Mission and the Ordinariate
An Ordinariate priest who operates within the diocese of Brentwood has contributed the following to a discussion on a blog and I thought it worth sharing as a post:
Pope Francis’ recent comments have made me think quite deeply about the Ordinariate and its contribution to mission. The more I think (always dangerous) the more I wonder if we might not have a particular role to play in the pope’s prophetic vision of a “poor church”. We are travelling light: few buildings, no pensions, masses at ‘inconvenient times’. But our priests are working hard, looking after ordinariate groups, but also serving diocesan parishes where there is a shortage of priests, spending hours in schools, and assisting the local dioceses whenever there is need. Our laity are giving generously (considerably more so than many diocesan catholics), they are using their different skills to serve the ordinariate and wider catholic church, they have left the comfort and security of the buildings they have worshipped in all their lives, they now worship at times which may be inconvenient but they do so happily and rejoice to be Catholics. Our congregations are growing as diocesan catholics attend (often in addition to attending a diocesan mass) because they feel nourished by this particular approach to homiletics and liturgy. And passers by come in and links are made and the new evangelization lives.
It may just be that this pontificate will enable us to understand ourselves and our patrimony a little more. In any case, we should not worry but simply be faithful. We joined the ordinariate because we believed it offered a means for mission. We will be known by our fruits ... Fr David Waller