In 2009, Pope Benedict issued what one day may be properly regarded as a stunning achievement of his papacy, “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” which paved the way for groups of Anglican laity and pastors to become “Catholics,” in the truest and most complete sense, i.e. as community. They ARE Catholics, folks. They are WE. Somehow, Anglicans returning to Catholicism 480 years after the first Act of Supremacy by Henry VIII of England, has produced more of a yawn, a ‘huh?,’ on the part of many cradle Catholics, reverts and other converts. And what has been true of the laity has also been true of some priests as well, who all don’t quite understand that those returning really are no longer Protestants! What happened to the celebration? The shepherd who leaves the flock in the field to go find the stray celebrates when he brings it home. The loving father who embraces his prodigal son throws a big feast for everyone. And I remember the day I came back to the Church, I was acutely aware that all of heaven was rejoicing over just one soul that had returned! Where has been our celebration? our joy? our rejoicing? Sometimes it feels more to me like our returning brothers and sisters have been given the key to the side door, and asked not to make a mess. Goodness! they have come home after 480 years! Praise God!
Early in March, 2014, was the first time all three ordinaries (what we would call bishops) of the three world areas (ordinariates — like big dioceses) were together, in Rome. Cardinal Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, met with the Ordinaries and reminded them that the unity of the Church was the ostensible reason for the establishment of the ordinariates. He called them to the “all-important task both to preserve the integrity and distinctiveness of your parish communitiies and, at the same time, help your people integrate into the larger Catholic community.” The Zenit link, shown above, disappointed me in that it didn’t seem to recognize that there is a corresponding obligation of hospitality on the part of the Catholics already in the pew.
Some have ventured to opine that Pope Francis may not be the fan of the Anglican Ordinariates that Pope Benedict was. However, just a few months after becoming Pope, he relaxed further the membership requirements, making it easier for baptized Catholics, who had not received First Communion or Confirmation, to become members of the Anglican Ordinariate. Read of that postive sign on Fr. Z’s blog here.
Regardless of “membership,” all Catholics can attend the Anglican Ordinariate Mass and fulfill their Sunday “obligation.” Don’t worry about “what to do,” as you will receive a hymnal, missalette, and the readings. The first pew is used as a Communion rail, and one may receive under both species, or not. Most Catholics will feel very comfortable and welcome among these brother and sister Catholics. Sunday Mass is at 12:30 PM at Good Shepherd Church in Henrietta (Route 15A). How about trying to attend at least once in the coming year?
Whether or not we choose to attend the Anglican Ordinariate (Catholic) Mass, IMO it behooves us as Catholics to at least know a bit more. Attached is the content of a trifold brochure distributed by the St. Alban Fellowship in Henrietta, short and easy to read. In addition, the pastor, Fr. John Cornelius, has graciously consented to answer questions right here. Just post a question, in a comment, and he will respond.
Meanwhile, click through for the brochure, and click on image to enlarge. Websites are shown at the end.
Tags: Anglican Use Mass