More Monsignori

This notice from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

Thursday 21st June 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has elevated three priests of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to the rank of Chaplain of His Holiness (Monsignor). Monsignor Edwin Barnes, Monsignor Robert Mercer, and Monsignor David Silk, have all received the honour from the Holy Father, recognising their former ministry as Anglican bishops. Mgr Barnes and Mgr Silk were received and ordained via the Personal Ordinariate in 2011, whilst Mgr Mercer was received and ordained in 2012.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, said “By establishing Personal Ordinariates, Pope Benedict is seeking to be generous in making provision for those Anglicans who wish to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In every possible way he has sought to recognise the fruitful Anglican ministry which we undertook before entering the Catholic Church; this honour for these three distinguished men is a further sign of our Holy Father’s love and warmth toward this project”.

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.

15 thoughts on “More Monsignori”

  1. As readers of this site will realise, that should of course read "Edwin Barnes". (The Ordinariate website has now been corrected, assuming that that was where the error originated.) Congratulations to the new Monsignori, and especially to Mgr Barnes.

    [Note from Fr Phillips — thanks, Fr William. I didn't notice the error when I did the "cut and paste" from the Ordinariate announcement. Correction has been made.]

  2. Wonderful news! Now, I hope the Holy Father goes all the way and makes Msgr. Robert Mercer a bishop, since he is a lifelong celibate and a holy man. Then he could assist the Ordinary Msgr. Keith Newton by being available to do Ordinariate ordinations.

    1. Amen to that, Mrs. Gyapong. Congratulations to Msgr. Mercer and the other new Chaplains to His Holiness.


      1. What a good idea: I suppose the only perceived problem would be, if Mgr Mercer be consecrated a bishop, then it could seem strange that he would be but an assistant, so to speak, to a priest (the current Ordinary) – an inversion of the normal hierarchical order. Still, I hope such is done.

  3. I knew Mgr Mercer when he was a parish priest in Africa. I can't think of anyone more worthy of the episcopate.

    1. As a religious under a vow of poverty, I am sure Mgr Mercer will find his new robes of office both a privilege and a burden. I recall Mr Perkins expressing his admiration of then-Br Robert's humility in donning the rather basic, shall we say, chasuble provided for his ordination to the priesthood. Perhaps friends will enable him to enjoy something more worthy this time.

  4. Msgr. Mercer will now become the first of two former TACers to hold the personal style of Monsignor. I presume that Fr. Entwistle will be appointed a prothonotary apostolic. (By the way, I assume that Msgr. Steenson is a prothonotary apostolic, as is Msgr. Newton. Is this correct?) Vicars-general, alone, have the title only for the term of office; the others (prelates of honour, &c.) bear it for life.


    1. News reports on Msgr. Steenson's installation mention that in addition to reading the decree installing him as Ordinary, Cardinal Wuerl also read a decree installing him as a protonotary apostolic.

  5. For some years it has become conventional for former Anglican bishops who convert to Catholicism to me made Monsignors. Take Mgr Graham Leonard, for instance. These elevations are not peculiar to the Ordinariates.

          1. Well John, the question is are you referring to your post or my response? The readers can decide….answers on a postcard please……….

Leave a Reply