Comings and Goings

There’s a lot of talk these days about Catholics who leave the Church. And yet it also remains true that there is a steady stream of very high caliber Anglicans, Protestants and Evangelicals who are entering the Catholic Church. They bring with them a tradition of good preaching, love for God’s word and liturgical traditions as well that enrich us.

The latest example of this is a group of ten Religious Sisters from the Anglican Church who have decided to come into the Church as a group and a community. Here are some excerpts from the Catholic Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore The Catholic Review, George P. Matysek is the author:

After seven years of prayer and discernment, a community of Episcopal nuns and their chaplain will be received into the Roman Catholic Church during a Sept. 3 Mass celebrated by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien. The Archbishop will welcome 10 sisters from the Society of All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor when he administers the sacrament of confirmation and the sisters renew their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the chapel of their Catonsville convent.  Episcopal Father Warren Tanghe will also be received into the church and is discerning the possibility of becoming a Catholic priest.

Mother Christina Christie, superior of the religious community, said the sisters are “very excited” about joining the Catholic Church and have been closely studying the Church’s teachings for years. Two Episcopal nuns who have decided not to become Catholic will continue to live and minister alongside their soon-to-be Catholic sisters. Members of the community range in age from 59 to 94. …Wearing full habits with black veils and white wimples that cover their heads, the sisters have been a visible beacon of hope in Catonsville for decades. The American branch of a society founded in England, the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor came to Baltimore in 1872 and have been at their current location since 1917. In addition to devoting their lives to a rigorous daily prayer regimen, the sisters offer religious retreats, visit people in hospice care and maintain a Scriptorium where they design religious cards to inspire others in the faith. Throughout their history, the sisters worked with the poor of Baltimore as part of their charism of hospitality. Some of that work has included reaching out to children with special needs and ministering to AIDS patients….Orthodoxy and unity were key reasons the sisters were attracted to the Catholic faith. Many of them were troubled by the Episcopal Church’s approval of women’s ordination, the ordination of a gay bishop and what they regarded as lax stances on moral issues. …“People who did not know us looked at us as if we were in agreement with what had been going on (in the Episcopal Church),” she said. “By staying put and not doing anything, we were sending a message which was not correct.” ….The sisters acknowledged it hasn’t been easy leaving the Episcopal Church, for which they expressed great affection. Some of their friends have been hurt by their pending departure, they said. “Some feel we are abandoning the fight to maintain orthodoxy,” said Sister Emily Ann Lindsey. “We’re not. We’re doing it in another realm right now.” In addition to worshipping in the Latin rite, the sisters are expected to receive permission to attend Mass celebrated in the Anglican-use rite – a liturgy that adapts many of the prayers from the Episcopal tradition. Mother Christina said 10 archdiocesan priests, including Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, have stepped forward to learn how to celebrate the Anglican-use Mass.

So there you have it. We do have many leaving the Church today but the Lord is still blessing us with wonderful additions who appreciate the beauty of truth and of Catholic unity and order. They add to our diversity our depth and appreciate our distictiveness. God be praised.

The following video shows what an Anglican-use Mass looks like. There is a two minute introduction and then some video footage of the Anglican Use Mass. It looks a lot like the Old Latin Mass except that everything is in impeccable English.

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