The Generosity of Archbishop Prendergast

Some of you may have seen a few of the glorious pictures or listened to the audio of the wonderful welcome Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gave us Anglicans here on April 15.  But the generosity has continued, first and foremost with the priest he has loaned to us, Fr. Francis Donnelly, who is a canon lawyer of all things — but I must say it was really helpful to have the combination of expertise in someone who could never be dubbed legalistic and who at the same time is deeply faithful when a number of us had to get marriage irregularities or questions about baptism or confirmation straightened out before being received into the Catholic Church.

On Saturday, when a group of us gathered at a restaurant after our first Eucharist with Fr. Francis, Carl Reid, our former bishop, told us how Archbishop Prendergast had accompanied him the previous Friday to the home of a shut-in parishioner and his wife.

When the archbishop was ready to confirm the couple and give them Holy Communion, he stood in their living room in a cope and mitre.  Carl Reid found it very moving that he would go to so much trouble.  To me it represents the splendor of Christ and His love for the least among us, the most humble, the most marginalized — the frail and the ill.

Also on Sunday we heard news that the Archbishop will come celebrate Mass at our humble little parish on Ascension Day, May 17.  Considering that it would take him more than two years to visit every one of his parishes if he visited one a week, it is extraordinary that he is coming to us.  Perhaps it helps that we will celebrate Ascension on the Thursday, while the Catholic Church in Canada has transferred the feast to the following Sunday.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

6 thoughts on “The Generosity of Archbishop Prendergast”

      1. These numbers do not account former Anglicans (Roman Catholics) who have also joined the Sodalities and St. John's Calgary. Also, does not account for cradle Roman Catholics who have begun worshipping at such parishes. I have been told that this may be the case in Calgary.The final count of how many will be part of the Canadian Deanery, either formally or informally ( in the case of cradle Catholics who simply attend Ordinariate churches) may be quite fluid for some time to come.

        1. The Toronto Sodality is almost entirely made up of people who joined the Catholic church years ago. I included them in the total. If Anglican Use services start attracting significant numbers who are not former Anglicans the parishes may find themselves in the same position as Our Lady of the Atonement.

          1. As one who attends the Toronto Sodality meetings I should point out that there were several Anglicans received by Cardinal Collins in December as the sodality was forming.

            Some have been attending Mass in neighbourhood RC parishes with the intention of attending Sodality Masses which begin on a weekly basis:
            SUNDAY, MAY 6 at 1:45 pm at SACRE COEUR CHURCH (Sherbourne & Carlton).

            There is a publicity campaign to make people aware that Anglicans and non-Anglican Christians are welcome to attend and to explore the Ordinariate. As well, a number of RC people have expressed interest and may fulfill their Sunday obligation at the Sodality Mass on a regular basis.

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