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Mgr Newton Celebrates Ordinariate Mass in Washington
Tuesday 8th November 2011

Mgr Newton writes:

As I write this I have just returned from a trip to the USA as a guest of the St Luke's Institute in Washington DC. The priests of the Ordinariate know all about St Luke's Centre in Manchester - which works in close association with the Institute - where they went for assessment before ordination.

The Institute in Washington and the Centre in Manchester do invaluable work in promoting the health and well-being of Catholic clergy and religious as well as running an assessment scheme for potential priests. The Ordinariate has much to be grateful for from the work of St Luke's Centre which is fully supporting the work of the Ordinariate through its particular ministry.

By happy coincidence the visit gave me the opportunity to accept an invitation to preside at Mass and preach for the new Catholic community of St Luke's Bladensburg. Until the end of September, St Luke's was a parish of the Episcopal (Anglican) Diocese of Washington.

On Sunday 9th October, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, received most of the congregation, including their priest the Revd. Mark Lewis, into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

The following Sunday, 16th October, I was able to be with them to share in their joy and celebrate their first Catholic Mass in their church. What a privilege it was. They are following another group of former Episcopalians belonging to a community of St Peter the Rock who were received by the Catholic Bishop of Fort Worth a few weeks earlier.

United Sates and Australia.

These two groups were received in anticipation of the erection of an Ordinariate for former Anglicans in the United Sates which is expected before the end of the year. During my visit I came across so much excitement from Catholics that this was going to happen very soon and encouragement for those making the journey.

One Benedictine monk I met at Bladensburg was in tears of joy at what he saw as a return of part of the family which had been separated for so long. Another Carmelite sister I met told me her community had been earnestly and joyfully praying for the formation of the Ordinariate ever since the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in 2009. In addition it is expected that an Ordinariate will be erected in Australia sometime in 2012.

I write this to remind you that we are part of a much wider movement in the Catholic Church than the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and to encourage you to pray for our Anglican brothers and sisters who are discerning their future not only here in England and Wales, but also in Canada, Australia and the United States.

"Year of Faith"

Last month The Holy Father announced, as part of his call for a new evangelisation, a forthcoming "Year of Faith" beginning on 11th October 2012. He said its aim "is to give renewed energy to the Church's mission to lead men and women out of the desert in which they so often find themselves, and towards the place of life, towards friendship with Christ who gives us life in all its fullness".

The Year will also be an opportunity "to strengthen our faith in Christ and joyfully to announce Him to the men and women of our time", he said. Mission must be at the centre of the life of the Ordinariates so this initiative should be particularly dear to us as we strive to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to our friends and neighbours.

With my prayers for you,

Monsignor Keith Newton

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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