With the first wave of almost 1000 received into the Ordinariate in the UK in the past month and a host of ordinations across the pond this past week, Canadians and Americans are gathering across the continent to prepare for the establishment of Anglican Ordinariates in North America.
The first meeting of the Toronto Ordinariate group (yet to be officially named) took place appropriately enough at the Newman Centre of the University of Toronto. If there was a theme that developed in the discussions preceding Evensong it was one of thankfulness for the gift of unity which the Holy Father has offered.
Fr. Michael, the director of the Newman Centre, warmly welcomed Anglicans and others in the beautiful Victorian mansion which hosts Catholic students and seekers at the U of T next to what he describes as the very English-style Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas which will host Evensong on Sunday afternoons for the group in formation.
Anglicans, along with former Anglicans who have long been in full communion with Rome joined with people of various backgrounds including Mennonite, Pentecostal and others as they began to explore the meaning of Anglicanorum Coetibus as their charter on the road to the unity which our Lord commands us to work towards.
So, a good beginning for the charter group in Toronto which joins with parishes in Calgary, Ottawa, Victoria, Halifax and many other small communities around the country on the pilgrimage to full communion with the Holy See. It will be a challenging and exciting journey on which we expect to meet many tests but a journey which is being made with the prayers of that great company which no one can number.
The first challenge is to gather letters from each family and individual making an intention to journey with the group. These will be given to Archbishop Collins by the end of May as he prepares his report. This is being done in the hope that during the course of the coming year, individuals within the various groups will be received into full communion as the first wave in North America.
The pioneers are on the move this month of Mary.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us;
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us.