ANGLICAN USE MASS
In June 2008 St. Therese Parish, “a remnant whose faith has been tested and tempered by the transitions in our neighborhoods and our church” welcomed a small group of Anglicans and Episcopalians seeking to become Catholic. Their faith also had been tested, almost to the breaking point, and they came to St. Therese as a place of refuge and healing as they sought to be received into the fullness of the Catholic faith. St. Therese was an obvious choice because our Pastor, Fr. Ernie Davis, had been an Episcopal priest for fifteen years before converting to the Catholic Church under the Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II. They came seeking understanding of their trauma and their hope from one who had a similar experience. And they came hoping that some of their previous experience of Catholic liturgy as practiced in the Anglo-Catholic expression of Anglicanism could be welcomed also. This was a possibility granted under the same Pastoral Provision that allowed Fr. Ernie to be ordained a Catholic priest.
St. Therese’s Mission Statement easily describes the new members as well. St. Therese, a “remnant” parish with its identity focused in a unique liturgical style, dedication to hospitality, and service of our neighbors, stretched to include a new remnant with similar values that they expressed in a different way. The 9:15 Mass, with roots in African-American spirituality and gospel music, draws Catholics from throughout the metropolitan area for a liturgy that is exuberant and expressive. Could another unique and expressive liturgy with roots in patristic, medieval, renaissance, and contemporary Catholic experience draw another remnant of tried and tested converts and Catholics to this unique parish?
On Christ the King Sunday, 2008, the first group of former Anglicans and Episcopalians made their Professions of Faith. With the necessary permissions having been received from Bishop Finn and Archbishop Myers, the Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, St. Therese began celebrating the Mass at 11:15 on the First Sunday of Advent 2008, using the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.
Many parishes say they value diversity - St. Therese is living it. Having one parish that expresses its faith and values in two very different liturgical styles is a challenge but offers great potential. Every Catholic parish prays for church unity at every Mass, and Anglicans have worked with Catholics for decades for a healing of the schism that developed at the Reformation. That schism is healed at St. Therese. The Catholic Church has stated that as church unity is restored, formerly separated brothers and sisters will be welcome to bring their legitimate cultural traditions and patrimony of the faith with them. St. Therese is living that experience today.
To view an article entitled Bridging the Tiber, written for the Catholic Key by Fr. Ernie, click here.
Listed below are some presentations and links that will provide you with more information on the Anglican Use in the Catholic Church.
(To read the PDF files you will need Adobe Reader)