Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Who can join the Ordinariate anyway?

As Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio and, potentially, other parishes move into the Ordinariate around the world, it is important to remember that there is a broad net for those who seek to be in the full communion of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Christopher Phillips, Pastor Emeritus, celebrates High Mass at Our Lady of the Atonement Parish (Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter) San Antonio TX.

Here is a helpful summary by Shane Schaetzel:

One of the questions that pops up when this topic is broached is that of who can and cannot join the Ordinariate.  I have heard, through reliable sources, that a message may be distributed within the parish with the suggestion that the parishioners of Our Lady of the Atonement should not wish to join the Ordinariate because some members of the parish might not be able to join. The implication, obviously, is that those members would have to leave the parish and/or the school. IF you hear this, please know that this is categorically NOT true.

First of all, it is important to note that, when other parishes from the Pastoral Provision moved to the Ordinariate, all parishioners who desired to come along were grandfathered in, regardless of whether or not they were former Anglicans or “cradle” Catholics.  Even if that were not the case this time, it would still not prevent anyone at all from being a parishioner of Our Lady of the Atonement.

As is stands, in the unlikely event that all parishioners are not “grandfathered” in the way they have when all other parishes of the Pastoral Provision made the switch, most parishioners in Our Lady of the Atonement could already join the ordinariate formally. Those who could not, are still FULLY able to register as parishioners, have their kids in the school, receive the sacraments, etc. No one who wishes to be a part of the life of the parish would be excluded in any way. All current parishioners, and all Roman Catholics who wanted to join in the future, would still be full members of the parish. The following is straight from the Ordinariate website:

What if I am not eligible for membership?

If you are a Roman Catholic who cannot affirm one or more of the above questions in the previous section, you are still strongly encouraged to register as a parishioner in an Ordinariate parish and participate fully in the life of your local Ordinariate parish. Parish membership in one of our communities does NOT require one to be a registered member of the Ordinariate.
Our Lady of the Atonement Parish (Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter) San Antonio TX.


Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com -- Apologetics and random musings from a Catholic in the Bible Belt.'

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Welcome into the Ordinariate Fr. Phillips and OLA San Antonio - Deo gratias!!

Wonderful news is emerging from San Antonio, Texas where the Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement has been formally transferred from the local Latin Rite archdiocese to the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter as of today - March 21, 2017!

This means, amongst other things, that a very large parish with three schools, outreach ministry and an excellent musical tradition will be added to the North American Ordinariate, a body which is designed to welcome Anglicans and others into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Kudos to Fr. Christopher Phillips who has led this parish through long days in the desert (in the early 1980s) as the first Anglican Use Parish.  They were, for over 30 years, under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Now joined to the Ordinariate which has its own bishop, constitution and seminary programme, the parish can secure the future of Anglican patrimony within the protective embrace of the Holy See.

This dramatic move has just been approved by Rome and adds strength to the growing number of parishes in the Ordinariate which now numbers its first bishop (Steven Lopes) some 60 priests, a dozen or so deacons, and a  score of former Anglican (Episcopal) priests and seminarians in various stages of preparation to celebrate their priesthood in full Catholic communion. 

Joined by dozens of recently Instituted Acolytes (subdeacons in Anglo-Catholic parlance) they serve several thousand laity from Victoria to Halifax and from Toronto to Corpus Christi, TX -- some fifty communities both small and very large (Houston and San Antonio numbering hundreds of families).

Here is the official announcement.
  • March 21, 2017


    HOUSTON — The first 

    Pastoral Provision parish in the U.S. is coming into the Ordinariate.  Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church and its school, the Atonement Academy, have been transferred to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, effective March 21. At the direction of the Holy See, all parishes of the Pastoral Provision are to be incorporated into the Ordinariate: a special diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition or whose faith has been renewed by the liturgy and evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate. 

    Founded in 1983 in San Antonio, Our Lady of the Atonement was a parish of a “Pastoral Provision” established by Pope John Paul II to allow for former Anglicans to form Catholic parishes within existing U.S. dioceses. With the establishment of the North American Ordinariate in 2012 and the ordination of its first bishop in 2016, the Holy See now expects all Pastoral Provision parishes in the U.S. to be integrated into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. 

    The Ordinariate expresses its deepest gratitude to the Archdiocese of San Antonio for welcoming and caring for Our Lady of the Atonement since its inception, and for the Archdiocese’s ongoing commitment to the Church’s care for the unity of Christians. Through continued collaboration in the coming months, the Archdiocese and the Ordinariate will remain dedicated to supporting the natural evolution of this Pastoral Provision parish into the Ordinariate. 

    Our Lady of the Atonement and its school join more than 40 Ordinariate parishes and parochial communities in North America. Ordinariate parishes celebrate Mass according to a special form of the Roman Rite, using Vatican-approved texts which for centuries nourished the faith in Anglican contexts and prompted members’ desire to join the Catholic Church. 
    In 2009, the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, authorized the creation of global “Ordinariates”: a type of diocese which could receive groups of former Anglicans directly into the Catholic Church. (There are three Ordinariates in the world: Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada; and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.) 



Laetare - Mothering Sunday - March 26 - Sung Mass and blessed flowers for the ladies.

12:30  Sunday Sung Mass 
St. Thomas More, Toronto 
263 Roncesvalles

with blessing and distribution of flowers 

Invite your mother, grandmother or spiritual mother or bring her in prayer.


"Rejoice O Jerusalem"



Mothering Sunday is a part of the Anglican Patrimony that Pope Benedict asked us to bring back into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Has it been ten years?

Yes, ten years ago I edited my last edition of LITURGY CANADA. It was the Easter number which reviewed work on the pre-Reformation and English Reformation period from a Catholic perspective. 

The work of Prof. Eamon Duffy, amongst many others, has played a very large role in our  renewed understanding of what actually happened during that period and how the English people were politically manipulated, largely against their will, into giving up their popular Catholic faith.
Have a look at this pre-Ordinariate number of Liturgy Canada. 
The writing was certainly on the wall but we were still two years away from Pope Benedict's gracious invitation to unity, Anglicanorum Coetibus:
Catholic Reformation


Since then, Prof. Duffy has refined his scholarship on the reign of Mary Tudor.  Very much worth a look also is his book: Fires of Faith.

And most recently: Reformation Divided by Eamon Duffy, Bloomsbury, £30.  See a review of this book following.



Monday, March 6, 2017

Bishop Lopes visits STM for LENT 1 Litany in Procession, Pontifical Solemn Mass and Confirmation

Beginning of the The Litany in Procession  according to DIVINE WORSHIP
Procession for Lent 1 - Litany

Bishop Lopes - a powerful preacher: "You are Christ!"
A wonderful FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT at STM with The Litany in Procession, Pontifical Solemn Mass and Reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church with the Sacrament of Confirmation administered by Bishop Steven Lopes. 

Facing the Holy Gospel - those received and confirmed with their family

A great reception followed at which Bishop Lopes was presented with an inscribed copy of THE LION OF MUNSTER by the author, our friend and the Pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, Fr. Daniel Utrecht C.O..  The presentation was made by STM churchwarden Mario Josipovic; whose twin sons Byron and Brock were confirmed.
The Introit

Instituted Acolyte, Timothy Humphries, Instituted acts as Subdeacon chanting the Epistle.


Fr. John Hodgins welcomes Bishop Lopes, visitors and friends to the reception.