On Sunday evening at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia. I was present with 140 other attendees for Solemn Evensong and Rite of Benediction (for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), sponsored by the St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Use Society of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia (STCS).
The Anglican Ordinariate was represented at the Annual March for Life in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - There have always been Anglicans "on the journey" to the Catholic Church and many have come into full communion over the years. With the exception of a handful of parishes that entered through the Pastoral Provision, most had to come in through a solitary journey and those who were clergy wondered if there might ever be another opportunity to offer the sacraments.
The Anglican Ordinariate, however, through to the terms of the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, has given pilgrims a real sense "welcome" and expectation while they are on their way." Catholic parishes are opening their doors to Anglican Use liturgies and inviting Episcopalians and other Anglicans to come and see.
One such example took place on Sunday evening at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia. I was present with 140 other attendees for Solemn Evensong and Rite of Benediction (for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), sponsored by the St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Use Society of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia (STCS).
The liturgy was celebrated by Father Terry Specht, Pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, the hosting parish. He was joined by the STCS schola (a liturgical choir), which comes together for these Anglican Use liturgies.
Congregants were a mixture of Catholics from Holy Spirit and other parishes along with Episcopalians and some from the newer Anglican jurisdictions in America.
In chatting with the people at a reception that followed, I was thrilled to experience the enthusiasm and excitement present concerning the anticipated Ordinariate. For many of the Episcopalians/Anglicans present, it was clear that their hearts were already formed or being formed as Catholics; the distinct liturgies notwithstanding, they were excited to become one with the Church.
Jim Farr, president of the STCS, is an Episcopalian who is eagerly anticipating the forthcoming Ordinariate. "I'm still in awe of the opportunity given us through the Ordinariate," he told me. "We are able to come into full communion with the Church and the Holy Father, while bringing our liturgies and devotional practices with us."
We shared some of the ways in which the Anglican Use might encourage and even influence the Church through the English patrimony. "Our parishes are traditionally smaller," he added. "We're used to having an education hour followed by a principal Mass. Then we enjoy hanging around together afterward for coffee!"
Father Specht has graciously offered the facilities of Holy Spirit parish to the Society for further events, so they will now have a stable location in the Northern Virginia area for meetings, offices of prayer and Mass.
The STCS held its inaugural meeting at St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, DC just over one year ago, on June 12, 2010 with five people present. Since that time interest in the society has grown steadily. Anglican Use Evening Prayer has been held once a month at St. Anselm's since that time and a group of 80 people attended the Society's first Anglican Use Mass there on March 19, 2011.
The Society exists to promote establishment of an Anglican Use Catholic parish under the future Ordinariate.
As Heide Seward, Secretary for the Society, told me the next day, "It seems that the Holy Spirit is on the move here, thanks to the Pope of Christian Unity."
This is just one example of the activity taking place prior to the formation of the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States. We will bring more about the STCS and other groups who are beginning to form.
To learn more about the STCS, links to other Ordinariate sites and a schedule of upcoming events, visit their website at http://www.stthomascanterbury.org/index.html.
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.
By Andrea Gagliarducci (CNA/EWTN News)
Former Pope Benedict XVI could appear in public once again on June 29, the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Speaking after the May 20 presentation of a book dedicated to Benedict XVI's pontificate, Archbishop Georg ... continue reading
By Tony Magliano
The best way to remember those who have been killed in battle is to work for the day when others will no longer be sent to take their place. Prayerfully reflecting on how to move away from war and war preparation should be central to every Memorial Day.Why do ... continue reading
By Ann Scneible (CNA/EWTN News)
The feast of the Holy Trinity is an invitation for us to commit to enriching our everyday relationships by promoting communion, consolation, and mercy, Pope Francis said during his weekly Sunday Angelus address. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "Our being created ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Ever since the reveal of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000, several people have insisted there's more to the secret than what the public was told. These rumors have taken a life of their own, prompting the Holy See to speak out against them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
Recognizing the difference between a person who's possessed and a person struggling with a mental illness or other infirmity is a vital part of the ministry of exorcism, according to a long-time exorcist and priest. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Father Cipriano de Meo, ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
It's a major miracle that you've probably never heard of. Lima, Peru (CNA/EWTN News) - On Sunday, Oct. 3, 1847, more than 2,000 people in Ocotlán, Mexico saw a perfect image of Jesus Christ crucified that appeared in the sky for more than 30 minutes.Approved by the ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
During his Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis preached a warning to the rich who oppress the poor, focusing on employers who accumulate wealth by misusing those who work for them. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "We consider this drama of today: the exploitation of ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
William Friedkin, the director of famous horror film "The Exorcist," described a time he was invited to document a real exorcism at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to AFP, Friedkin shared his experience at the Cannes film festival Thursday ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
We all have bad days - but did you know the devil preys on you when you are the most vulnerable? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Life is never easy for long. Children, work, school and illness often interfere with the plans we've made for ourselves, and it is ... continue reading