Ordinariate Pilgrims of faith

The Samaritan Woman at the Well Guercino 1640

The Samaritan Woman at the Well
Guercino 1640

At the beginning of Lent around 500 people were present at Southwark Cathedral for their Rite of Election. Among these 500 are Catechumens – those who have come from unbelief and are to be baptised at Easter – and Candidates who have already been baptised and are now to receive Confirmation and the Eucharist. And there will be those entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church – those whose faith journey has brought them from committed life in other Christian communities, now to continue within the fullness of belief and sacramental life in the Catholic Church.

During this past week I have heard three experiences of the journey of faith which relate to the Ordinariate. The first from a young man who became a Catholic in his teens, some ten years ago. Although not a member of the Ordinariate, he felt that its formation by Pope Benedict had encouraged him to give thanks for his Anglican past, and not to hide it.

My next conversation was with someone trying to help a young friend decide whether to enter the Catholic Church. She felt that the Ordinariate could help her with a sense of continuity in her journey: that this great step of faith did not cut her off from all that God had done for her in the past.

And finally a reflection from a priest, grateful that the Catholic Church has taken an important step with the Ordinariate in recognising God’s grace in the Christian pilgrimage. But sadly he was reminded of his meeting with a woman who had joined another Christian denomination. She was now talking of her recent ‘conversion’ and ‘meeting with the Lord’ – yet this priest had prepared her for Confirmation and Confession some years before. Such language seems to imply that what went before is of little worth, even bogus.

With Dag Hammarskjöld we shall surely want to say: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that is to come,
Yes!”

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About Scott Anderson

Formerly an Anglican priest (ordained 1975) received into the Catholic Church in February 2012, and ordained to the Diaconate on 27th July 2013. I took early retirement, and divide my time between London and northern France. I am deeply committed to the Ordinariate as a gift of the Holy Spirit in the search for unity. Like many Ordinariate members I feel a personal gratitude to Pope Emeritus Benedict, together with loyalty to our Holy Father, Pope Francis. My blog tries to make a small contribution to the growth of the Ordinariate by asking questions (and proposing some answers) about the 'Anglican Patrimony'. I have always been fascinated by the whole issue of growth and decline, and therefore concerned for appropriate means of evangelisation in western Europe. I believe that the Holy Spirit is constantly renewing the People of God and that we must be open to him. My love of music and motorcycles will occasionally surface in my posts. On Saturday 19th October 2013, I was ordained to the Priesthood at Most Precious Blood, Borough, by the Most Revd Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, for the service of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. I continued to serve the Ordinariate group and Parish at Most Precious Blood until the end of 2014. Subsequently, I helped in the care of the Ordinariate Groups at Hemel Hempstead and Croydon, and in the Archdiocese of Southwark, until the beginning of September 2015. With the agreement of my Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, the Bishop of Amiens appointed me Administrator of the Parish of Notre Dame des Etangs (Pont Remy) in Picardie, France. This appointment is to last for a year, to give the Bishop the opportunity to assess the future of the parish.
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2 Responses to Ordinariate Pilgrims of faith

  1. David Murphy says:

    Your three stories are inspiring, Father Scott.

    Here some slightly tongue in cheek questions:

    Did you invite the first young man to join the Ordinariate, telling him that he could not only be proud of his Anglican past but could live his Anglican present within the full communion of the Catholic Church?

    Did you tell the friend helping her friend that the Ordinariate can indeed smooth the way for Anglicans becoming Cathoilics but that its mission is far more than that, namely to embody the diversity of Christian faith within the Catholic and Apostolic Church and in communion with Peter?

    Did you agree with him that the Catholic Church is serious about recognising the treasure which other Christian communities can give to the whole of the Catholic and Apostolic Church?

    It’s great that more and more people are talking about the Ordinariate and seeing some of the good things that she is doing.

    Would that they came along and joined the Ordinariate themselves and helped to further this fantastic new adventure in Catholicity.

  2. David Murphy says:

    Sorry, my third question should have read:

    “Did you agree with the priest that the Catholic Church is serious about recognising the treasures which other Christian communities can give to the whole of the Catholic and Apostolic Church and that she put her money where her mouth is in establishing the Ordinariates?”

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