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An Ordinariate-wide U.S. Newsletter

posted Aug 22, 2014, 11:30 AM by Rochester Ordinariate
We have an Ordinariate-wide Newletter for the U.S. !

The Ordinariate Observer

The cover letter from Msgr. Steenson is given below:

The Joys and The challenges Of Growing our Congregations

One of the axioms of growing a congregation is that the members have to be actively engaged in bringing in new members. Church growth experts have noted the importance of the personal invitation from family or friends for bringing prospective members to the door. This is especially true for us, because the Ordinariate is not that well known.
Of course there is a balance to be struck here. Members of the Ordinariate are typically Anglicans whose consciences are leading them to full communion with the Catholic Church. The Ordinariate is a response to that “holy desire,” as our founding constitution begins. So we do not compete for members. The only reason why anyone should join us is if he or she believes that the Catholic Church is true and necessary. But there is a principle imbedded in Romans 10:14 (how can they hear without someone telling them?) which applies here.

The Catholic Church teaches clearly that the future united Church will be gathered around St. Peter and his successors, the bishops of Rome. There is no doubt that the Ordinariate was created by the Holy See to be a living witness to this teaching. It will not do to say, “You go your way, and I’ll go my way, because we are generally heading in the same direction!” The Church is called to be an objective expression of Christ’s prayer for unity (John 17:21). This must not be obscured, even as we join in the Church’s commitment to ecumenical cooperation.
We have begun to work on a course of study that could be used by groups of Anglicans trying to discern their future direction. What does the Catholic Church teach about herself? Why is the question of full communion so crucial? What are the spiritual and the practical issues involved when making this journey corporately, as a group? How can this be done without causing scandal and further division? These are difficult questions that must be answered by those who are exploring the Ordinariate. Many people have offered their help in this task, and your prayers are earnestly sought to bring this to fruition.

I was going over my notes from the Ordinaries’ meeting in Rome in February and was struck by the answer we received to this question: how would the Holy See judge the Ordinariates to be a success? The answer from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees us:
1. That we would be rooted in Christ.
2. That we would be a vibrant expression of the Anglican patrimony.
3. That we would be fervent in evangelization.
What wonderful criteria for our mission! May the Holy Spirit bring this to life in our life together!

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson
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