Sunday, January 1, 2012

Habemus Ordinarium!

The day is finally here!  When I first posted this @7:30 a.m. I hadn't yet seen the story anywhere else, but it has  since appeared all over the place.  A news bulletin posted this morning on the website of the Holy See, the headline of which says something like this (please pardon my amateur Italian translation): "Erection of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and Appointment of the First Ordinary."  The new U.S. ordinary, who will function as bishop of this non-territorial diocese, is Reverend Jeffrey N. Steenson.  Fr. Steenson resigned episcopal orders in September of 2007 as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande to become a Catholic.  He was received in December of that year and subsequently ordained a Catholic priest in February of 2009.  Since shortly after his ordination he has taught Patristics at The University of St. Thomas and St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, TX.  In June of 2011 he was appointed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl to oversee the priestly formation program at St. Mary's for former Anglican priests seeking ordination as Catholic priests.  For a more thorough bio (this part is in English), see the news bulletin from the Holy See.

The new ordinariate also has launched an official website.  They also have a "Support" page, where they can accept the funds they will certainly need to move forward.  Please consider a donation.

This is very good news, indeed.  Having met Fr. Steenson on a couple of occasions and knowing him by reputation, I am confident we couldn't ask for a more able shepherd of the new U.S. ordinariate.  My husband and I first met him when he spoke at the annual Anglican Use Conference in San Antonio, TX in July of 2008, a few months after he had been received into the Catholic Church.  He was a layman at the time.  The text of his talk can be found here.  At the time he was preparing to go to Rome for priestly formation in preparation for his later ordination.  We had followed his career up to then with great interest, at least since the day he announced he would be resigning holy orders.  We were in Rome on pilgrimage with the Anglican Use Society when we received word that he had resigned the episcopacy and intended to seek reception into the Church.  It was the last night of our trip (still daytime in the US), and we were at dinner in a restaurant on the Piazza Navona.  Someone in our group called then-Bishop Steenson on a cell phone and passed the phone around to several Catholic priests, bishops and a cardinal seated at our table, who knew him and wanted to welcome him home to the Catholic Church.  It was amusing to meet him later and to hear the story from the other end of the conversation!  I gathered he was rather overwhelmed at the time.

Fr. Steenson, Christopher M. and me (R to L) at reception following Mass at
St. Luke's, Bladensburg Oct. 16, 2011
Related links:
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (HT to Wolfsbane)
Official press release of the Personal Ordinariate
Anglicanorum coetibus (in English)
Complementary norms (also in English)
The Anglo-Catholic ("The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter")
Catholic Online ("It's Official and Historic - The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter Erected in America")
The Ordinariate Portal ("Ordinary Welcomes Appointment of U.S. Counterpart")
Atonement Online ("New Ordinary for the United States")
The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite: several good links
Fr. Z's blog - What Does the Prayer Really Say? ("A New Personal Ordinariate")
Whispers in the Loggia ("Upon this 'Rock' an Ordinariate is Born")

Deo gratias!


Wolfsbane said...

Here's another link for you: the Ordinariate's website (courtesy of Rocco Palmo):

Heide said...

Thanks, Wolfsbane! I will add it to the list.

HHAmbrose said...

Thanks for the insight. Pope Benedict XVI will certainly be known as the "Pope of Christian Unity." St. Peter's List will tweet this story and post it on our site.

Thank you,


Heide said...

Thank you! I have added your site to my "Catholic Culture" links.

HHAmbrose said...

Wonderful, thank you. We're a new site getting off the ground, and every bit helps.

Matthew M said...

Does this mean you will be blogging more?
I hadn't seen anything by you since September, figured you had given up the blogosphere.

Heide said...

Recent developments are likely to breathe new life into this effort. I am working on several posts even now, and I guess I'm the unofficial blog site for the St. Thomas of Canterbury Society, anyway. Thank you for your interest.