Fr. Ed Tomlinson illustrates various Ordinariate scenarios

Fr. Ed Tomlinson, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, has a follow up blog post to Damian Thompson’s recent article.

He writes about various scenarios for Anglican Ordinariate clergy.  I think some of these have been replicated in North America, such as this one:

Father Chaplain

Father Chaplain entered the Ordinariate with a small group who couldn’t hope to support him financially. He was therefore employed as a chaplain to a giant hospital which takes up the lion’s share of his time. His group is drawn from a large geographic area but most are committed to meeting regularly. They use a local church every week but at an unpopular hour.

Five years on and Father Chaplain is exhausted. He would love to do more for the Ordinariate but he lives 40 miles away from his people and is on call most days of the week. He struggles to attend meetings with other Ordinariate clergy due to his working hours. Yet he remains a good friend to them. Because of his enthusiasm his group have held together well and there are reasons for optimism about future development. But people cannot see how this will happen unless he is freed to be their priest.

We are blessed to have two priests in Ottawa.  One of them is a hospital chaplain for the Ottawa archdiocese.  He also celebrates Mass or gives the homily every Sunday, and at least one evening during the week.   Thankfully, he loves being a hospital chaplain and is not burnt out, at least not that we can tell!

Our other priest, our rector, either celebrates Mass or gives the homily every Sunday  (they alternate, so usually the homilist is not also celebrating the Mass).   He celebrates most of the weekday public offices and Masses.   He is also chaplain of Augustine College and teaches there.

We had a stable group coming into the Ordinariate; we own our own building and came into the Catholic Church with some money in the bank.



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2 Responses to Fr. Ed Tomlinson illustrates various Ordinariate scenarios

  1. Rev22:17 says:


    You wrote: We had a stable group coming into the Ordinariate; we own our own building and came into the Catholic Church with some money in the bank.

    This is all good!

    Of course, the more difficult issue is how your “stable group coming into the Ordinariate” is now fairing as part of the ordinariate.

    >> Is the community engaged in active outreach to draw in prospective members, or is it at least laying the groundwork for such outreach?

    >> Has the community added more new members through baptisms, receptions into full communion, and gathering former Anglicans received into full communion through nearby diocesan parishes than the members it has lost through death, relocation, and drifting away?

    >> Has there been a significant change in the demographics of the community? If so, how have the demographics changed?

    >> Is the community fostering and producing vocations to seminary and/or to religious life?


  2. EPMS says:

    The North American groups which are led by a priest who supports himself by diocesan work do not seem, with few exceptions, to be growing. As someone who scours the internet for updates I can attest that generally their websites are poorly maintained and their Facebook pages are at best a feed from or a similar service. I cannot imagine that a man who cannot find the time to take the Holy Week schedule off the home page by July, or find someone else to do it, is giving more than a small fraction of his attention to that community. One cannot expect much “future development” on this basis.

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