In an earlier time I was a member of a SWAT team in a very active, urban area of the Southeastern United States. During the 21 years I served in this capacity, I “chalked-up” close to 2000 operational missions. On the way to any given target location there was always much playful banter among the team members, but as we closed on the location, I as the supervisor, would give a “minute out” warning. Upon hearing this notice, there was an instantaneous hush inside the vehicle, the only subsequent utterance being the lead element operator advising of any slight deviation(s) to be made as intelligence updates came over the radio. As the proximity to the target decreased, I would give a “30 seconds out”. After this alert not a sound was to be made by a soul in the vehicle save the team leader until the police code “10-97” [on scene] was given. This was the order to initiate the operation. All the preparatory training, the mental and physical preparation, the planning, both contingency and practical, was, at this point, past. This was the time to act! This was the time at which the proverbial “rubber meets the road”. It was for real.
I use this illustration to point out to those of you who have been a part of this journey toward the Ordinariate in the United States that you are “30 seconds out”! What you have sought, some of us for several years now, for what you have prayed, for what you have argued (amongst others and yourselves), for what you have prepared, for what you have sacrificed (in some cases very much), is at hand. As of tomorrow you are “10-97”. You jump out of the theoretical approach into the existent, and, as the SWAT members who upon reaching the target must engage with the realities of their situation, you must now engage with the realities of yours.
As I stated above, we have prayed, argued, theorized, conjectured, guessed, etc., about an Ordinariate in the United States. Now it is time to get real. Now it is the time to sacrifice to make this thing that is the Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans work here. I have, up to this point, always tried to present the practical aspects of this endeavor. I have been absent from posting for a significant period because for the last several months there has been nothing to be said in the practical realm concerning the matter at hand, but as of midnight tonight, things become VERY practical. Your prayers must become more focused, as you will have an Ordinary for whom to pray, a named Ordinariate with real people, parishes, and clergy that need your particular prayers. You must begin to sacrificially assist at Masses offered at, and for, Ordinariate parishes and gatherings. This means if you must drive, spending ever increasing amounts on gas, and giving additionally of your time to reach groups forming to establish Ordinariate parishes, or to increase the attendance of those already established, then so be it. We must dig deeper into our treasure to help provide financially for the fledgling Ordinariate. We need to seek advice from the Ordinary and clergy as to pressing temporal needs and provide for those needs (e.g., vestments, sacred instruments, holy images, etc.). We must be willing to vacuum the carpets, clean the restrooms, cut the grass, watch the children, and provide the refreshments. In short, Fathers, brothers, and sisters, you must now take ownership of that for which you have asked and prayed for so long.
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