The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham and with Fr. Jeffrey Steenson as its first Ordinary.  Go here to visit the Ordinariate's new web site.

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organized the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. He can be reached via email at ccampbell at threefish dot co.

116 thoughts on “The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter”

  1. Has an excellent posting about the new Ordinariate. Based in Houston, Texas at OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM ANGLICAN USE CATHOLIC PARISH. Bonus – Father Scott Hurd is appointed Canon to the Ordinary Msgr. (soon if not already) Jeffrey Steenson!


    1. Can anyone explain Fr. Hurd's role? It seems to be initially only temporary for 3 years. Is he to be incardinated into the Ordinariate, or is he remaining a diocesan priest under Cardinarl Wuerl? Has he been or will he be celebrating Mass under the Anglican Use for those communities in his area that plan to be joining the Ordinariate? I believe a group was already received into the Church under the temporary supervision of the diocese, will he be celebrating the Anglican Use for them until their priest is ordained?

  2. Prayer for the New Ordinary
    To be at the end of vespers or lauds, or other times as desired, after the prayer for the Pope, if that is said

    V. Oremus pro antistite* nostro Gaufrido.
    R. Stet et pascat in fortitudine tua Domine, in sublimitate nominis tui.

    V. Salvum fac servum tuum.
    R. Deus meus sperantem in te.

    Deus omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Gaufridum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae ordinariatus sedis sancti Petri praeesse voluisti, propitius respice : da ei, quaesumus verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest proficere, ut ad vitam una cum grege sibi credito perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivat et regnat, in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

    V. Let us pray for our ordinary, Jeffrey. R.may he stand and shepherd in thy strength, O Lord, in the sublimity of thy name.

    V. Save thy servant.
    R. O my God, Who hopeth in Thee.

    Let us pray.

    O God, the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, look favorable upon thy servant Jeffrey, whom Thou hast chosen to preside as shepherd over the Church of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter : grant him, we beseech Thee, by word and example, to benefit those over whom he hath charge, that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
    R. Amen.

    *"antistes" is Latin for ordinary, whether bishop or not.
    The short ending for the collect may be used.

    The music for this is found on p. 1187 of the Liber Usualis

  3. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ, wonderful and glorious are his graces! What a wonderful gift it is that I would live to see this day! I am over come with joy! After five hundred years of hatred between the Catholics and Anglicans in this country, that I would be able to say, yes I am CATHOLIC and I am ANGLICAN what a gift! What a glorious wonderful gift! I feel as though my heart can be whole again. I want to run out and cry out for joy! I want nothing more than to sing God's praises! Praise be God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost!

    Thank you to all my brothers and sisters who's countless sufferings and prayers made this possible! Thank you to those of you in the TAC for your work in bringing this about! Thank you to those of you who were the brave forefathers of the Ordinariate in the Pastoral Provision parishes! Thank you those of you who prayed long hours on your knees for this to come about! Thank you priests for your service to God and the graces offered to this new and wonderful work in your masses and prayers! Thank you lay faithful for every part of the world who prayed for us in the United States! Thank you all so much! I cannot express the joy in my heart! Thank you all so much!

    Now the work begins. We must conduct ourselves with the greatest care and humility. We must not forget that the eyes of the Church, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox rest upon us. Every ecumenical effort for now on will be formed by how we conduct ourselves in this great new endeavor. After so many years the great gap between Anglicanism and Catholicism in this country has been healed. Let us strive to be worthy of our new Ordinariate. Mary Mother of the Church, pray for us.

    1. It was a measure of the great joy resulting from the publication of the decree of the CDF erectiing the US Ordinariate of The Chair of Peter ("TCP") that yesterday this website crawled from about noon GMT and was inaccessible for most of the rest of the day. That joy was echoed here in England and Wales.

      You should remember that the situations in the UK and the USA are very, very different. A major difference is that the Pastoral Provision of His Holiness Pope Paul VI of blessed memory was only available in the USA. That provision permitting the creation of Anglican Use parishes in the dioceses of the USA, had no equivalent anywhere else in the world. A CofE clergyman wishing to enter into communion with Rome, had to leave his parish. While he could obtain a dispensation to be ordained while married, the process took quite a long time and usually involved complete separation from his former congregation. So while many Anglicans did indeed resign and enter Catholic holy orders, any parishioners so minded had to make their move separately and into an existing parish.

      Although they were never very many in numbers, the Anglican Use Parishes of the USA showed the powers that be in Rome the merits of Anglican Use parishes and had it not been for the success of those parishes, it is likely that Anglicanorum Coetibus would ever have got off the ground.

      So the OLW Ordinariate in the UK is already indebted to the US Pastoral Provision priests of the USA. Their great work is now bearing yet further fruit in terms of giving the TCP Ordinariate a good jumping off point.

      When the OLW Ordinariatate was erected on 15th January last year, the Ordinary appointed by the Holy Father had been received into communion only 15 days previously and had no inside experience of how the bureaucracy of the Church operates. In contrast, thanks to the Pastoral Provision, your Ordinary and his Vicar General have years rather than days of such inside knowledge.

      Further, they already have a fitting principal church at their disposal – something still awaited in England and Wales – and that too is a consequence of the work done by the priests and faithful of the Pastoral Provision. If you look at the website of the Church and recently completed Shrine of OLW in Texas you will see the enormous burden shouldered by Pastoral Provision priests and their congregations.

      Here in the UK the great era of wealthy Catholics donating large sums for church buildings was shortly after Catholic Emancipation. Two World Wars largely put an end to that kind of largesse. Today it takes 20 years or more for a Catholic parish to raise the funds to pay off the debts for "their church".

      The USA is by and large a far more religiously observant Christian country than is England today. UK Catholics too have suffered form a decline in weekly Mass attendance, but the CofE situation is far worse. I think things have now reached the point where more Muslims (10%+ of the population) attend their local mosque on a Friday than do members of the CofE on a Sunday. If one takes the the estimated CofE weekly attendance by the number of churches and divides by the number of CofE churches one get an average weekly attendance of 25 or less. OK, the CofE has many heritage churches in depopulated rural areas which distorts the figures, but stilll.

      The OLW Ordinariate has already benefited very much from the support of US Catholics – not least the magnificent gift of lectionaries for each Group – another initiative organised by Father Phillips. But if you read this month's issue of the Portal Magazine – the OLW Ordinariate is not yet out of the financial woods – and if the ""2nd Wave" for this year is as large as anticipated, who knows?

      We have very high expectations that the TCP Ordinariate will get off to a flying start and contribute mightly to the eventual healing of the schism which has for so long split our separated Anglican brethren from the faith of their fathers. The choice of the Blessed Virgin under her name of Our Lady of Walsingham as Patron of the US Ordinariate is a great reassurance. Who better to intercede for us all than Our Lady?

      Somewhere in my library, I still have a copy of the Illustrated Dictionary of the Texas Language which I was given by a colleague when I got worried by a house sign saying "Solicitors will be shot" (which is not calculated to reassure an English lawyer) . As I recall, one of the first phrases I encountered was "Yewston's a beeg city" – one where things are not done by halves. So I fully expect that with the establishment of the TCP Ordinariate in "Yewston", prayer for the intercession of our Lady of Walsingham will soon impact on both sides of the pond.

      In any event, we have evolved a bit since Admiral Byng . So I am sure that Mgr Newton will find other ways of encouraging fundraising than that remarked on by Voltaire!

      1. A most useful and interesting post. There is only one minor correction needed: The Pope of the Pastoral Provision was not Paul the VI — whose great monument is the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae — but Bl. John Paul II.

        1. If you were aware of the situation in England then your remark was an unnecessary irrelevance – and BTW, I don't mind that you are not American – neither am I.

      2. It would help Christian Unity if Mourad would cease this sniping at the Church of England. There are about the same number of Anglican and Roman Catholic worshippers in England, so the comparison with the Muslims applies equally to the Roman Catholic Church. If immigration from Eastern Europe is excluded then the RC church is losing members faster than the Church of England.

        1. Fr. Tomlinson,

          While I agree fully with your basic point that both denominations in the UK face challenges, it may not be served by the use of an even more selective choice of statistics than that for which you accuse Mourad. What would Church of England participation rates look like if you excluded Caribbean and African immigration, for example; or for that matter Muslim participation rates if one excluded Asian and African immigration? The EE Catholic immigration issue is a red herring and not really relevant to in situ comparisons (for what they are worth, which in my view is not a great deal).

  4. Truly an auspicious, stunning and historic moment. May the works on ecclesiology from henceforth duly note and explore this blessed reality, a true creative act by the Holy Father of Unity and the Expansion of the Kingdom, Peter by the Keys "opening where none can close." Alleluia!!

    May everyone on Ordinariate staff and prospective clergy and congregations across this land be the focus of our prayers in days, weeks, and months to come.

  5. Laus Deo!

    I may be approaching the red line on my joy-meter, what with today's events and my receipt yesterday of the notification that I've been granted the nulla osta (and the letter was dated on the memorial of my adopted patron, Thomas of Canterbury!).

    Would someone kindly post the complete text of the Decree of Erection? Neither my ancient Mac's Adobe Reader nor the backup reading software that usually can read what it can't can read the pdf linked on the ordinariate web site. Thanks in advance.

  6. Gloria in excelsis Deo! Welcome, welcome home, Anglo-Catholics! Your strife is ending.

    Rocco Palmo, over at Whispers in the Loggia, began to quote The Gate of the Year in his New Year’s greeting.

    Here's the entire poem, written by American Minnie Louise Haskins (1875–1957), and quoted by King George VI during his Christmas Message in 1939 and engraved on bronze plaques at the entrance to his Memorial Chapel in Windsor.

    I think it’s especially fitting for everyone discerning a call to join the American ordinariate.

    I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

    And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!”

    So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
    Trod gladly into the night
    He led me towards the hills
    And the breaking of day in the lone east.

    So heart be still!
    What need our human life to know
    If God hath comprehension?

    In all the dizzy strife of things
    Both high and low,
    God hideth his intention.

    Deo Gratias!

  7. I must say I love the coat of arms. Simple, elegant, fitting symbolism.

    Congratulations to our worthy Ordinary, Fr. Steenson. Many years!

  8. Praise the Lord!!

    Wonderful how the joy of the moment transforms all of the stressful waiting into a distant memory. :-)

    I found the Ordinariate website's page on Mission to be very inspiring:

    Mission of the Ordinariate

    The Ordinariate seeks to be genuinely open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the wise direction of the Holy See, as groups of Anglicans bring their distinctive gifts and aspirations to this new work. What constitutes the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral patrimony of Anglicanism [AC, III] is as rich and diverse as the cultures of the people who have been nourished within this noble tradition. The Ordinariate will strive to maintain this comprehensiveness, firmly grounded in the Catholic Faith, in the spirit of St. Paul’s charge to build up the Church in I Corinthians 12.

    Three particular themes will emerge in the work of the Ordinariate:

    1. Liturgical – The Anglican liturgical tradition emphasizes the principle of worship in the vernacular, that is, prayers offered to Almighty God in the language of the people. The Book of Common Prayer is one of the chief glories of the English language, and many elements of this tradition are already authorized for use in the Catholic Church in the Book of Divine Worship. It is hoped eventually that one liturgy will unite the Ordinariates located throughout the English-speaking world. A distinctive feature of this liturgical identity is the commitment to the sacral character of the language of prayer, one of the principles that guided the new translation of the Roman Missal.

    2. Ecumenical – After the second Vatican Council, the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) was established to work toward the reconciliation of churches separated at the time of the Reformation in the 16th century. This ecumenical work has born much good fruit: of particular note is The Gift of Authority (1998), which called for the re-reception of the historic ministry of Peter in the office of the Pope within Anglican life. The founding documents of the Personal Ordinariate make clear that it is intended to be an instrument of Catholic unity, an opportunity to model what the future reconciliation of separated Christian communities could be. The ecumenical character of the Ordinariate requires that we build bridges, heal relationships, and seek forgiveness where necessary, with respect and gratitude for the Anglican institutions that nourished us, so that we might build up the body of Christ.

    3. Evangelistic – Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have called the Catholic Church to renew her commitment to the evangelization of the peoples of the world. The Ordinariate will find its very life in this calling. Ordinariate congregations can only grow through the work of evangelization; the Ordinariate exists for those who are and will be coming to the fullness of the Catholic faith. Cooperating closely with the local diocese, the Ordinariate congregation will find its vitality, not only by preserving a venerable ecclesial patrimony, but by sharing it with a generous and joyful heart.

    1. This third element deserves double emphasis.

      Not really being able to find viability through some sort of generational "hand-me-down" dynamic alone like established Catholic churches, the Ordinariate must, must, MUST find its evangelical calling.

      One thing I've noted about liturgically oriented Anglo-Catholics in the past, at least in this country, is that we've been sometimes so fastidiously focused on minutae of rite that we have tended to become upset when inquirers and visitors enter our privileged realm and don't seem to "get it right". Our liturgical patrimony is vital, and the first part of the mission statement covers it well. It needs to be held in tandem and not in conflict with our need to reach out and minister to the unwashed masses, much as they did in London at the turn of the 20th century.

      Yea, maybe the folks at Trinity School of Ministry in Ambridge still have something to teach the rest of us. As it is many of them are becoming more sacramentally-minded. My, my, where might all this lead? Sounds to me like implementation of point number two in the Mission Statement, of all things!

      1. Well said, Dr. Marziani!

        Yea, maybe the folks at Trinity School of Ministry in Ambridge still have something to teach the rest of us. As it is many of them are becoming more sacramentally-minded. My, my, where might all this lead? Sounds to me like implementation of point number two in the Mission Statement, of all things!

        Blessed John Paul II wrote in Ut Unum Sint that “Dialogue is not simply an exchange of ideas. In some ways it is always an ‘exchange of gifts’.”

        Pope Benedict has echoed the same message (See his 2005 address in Cologne, and has made it concrete with the Ordinariates.

        I am convinced that the exchange of concrete gifts between Catholic and non-Catholic traditions will bear amazing fruit over the next few generations.

  9. This is a joyous occasion for all of us Catholics, and for all people of good will.
    It is also a historic event – a voyage of five hundred years has come to its happy conclusion. Yet immediately the next journey begins, for the barque of Peter is a vessel that doesn't stay in port very long.

    My prayers, congratulations, and at least sto lat to the Ordinary, Fr. Jeffrey Steenson!

    1. God bless you all and welcome to full unity with the Catholic Church. May our prayers help you and your prayers help us. Hopefully, others who were waiting and struggling with many concerns will now (with God's grace) find their way to you soon as well. Only wish there was an ordninate or pastoral provision parish nearby as this "cradle Catholic" loves and appreciates your manner of worship and the love of God that underlies it. Happy New Year and welcome "Home"

  10. What an old-school Spike might say with tongue-in-cheek about the direction the U.S. Ordinariate seems to be taking:

    (With apologies to the late E.L. Mascall)

    I’m Ordinariate-Catholic—No ‘Anglo,’ I beseech you.
    You’ll find no trace of gin or lace in anything I teach you.
    All our priests are manly men with whiskers and a bowler,
    Our leader, a former sportswriter—a clerical Garagiola.

    I despise bum-freezer cottas; give me surplices long and slattern.
    My psalms are Grail or Coverdale. I do not read much Latin.
    My liturgy’s veneered with ye olde Anglican pretenses,
    But the ordo recitandi is strict Bugniniensis.

    I teach the children in CCD the new Catholic Catechism,
    Anything pre ‘80s, may be weak on personalism.
    The works of JPII and Hans I bate not one iota
    I have not read the decrees of Trent. They might as well be in Lakota.

    We dance the tune the Bishops call to keep Conference approval.
    A stand-up man in Tiber-Land has arranged his own removal.
    For we depend on Roman bishops to take our ordinations,
    Mere supplicants as we, don’t presume above our station.

    For music we have Willan, and Merbecke’s noble simplicity.
    We don’t go in for melismas and can do without polyphony.
    Electric keyboards and a cantor assist us from the gallery.
    Rome killed off musicians years ago; it helps to pay my salary.

    We’ve started a Sodality of St. Richard John of Neuhaus,
    Consisting of five bloggers who fight heresy like Mighty Mouse.
    They don’t come for Sunday Evensong, e’en though I cry to heaven,
    But they’ve denounced a score of liberals by Monday at eleven.

    Pope Benedict’s theology I extol in fervid perorations.
    I keep quiet on his justice fluff; it has pinko implications.
    Perhaps I’ll be a bishop, as I feel the Lord’s directed.
    Do pray he’ll send St. Peter, to get my wife collected.

      1. I think it is a bit rude, and is meant to be.
        Especially about the wives.

        The line about Trent and Lakota has too many syllables; it doesn't scan. And I am not sure where you are coming from here. Are you saying that these new Catholics have abandoned the Reformation without confronting the doctrines of Trent? And this was easy to do because no one talks about them anyway?

        I don't get "and Hans I bate not one iota" . Hans Kung?
        And I may be ignorant, but what does it mean to "bate" a work?

        I do like "I keep quiet on his justice fluff; it has pinko implications." I squirm myself over some of the "justice fluff."

        Susan Peterson

  11. A day of rejoicing and an milestone in the history of Christianity in America. I pray that an Ordinariate group will start soon in my area.

    1. The Bishop of Hamilton (Canada) made it very clear in his letter as did the Bishop of Calgary in his remarks at the recent receptions of Canadian groups that they will come under the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in due course.

      Already some Canadian men (former Anglican priests) have been contacted by Fr. Steenson re. their preparation for ordination at Pentecost 2012. You can read more at:

      BTW — Someone has also been blogging some disparaging remarks under the name "Peregrinus", from the USA, I believe. I have used this name for some years now but will identify my posts by Peregrinus, Toronto from this point. I am entirely supportive of the ordinariates and celebrate the excellent leadership and direction as it unfolds.

      Peregrinus, Toronto

      OLW, St Peter, Bl JH Newman, orate pro nobis.

  12. I sincerely hope that we, in Canada, will not be left out of the picture, in that there has been a strong indication that we may eventually be part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Another group of Anglicans, known as the Sodality of St. Edmund's was received yesterday at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Hamilton, Ontario by Bishop Douglas Crosby. They will be regularly celebrating the Anglican Use Mass at St. Peter's Church, Cambridge, Ontario. This was a former ACCC congregation.

    Although we rejoice in the establishment of the American Ordinariate, our own future is uncertain, and we are very much in need of support and prayers from our brothers and sisters south of the border.

    1. Dear Mr. Nicholls:

      Some here do not realise that, despite my general disappointment with the turn of events so far, I do regard the erection of the new Ordinariate as a milestone to be celebrated in and of itself, and the liturgical situation can certainly improve there over time. In fact, there are even plans to ensure that.

      As for Canada, it may be that, thanks to Archbishop Collins and his 'distances are great, numbers are few' rubbish, a separate ordinariate will emerge in time.

      As for attending defective Ordinariate Masses, I would certainly attend one to fulfil the Sunday obligation if the only other option were the Novus Ordo Missæ. In the mean time, it should be possible to join in prayer with our Ordinariate friends on a more regular basis in their Evensong and Morning Prayer.

      The creation of a new Ordinariate is a cause of celebration. It makes a home for former Anglicans and future converts all over the U.S.A. Australia, I presume, is next.


      1. I am not really prepared to criticize my Archbishop for the way things have been handled. Being a member on order of the Roman Catholic Church and a congregant within the Archdiocese of Toronto, I refrain from commenting on His Grace on this blog.

        As for the Ordinariate Mass is concerned, I must admit that my personal preference is for the Tridentine Latin Mass over an Anglican Use Mass of any form. In turn I might prefer the Sarum Rite Latin Mass over the Tridentine, but that isn't very practical at the moment.

        I suppose you are referring to the BODW Anglican Use mass. I hope this will change when and if, a new prayer book is produced, but this will not stop me from attending BODW masses. I also attend Novus Ordo masses out of necessity, because I can not always get to the extraordinary form. I have my preferences, but refrain from criticizing any particular form of the mass. However, I will not tolerate abuses, deviations from the rubrics or any other aberrations. I have walked out of illicit masses.

        As far as matins and evensong, I do the office of the church (BODW) , which is passable, although I do like the Canadian 1962 Book of Common Prayer. I sometimes use the traditional Roman Latin / English breviary for the other offices. Although I would like say to such prayers with an Ordinariate community, I have doubt that they will always be done in an Ordinariate community. So, the opportunity to share in this may not be readily available.

        I know, Mr. Perkins, that you are disturbed about how things have been going in Canada and being closely associated with an ACCC parish and ACCC friends, I know why many have their dander up. But instead of joining a chorus line of people ranting how Archbishop Collins and the Roman Catholic Church is handling things, I simply put my trust in God that all things will work out. Being a devotee of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, I constantly say, "Jesus, I trust in you"
        Am I being simplistic?

    2. There is a precedent. Scotland is a separate nation from both England and Wales and Ireland. Thus there are separate bishops' conferences for (i) England and Wales (ii) Scotland and (iii) the whole island of Ireland. So the OLW Ordinariate was erected only for the E&W Conference territory. In Scotland there are few Episcopalians, the Church of Scotland being Presbyterian. So there there are few Ordinariate Catholics as yet. It would not yet be financially viable to erect an Ordinariate for Scotland – so the group is under the case of Mgr Newton for the time being. That seems to be the preset interim intention for Canada.

      The sheer size of the TCP territory would seem to me to make it inevitable that there will be a need to appoint Assistants to the Ordinary within 6 months or so. In OLW there are already 2 Monsignori who were CofE bishops as well as 2 priests who were retired CofE bishops.

      In the case of the TCP Ordinariate it is entirely possible that former Anglicans who are Diocesan or Pastoral Provision clergy (and parishes) who will want to excardinate from dioceses to the Ordinariate and there are provisions for that in Canon Law.

      If the UK experience so far is anything to go by there will be diocesans only too willing to come up with quite imaginative solutions in co-operation with the Ordinary to put incoming clerical manpower to very good use!

    3. A strange thing that happened with the website of the US Ordinariate leads me to believe that the question of Canadian groups coming under the jurisdiction of the TCP might still be undecided. When I read the website on the morning of January 1st, a sentence in the "Support" part of the TCP website included a part that went some thing like this "…as we reach to gather those groups of Anglicans in the United States, and in the meantime, those in Canada…". I can't remember the exact wording because…..when I went back to the site the next day, the reference to Canada had been DELETED! Somebody obviously told them to delete it, which leads one to assume that our assumptions that Canadian groups will be part of the TCP, is wrong. Anyone else notice the deletion? Very strange.

  13. Human words fail to express the joy of this event ! Here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Franklin, West Virginia we have been praying for this reality since 2007.
    While for the last 500 years tears were the salve which was poured on the pain of our separation, now the salve of divine grace brings healing to us for we have truly become one once again.

    One of the commentators spoke of the "hatred" of the last 500 years. But for many of us, it was not hatred, but merely the longing to become one.

    It is my hope that with all that is being said about Anglicaan Patrimony that in the Ordinariate seminary, an Academy of Anglican Studies will emerge to protect that very patrimony. Yes, while i am a presbyter of the Roman Catholic Church and therefore a Roman Catholic, so was my great grandfather an Ambrosian Catholic, and now we have Anglican Catholics–what a wonderful diversity in the assembly of believers who profess one Faith!

    To our Anglican Catholic sisters and brothers, our little church of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is at your disposal for whatever your needs may be.

    This is truly an occasion when the sound of Te Deum should ring out loud and clear. Praised be the God of our salvation Who makes us one.

  14. At our Lord's calling, we will see, in the next several years, larger and greater union in God's whole Church Catholic.

    Let's get to work!

  15. Thanks be to God for the many graces received, among them the establishment of the Ordinariate in England and America. To Him alone be the glory and honour.

    Let us pray that many others will hear the invitation God has offered at the hands of our beloved Pope Benedict XVI. May all those who seek the truth soon be made one in perfect communion with the Church.

    Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
    . . .
    Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
    Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

    Prayers for the new Ordinary, Fr. Steenson and his canon Fr. Hurd.

  16. I must admit some dismay at the automatic appointment of Fr. Hurd as Vicar General/Canon to the Ordinary. Fr. Hurd will not even be a permanent member of the Ordinariate.

    The Vicar General is a very powerful position. Why has Fr. Steenson appointed a man as Vicar General that is not even interested enough in the Anglican Patrimony to wish to be a permanent part of the Ordinariate? How will Fr. Hurd speak passionately about the preservation of the liturgy when he himself does not celebrate the Anglican Use? How will he convince others that our patrimony is worth preserving when he himself is not willing to be a permanent member?

    The first three years will determine the success or failure of this experiment and Fr. Steenson has chosen to appoint a temporary consultant to the position. It seems to me that we want someone who has a personal stake in the success of this venture and will make its prosperity his personal mission.

    Am I the only one who finds this appointment strange and disconcerting?

    1. Well, a new Ordinary will normally want assistance from a vicar-general whom he knows somewhat, and Fr. Steenson is dealing with a territory that covers the entire U.S.A.; it is very diverse in other ways too. I think that there will be an initial transition period in which Fr. Steenson gets to know his new clergy better.

      Now begins the real work, the only work that is important: the committee to revise the Book of Divine Worship. That will determine how attractive the Ordinariate will be for incoming Anglicans in the future. As for Romans, many of them will likely worship at Ordinariate Masses regardless of what liturgy is used, the reason being that anything imaginable is better than the Novus Ordo.


    2. I think the selection of Fr Hurd an excellent choice. Perhaps Cardinal Wuerl values him so much that he doesn't want to release him to CSP but will only lend him for a short time.

      1. I take it that at this point, none of the other Pastoral Provision priests can be spared by their diocesan bishop? Or is it simply that Cardinal Wuerl is the only bishop that had given that some thought over the past year? Were Cardinals Wuerl and DiNardo the only bishops that knew Fr. Steenson would be appointed and able to discuss allowing an Anglican Use Pastoral Provision priest be made available to the Personal Ordinariate? I suppose the others must wait until their bishop gives them permission, so that Fr. Hurd would then be the only possible choice for the first day announcement.

        1. Wow, some of you people are truly conspiratorial!
          Father Scott Hurd is the logical choice based on this one fact: he was involved from the beginning with Cardinal Wuerl gathering all the information on the groups and clergy to send to Rome. Who else would know all about the groups and clergy that are hopefully to be a part of the Ordinariate?
          I don't know who knew what when but it is highly unlikely that even Cardinal DiNardo knew as much as Cardinal Wuerl until it was necessary.
          I think some of you are just trying to stir the pot and cause trouble. Sounds to me like your protestant Anglican suspicions are working overtime. You really need to stop.

          1. I would have thought that perhaps Fr. Phillips would know many of the groups as he has traveled around the country to speak to many of them. I'm not sure how many applications Fr. Hurd would have had to look at if it were not for the efforts of some of the Anglican Use priests.

          2. Since Our Lady of Walsingham would seem to be okayed in advance for joining the Ordinariate, does that mean that their clergy will be released by the diocese in order to be incardinated into the ordinariate, or does that still need to be worked out? Perhaps Fr. Ramsey had no advance notice that his parish was to become the principal church and might be assigned elsewhere in the diocese?

        2. Why is it that you are assuming that the bishops were the deciding factor in the choice? Could it not be that Fr. Steenson actually requested Fr. Hurd's assistance in the first place?

          1. That could be that he chose Fr. Hurd. I'm not sure that the bishops provided him with any other candidates to choose from at this point, since if they are already ordained they currently belong to a diocese. Cardinal Wuerl was gracious to make Fr. Hurd available, and who knows if any other bishop were willing to do the same.

            1. I'm not sure it has been explained to what extent Fr. Steenson may know Fr. Hurd. Did they know each other when they were both in the Episcopal Church in Texas?

          2. Mr. Verteuil makes a legitimate point. It is normal practice for a diocesan bishop (or equivalent) to bring with him a vicar-general of his choice, often not a man from among those in the local (in this case, proper), clergy. The vicar-general is often chosen because the diocesan knows him well and considers his abilities to be ideal for the job. I see no problem here at all.

            I must say that I like Fr. Christopher Phillips and was hoping that he would have a leading position in the new structure. But the v.-g. will be the man who can work best with the ordinary, not the man who is admired most or known best by the subjects of the ordinary.


    3. Henri,

      Thanks for the correction regarding Fr. Hurd's celebration of the Anglican Use. That is very heartening to me.

      I think the essential point still remains, however. Why did Fr. Steenson appoint someone who is not a permanent member of the Ordinariate?

      I don't think your point that he doesn't yet have any priests holds up. Someone else could have been appointed just as easily as Fr. Hurd. If he was able to do it with Fr. Hurd, he could have done it with someone else who was intending to be a permanent member.

      1. I would make no assumptions as to Fr. Hurd's permanent status, and I have no question in my mind as to his commitment to the Ordinariate and the Anglican use, which in my experience is unimpeachable. I do not know why the situation is presently as it is, but if I were guessing, I would guess it is this was because at this point the Ordinariate has no money. If I were Cardinal Wuerl, and I wanted to give a gift to the ordinariate, why not let them use a priest whom I pay to do the work, who is a member of my clergy, and has benefits as such. So, I think you are jumping to the wrong conclusion. Of your charity (not to mention respect and obedience) please give these men the benefit of the doubt, and, what I think is entirely justified, the presumption of good will on their part.

        1. I'm not sure whether it's been clarified yet whether Our Lady of Walsingham will be officially transferred out of the Diocese of Houston or not. If so, I take it their former diocesan assessment can now be expected to help support the ordinariate. That might may wind up being the only parish for quite some time that they will have that can contribute towards the ordinariate.

          1. As Cardinals DiNardo and Wuerl made a point on at the last USCCB meeting, the Anglican Use parishes will not automatically go into the Ordinariate and still for the forseeable future are part of their current dioceses.

          2. I recently had a conversation with a parish priest in San Antonio, and when the subject of the Ordinariate came up he said if it were up to him he would advise the Archbishop to not let Our Lady of the Atonement parish to leave the diocese as it was such a treasure. I told him that in my opinion, that would be foolish advise as the treasure they provide properly belongs in the Ordinariate. It seems such a logical thing and hopefully it will happen soon, but why should there be any hesitation for Fr. Steenson to say that he would like the existing Anglican Use parishes in the Ordinariate and for their bishops to give their permission. From what I can tell, there are no Anglican Use parishes that had not expressed their intent to join the Ordinariate. Anticipatory permission was granted to two Episcopal groups that were received into the Church with the understanding that they would belong to the Ordinariate (one in Cardinal Wuerl's diocese and the other in Bishop Vann's). They were the only two bishops that could grant permission in advance of the actual establishment of the Ordinariate. I am in total support of the Ordinariate, why could this not be resolved in advance rather than having Cardinal Wuerl answering a question by Cardinal DiNardo in November on a live telecast that the Anglican Use parishes are part of their diocese and that their entry would not be automatic but require the permission of their bishop. Which bishop actually needed to know that answer, is there any reason that Cardinal Wuerl could not have advised bishops that it would be best not to withhold permission from any of the parishes that wanted to join?

            1. Daniel –

              You might also remind this parish priest that if he would work as hard as Fr. Phillips has, providing reverent liturgy, awe-inspiring music, beautiful building, an outstanding school, and excellent catechisis, he, too, could make his assigned parish a "treasure." I guess that would require just too much hard work, though.

      2. Please refer to the Code of Canon Law 478.1 "A vicar general and an episcopal vicar are to be priests not less than thirty years old, doctors or licensed in canon law or theology or at least truly expert in these disciplines, and recommended by sound doctrine, integrity, prudence, and experience in handling matters."

        An appointment of someone who does not meet all those requirements is valid

          1. Are you suggesting that Fr. Hurd does not meet the qualifications and the appointment is invalid because he neither has a doctorate nor is licensed in canon law? Has he never acted as a pastor of a parish as well? Has the Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate even bothered naming a vicar general after a year, or are the three former Anglican Bishops that were received into the Church at the same time simply named Ordinary and interim advisory council?

            1. Most certainly not. Fr Hurd is eminently qualified. What I was pointing out is that it is impossible (as was suggested) to anticipate the incardination of priests into the ordinariate. Therefore it made a lot of sense to ask for [accept the offer of] Fr Hurd, particularly since Fr Hurd has been very concerned with the forwarding of dossiers to the CDF for the Nulla Osta process and (I understand) will remain based in Washington DC.

              As for your query, the two other serving Anglican Bishops who were received (Monsignors Broadhurst and Burnham) are functioning as Assistant Ordinaries and the two retired Anglican Bishops are doing their bit too. Father Barnes is possibly working harder in retirement than he did as an Anglican Bishop and for a lot less money (yet, thank goodness, he still finds the time to blog).

              I can only echo what Fr Gerard has wisely said above.

              His Holiness has appointed his Ordinary who has appointed his Vicar General. Both appointments augur very well for the future.

              Give thanks to Almighty God and give the Holy Father's men time to get their feet under the table and begin the work entrusted to to them.

            2. Sorry, I thought for some reason you were raising the canon to point out the qualifications being the doctorates or license in canon law rather than the "at least" that several should eventually qualify under. I brought up the Anglican bishops interim council as it would seem that an appointment as canon may not have been necessary, though if it was Fr. Steenson's own decision that's fine with me.

            3. Perhaps you or someone else might answer a different question. In the decree, the first paragraph says in part: "It includes those faithful, of every category and state of
              life, who, originally having belonged to the Anglican Communion, are now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or who have received the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate itself, or who are received into it because they are part of a family belonging to the Ordinariate". So those that originally belonged to the Anglican Communion, are now in full communion with the Catholic Church, and have already expressed their desire in writing to become a member of the Ordinariate are now already members? If so (and is seems plain enough) then the Ordinariate is already bigger than I was thinking. I suppose I should congratulate a number of my fellow parishioners that they are now members, or is there some further protocol where they shouldn't be referred to as members until some later date? Add to them those that are already in full communion at other places that I take it are now members of the ordinariate per the decree and there are already a few hundred or more members. I suppose that not everyone that has attended Our Lady of Walsingham for years do not necessarily qualify as being members of the ordinariate though I take it that the parish itself is by decree, and I take it the one already received in the Washington area must now officially be part of the ordinariate as well? I believe it was just recently mentioned that Fr. Hurd says Mass for that group, so they should be congratulated on being members now as well? It would seem that if they are now actually members they should be aware of it, particularly if any have weddings coming up due to the new requirements. So, congratulations to all of the new members out there that are already in full communion?

            4. I attempted to answer this but the response has jumped to another part of the thread where it may not make sense. So I hope the Moderator will take it out.

              Strictly, no one-can be part of an Ordinariate prior to its erection. The Ordinary and Father Hurd are in by virtue of their appointments.

              Those who have already been received into the Catholic Church will be part of the Ordinariate as soon as their requests for admission have been entered in the proper register of the Ordinariate.

              For all others, the normal process will be (1) catechesis, (2) verification of baptism or conditional baptism, (3) formal written request for admission, (4) reception and confirmation – normally in the run-up to Easter.

              Prospective clergy normally resign their previous ministry and participate as lay persons in the admission processes – very often collaborating in the catechesis of their former congregation – while simultaneously beginning their own formation process.

              In the programme devised for OLW the candidates who were Anglican priests were deaconed more or less as soon as they had passed their stage two assessments and ordaned to the priesthood about a month later but required to continue formation courses for a further period post ordination. It was then being suggested that some of those ordained in "continuing anglican" bodies might need rather more extensive formation pre-ordination.

              I assume therefore that 1st Jan as the date for the decree of erection of the US Ordinariate was chosen with the aim of having the "first wave" of laity as fully functioning groups in time for their participation in the Easter ceremonies.

            5. You seem to be in the know with some type of inside knowledge. Would you happen to know when the register of those names that have sent in their names is to occur? Is it pretty much a couple of clicks of a mouse by the Canon and they are then officially members? I'd think he would have had the names for some time now.

            6. Since the principal church was decided upon early enough to be in the decree, were decisions also made on their existing clergy? Will Fr. Ramsey remain, and if so does he become a rector? I'm not sure I've heard anything said to date about deacons other than the reference to transitional ones. I expect the training for future deacons is a bit down the road and will perhaps just be done by their diocese with some supplemental training. Any word on Anglican deacons that are just entering the Church, or about the deacons at OLW that had been incardinated in the Diocese of Houston?

            7. Again, the comment I wished to make has jumped up the thread to me at 6.28pm (out of context). Sorry.

  17. I wish you all much joy and welcome you home!

    I have no direct stake in the Ordinariates, but I've felt moved to pray for their success ever since Anglicanorum Coetibus. I'll continue to do so in these formative days and years.

  18. Andrew, with respect to the appointment of Father Hurd, you need to calm yourself. In order to be a Vicar General (or Canon to the Ordinary), one must be a priest. As of today, the Ordinariate has one priest: the Ordinary. And someone has to pay the salary and benefits of each priest in the Ordinariate. As of today, the Ordinariate has no known assets. The formation for ordination of the first candidates will take time and money, and the organization of the first parishes will take time and money. Given the enormity of the task ahead, it amazingly generous of Cardinal Wuerl, Father Hurd, and Father Steenson to start with the present arrangement. For many months, Father Hurd has been, under the authority of Cardinal Wuerl, the principal agent of organization for the erection of the Ordinariate, and no one knows what is needed better than he does — meaning that no one is in a better position to advise and assist Father Steenson in the difficult work ahead. It is patent nonsense to regard Father Hurd's appointment as anything other than a blessing for all who are undertaking this great adventure. Be grateful that he is willing to provide this service to the Ordinary and the Ordinariate.

  19. Their facebook page has up a photo album from the press conference that was to have taken place today, but has anyone seen a report as to what was said at the press conference? The pictures aren't much, may have been taken with someone's cell phone camera. They do show Bishop Vann and Cardinal DiNardo as being at the press conference, and both of them along with Fr. Steenson having a turn at the microphone. There are a couple of links to press releases, the first mentions the date of the installation being Feb. 19th at 3pm at the Sacred Heart co-cathedral in Houston. The second is a statement by Fr. Steenson. I suppose their facebook page is the place to follow news, though as of yet there seems no communications or responses there that come directly from either Fathers Steenson or Hurd. Father Hurd has his own facebook page, but hasn't said much there. Is there some other means of social communications that either are using?

      1. Thanks for the link, though unfortunately they spent mere seconds showing the actual press conference. I see Fr. Hurd has his own blog at where he posted a homily today. In the comments someone congratulated him and asked him if he and his family would be moving to Houston and he says they'll be staying in D.C.

  20. Fr. Hurd was officially appointed Vicar General which is an office whose powers and duties are specified generally in the Code of Canon Law. Some commentors here have used the term "canon to the ordinary" for him. Is that just the term for a similar office in the Anglican churches? I've never seen the term used before as the Catholic Church does not have any "canons to the ordinary." Actually, the Catholic Church in the United States has no canons at all of whatever rank or title.

  21. Matthew's statement which seems directed at me seems to indicate that he and perhaps others might be confused by my position. I'm 100% behind the Ordinariate, expect it should be highly successful, and encourage any considering it to join. I might not be joining it myself as a cradle Catholic I am not particularly eligible, but I do anticipate continuing to attend Our Lady of the Atonement parish whether it is allowed into the ordinariate or not.

    Personally I believe the Pastoral Provision could have been a much greater success if not for certain attitudes among some of the Catholic bishops, which I don't believe amounts to a conspiracy. One is that many practiced a type of ecumenism where they were more concerned with maintaining good relations with the local Episcopal Church over providing a personal parish for those that chose to leave. They did not want to offend by helping out "renegade" groups. Second was a concern that if they allowed such a parish it might be too successful and draw off some of those that were already Catholic.

    The Personal Ordinariate will succeed anyways, but it will succeed quicker if the bishops might lay aside such attitudes. Since Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Hurd entered the picture, why is it I am hearing about the first communities to decide to enter the Ordinariate from the EPISCOPAL Church. It seems they have also made the point of maintaining friendly relations with the Episcopal bishop so that their property can come with them. Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Hurd, please stop neglecting those that had already gotten in line waiting for the Ordinariate. Why concern yourself with whether or not you might convince Episcopal bishops to let the property go with the communities, and then not convince some of your fellow bishops to let the Anglican Use parishes join the Ordinariate with their own church buildings? Be sure your fellow bishops thoroughly understand that they should not be concerned if some of their people happen to wander into an Ordinariate Church and like it.

    Rocco Palmer of Whispers in the Loggia seems to understand that a key element in the United States is having the Anglican Use parishes aboard. Catholic Online in their series of articles on "seeds of the Ordinariate" can grasp the importance of the AU parishes. Why can't the USCCB grasp this concept rather than announcing that the AU parishes won't automatically be transferred but will require permission of their present bishop? Convince them and the Ordinary already and let's get on with it.

    While I'm not all that opposed to Fr. Hurd's appointment, it seems a bit ridiculous to suggest that he is the only one that knows all those that may be coming in? It does seem that there are a few ACA bishops involved that I would think should not be kept waiting long that likely know the vast majority that are coming in as they've been leading them in. I don't think that the pope was responding to a request from the Episcopal bishops when deciding to issue Anglicanorum Coetibus, so please give some recognition to those that were. The sooner that happens and the sooner the Anglican Use parishes are brought in the more quickly the Personal Ordinarate will succeed.

    1. You are again assuming that some (any) bishops intend to refuse to let their Anglican Use parishes join the Ordinariate. Your only evidence for this is an absence of public statements showing these parishes the door.

      There are canonical norms that have to be respected. The parish (and not just its pastor) has to make a formal request; financial and contractual matters between the parish and the diocese have to be disentangled; both the ordinary and the bishop have to be satisfied with the new arrangements; and only then can a public statement be issued. If you are aware of even a single bishop who opposes the transfer on principle of an Anglican Use parish in his jurisdiction, call him out. Otherwise, you are just indulging in a smear.

    2. I, too, am puzzled by the fact that current Anglican Use parishes must petition their bishops to be part of the Ordinariate. It makes no logical sense that they are not automatically within the Ordinariate from the start. The Ordinariate could have hit the ground running with the resources (both personnel, monetary, and property) which these churches would bring. Instead, the Ordinariate is starting with very, very little. Once again, the Anglican Use is at the mercy of the local bishop. I thought this was what the establishment of the Ordinariate was seeking to avoid? Since my tiny brain cannot see the logic in this turn of events, the facts point me in one direction. When the Episcopal parishes who want to come into the Ordinariate face the prospect of fighting the TEC over their property, what are they going to think when they see the Anglican Use Catholic parishes not even assured of being part of the Ordinariate? That will be a huge discouragement to them. They will think it's just pretty much same song, second verse.

      I would appreciate someone pointing out the reasoning behind this – something other than the fact that the bishops don't want to step on other bishops' toes by taking away "their" property (while the laity languishes in limbo). I notice that the Ordinariate website is asking for contributions? Who do they think will give to the endeavor? If an Anglican Use parish is not allowed to be part of the Ordinariate, do they think they will get contributions from the parishioners anyway? Most people don't have the funds to contribute twice.

      The facts so far known make no sense. I hope someone will explain.

      1. "When the Episcopal parishes who want to come into the Ordinariate face the prospect of fighting the TEC over their property, what are they going to think when they see the Anglican Use Catholic parishes not even assured of being part of the Ordinariate? That will be a huge discouragement to them."

        "I would appreciate someone pointing out the reasoning behind this – something other than the fact that the bishops don't want to step on other bishops' toes by taking away 'their' property (while the laity languishes in limbo)."

        You're catching on.

        Regarding Anglicanorum coetibus: remember Summorum pontificum. Don't ever imagine that the response of bishops in the United States corresponds to the "spirit" behind the document (the very great spirit of our very wise and saintly Holy Father), even when the bishops appear to be observing the "letter" of the document he has promulgated. All personnel selected and rejected, everything said and left unsaid, are the result of careful planning and serve the eventual outcome desired by the local bishops, which, sadly, does not always coincide with the bold vision of the Pope, who is head and shoulders – spiritually and intellectually – over these men.

        But isn't this the history of the Church? The Founder's daring vision gets scaled back by the lesser minds and spirits under him. Then exceptions come along, gifts of God, and usually end up with the designation "confessor" or, often enough, "martyr."

      2. I am even more puzzled by why after they have petitioned their bishop, there is any hesitation to let them transfer. It's quite possible that it is all just waiting for Fr. Steenson to officially take his office, but then why did the two Cardinals turn it into a public issue at the same recent USCCB meeting that they were announcing the Ordinariate would be established within two months? When I happened to run into Fr. Steenson a few backs prior to knowing he would be appointed and asked him why the question was raised as he was sitting behind Cardinal Wuerl, his explanation was that it was a planted question and Cardinal DiNardo was not asking for himself. So who was he asking for? Fr. Steenson changed the topic. Now that he is the designated Ordinary, I hope he is lobbying on the behalf of the Anglican Use parishes rather than being concerned that he might step on some bishop's toe.

      3. It seems a great deal of emphasis focuses upon the Ordinariate as if its main purpose is to assist those entering the Catholic Church. While that is certainly a purpose, I see the main purpose as one of being for those that continue in the Catholic Church that are originally of an Anglican background (and their descendents) that wish to preserve their patrimony. If somehow every potential Anglican decided to enter the Catholic Church in the next year it would not be a case of "goal accomplished, Ordinariates no longer needed". They will continue on perpetually, even if there were no one more to come in except through infant baptisms. Those that made their decision to enter the Catholic Church from an Anglican tradition prior to Anglicanorum Coetibus are not excluded from membership by my reading of it. They should not be penalized by being told that they're already part of a diocese now and should just stay there. What future is there for an Anglican Use parish beyond their current pastors if they remain part of a diocese rather than being made part of the Ordinariate? Perhaps this is all in some future plans yet to be announced, but it should seem so obvious that the future success of the Anglican Use parishes and the Ordinariate are so intertwined why should there be any suspense about it?

  22. @Daniel Humm

    I think you might give the Ordinary and his Vicar General time to get their feet under the table. As of today, the TCP Ordinariate has no faithful and no clergy..

    There is a distinction to be made between priests already ordained as RC priests and those who are not. Every RC priest has to be incardinated into some organisation, be it a diocese, a monastery or whatever. That is because (i) every priest must have a religious superior and (ii) there are rights and obligations which flow from the relationship – and a important one is that the superior is responsible for the life-long care of the priest – stipend and pension etc.

    All this is set out in the Code of Canon Law and for this purpose the Ordinary is exactly equivalent to a diocesan. A bishop can loan a priest to another diocese for some special purpose and this normally involves an agreement between them on costs and expenses (on whose budget). But since excardination and incardination has important consequences, it is not done lightly. So it makes eminent sense for the initial appointment of Father Hurd not yet to involve that formal process. A 3 year loan gives Father Hurd himself time to decide what he wants to do for the future.

    Further, the very first urgency is to (i) deal with the clergy applications and (ii) sent in process the reception arrangemetns for the laity. Up to now, Father Hurd has been involved in the dealings with the initial process – getting the Nulla Osta from the CDF and the Ordinary with the devising of the formation process.

    The Nulla Osta is only the start. A candidate then has to undergo a whole battery of vetting processes to ensure his suitability – background checks – psychological assessments, references from his previous superiors, interview with the diocesan where he will be appointed (because ordinariate clergy will generally officiate both for an ordinariate and for a diocese) – and then there has to be a training programme and finally the conferral of orders.

    If, as seems likely, the aim is to get the initial Ordinariate Groups formally received into the Church by, say, Maunday Thursday, then the programme is very tight. Every member of each congregation has to receive instruction and give an informed written request for admission. That involves a lot of effort too and arrangements have to be made for that in each location usually in co-operation with diocesan clergy.

    1. It seems the initial Ordinariate groups to be brought into the Church were already done so by Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Vann having received groups from the Episcopal Church into their diocese with the understanding they would become part of the Ordinariate. Then of course there are several priests and laity that could also be "initial groups" that were brought into the Church under the Pastoral Provision that should be eligible for the Ordinariate. They could make rather quick work of that I would think. Is the holdup there simply issues of insurance and other benefits to be paid? I think they might be willing to work that out on their own. So does the problem all boil down to who will we make the first members, which parish will have the pre-eminent status, and issues like that?

      1. I rather think that the laity of each pastoral provision parish would have to be consulted – and while the answer might well be thought a foregone conclusion, the consultation would still have to take place. The same applies for the clergy – the norm would be for each to request excardination of his bishop with a view to incardination in the Ordinariate. For many priests the issue of benefits is not an irrelevant consideration. Everything will be worked out – but not overnight.

        1. There was an informational meeting about Anglicanorum Coetibus at Our Lady of the Atonement parish not very long after it was issued. Shortly thereafter, most every parishioner that I know signed a request to enter into the Ordinariate once it was formed. The parish hosted the first "Becoming One" conference, and nearly every week has been informed of progress (or lack of). I can't imagine how any one could think that the laity of the parish have not been consulted and have not registered their desire to become part of it. If they were not interested in being part of an Ordinariate that will preserve the Anglican Use form of liturgy, they would not be there in the first place. If it is not in the Ordinariate, then the local bishop might decide to suppress it and sell off the assets. This is not a case of a group of parishioners of an Anglican parish that must decide whether or not they wish to join the Catholic Church, they are already Catholic. If they did not want the Anglican Use they would likely be going to one of several other parishes in the vicinity. How could they possibly be considered not properly consulted?

    2. "As of today, the TCP Ordinariate has no faithful and no clergy.."

      This is the whole point of this discussion. The question is: "Why aren't there any parishes and clergy already established in the Ordinariate?" The bishops have had at least 2 months to get things in order and to release these parishes, and there are huge amounts of resources that the Ordinariate does not have because they haven't done so. All of the processes for bringing the Episcopal/Anglican clergy and laity into the Church would have been made exponentially easier by the fact of having these parishes already within the Ordinariate, ready and willing to lend their expertise and resources.

      The possiblility of an Ordinariate without the current Anglican Use churches boggles my mind.

      1. What would boggle my mind is the miraculous ability of a bishop to transfer one of his parishes to an entity that didn't formally exist until two days ago. Get a grip people. Settle down.

  23. It may be helpful for Daniel Humm and others to have a look at how Monsignor Newton described the process of setting up the OLW Ordinariate in a talk he gave in October 2011. It is recorded on the web site of the Catholic League: For the Record: Fr Keith Newton on "What is the Ordinariate?".

    There will, of course, be differences in the USA – a much bigger territory – a greater number of initial applications more diocesans to negotiate with. The magnitude of the task is therefore greater.

    And at least Mgr Newton started out with the advantage of having with him 4 former CofE bishops who knew the clergy candidates well and the laity too – because they had all been ministering to them as episcopal visitors.

    1. Msgr. Newton wrote:
      "It is not that those priests who are coming into the Catholic Church for the Ordinariate are going to get a much quicker or shorter formation than any other ex-Anglican priest who becomes a Catholic and is eventually ordained. I know a number of people from my old Richborough area, who are now at a seminary and who will presumably be ordained in about two years’ time. So the process is equivalent and it is just that ordination comes at a different place in it."

      That makes perfect sense to me. And so did Bishop Vann make any sense of the necessity of maintaining a Pastoral Provision office in the U.S. that would require its own funding while maintaining a separate training process up in New Jersey for those priest that want to join a diocese and are not interested in "Anglican Patrimony". Apparently one of the first steps taken under his leadership was to take down the former website, so what exactly is going on and are they in need of funds?

  24. I avoid posting on sites these days because of the almost wilfull over-reaction and sensitivity of many replies.
    However, I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Fr Steenson and all those involved in the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St Peter.
    I urge people to rejoice in this wonderful opportunity afforded to the Church to give a home to so many people wishing to be part of a reunited Church and end the scandal of division.
    I know it has taken time and beepn frustrating for many but things will now take on a pace of their own as men prepare for Ordination and communities and individuals join the Ordinariate. There will be bumps on the road, but that is all they will be – not the mountains of so many imaginings.
    Here in Britain the OLW has challenges of finance, buildings, coping with disappointments and the thwarted expectations of some but, as an Ordinariate priest said to me a few months ago, at least the cloud of fighting a losing battle has lifted.
    You are only a couple of days in and it isn't even Epiphany yet so rejoice, be hopeful, put down the swords (pens) of worry and have a happy, blessed and exciting new year.
    May the blessings of our Saviour bring you light and peace.

  25. I was able to attend the press conference at Our Lady of Walsingham, and can report that the general atmosphere was very, very positive. Daniel, Cardinal DiNardo was there and spoke first, followed by our Ordinary, Fr. Steenson, whose remarks are now posted on the Ordinariate web site. Bishop Kevin Vann spoke last, addressing the continuing function of the Pastoral Provision, which he now heads. I did not take notes so can only mention a couple of highlights from the Q&A session: when asked about the conversion process, Fr. Steenson very movingly told how he had finally come to realize it was time to come over when, at the TEC bishops conference at Camp Allen, outside Houston, it became clear that the governing mode in the Episcopal Church was democracy, which he could not agree with. So he put on his civilian clothes and came the next day to Our Lady of Walsingham, and I forget his exact phrase, but the sense of it was that he knew he was home. His other comment of note to me was in reply to a question about Catholic teaching, as he said that, first of all, the Ordinariate is not going to be "Catholic lite", we will all adhere entirely to the Church's teachings.

    The media spent quite a while interviewing Fr. Ramsey, the pastor of the parish, and taking photos of the Church itself. I am not sure if Fr. Steenson or the Cardinal were available to the press afterwards. I spoke with someone in authority at the Co-Cathedral, where the installation will take place, and he said that he had just heard the rumors of a consistory on 19 February, so there will likely be contingency plans drawn up if the dates conflict.

    1. I would also just add that in his remarks, Fr. Steenson made reference very tellingly, I thought, to the introductory words of the decree of erection, that the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the Church. This is a very encouraging indication, I think, that a generously conceived pastoral approach will be the rule. Bishop Vann also referred to this as being a part of the Code of Canon Law.

  26. On the question of leadership and admiration for Fr. Phillips, I note that there will be other positions of responsibility and importance emerging soon for the ordainariates. Most obviously, members must be found for the new commission which will be charged with revising ordinariate liturgies. Fr. Phillips has experience in this, as he was involved in the process for the Anglican Use in 1980-83. His influence at that time was quite positive, so we may hope that he will be involved in the process yet again.


    1. The international commission of liturgists is hard at work and there are already results. See this from Dr Bill Oddie in the Catholic Herald:

      Curiouser and curiouser: the Pope has now turned the Book of Common Prayer (well, quite a bit of it) into a Catholic liturgy

      I would also mention that Mgr Newton will be at Evensong & Benediction at St James, Spanish Place on 15th January to give thanks for the 1st year of the OLW Ordinariate. The Music is:
      I Was Glad (Parry)
      Rose Responses
      Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from Stanford in C
      Evening Hymn (Balfour Gardiner)
      O Salutaris Hostia (Elgar no 3)
      Te Deum Laudamus (from Stanford in B flat)
      Tantum Ergo (Elgar)
      with organ music by Howells, Thalben-Ball and Vierne

  27. nanetteclaret, Luke Evan, Daniel Humm, and Creaser64:

    With all due respect, it may be helpful for you to all take a deep breath and relax.

    Let us all be reminded that, as with the Ordinariate of OLW in England, Wales, and Scotland, the Ordinariate of TCSP is very fluid right now. There is no set script to follow. You all seem to have an expectation that everything is set, and you are fabricating reasons to quibble with what you, or I, do not have sufficient information to understand.

    Mourad’s response alone poses completely reasonable explanations to many of your speculations, suppositions, predictions of success, and suspicions.

    Until Fr. Steenson, himself—and possibly not until February 19, begins to post on this blog, no one posting here can provide definitive responses to any queries or theories anyone may propose.

    Our Catholic leaders need everyone’s support and prayers, perhaps particularly in this venture. I suggest that any time spent positing personal opinions here could be better spent in thanksgiving and prayer for the success of the ordinariates.

    As for who would contribute funds to the Ordinariate of TCSP, I would be quite pleased to do so as soon as that link is functioning.


    1. Perhaps there would be no problem if Cardinals Wuerl and DiNardo had not made this an issue themselves by raising it on live television. When Cardinal DiNardo had asked if the Anglican Use parishes entry into the Ordinariate was automatic (a question that Fr. Steenson later told me was planted), why not give some explanation similar to your own rather than "no, they are part of their diocese and their bishop but give his consent" followed by DiNardo repeating the point "so they have to say that is what they want to do, and I have to say that is what I want them to do". This publicly raised issue effected perhaps 2-3 of the bishops there, so it would seem the point was to send out a message. In order to do what is best for the Ordinariate, the response perhaps should have been that it was not automatic but that the parishes have their requests in and it is all expected to be worked out in time.

      1. Daniel,

        Peace. I'm not sure you are doing yourself or anyone involved any good by publicly continuing on in this manner.

        I quite understand the feelings of worry and frustration and fear of betrayal, but don't let feelings control you. The fact is this is Day Three. The Israelites must have waited til at least Day Twelve before accusing Moses of bring them out of Egypt to die in the desert, right? :-)

        God is in control. His will shall be done. If He were not behind this project, it would not have come as far as it has already. He will not fail to bring to completion the good work He has started.

        Please, take a moment and reflect on what a gift God is giving you in this trial: a chance to choose to cling to Him and His Church. When things are going swimmingly, what need is there for faith? Or hope? Or obedience? But when there is difficulty we really get to experience the union with Christ that is necessary for those virtues. Until very recently there had never been in my life someone who could be called an "enemy" of mine. When he came around though, and I suffered for it, I can't tell you how much better I felt when I realized that without him I could never have truly known what it meant to "love your enemies." The suffering was a gift, because it gave me a chance to ask Christ for more grace, more of Himself, to imitate Him.

        We read in James, "Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

        Here is your chance to make those words come alive.

        Please take it, you won't regret it!

  28. Many of the above posts make my earlier point – we are just 3 days in. Please stop seeing conspiracies where there are none. All will be well.

  29. Between the reception of the five former C of E bishops at beginning of January until the reception of the laity and future clergy at Easter of last year, OLW consisted of only 5 members. Now it is preparing for a second wave of members.
    Seriously ladies and gentlemen, relax and stop imagining problems – things will become clear. How can we go from rejoicing to rancour so rapidly?

    1. How can we go from rejoicing to rancour so rapidly?

      Fr. Gerard, I imagine the same way one could go from singing "The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea!" to murmuring "So what are we going to drink??"…. also, surprisingly, in three days! (Ex 15.22) :-)

  30. Two Cardinals, an Ordinary-elect (in pectore), a Vicar-General-to-be …. and communication is by "planted" questions????

    Good grief.

  31. I was pleasantly surprised to see the TCP website up and running as soon as the announcement was made on 1Jan. As we were all in anticipation of the announcement others were working, possibly for weeks, on creating what is a magnificent website. Can we believe that most, if not all, of the questions posted have already been resolved or in the process of being so? At the beginning of what ended up being 30 years of military service I discovered that many matters were above my pay grade. And that I would be informed on a 'need to know' basis. Seems our church leaders are doing likewise. I mean, bishops and archbishops did not make it to their 'rank' over night. Now, if some of us do not trust these leaders then that is another story. We still have to salute and say, 'Yes Sir' (orders heard, understood, action to be taken).

  32. Good God! The American Ordinariate is barely a few days old and already the knives are out! Conspiracy theories raising their ugly heads, people "if I remember, I'm not sure but, why aren't, why don't etc" making accusations with no proof whatsoever. If you have no proof or anything constructive to say, wouldn't it be best to keep your silence? There are enough people out there trying to run the Ordinariate down without help from the inside!

    While I, a cradle Catholic, rejoice at the erection of the Ordinariate, I pray to God that this is NOT what is meant by the term 'Anglican Patrimony"!

  33. Strictly, no one-can be part of an Ordinariate prior to its erection. The Ordinary and Father Hurd are in by virtue of their appointments.

    Those who have already been received into the Catholic Church will be part of the Ordinariate as soon as their requests for admission have been entered in the proper register of the Ordinariate.

    For all others, the normal process will be (1) catechesis, (2) verification of baptism or conditional baptism, (3) formal written request for admission, (4) reception and confirmation – normally in the run-up to Easter.

    Prospective clergy normally resign their previous ministry and participate as lay persons in the admission processes – very often collaborating in the catechesis of their former congregation – while simultaneously beginning their own formation process.

    In the programme devised for OLW the candidates who were Anglican priests were deaconed more or less as soon as they had passed their stage two assessments and ordaned to the priesthood about a month later but required to continue formation courses for a further period post ordination. It was then being suggested that some of those ordained in "continuing anglican" bodies might need rather more extensive formation pre-ordination.

    I assume therefore that 1st Jan as the date for the decree of erection of the US Ordinariate was chosen with the aim of having the "first wave" of laity as fully functioning groups in time for their participation in the Easter ceremonies.

  34. I do not know if your comment was addressed to me. I have no "inside" knowledge at all. But there is a great deal on the web which can readily be ascertained.

    But might I make these observations: Even if there were not civil and canon law duties of confidentiality in play, common decency requires that parties who have a direct personal interest in matters concerning them, particularly their spiritual or material future, should be the first to be consulted in confidence.

    There is a distinction to be drawn between what ought to be revealed in the public interest and what the public finds interesting.

    Canon Law is pretty prescriptive and derogations or adjustments may have to be sought. But these are not just matters of canon law. For example, Church properties are often held on trust and some of the trusts (especially older ones) are quite specific as to what may or may not be done. So even where an ecclesiastical ordinary (diocesan, monastic or whatever) wants to alter the use of a particular property, there are often legal complications as a matter of civil (as opposed to canon) law. And that is something of which I have some direct professional experience. I understand there has been some litigation on property matters involving The Episcopal Church. So all the myriad complications of establishing a new ecclesiastical jurisdiction from scratch are NOT going to be resolved overnight.

    What I do know for certain is that in the first year of the OLW Ordinariate things have gone remarkably well. Not perfectly of course: the Church is a divine institution entrusted to fallible humans. But far better than I had dared hope.

    Might I suggest you read this on Bishop Vann's blog: St. Timothy's at St. Mary's and reflect on the last paragraph:-

    "With the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter the same day, it was a day of thanksgiving for what had been, and rejoicing in the Providence of God that had brought them to this next step into their journey of Full Communion. St. The readings for that day called them, and all of us in this journey of Faith, to bless God at this moment, to give glory and praise to God by their lives, and like Mary, to reflect on these events in their hearts.".

    Those are words of wisdom from one of our Fathers in God directly concerned with this great work the Holy Father has entrusted to the Ordinary and the Diocesans.

  35. It seems like the number that were received into the Church at the beginning would have been slightly more, as weren't there some sisters that joined besides the priests and their wives. But one thing that seems to be ignored is that each decree has indicated that it includes Catholics that are already in full communion that had originally belonged to the Anglican Communion, it is not limited to those that had not yet come into full communion with the Catholic Church. All it would have taken for someone that was interested in joining would be to submit their desire in writing. Can it really be the case that there was not one single Catholic in England that had converted prior to that date that desired to enter the Ordinariate? I find that a bit hard to believe. Those that had come in over the years had absolutely no desire to become part of the Ordinariate? Do you believe that? It seems that there were many from a former Angican background in the Anglican Use parishes that submitted their requests to become part of the Ordinariate. Per the decree, that should make those persons part of the Ordinariate and apparently despite their statement of such desire two years ago, it might be some time before someone enters them into some registry and acknowledges that they are indeed members of the Ordinariate. For who knows how long, they will have to continue to attend their local diocesan Anglican Use parish as no one is able to say when it and its pastor might be able to enter the Ordinariate. So after one year in England, there being no indication of prior converts as having been received, how long might it take in the United States for these members that have to attend a diocesan parish to be acknowledged as members? It's of course only the 5th day of the Ordinariate after months of preparation by Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Hurd.

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