Anglicans becoming Catholics: a concrete instance

I am, these days, especially happy to read good news.  A kind reader let me in on this fine development, made possible by the Pope of Christian Unity, Benedict XVI.

There is an Anglican//Episcopalian parish, St. Luke’s, in Bladensburg, Maryland, which I am guessing is geographically in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

Here is the index page of St. Luke’s (at the time of this writing), with my emphases.

We Are Ordinariate Bound!

+Welcome to St. Luke’s Ordinariate Catholic Community website! It is with great joy St. Luke’s announces its intention to join the Personal Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church. We have been discerning the leading of the Holy Spirit since the Holy Father’s announcement of Anglicanorum coetibus in October of 2009. Since that time we have been in close dialogue with both the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the Archdiocese Washington.

Over the next few months the people of St. Luke’s Ordinariate Catholic Community will undergo formal preparation to become Roman Catholics. This formal preparation will take place at St. Luke’s primarily on Sunday’s at 9:00am, and on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm. If you are interested in joining the people of St. Luke’s on this journey you are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

We are deeply grateful to Cardinal Wuerl and to Bishop Chane for their support throughout this discernment. We look forward to continuing to worship in the Anglican tradition, while at the same time being in full communion with the Holy See of Peter.

These are exciting times! We will endeavor to keep you up to date with any information concerning our community and with the Ordinariate. Please browse through our website for the latest information.

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear the supplications of thy servants, and grant unto this parish family all things necessary for its spiritual welfare: schools to train up thy people in thy faith and fear, ministers to labor in this portion of thy vineyard, a church restored and maintained in the beauty of holiness. Strengthen and increase the faithful; visit and relieve the sick; turn and soften the wicked; rouse the careless; recover the fallen; restore the penitent; remove all hindrances to the advancement of thy truth; and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within the fold of thy Holy Catholic Church; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.

Nice prayer!  That could be used in any parish.

WDTPRS KUDOS to people of St. Luke’s.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lucas says:

    Bladensburg is right outside of DC, no more than 5-10 minutes.

    This is great news!

  2. benedetta says:

    That is a lovely prayer. Their hope is a blessing to the whole Church.

  3. Brent S says:

    Excellent! Summorum Pontificum and the Anglican Ordinariate are going to save the modern Church! :)

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    Looks like Maryland is a hotbed of Anglo-Catholics with inflatable rafts and paddles at the ready!
    This after the Catonsville sisters converted en masse with their chaplain, whom I knew when he was rector of the only “nosebleed high” ECUSA parish in Atlanta. I also understand that he is entering seminary . . . he’s a very fine man and, I pray, will make a good priest.

  5. dontex says:

    Brick by brick – courtesy of the Pope for Christian Unity.

    God bless St. Luke’s and welcome home.

  6. kittenchan says:

    It seems kinda sad that anyone who creates and prays fervently a prayer like that has to suffer for even one moment the ICEL prayers for Mass we have right now.

  7. wanda says:

    What a beautiful prayer. Would that all Catholics would have such fervor for the faith as St. Luke’s. Welcome home!

  8. Fr_Sotelo says:

    If memory serves me correctly, the beautiful Anglican parish of St. Mary of the Angels in Los Angeles has also recently voted to enter the Ordinariate.

  9. Laura R. says:

    Nice prayer! That could be used in any parish.

    To me that prayer is a good example of traditional Anglican worship, which I very much hope to see incorporated more and more into Catholic experience in the Ordinariate.

    AnAmericanMother, I knew the All Saints Sisters in Catonsville but not the chaplain you mention (though I am a native Atlantan), and was thrilled to bits by their conversion. Brick by brick!

  10. Sid says:

    Blessed news! May more Episcopalian parishes follow!

    Also, what’s is being done for Anglicans whose parish is saying put, yet who themselves would join an Ordinariate parish? Should bishops, vicars forane, or pastors offer to hold open meetings and invite, through the media, such Anglicans to attend?

  11. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    I was especially gratified to read in the the Archdiocese of Washington press release how the Episcopalian bishop John Bryson Chane has graciously made arrangements with St Luke’s to let them keep their building, allowing them lease it with an option to buy. Christian charity and goodwill seems to have prevailed all around. I intend to write a letter thanking Bishop Chane for his generous and Christian gesture, which is a far cry from the attitude taken by many Epsicopalian dioceses toward parish groups that want to leave TEC.

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    I meant to add three cheers and a tiger for Bishop Chane, whose heart is in the right place even though his theology is highly suspect (he was one of the first to perform a “gay marriage” and has been way out there on other issues as well). The long time ECUSA bishop of Atlanta, Frank Allan, was another who was always charitable even in disagreement (his successor unfortunately was not).
    I was talking about Our Saviour Virginia-Highlands and their longtime rector – not Fr. Pettway (may he rest in peace) but Fr. Tanghe. If you ever happened to attend Our Saviour, it looked more or less like a small but perfectly appointed pre-VCII Catholic church, on the more rustic end of the scale.

  13. This is a WONDERFUL story! May God bless them, and may many more congregations follow. BTW, AnAmericanMother, I have known the good sisters in Catonsville for 40 years (literally) and they have been a source of incredible blessing to my family.

  14. Centristian says:

    “It seems kinda sad that anyone who creates and prays fervently a prayer like that has to suffer for even one moment the ICEL prayers for Mass we have right now.”

    They don’t, the lucky devils. They get their own liturgy (the “Anglican Use”) based upon the Book of Common Prayer and the pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum that, in my opinion, tops both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite.

  15. Augustine Terra Mariae says:

    Yes, Maryland is one of the busiest places for Anglicans becoming part of the Catholic Church!
    In addition to Saint Luke’s Church, Bladensburg, and the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, Catonsville, Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore (City) voted on October 24, 2010, to sever connections with the Episcopalian diocese and seek entry into the Catholic Church as an Anglican Use parish. The congregation’s catechesis was placed under the guidance of Fr. Carleton Jones, OP, pastor of Saints Philip and James Church in Baltimore and himself a former Anglican clergyman and religious. Their instruction has been completed and their reception into the Church is awaiting only a final property settlement. Mount Calvary Church originally invited the All Saints Sisters to America (from England) in 1872 to assist with the parish’s mission work on the west side of Baltimore. In the 1980s, the parish and the sisters jointly opened the Joseph Richey House, a freestanding hospice which admits patients without regard for ability to pay.

    Warren Tanghe will be ordained a Catholic priest on Friday, June 24, at 6:00 pm in the Baltimore Basilica (historic Cathedral of the Assumption).

  16. Samthe44 says:

    As a former Anglican, the Personal Ordinariate is definitely a good thing. I still listen to the Anglican hymns. In its heyday, the Church of England was the best Protestant church. But I am glad to have crossed the Tiber to the One, True Church.

  17. MissOH says:

    Deo gratias! The pictures on their web site show a high altar and an altar rail… Brick by brick.

  18. jarthurcrank says:

    Thanks for the update on Mount Calvary and Father Tanghe’s upcoming ordination.

    Incidently, a successor of Father Pettway at Our Saviour, Atlanta, Father Thad Rudd, is also a pastoral provision priest. I think he is now retired. That parish is a factory of Catholic priests, of sorts!

  19. jesusthroughmary says:

    Pray for Saint Clement’s Church in Philadelphia. I hope they’re next!

  20. AnAmericanMother says:

    Augustine, J Arthur,
    Excellent to hear that update. I really like Fr. Tanghe and always enjoyed his homilies. I’ll be sure to pray for him.
    A funny story (at least I think it’s funny): when my husband and I had just married and moved back to Atlanta in the 70s, he was a non-practicing Methodist and I was a high church Episcopalian who had attended church only sporadically during college far away in N.J. because the local parish was “low church” (and because I was a typical lazy student). We were living in Virginia-Highlands when Easter rolled around, and I broached the subject, “Honey, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation, can we go to church?” He said o.k., so we strolled down to Our Saviour which was just 3 blocks away from our little fleabag apartment.
    It sounds like Arlo Guthrie, “Walked in, sat down . . . ” first thing we encountered was the holy water font. Husband: “Do you guys DO this stuff?” Me: “Some of us do, some don’t, it’s cool, just watch me and do what I do.” Procession starts. Here comes the thurifer, the ventilation system cuts on with a roar, and clouds of smoke envelop the entire congregation. Husband (more concerned): “Do you guys DO this stuff?” Me: “Some do, some don’t, it’s cool, just bow when the crucifix goes by.” Then Fr. Pettway climbs into the pulpit and preaches a barn-burning homily on . . . Purgatory! Husband (now having the Methodist Vapours): “Do you guys BELIEVE in that?” Me: “Gosh, I dunno, let me check the Articles of Religion . . . . XXII says Purgatory is a ‘fond thing, vainly invented.’ Huh?”

    That cognitive dissonance got me started reading Newman and learning more about the Oxford Movement, which meshed nicely with my newly minted History degree (and my legal studies). So I guess, in retrospect, that started us on the Road to Rome.

    By the time Fr. Rudd was at Our Saviour, we had moved across town and were attending a different parish. Once the trouble started in ECUSA, we were back at Our Saviour briefly while we worked up the courage to cross the Tiber. That’s when we met Fr. Tanghe. I gave him my DVD of the Mass from the Anglican Use parish in Texas, O.L. of the Atonement.

  21. pgoings says:

    There are a number of members of S. Clement’s in Philadelphia who would rejoice at the prospect of juridical communion with the Holy Father. However, the current rector is intractably opposed. Too, there is the issue that many of us have spent our entire lives as Anglicans putting as much distance as possible between ourselves and the Book of Common Prayer, and so the liturgical provisions for the Ordinariates, as presently constituted, are problematic in some ways. But, as the saying goes, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

  22. AnAmericanMother says:

    Looks like the Moderation Monster ate my post. Not surprising, I was rambling.
    Anyhow, thanks for the update on Fr. Tanghe. I’m glad to hear that he’s shortly to be ordained, and will pray for him.

  23. Catherine says:

    As a member of an Anglican-use parish in San Antonio, I am overjoyed to hear of this great news. I never imagined that I would live to see this kind of unity. My husband and I joined this parish a year and half ago after being members of a fairly liberal Catholic parish for over thirty years. We are very blessed to be able to worship in a Christ-centered church. I am so gratified to see so many young families attending each week. They are forming their children very well in the truths of the Catholic faith.

  24. Elizabeth D says:

    I prayed for the churches mentioned including St Clement’s in Philadelphia! Full Eucharistic Communion with Christ and His Catholic Church is the treasure of my life. May these Anglicans know the same joy.

  25. trespinos says:

    This truly is good news. Anglicanorum coetibus is a blessed gift to the Church.

    The press release from the Archdiocese of Washington made for happy reading, but, alas, ended with a cringe-worthy pronunciation guide for AC. His guide for the second word: “chay-tee-boose”. I kid you not. :-)

  26. stpetric says:

    Augustine Terra Mariae mentioned that Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore is currently under the guidance of Fr. Carleton Jones, OP. What he didn’t mention is that Fr Jones is himself an Anglican convert of an earlier generation: He was a monk of the Anglican Cowley Fathers monastery in Cambridge, Mass, until he converted in the early 1980s, and has since served with distinction among the Dominicans in New York, New Haven, and now Baltimore.

  27. irishgirl says:

    I heard this news yesterday on NPR, of all places. Wonderful!
    And how nice of the Episcopal Bishop to let them lease their church, with the option to buy!
    Thank you, Holy Father, for Anglianorum Coetibus! Long live the Pope of Christian Unity!
    And the prayer that was posted is nice, too!

  28. Austin says:

    Sadly, most of the Anglo-Catholic shrine parishes seem unlikely to join the Ordinariate, and many are actively hostile.

    Several reasons, I think. The leading one is that most have an inordinately high proportion of practising male homosexuals who are perfectly happy with the Episcopal embrace of same-sex unions, even with women clergy. St Mary the Virgin and St Ignatius in NYC fall into this category — both became ‘liberal ritualist’ rather than AC decades ago. Quite a few of these parishes have numbers of former RCs who were attracted to more liberal theology (and prettier liturgies) and who have little love for Rome.

    Some of these parishes are so removed from the lives of their dioceses that they are practically independent fiefdoms, relish their independence, and don’t want to be interfered with even by an orthodox ordinary. Having never expected much from their diocese or national church, they don’t feel especially betrayed by the heterodoxy of recent years — used to ignoring Protestant heresy, they can gladly ignore Liberal heresy.The trouble is that these parishes tend to become increasingly solipsistic and idiosyncratic, living to themselves alone.

    Then, sometimes forgotten, many of these parishes are only barely self-sustaining and need the financial lifeline of the diocese. It is not clear what would happen to endowments on which others rely. Small groups of aging people with few young families are not likely to leave the security of their present situations for the unknown territory of the ordinariate.

    I know of parishes in which a fair number of members are interested. But they know others are opposed and do not want to alienate old friend and start an internecine war in the community that has been a shelter to them — many are refugees from other parishes that became less Catholic or modernized their liturgies.

    There was a time when the clergy were more ‘advanced’ — pro-Rome or ‘papalistic’ — than their congregations. I think now it is more normal in TEC that clergy are more liberal and ‘accommodationist’ than their people, such is the rot in seminaries and diocesan structures.

  29. After checking out the St. Luke’s website, I was very pleased to learn that the Rector there is an old friend and classmate from Nashotah House.

    Nashotah House has, over the years, provided the Catholic Church with quite a few good priests!

  30. BobP says:

    Now the important question: What are their feelings toward Latin and the EF?

  31. AnAmericanMother says:


    Until we got our new music director at our Catholic parish, we had sung TONS more Latin in my Episcopalian choir than in the Catholic one. Not only Anglican chant but some Gregorian chant too (although in standard notation – I didn’t learn to read Solesmes notation until our Catholic music director taught us). We chanted things like the Vidi Aquam, and the Pange lingua gloriosi in its entirety for Good Friday. And many motets and anthems set Latin texts, not only Byrd and Tallis but the Victorians and moderns (Stanford, “Justorum animae” and “Beati quorum via” – Howells, “Requiem” – Vaughn Williams “O Vos Omnes”) – the Anglicans have kept on right up to the present day.

    Now I think our parish has the Piskies beat hands down, but compared to the average NO parish the Anglicans are going to be much more favorable towards Latin in general. I don’t think an EF Mass is out of the question, either. I guarantee you they will prefer it to the NO in English, because (at least in the current translation) it’s almost identical to the “Rite II” in the BCP which most traditional Anglicans abhor.

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