We are Christians formed in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (the “Anglican Ordinariate”), a community of joyful and peaceful Catholics in which the Anglican patrimony is preserved, nourished, renewed.
Our first class of converts was received into the Church on 1 June 2013, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, at the Church of St. Mary of the Annunciation, Charleston.
“In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition…to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favorably to such petitions. Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the unity of all the Churches, could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.” Anglicanorum coetibus, Benedict XVI
On November 4, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, paving the way for groups of Anglicans to come in to full communion with the Catholic Church in such a way “so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” In January of 2012, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was erected with Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson (formerly the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande) appointed as Ordinary.
Beginning with the promulgation of Anglicanorum coetibus, a group of parishioners and clergy at the Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston, began praying together and discerning a vocation to enter into the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate. As Christians formed in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, and though sad to leave a parish we dearly love, we received this opportunity with gratitude; it truly felt like a way home. The controversies in the Episcopal Church and wider Anglican Communion were not our motivating factor – which was always to live out more fully and authentically the Catholic faith we had received as Anglicans – but served only to place some of Anglicanism’s ecclesial deficits into starker relief. As Catholics, we want not to be an eccentric liturgical ghetto, but first and foremost to be a community which rests in what Archbishop Gerhard Müller has called “the joyful and peaceful embrace of our common faith.”
So, we are
- Not angry, but grateful for God’s work in our lives during our years in the Episcopal Church
- Convinced that the Catholic Church is the only true and abiding home of catholic faith
- Committed to one another in a mutually supportive and discerning community
- Focused outward: “The Great Commission is at the heart of the Church’s agenda: Truth has been given to be proclaimed. We must acquire the skills and nurture the gifts necessary to gather in a bountiful harvest of faith.” – Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson.
With the kind hospitality of Bishop Robert Guglielmone and Monsignor Steven Brovy of the Diocese of Charleston, we began worshiping with the community of St. Mary of the Annunciation on Hassel Street in Charleston beginning in January of 2013. Fr. Patrick Allen, a former Episcopal priest (having served parishes in the Episcopal Dioceses of South Carolina and Tennessee) is the leader of our community and was ordained to the Catholic Priesthood on 7 July 2013. Our community will begin celebrating masses according to the “Anglican Use” of the Catholic Church in September of 2013. We are brothers and sisters in the Ordinariate, we are a fellowship of Catholic Christians in which the Anglican liturgical and pastoral patrimony is preserved, nurtured, and renewed, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to all people.