A new Catholic priest for Calgary

From the Calgary Ordinariate’s blog  (Where there is lots of news):

The busyness of May continued on the Saturday following our May Devotion with the much anticipated and joyous ordination to the diaconate of our seminarian, Jonathan Gibson, at St John the Evangelist. We welcomed the local bishop, Frederick Henry, as the Celebrant and Preacher of the Mass, and the one who would ordain Jonathan, at the request of our Ordinary, for service in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

Jonathan had been a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada for over twenty years and, latterly, as an Anglican, had led a majority of his parishioners (sans building) at St Augustine’s, Calgary out of the Anglican Church of Canada and into a new parish community at Grace Anglican Church, part of the Anglican Network in Canada. A year or so later he and his wife felt the call to full communion, aided by the works of Scott Hahn. He resigned his position as rector of Grace, and was duly received into the Church in July 2012. Then, after completing the Ordinariate’s formation programme, he received the necessary permissions from Rome to proceed to priestly ordination.
The Ordination Mass was a very moving experience for all concerned. Many of the older former Anglican parishioners who made up St John’s previous incarnation knew Jonathan well as one who, in a period of interregnum, had provided necessary pastoral and sacramental support for the parish, especially when the future looked rather bleak. Despite the fact that Jonathan was, as an evangelical Anglican, from a very different tradition to that of the ritualistic Anglo-Catholicism of St John’s, he had nonetheless shown great love and kindness in his willingness to keep alive what was, in those days, a dwindling parish. He even donned a biretta and dutifully wore a maniple, which spoke volumes of his respect for our traditions. Now, of course, we are all one! We are no longer divided by churchmanship or by the issues of the day, whether theological or otherwise, which so affected our lives as Anglican clergy. It is remarkable to think that when I first arrived at St John’s in April 2009 Jonathan was appointed by the Anglican Bishop of Calgary to be my mentor, since it was felt that this Englishman needed appropriate guidance in the ways of Canadian Anglicanism! We still joke about that… But I was grateful to Jonathan in those early days for his friendship. And now: plus ça change! By God’s grace, we are both Catholic priests, serving the same parish. That history, taken with the personal journey which Jonathan and his wife have walked to this point in their lives, is what made what took place on an everyday Saturday morning in May so very remarkable and packed with emotion.
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16 Responses to A new Catholic priest for Calgary

  1. Pingback: A new Catholic priest for Calgary | Catholic Canada

  2. Conchúr says:

    The parish seems to be flourishing. Do you know how many parishioners there were at the time of entering the Catholic Church and how many there are now?

    • Don Henri says:

      According to their bulletins, I recall the ASA was about 65 before reception. They ceased to publish the Sunday attendance 6 months ago, when it was about 130.

      + pax et bonum

  3. godfrey1099 says:

    1. Fr Kenyon stated that the initial number of parishioners was 71 (which probably corresponded to ASA of not more than 50).
    cf http://www.theanglocatholic.com/tag/st-johns-calgary
    The attendance reported in their weekly notices has been 120-150 this year (with an upward trend). And their last bulletin (which was subsequently removed for another reason) stated record high attendance of over 180.
    2. According to Fr. Kenyon, nine people were admitted into full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil; and the blog entry linked above indicates another adult received in May. Seems like a continuous stream of new parishioners.

  4. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From the article: The busyness of May continued on the Saturday following our May Devotion with the much anticipated and joyous ordination to the diaconate of our seminarian, Jonathan Gibson, at St John the Evangelist. We welcomed the local bishop, Frederick Henry, as the Celebrant and Preacher of the Mass, and the one who would ordain Jonathan, at the request of our Ordinary, for service in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

    This is great news! Gaudeamus!

    Here, I should add that his evangelical background should bring an infusion of new life into the parish.

    It will be interesting to see what roles the various clergy in this community take on. There’s little doubt that Fr. Kenyon’s duties as dean will continue to expand as more members and communities come into his deanery, which probably explains why Msgr. Steenson has not formally appointed him as pastor of the parish. I suspect that the formal role of pastor probably will go to another member of the parish’s clergy, freeing Fr. Kenyon to perform his duties as dean.

    From the article: Jonathan had been a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada for over twenty years and, latterly, as an Anglican, had led a majority of his parishioners (sans building) at St Augustine’s, Calgary out of the Anglican Church of Canada and into a new parish community at Grace Anglican Church, part of the Anglican Network in Canada.

    Does anybody know how many parishionners from Grace Anglican Church came with him, if any?

    Norm.

    • Lee Kenyon says:

      Dear Norm,

      Based on what I have been told and what I know, no pastor has yet been named for any new (i.e. not former Anglican Use) Ordinariate community. This is because they are, at best, quasi-parishes, and quasi-parishes, at least so far as the Ordinariate goes, do not have pastors. This is the situation at St John’s. I *hope*, very much, to be appointed pastor in due course, as St John’s continues to grow, and is, in time, established as a full parish.

      So far, a family of four from Grace Anglican have entered full communion (at the Easter Vigil), together with Fr Gibson’s daughter. Another family of four are attending and hope to begin catechesis in the autumn. Others come and go and are, as it were, watching intently to see how things progress. We are very blessed.

      Warmest regards,

      Fr Kenyon

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Fr. Kenyon,

        You wrote: Based on what I have been told and what I know, no pastor has yet been named for any new (i.e. not former Anglican Use) Ordinariate community. This is because they are, at best, quasi-parishes, and quasi-parishes, at least so far as the Ordinariate goes, do not have pastors. This is the situation at St John’s.

        Aha! Thank you very much for providing that clarification! These details have been rather scarce in the public forum, so we’re forced to take educated guesses as to what’s going on based on the limited information that is available.

        You wrote: So far, a family of four from Grace Anglican have entered full communion (at the Easter Vigil), together with Fr Gibson’s daughter. Another family of four are attending and hope to begin catechesis in the autumn. Others come and go and are, as it were, watching intently to see how things progress.

        This is wonderfully encouraging! Some — hopefully most — of those who are “watching intently to see how things progress” will come to stay in due course!

        Norm.

      • P.K.T.P. says:

        Dear Fr. Kenyon:

        First, congratulations on the new ordinations here in Victoria. I believe that Fr. John Wright was ordained with you and that Colin O’Rourke, formerly of the TAC (A.C.C.C.), was part of your congregation and was applying for ordination. Are they still attached to your community of St. John’s? I don’t see references to them any more.

        P.K.T.P.

    • Don Henri says:

      Fr. Kenyon stated on his blog that in his parish, he has parishioners formerly from the ACofC, the ACCC and the ANiC. Presumably those from the ANiC are from Grace Anglican. But this parish is another type of kettle, since the curate, who subsequently became priest-in-charge when Fr. Gibson resigned his position, is actually a woman! So I do not expect that many of this people, apparently very content with her ministry, and the view of holy orders it entails, would want to become Catholics. But indeed, ecumenical links of goodwill should be cultivated with this Evangelical Anglican parish.
      See http://www.graceanglicancalgary.ca

      + pax et bonum

  5. david says:

    dominus vobiscum

  6. godfrey1099 says:

    I see that you have gained an ‘official neighbour’ in the Ordinariate (and the Deanery), as St Edmund’s is now officially listed among the Ordinariate communities.
    http://www.usordinariate.org/communities.html

  7. EPMS says:

    Mr. Perkins: Fr Wright now serves at a Catholic parish not associated with the Ordinariate. Mr O’Rourke is not in the current group preparing for ordination.

    • P.K.T.P. says:

      I was under the impression that Colin O’Rourke was one of the few A.C.C.C. priests who had received the nulla osta. I was praying for his speedy ordination. I’m sorry to hear that he is not among them.

      Who are those now preparing for ordination? The last time I heard (from a former TAC priest in Eastern Canada), twelve former A.C.C.C. priests had not received the nulla osta and were waiting to hear on the matter. I have since heard that an indeterminate number of them is now preparing for ordination. If their identity is confidential for some reason, please don’t post it here but let us know that it is confidential, or perhaps someone could at least reveal their number.

      P.K.T.P.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Peter,

        The following is the penultimate paragraph on the front page of the June 2013 issue of The Annunciator, the monthly news bulletin of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa.

        On a different note, our prayers are asked for Johnathan Gibson in Calgary; and Michael Birch, Don Malins and Peter Switzer in Victoria as they prepare for ordination to the priesthood on Saturday, May 25 (Calgary) and Saturday, June 14 (Victoria). Indeed, by the time this issue arrives in most people’s hands, Johnathan will already be ordained.

        Norm.

  8. EPMS says:

    Since the recent ordinations in Victoria, about 12 men remain in formation; not all have received a nulla osta. All are former ACCC except one current ACC priest.

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