What becomes clear is that there is a careful balancing act for every Ordinariate priest and group to consider. We must remain distinctive and yet also a functioning part of that which we joined. Lean too far into diocesan inculturation and we fail to build the Ordinariate as the Holy See requires. Lean too far into the Ordinariate and we end up in a ghetto. Between these two pitfalls lies our true goal.
And the hard work isn’t only for those of us in the Ordinariate. The Catholic church called all Catholics to welcome the Ordinariate, to support it and be generous. It is hard to fulfil our mandate if begrudging cold shoulders are offered or meanness or nastiness is exhibited. There just isn’t any room for the sulking elder brother from the prodigal son! But where people have proved open and generous and accepting- there something beautiful has occurred. So at the end of the day it really does take two to tango! Stubborn refusal to dance- from either side of the relationship- must be resisted for it can only bring sorrow to God’s heart and a thwarting to the vision of Pope Benedict.
I am pleased to say we have been most warmly welcomed here in Ottawa. When we came into the Catholic Church on Divine Mercy Sunday 2012, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast had St. Patrick Basilica’s altar set up for the Anglican Use Mass, which he then celebrated ad orientem. What a beautiful gesture of welcome to us! Hundreds of Roman Catholics came to witness this historic moment, with joy and thanksgiving.
Then, during the year we waited for the first of our former clergy to become ordained, Archbishop Prendergast asked a Companion of the Cross priest Fr. Francis Donnelly to be our mentor priest. Fr. Francis came in the early afternoon, after he had already celebrated Mass at least once, probably more, at his own parish. He attended all our catechism sessions, available for questions on any matter. When he couldn’t come, he would get a brother Companion to celebrate the Anglican Use Mass for us. So we had many come to our parish, including the former General Superior, now Bishop Scott McCaig. This is a charismatic order of priests, that just celebrated its 30th anniversary and is used to contemporary worship, but they loved our liturgy and prayed it reverently. Bishop McCaig, I understand, ordered a Divine Worship: the Missal when it came available!
Our priests, Fr. Doug Hayman and Fr. Kipling Cooper are associate members of the Companions of the Cross because of the love and friendship formed between our parish and this order.
There are many more examples of our close relationship with the Archdiocese of Ottawa that I could give that would make this a very long post indeed!
Archbishop Prendergast even came several times to our little parish to celebrate Mass. He came to celebrate on Ascension one year. And then, one Christmas Eve, when all the priests who had come to celebrate Mass for us were too busy, the Archbishop himself came. What a gift to us! He then went on to his own cathedral for Midnight Mass.