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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Becoming One"

I would have been happy if forty people turned out for our Becoming One conference on the Ordinariate. As of today, 63 people have registered! We represent Anglican, Episcopalian and Catholic affiliations. About half of us are clergy and members of clergy families. Clergy include several deacons, a number of priests, an archbishop, Anglican Bishop David Moyer and our diocesan bishop, His Excellency, the Most Rev. Robert Finn. Clergy will be here from two Anglican Use Catholic parishes - Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Houston, and Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio. In addition to those from the Kansas City area, people are coming from Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As a sign of the unity for which we are striving, Bishop Finn and I invite all clergy to wear cassock and surplice or appropriate choir dress, take part in the procession, and sit together in the church. Sadly, because of our unhappy (but temporary!) divisions, we cannot invite all to concelebrate and receive communion (yet!) at a Catholic mass. However, we both want this to be an experience of the high level of unity we have already achieved, and a foretaste of that unity we will all share in the near future.

On Saturday morning at 11:00 we will celebrate a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit in the presence of His Excellency, Bishop Robert Finn. We will sing Healy Willan’s Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena. Fr. Christopher Phillips will be preaching.

Last week I attended Dr. Bruce Prince-Joseph’s rehearsal for Evensong and Benediction (scheduled for Friday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m. here at St. Therese). It was stunning. The acoustics at St. Therese are superb. He has a small men’s schola, Catholics and Episcopalians, who will provide the musical backbone for the service. We will be singing “Anglican Use” Evensong from the Catholic Book of Divine Worship, The Hymnal 1980, and the Liber Usualis. Dr. Prince-Joseph will be challenging us to sing antiphonally between the congregation and schola. We have not sung Evensong together before. I urge you to be ready to jump in with both feet ad majoram dei gloriam!

For those of you in the Kansas City area, there will be two rehearsal opportunities if your Evensong and Gregorian Chant are rusty and you don’t want to sight-read: the next two Wednesday evenings, 2/16 and 2/23 at 6:30 p.m. in the church here at St. Therese.

Thank your to Fr. Robert Scheiblhofer of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Omaha for agreeing to lead Compline on Friday evening, and to Fr. Robert Hall of St. George’s Anglican Church in Bentonville Arkansas for agreeing to lead Morning Prayer on Friday morning.

Registrations for the full conference and meals are still being received at www.diocese-kcsj.org. Look for Events under Quicklinks. Everyone is welcome to the conference liturgies: Evensong and Benediction on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Mass on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.