Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

1/3/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Holy Father has selected Fr. Jeffrey Steenson as the first Ordinary

Pope Benedict XVI has established an ordinariate for Anglican groups and clergy across the United States who wish to become Catholic. This is only the second structure like this in the world. The Pope also has named a Houston professor and former Episcopal bishop, Reverend Jeffrey N. Steenson, to lead the ordinariate.

Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church and Shrine, Houston, TX

Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church and Shrine, Houston, TX

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/3/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Anglican Ordinariate, Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Fr. Jeffrey Steenson, ordinariate, Pope Benedict


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - According to the Vatican Press Office (News.va) earlier today the first pontifical act of the New Year is the erection of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Bishops Conference of the United States.

It is very rare for the Vatican to make such announcements on a Sunday. One person linked to the Ordinariate with whom I spoke on Thursday noted that, if such an announcement does come on January 1, it will be quite unusual and indicate the high level of importance they are placing on it.

A rough translation of the Act, which was written in Italian follows:

ERECTION OF THE PERSONAL ORDINARIATE OF THE CHAIR OF SAINT PETER AND THE NAMING OF THE FIRST ORDINARY

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the norms of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, has erected the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of Saint Peter in the territory of the Episcopal Conference of the United States of America.

At the same time the Holy Father Benedict XVI has appointed the first Ordinary, the Reverend Jeffrey Neil Steenson.

[The press release also contained a brief resume of Fr. Steenson which is included at the end of this article.]

The website is now live at www.usordinariate.org. The Ordinariate is under the protection protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Walsingham and will be based at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church and Shrine in Houston, TX. Press conferences are scheduled for Monday, January 2 with the new Ordinary.

Today's announcement ends a two-year wait by those who have indicated an interest in this special invitation by Pope Benedict XVI to reunion with the Catholic Church while maintaining much of their Anglican Patrimony.

Until this announcement, pre-Ordinariate activities, including the processing of clergy dossiers, took place through the Archdiocese of Washington as Cardinal Donald Wuerl was appointed by the Holy Father as the delegate to oversee this work. He, Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth and Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester were assisted by Reverend Scott Hurd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington (and a former Anglican priest). Fr. Hurd will serve a three-year term as vicar general of the ordinariate. Fr. Steenson has also been heavily involved in the organization of the Ordinariate, particularly in the area of educational formation.

Msgr. Keith Newton, Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales, released the following statement after hearing of the erection of the Ordinariate and the selection of Fr. Steenson as his counterpart in the U.S.

"Monsignor Keith Newton has enthusiastically welcomed the appointment of the Reverend Dr Jeffrey Steenson as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St Peter, erected today in the United States.

 "On hearing the news of the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, Mgr Newton said, 'Fr Steenson is a warm and compassionate priest with a wealth of experience, and I am delighted by his appointment."

"The appointment of Fr Steenson marks the official establishment of the second Personal Ordinariate for those from the Anglican tradition who wish to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, whilst retaining those elements of Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony consonant with Catholic faith and practice.  Dr Steenson formerly served as a bishop of the Episcopal Church before being received into the Catholic Church, and ordained under the Pastoral Provision.

"Speaking of the erection of the US Ordinariate, Mgr Newton said, 'The Holy Father's vision for the visible reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See continues apace. As we enter in 2012, we pray that many more will take up Christ's call - ut unum sint - and fulfil the prayer of generations for an Anglicanism united but not absorbed'"

This is truly a historic day for the Catholic Church in America. What was once considered an impossibility by many observers inside and outside of the Church has now become official in America.

While the Pastoral Provision had given opportunities for Anglican clergy and laity to establish Anglican Use parishes and practice since 1980, this was only possible if the local bishop was willing to support and underwrite the process.

Now, clergy and parishes will have a jurisdiction that is specifically tasked with establishing such parishes and societies as well as the formation of priests. The parishes will be fully Catholic, while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage, particularly in the liturgy.

Rocco Palmo, on his blog "Whispers in the Loggia," gives further insight into Fr. Steenson's role as the Ordinary:

"Even as Steenson will be able to exercise the full authority of a bishop among his nationwide flock, the Anglicanorum provisions and Catholic theology preclude the elevation of a married cleric to the episcopacy. As Ordinary -- that is, head of an ecclesial organ "juridically equivalent to a diocese" -- he will have full membership in the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"In addition, any former Anglican bishops ordained to the Catholic priesthood may use the use "the insignia of the episcopal office" after seeking Rome's permission, and are entitled to sit in the episcopal conference with the status of a retired prelate. (To date, one other prior Episcopal hierarch, the now-former Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida, was also ordained a Catholic priest in 2009. The 61 year-old cleric serves in the diocese of St Petersburg.)"

Currently, over 100 former Anglican priests have applied and nearly 1,400 individuals from 22 communities have already indicated a desire to enter the Ordinariate.

On the Ordinariate website, there is also an opportunity to support the work. Fr. Steenson writes, "The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has been launched in a spirit of apostolic poverty. As we reach out to gather those groups of Anglicans in the United States (and initially for Canada as well) who are seeking to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, we know this is truly a response of faith. We begin with nothing but our faith, and trust that God will provide the necessary resources to accomplish this holy work."

-----

Rev. Jeffrey Neil Steenson, D.Phil. (Oxon)

    Experience

Carl and Lois Davis Visiting Professor in Patristic Studies, University of St. Thomas/St Mary's Seminary, Houston, TX (2009-). Licensed in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

    Undergraduate course: THEO 3382 - God, One and Triune (autumn, 2009).
    Graduate courses: YHS5304 - Patristics; CG5312 - Patrology (spring, 2010).

Received into the Roman Catholic Church (Advent 2007); ordained deacon (Dec. 13, 2008) and priest (Feb. 21, 2009) under the Pastoral Provision for married Anglican clergy; incardinated in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

    Recipient of Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders (2008).
    Sabbatical study at the Instituto Patristico Augustinianum; in residence at the Pontifical Irish College (2008-2009).
    Taught core curriculum course (THE2311 - Western Theological Tradition), in the University of Dallas Rome Program (Spring 2009).

Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM (2004-2007); Canon to the Ordinary (2000-2004).

    Served on the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops.
    Member of the Board of Trustees, Nashotah House Seminary.
    Member and Officer of the Board of Directors, The Living Church Foundation.
    Member of the Board of Directors, The Anglican Digest.

Rector, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, TX (1989-2000).

    Member of the Board of Directors, The Living Church Foundation.
    Officer of the Episcopal Synod of America.
    Member of the Board of Trustees, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.
    Member of the Board of Trustees, The University of the South.

Rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA (1985-1989).

    Lecturer in Anglican Theology, The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
    Member of the Steering Committee of the Evangelical and Catholic Mission.

Assistant, All Saints' Church, Wynnewood, PA (1983-1985).

    Tutor and Adjunct in Theology, The General Theological Seminary, New York.

Doctoral Studies, University of Oxford (Christ Church) (1979-1983).

    Assistant, All Saints' Church, Highfield, Oxford, England.
    Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow (1979-1983).
    Ordained Anglican Priest by the Bishop of Oxford in Christ Church Cathedral (June 29, 1980).

Sportswriter, The News-Sun, Waukegan, Illinois (1972-1979).

Education

D. Phil. (Theology), University of Oxford, (1979-1983). Thesis: "Basil of Ancyra and the Reception of the Nicene Creed."

M.Div., cum laude, Harvard Divinity School (1976-1978) (New Testament/ patristics).

MA., summa cum laude, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1974-1976) (church history).

B.A., cum laude (history), Trinity College (1970-1974) (history).

Personal

Birthdate: April 1, 1952.

Family: married to Debra J. Arnold in 1974; children: Kristina (33), Eric (30), John Mark (24).

Interests: Flying (private, commercial, instrument-rated, ASEL & ASES).

-----
 
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 Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

Fr. Randy Sly on Thanksgiving and Our Roots of Faith

Image of Ceremonies and periods of thanksgiving are woven through the entire tapestry of history. We find them in the Jewish Calendar of Feasts, in other world religions, in European cultures and native practices of North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

By Fr. Randy Sly

Thanksgiving Day has become a time when we watch parades and then take in large amounts of food and football. According to some calculations, 46 million turkeys-around 550 million pounds-will be consumed during Thanksgiving this year. But that's not how it began! ... continue reading


Thanksgiving Day: We are Still One Nation - Under God Watch

Image of The sincere sentiments expressed by this extraordinary leader, George Washington, should inform our response to all of the challenges we face today in the United States of America. We are still one Nation - under God. They should also inspire us to pray for great leaders to emerge in this our great hour of need. Leaders who can help us see this as an hour of opportunity and an invitation to reaffirm our reliance on God.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This week the people of the United States of America struggle to find a way through the trauma we are experiencing in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Too many self-appointed "experts" seem all too eager to tell us what divides us. However, even in ... continue reading


Following Ferguson shooting, police departments rush to adopt body cameras Watch

Image of The purchasing of body cameras by police departments nationwide has increased dramatically following the shooting of Michael Brown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Whether you believe the story told by Ferguson police officer Daren Wilson, or by the family of Michael Brown, it is certain that the case has changed the face of law enforcement in America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The use of body cameras by police ... continue reading


Catholic Shopping .com is about to have its biggest sale ever for Black Friday weekend!

Image of Sign up so you don't miss any deals during this special Black Friday weekend sale!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This weekend, Catholic Shopping .com is having an amazing sale with up to 70% off of selected items. These deep discounts will help you finish your shopping early, but be prepared, many of these sales will last just an hour or two and then the specials will be gone! ... continue reading


A Boston man has something new to be thankful for after he received a double arm transplant Watch

Image of Will Lautzenheiser, a professor of film production and screenwriting at Boston University had to undergo surgery to remove his arms and legs in 2011 after he came down with a life-threatening streptococcal infection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Boston man who received a double arm transplant in October is making remarkable recovery, just in time for Thanksgiving. The best part, he says, is that he is able to hug his loved ones again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Will Lautzenheiser became infected ... continue reading


Dreaded cartel overlord Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez sentenced to 22 years in prison in U.S. Watch

Image of Top Sinaloa cartel thug Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in the U.S. for planning the delivery of more than 600 pounds of cocaine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Top Sinaloa cartel thug Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in the U.S. for planning the delivery of more than 600 pounds of cocaine. Some of the damning evidence against him was provided by twin brothers Pedro and Margarito ... continue reading


Here's 3,000 reasons why Obama just made illegal immigrants more attractive to your employer Watch

Image of Due to a loophole in Obamacare, the president's new amnesty plans mean that employers who hire illegals don't have to cover them with insurance, and won't be fined for doing so.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's new amnesty plan is going to have some drastic effects that most American's aren't aware of, one that may just get you kicked out of a job because of all things, Obamacare. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Under the Affordable Care Act, ... continue reading


Acknowledging Unknown Soldier over known soldiers: Over 1.2 million veterans lack health insurance Watch

Image of As a culture, many of us feel more comfortable honoring the tomb of the Unknown Soldier --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As many leave laurels at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the United States refuses to acknowledge the health and benefits of known soldiers. While most people assume that veterans automatically receive health care coverage through the Veterans Health ... continue reading


Ferguson in flames as policeman who shot, killed teenager found not guilty Watch

Image of Police claimed they came under heavy automatic weapon fire. Some buildings were left to burn because of the danger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People have responded to violence - with violence. After Police Officer Darren Wilson was been cleared of all charges in the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in August. His surrounding community of Ferguson, Missouri has responded with widespread ... continue reading


Priest in Ferguson reports deep mistrust between groups fueling tension Watch

Image of Police in Ferguson move detain a protester.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Catholic priest assigned to Ferguson, MO, spoke with Vatican Radio about the "festering" mistrust between the populace and police. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican Radio shared an interview with Fr. Arthur Cavitt, a parish priest who was asked about the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter