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"Becoming One" gathering planned as face of the US Anglican Ordinarate emerges

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November 01, 2010 - 6:02 PDT


SAN ANTONIO, TX (November 1, 2010) - A little more than a year ago (Oct. 20, 2009) William Cardinal Levada signaled to the world that Pope Benedict XVI was planning to release an apostolic constitution helping those spiritually disenfranchised Anglicans seeking to reunite with the See of Peter. Less than two weeks later (Nov. 9, 2009) the Vatican published " Anglicanorum Coetibus ". This paves the way for the eventual establishment of a unique Anglican Ordinariate, for those entering into full communion with the Catholic Church from the Anglican tradition. At the announcement the Anglican world was shaken to its core.

Since that time Anglicans and former Anglicans around the world -- including American Episcopalians -- have been considering the Pope's offer to become fully-fledged Catholics and yet retain some of their unique Anglican liturgy, patrimony and ethos in their life and worship as Catholics. Now a year has come and gone. Questions have been raised, meetings have been held, and some answers have been given, well all the while, slowly the face the various proposed national ordinatiates are starting to take shape.

Washington, D.C. Archbishop and Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl has been named the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's delegate and head of an American ad hoc committee charged with helping to implement the apostolic constitution in the United States and to help bring about the American ordinariate. Abp. Wuerl's assistant is the Rev. Scott Hurd, a pastoral provision Catholic priest who is also a liaison to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops for the emerging Ordinariate.

At this point the ad hoc committee, chaired by the Cardinal-designate, has two immediate tasks: the assessment of the actual level of interest in an Anglican Ordinariate in the United States; and to help facilitate the implementation of "Anglicanorum Coetibus" in America.

In the United States there are at least 20 identifiable Catholic, Protestant Episcopal, Traditional Anglican Communion, Missionary Episcopal, and Anglican Use congregations, societies and religious orders, incorporating thousands of individuals, who are seeking membership in the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States. Now a unique opportunity has risen to allow all these various individuals and groups to begin to intermingle and start to become one Catholic spiritual family in the Anglican Ordinariate which is starting to take shape in the States.

Our Lady of the Atonement Anglican Use Catholic Church is throwing open her classic arched Anglican-red doors and has issued an open invitation for all Anglican Ordinariate-bound Christians to come together in a spirit of unified prayer, fraternal brotherhood, shared Anglo-Catholic fellowship, and mutual encouragement.

For three days of grace, from Tuesday afternoon Nov. 16 through Thursday morning Nov. 18, the San Antonio Catholic church will host "Becoming One" gathering thereby allowing the various Anglican and Catholic individuals to pray in unison, mingle and break bread together, exchange information and ideas in the spirit of fellowship and camaraderie as they journey together into the proposed American Anglican Ordinariate.

"Our parish will be hosting a gathering for those in the United States who plan to become part of the Ordinariate when it's established," recently blogged the Rev. Christopher Phillips, Our Lady of the Atonement's founding pastor. "We're going to become one family soon and our paths up to this point have been fairly diverse."

This diversity is evident in the far-flung structures in which the various Anglican groups are clustering and moving toward final inclusion in the Ordinariate. Currently there are three fully-fledged Anglican Use Catholic parishes in the United States, all are in Texas: Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston; Mary the Virgin, Arlington; and Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio, which is the original founding Anglican Use parish and mother church.

In addition there are other Catholic, Episcopal and Anglican congregations in various stages of conversion and formation including: St. Anselm of Canterbury, Corpus Christi, TX; St. Therese Little Flower, Kansas City, MO; St. Paul's, Phoenix, AZ; St. Thomas More, Dallas, TX; Holy Nativity, Payson, AZ; Holy Cross in Honolulu, HI; Mt. Calvary, Baltimore, MD; St. Athanasius, Brookline, MA; St. George, Bentonville, AK; Good Shepherd, Columbia, SC; and the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Orlando, FL.

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There are also a host of established Anglican Use societies scattered around the United States including: St. Augustine of Canterbury, Springfield, MO; Our Lady of Hope, Kansas City, MO; St. Thomas More, Scranton, PA; and Our Lady of Martyrs, Nashville, TN; as well as Anglican Use groups forming in Atlanta, GA; Lehigh Valley, PA; Bucks County, PA; and La Quinta CA. In addition there are the All Saints Sisters of the Poor in Cantonville, MD, and a several hermits who have shown interest in uniting with the Ordinatiate.

Common communal prayer will be the foundation and focal point of the "Becoming One" gathering. There will also be structured presentations designed to provide needed information and answer burning questions.

"As we get closer to the establishment of the Ordinariate for this country," Fr. Phillips explained. "I think it's important that we take time to get to know one another, and especially to spend some time praying with each other."

The "Becoming One" gathering will be anchored in prayer including Catholic Mass according to Anglican Usage, Morning Prayer and Evensong, with various Anglican liturgies providing the spiritual structure for discussion panels and information sessions designed to help shed some light on the progress of the formal establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States and the melding together of various Anglicans in one ecclesial Catholic family.

Helping to provide some of the answers is the be Fr. Hurd, who will be representing Cardinal-designate Wuerl at the "Becoming One" gathering, and who should have some basic answers to fundamental questions and concerns.

Fr. Phillips is pleased about the coming together of so many Catholics and Anglicans from so many diverse Anglican traditions, including three Traditional Anglican Communion bishops. TAC bishops who are planning on attending include: Archbishop Louis Falk, former primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion and currently president of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America; Bishop Louis Campese, bishop of the Anglican Church in America Diocese of the Eastern United States; and Bishop David Moyer, the Anglican Church in America bishop for the Armed Forces.

"This is a time when we can begin to bind ourselves together, looking to the day when we will be one family in the Ordinariate," Fr. Phillips wrote. "This should be a marvelous time for all of us. It will be great to pray together, to eat together, and to share what wonders God is doing in our midst."

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help us do more >

Fr. Phillips requests that those who are interested in attending the "Becoming One" gathering contact him directly so that an accurate nose count can be taken to help Our Lady of the Atonement properly prepare for seating, liturgy and meals. He can be reached at (210) 695-2944 or by e-mail: FrPhillips@atonementonline.


TX, 77320-1961 US
Mary Ann Mueller - Media Consultant, 936/293-1930


Anglican Ordinariate, Anglican Use, Anglicanorum Coetibus


US Parishes

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