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Tuesday 21 March 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.) 

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