Seeds of the Ordinariate, Part One: Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio
church is education. Is not just about teaching them arithmetic; it's about forming them as Catholics and that includes a high standard of intellectual formation, teaching all the stuff they need to learn as far as math and science, too. But all within the context of the completeness of their faith! How can you educate a child without referring to God and what God has done in our lives? You're only forming half the child."
The school understood that the high school years were critical in the formation of Catholic young people. With students opting to attend public school after eighth grade, Atonement Academy expanded their program to include K through 12.
One distinctive of the school is its classical approach. Dorothy Sayers, one of the pioneers of this method used to say that a child formed through the classical style of education could never be swayed in their faith or worldview. Fr. Phillips agreed.
"I have seen it here. (When our students go off to college) they know how to defend their faith, how to stand for the dignity of life. We have prepared our students to have their faith tested."
I asked Fr. Phillips what it was like to be an Anglican Use parish before the Ordinariate, especially in the early days of the Pastoral Provision. He said one word, "Lonesome."
As the first Anglican Use parish not only in the diocese but nationally, no one had ever done this before. And the other parishes in the archdiocese were not so sure what to think about this group. They didn't understand what had taken place and were a bit suspicious even to the point that some questioned whether they were a "real" Catholic parish.
The parishioners at Our Lady of the Atonement worked very hard to integrate into the life of the archdiocese and their commitment paid off. They are now highly regarded among their sister parishes in the San Antonio area. The school's reputation also helped a great deal.
The parish has also established a reputation in the local area as a welcoming community and much of the growth has come from former Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians who experience something familiar. They are able to sing hymns they know and many of the prayers are familiar since Anglicanism has had such an influence on many denominations.
"They come initially because they are angry about something," Phillips explained.
"We have a great RCIA program. The anger dissipates and they see the positive things about becoming Catholic. People have said to me, 'Even if every ill of the Episcopal Church were healed, we would not go back. We are Catholics.'"
The Ordinariate in America is a very exciting prospect for Fr. Phillips. He sees this as the opportunity to see Anglican patrimony more fully expressed through this new jurisdiction.
"The Holy Father has now told us to bring in these gifts," he explained. "Pope John Paul II said this through the Pastoral Provision, now Benedict is saying this to the whole world, 'Bring in these gifts, nurture them and share them with the Church.' That is one of the things in 'Anglicanorum coetibus' that is very strong. This is a treasure to be shared with the whole church."
For the Ordinariate, Our Lady of the Atonement is am example that the trail has been blazed and Anglican Use does work.
"When you look at a parish like ours you get a snapshot of what an Ordinariate parish will look like in 30 years because we have had a full generation growing up in this church. I'm now beginning to baptize the babies of babies I baptized earlier in my ministry, so we have a whole generation that has now been raised in this.
"Looking out over congregation one day at a weekday Mass, I thought to myself, 'There were only a few people here, maybe three or four, who have even set foot in an Episcopal Church.' The vast majority of the people have just known this parish as their parish. They have always been Catholic but with an Anglican twist."
Like the other Anglican Use parishes, Our Lady of the Atonement uses the Book of Divine Worship, which is a form of the Anglican liturgy, which has been approved by Rome. The Mass is celebrated "ad orientem" (to the east) with the priest facing the altar and facing with the people.
In addition to the Anglican Use Mass, the parish also celebrates a Latin Mass on Sunday evenings and for the school on Friday morning.
Our Lady of the Atonement Parish currently remains a part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and under the Archbishop. In order for them to become a part of the Ordinariate, they would have to first receive permission from their archbishop as well as permission from the Ordinary to enter.
Part two of Seeds of the Ordinariate will feature the St. Thomas More Anglican Use Society, headed by Fr. Eric Bergman.
On January 1, 2012 the Anglican Ordinariate and the Ordinary will be officially announced. Catholic Online will have all the details.
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Anglican Ordinariate, Cardinal Wuerl, Anglicans, Anglicanorum coetibus, Pastoral Provision, Randy Sly, Our Lady of the Atonement, Christopher, Phillips
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Bill Donohue, Catholic League, Disclose Fight with the IRS, Demonstrate Courage
- Father Frank Pavone: Houston Abortionist Killing Babies Born Alive
- Shocking report reveals 38 men, 33 women are raped each day in the military
- Cheap cigarette outlets in U.S. may be funding terrorists
- Why even if you lose, playing Powerball isn't such a bad bet after all
- Nebraska Bishop: Gosnell clinic was 'reminiscent of Auschwitz'
- Sex In Uniform: Why the Increase in Sexual Assaults in the Military?
- Chilling note scrawled by bloodied Boston terrorist reveals motive
- The Storm. The Whirlwind. The Earthquake: Abortionist Kermit Gosnell is Guilty, America is Complicit
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?