.

    Many Blessings Father Lee Kenyon to you and your family (according to the flesh) and your parish family of Saint John the Evangelist, Calgary!

    The first of many in the Great White North!

  5. This is a bit off-topic, but I'm curious:

    Have the parts of the Anglican Use Mass that were taken directly from the old ICEL translation of the Missal been replaced with the new translation?

  6. Dear Father,

    Do you hear anything from Rome about what the decree of erection for the Ordinariate (presumably US only?) will say about those of us who are longstanding members of AU parishes but came into full communion with the Church without having had Anglican backgrounds beforehand?

    And what about the transfer of the AU parishes to the Ordinariate? Will it require the local bishop's approval? If that is not granted, what will happen?

    Keep up all the good work,
    Woody Jones

  7. This is all very interesting but I have just one question. By "Anglican Use' Liturgy, does this mean the Mass as set forth in the Book of Divine Worship of 1983, based on the American 1979 Book of Prayer? I presume that the answer is 'yes'. Is it?


    1. So the Anglican Use has arrived in Canada, under the auspices of the local diocese. Is there anything to prevent the ACCC parish in Ottawa from petitioning the Archdiocese of Ottawa for a similar arrangement?

      1. An expansion of the Anglican Use provision is not what was offered in the Apostolic Constitution. We in the ACCC hope to be part of an Ordinariate, under an Ordinary rather than disintegrated into isolated parishes absorbed into Roman Catholic dioceses which may or may not welcome us. If, when all is said and done, an Anglican Use parish here and there is all that is on offer, then we will have to make that decision. As far as I know, our becoming an Anglican Use parish has not been seriously considered and, as far as I know, is not on offer, though we in Ottawa have an excellent relationship with the Roman Catholic archbishop.

        1. The original announcement of the Calgary parish's decision last November was certainly seen and widely reported as a response to AC: "first Canadian parish to accept Pope's offer" etc. Presumably this is seen as a first step. What would be the downside?

          1. I hope it is a first step towards an Ordinariate in Canada or towards belonging to an Ordinariate (possibly an attachment to the one in the US). However, without ACCC parishes coming on board, all that will be left is an application of the Pastoral Provision in Canada and a few Anglican Use parishes.

        2. Deborah, you have real issues don't you? Did you even read Father Kenyon's news release? How about the Dioceses of both the Anglican and Catholic Churches?
          This same procedure happened down here with Saint Luke's, Saint Peter The Rock, and now Saint Timothy's. It in no way invalidates the coming Ordinariates. It only means Saint John the Evangelist will already be set and operating when your Ordinariate happens.

          1. There are also a number of other folks within the ACCC that have "real issues" , at least the ones I am in contact with and there is some validity to these "issues". As one who is a Roman Catholic (former Anglican), I have no trouble waiting this out, or even just continuing where I am. However, for those that have just completed the Evangelium Course and are left hanging in mid-air, not knowing what the future will bring, the resulting angst is understandable. Deborah and others like her, have my full sympathy and prayers. So. let's cut people like Deborah a little slack, eh?

            1. The future is always unknowable. There is no guarantee that a future Canadian Ordinary would be more sympathetic to or knowledgeable about the ACCC than the current hierarchy, no reason to think that any " Anglican" liturgies other than the BDW would be on offer ahead of the revision still in process. It would seem more prudent to base any decision on present conditions.

        3. I note that, under the 1983 Code of Canons, there are other juridical possibilties. Note especially Section 2 of Canon 516: "Where some … communities cannot be established as [territorial or personal (cf. preceding Section)] parishes or quasi-parishes, the diocesan Bishop is to provide for their spiritual care in some other way." Now turn to Canon 564 and following. Essentially, the Bishop could establish TAC communities as 'chaplaincies', whether worshipping at their own non-parochial churches under rectors, or at Roman territorial (or other personal) parishes. This provision could be used pro tempore as the TAC people wait for erection into a Canadian ordinariate or, Heaven forbid, temporary incorporation into an American one. A chaplaincy might be preferred for another reason too: the small TAC size of TAC communities, many not having real estate.

          The real question is whether the good and long-suffering Bishop Wilkinson and his people will be asked to abandon their beautiful Mass for the vastly inferior one set forth in the 1983 Book of Divine Worship, a Mass that includes Bugnini's revolutionary Offertory in non-sacral English and prayerbook texts taken not from the 1962 Canadian Prayerbook but from an American one, and not from the traditional American one of 1928 but from the one of 1979.

          I have been saying a very large number of prayers for the TAC incomers, just about every day, including entire Rosaries.. I urge everyone to supplicate to our Lady on their behalf, that they be not devoured by the liberal wolves in the curia and among the Roman bishops. I am happy to say that some of my Roman bishops are good men who really do wish to help the incomers. My own Bishop happens to be in that number. As for the Canadian hierarchy in general, the good news is that a surprising number of bishops will turn 75 in the next two years. A birthday balloon for each of them!


          1. Well, anyone who knows me knows my strong feelings in favor of the older versions, and some of my misgivings about the Book of Divine Worship. I am all for stating criticisms clearly, and for lively argument and discussion.
            However, there comes a time when the discussion ends, and when one must say "aye, aye", salute, about face, and carry on with the approved plan. I've been doing it for the last 18 years in the Catholic Church, and I shall continue. I also try to do all that I can to ensure that my legitimate ciriticisms are expressed in the appropriate time and manner, and do not descend into grumbling or become a distraction from getting the mission done.

            Let's put things into perspective here. Whatever misgivings I might have about the present approved plan, I am just overwhelmingly grateful that we shall have an Anglican Use congregation at all in my area. I am sure that until something better is approved (and I have good hope that it will be in time), that we will be able to make very good use of the options we have been given with which to worship God, and that in fact it will be vastly better than some of what I have had to put up with until now. So let's not lose sight of the big picture — which will shortly merit an enthusiastic Te Deum, at least in my neck of the woods.

            1. It would be sad if, having come across and an ordinariate having been erected, some incomers felt that they had to repair to the Traditional Latin Mass for the next three years or more, since there was no good Anglican one available in the Catholic Church.

              Of course, nearly every U.S. diocese has an approved every-Sunday T.L.M. (150+ out of 176 Roman sees). So, yes, that would be one option. Once you're 'in', you can fulfil the Sunday obligation at any Catholic Mass, and not just one offered by an ordinariate.


            2. Well, locally (Philadelphia), quite a number of people who have come in from Anglicanism over the last two years have done exactly that already, and I expect most of them to stay there, from what they have said.

  8. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought the only 'anglican' liturgy approved by Rome, currently, is that contained in the Book of Divine Worship. So, the US Ordinariate Parishes/missions/communities, at January 1, 2012, will be using the BDW until the new liturgy, currently being worked on in Rome, is available. Is my understanding correct?

    I assume, therefore, that Father Kenyon's Parish will be using the BDW, like those in the US, until the new liturgy is available. Maybe someone would like to comment on the Rite One Mass in the BDW?


    1. #1 – You are correct. The BDW is the only Anglican Use Liturgy authorized at this time. It has now been offered world wide for Ordinariate Use.
      #2 – Correct again.

    2. It is by no means certain that they will be using the BDW. they are allowed to , and some may indeed use, either the ordinary or extraordinary form of the curial use of the Roman Rite, i.e., the current third edition of the Roman Missal or the 1962 edition. I would not be surprised at all to see both these being used. I believe Fr. Phillips' parish does the ordinary form once a week or so. Of course, one expects they would be done with an Anglican flavor.

      Just to remind folks, there are still other uses of the Roman Rite other than the Anglican Use and the Roman or curial use, mostly those of religous orders — Benedictines and Dominicans come to mind — but some diocesan missals, for example that of Lyon, are still used, at least occasionally. If you want to see the traditional Benedictine Use (one of my faves), you can look here

      1. The traditional Lyonnais Use was abolished in 1976. The Mozarabic Rite was modernised (i.e. destroyed) in 1988. The Braga Use is celebraed only occasionally. The Ambrosian Traditional Rite has survived, along with a modernised (i.e, wreckovated) version from, I *think*, 1984. I could be wrong on that last year. The Traditional Ambrosia Mass has long be offered at Milan and is now approved (recently) at a second site. If anyone wants to know about it, the expert to consult is Mr. Nicola De Grandi, who is the M.C. and has been M.C. for several Traditional Latin Masses at Rome and elsewhere.

        If anyone in Bishop Wilkinson's group wants to flee to the 1962 Traditional Latin Mass, they will find strong, if not zealous, support and encouragement from the Latin Mass community here. However, I would like to see them have an Anglican Use Mass that is desirable, meaning one untouched by the hand of Annibale Bugnini. The Pope, in A.C., did, after all, want them to preseve their patrimony, and the Mass must be the centre of that patriomony.

        I see no reason why the C.D.F. could not approve the TAC Mass text for temporary use while a final version is being considered.


        1. When I was staying there in the '90s I believe the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was using the missal of Lyon occasionally at S. Georges, with the blessing of the then Archbishop and Primate of the Gauls.

          1. Every TLM in the diocese of Lyon, and those carved from it, is according to the Lyonnese Missal, whether sung by a FSSP, SSPX, or diocesan Priest.

            + PAX et BONUM

  9. My understanding is that Fr. Phillips uses the Ordinary Form in Latin on Sunday evenings. At times he has celebrated it for the Atonement Academy.

    As a temporary measuare I find Rite I of the BDW adequate.

    Let us all pray for Pope Benedict's health as I have read that he looks very tired and worn out.

    1. Fr. Phillips also once permitted a T.L.M. at his parish. I understand that some traditionalists there behaved very badly, even refusing Hosts consecrated at New Masses. In no way do I support such behaviour. Not all Latin traditionalists go that far. We are passionate but only a few of us are nutters. The New Mass is valid and it is an abomination to refuse a Host consecrated at a New Mass. That is my position on the subject.

      Having said that, there are serious problems with the Novus Ordo, whether celebrated in the new English translation, Latin, or Swahili or Scots Gaelic, for that matter. The main problems cannot be solved by using smells and bells or having a good organ to replace guitars. The main problems are the texts in the original Latin. They present a Mass that expresses its own meaning in a vastly inferior way and even a misleading way. I won't go on and on but I'll leave it at this: WHERE IS THE DIVINE VICTIM? Yes, I know that He's there because the GIRM says so, and I know that He's there in some *optional* forms. But one can offer the 1970 M.R. without any clear mentioning of Him or of His propitiatory Sacrifice for us. That is the problem–that, and nothing else.

      One does not find that problem, however, in the Masses offered by the TAC. That is one thing among many that makes me love the TAC so much.


  10. EPMS It seems entirely reasonable that the ACCC Annunciation Parish in Ottawa could ask Archbishop Prendergast (their local Bishop) and Archbishop Collins (the AC Delegate) to be received into the fullness of the Catholic Faith (as St. John the Evangelist in Calgary has done) instead of waiting to enter an Ordinariate, either Canadian – which seems a way off – or an extension of the US Ordinariate which seems rational. Why wait?


    1. Better to wait for what is better. The situation in the TAC is fluid right now. We don't know how many will stay in the Diocese of Canada and how many will join the D. of Our Lady of Walsingham and thence enter communion with the Pope. If the number of incomers is adequate, they could, deo volente, acquire an ordinariate for Canada, one that respects a patrimony that is both Anglican and Canadian, since Anglican liturgies themselves, by their very nature, take into account national differences. The best juridical form is the one which meets their particular culture and needs.


  11. I do hope the ACC will still consider conversion, even if an Ordinariate is not on offer for Canda at the moment. The provision for the Use is generous, and mamy Catholic men would love to be married priests. I can't see Rome creating an ordinariate for 300-400 persons in a land of 3 million plus sqaure miles.

    1. Well, they're doing it in Australia. The very words of Archbishop Collins can be extended with equal force to the Australian TAC: "their numbers are few, and distances are great".

      Really, the situation in the two countries is very similar. One cannot count the Canadian North, where there are no TAC communites and no Traditional Latin Masses and hardly any people at all. But I would say that the situation in the southernmost fifth of Canada is comparable to that of Australia.


  12. Without debating the merits of the Book of Divine Worship, I am a little surprised that St John's wouldn't opt for the extraordinary form – it's basically what they were using, only in Latin. If anything, it's a little more "modern," as I had the impression of St John's as the kind of place that "thinks 'that old-time religion' is what we had before Pius XII started mucking about with Holy Week"!

    1. I hope I can assure you, Geoff, that Pius XII's reforms are very much in place at St John's! The Palm Gospel and Procession are in their post-Pian place (complete with little table), the Mandatum takes place following the Gospel, The Watch doesn't conclude with Benediction, and we very much celebrate the Easter Vigil on Saturday night! Without wishing to debate the merits of the EF (I'm a fan, by the way), it simply isn't an option for the principal Masses and Liturgies, since we're trying to preserve, first and foremost, *Anglican* patrimony in our liturgy — our kind of "old-time" religion. 😉

      Lee Kenyon
      St John the Evangelist, Calgary

  13. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. It is truly uplifting news. I was particularly moved to read of the amicable agreement with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary — what a contrast with the execrable Diocese of New Westminster! As a former Anglican, a heart felt welcome home to everyone at St John the Evangelist!

    1. In fairness to the Diocese of New Westminster, the policy of the Anglican Church of Canada has generally been to consider releasing property below market value only to congregations which do not present themselves as "Anglican."

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