Bright Lights: BJHN Society of Orange County

Ever since the "Becoming One" gathering in November, 2010, there have been friendships formed and information shared about groups getting organized. From time to time on the pages of this blog, we have featured some of these Ordinariate-bound groups, and it would be inspiring to have more of these "local stories" shared with our readers. If you'd like to have the story of your parish, society, or group featured here, please contact me at, and I'll be more than happy to share your story on The Anglo-Catholic as part of what I'd like to call our "Bright Lights" series. By the way, this isn't just for American groups. We'd love to hear from those in Canada and Australia, and also from groups in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

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The Blessed John Henry Newman Society of Orange County in California describes itself as "an Anglican Use Society of the Roman Catholic Church in Orange County, California. We are temporarily a non-eucharistic community, composed of Anglicans and Roman Catholics of Anglican background, coming together to form a new parish for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in the Catholic Church."

Founded by Andrew Bartus, the Society shows the good fruit which can come from following the vision of Pope Benedict XVI, which he articulated in Anglicanorum coetibus. God willing, Andrew will be ordained as a Deacon on June 9th at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. Ordination to the priesthood should follow soon after that, and the Society will be a fully-functioning community within the Catholic Church, with the goal of becoming a parish of the Ordinariate.

A look through the website of the Society gives an inspiring picture of the robust spiritual life already taking place, and there's little doubt that this community is destined to be one of the "bright lights" of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

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.

3 thoughts on “Bright Lights: BJHN Society of Orange County”

  1. Am so glad that the 'troubles' of Saint Mary of the Angels isn't hindering Andrew Bartus' ordination. I do pray they grow and are a Blessing and encouragement to the Anglicans/Episcopalians and Catholics of Orange County!

  2. I can't recall any Ordinariate news mentioning Andrew Bartus, so wasn't aware that he had been received into the Church and will be ordained a deacon in less than a month. Are there to be multiple ordinations on behalf of the Ordinariate coming up around Pentecost, and are any others at the Los Angeles location or are they spread around?

  3. Thank you for the kind words. The main people responsible for the success of this venture are the individual members themselves. They are visionary, faithful, devout, and selfless givers of the time, talent, and finances needed to make this happen. It was they, not me, who first had the idea to get an Ordinariate group going in Orange County. I just happened to be available to help.

    We are only a small group currently, but we hope to grow in the near future once we become a mission parish of the Ordinariate.

    Please pray for us as we venture out and attempt to reach those of an Anglican, Protestant, and non-Christian background in Orange County for the Catholic Faith!

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