Wonderful News!


London church designated for Ordinariate use

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has today announced that the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Gregory, Warwick Street, is being dedicated to the life of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The historic church, which is situated in Soho, previously served as the chapel of the Portuguese, and later Bavarian, embassies. In the nineteenth century the sanctuary was rebuilt by the architect, J. F. Bentley, who designed Westminster Cathedral. In his ‘Apologia’ Blessed John Henry Newman mentions a visit to the church as a young boy with his father. He converted from Anglicanism to the Catholic faith in 1845 and is the patron of the Personal Ordinariate.
Speaking of the news, Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, said, “We are very grateful to Archbishop Vincent Nichols for this gesture of goodwill and support for the Ordinariate. The church is a beautiful example of ecclesiastical architecture in a very central part of London. We will be challenged to provide a strong Christian witness to those who frequent the surrounding area of Soho. It will also provide a fitting place for the liturgical and spiritual traditions of the Anglican tradition to flourish, in complete union with the Catholic Church. These demonstrate our fervent hope for the realisation of the ultimate goal of all ecumenical work, the restoration of full ecclesial communion”.
“The missionary work of the slum clergy of our Anglican forebears to the marginalised of our society must be at the heart of our mission. We relish the opportunity to engage in this important pastoral ministry, faithfully presenting the teaching of the Catholic Church as the means by which light of Jesus Christ can shine on the dark places of our world. Together with the recent formation of a religious community of former Anglican religious within the Ordinariate this is really good news as we begin 2013″.
Ten former members of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, by Monsignor Newton at the Oxford Oratory. Together with two other sisters, who were already Catholics, they form a new religious community to be called the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Monsignor Newton erected the community as a Public Association of the Faithful with the view to it being eventually granted the status of an Institute of Consecrated life.
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 as a way for groups of Anglicans to enter into communion with the Catholic Church, whilst retaining aspects of their Anglican tradition, both to nourish the faith of the members of the Ordinariate, and as a treasure to be shared with the wider Church.



Eleven former members of the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin, Wantage, have been received into the full communion of the Catholic Church by Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The sisters, who will form a new community within the Personal Ordinariate, were received into the Catholic Church at a special Mass at the Oxford Oratory on New Years’ day.
The Provost of the Oxford Oratory, the Very Reverend Daniel Seward Cong. Orat., was invited to preach at the Mass, and has been assisting the Ordinariate in the preparation of the women for their reception.
During his sermon he said, “Today sisters, [...] you become one with St Gregory the Great, St Augustine of Canterbury, St Benedict, St Edward the Confessor and all those holy men and women who been signs through the ages of God’s providence”.
Speaking of the significance of the Wantage community, Fr Seward continued, “For 164 years you have been faithful in prayer, especially in the liturgical offices, in caring for the poor, the sick, the abandoned and the elderly, in educating the young, and in missionary work in India and Africa. [...] You have responded, generously and courageously to the Holy Father’s summons to unity and as such you put yourself at the service of Our Lord’s own prayer in the Cenacle that “they should all be one”.
The new sisters will be joined by Sister Carolyne Joseph, formerly of the Society of St Margaret, Walsingham, who was received into the Church on 1 January 2011.
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established in 2009 as a jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, allowing groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion whilst maintaining aspects of their heritage and traditions which are consonant with Catholic faith and practice.
Other Anglican religious to have joined the Personal Ordinariate include three sisters of the Society of Saint Margaret, Walsingham, and a member of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, former Anglican bishop Robert Mercer


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