London Church Designated for Ordinariate Use

Ordinary Speaks of Good News at Start of 2013

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The archbishop of Westminster has dedicated a historic church in Soho for the use of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols announced last Wednesday that the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Gregory, Warwick Street, will be used by the ordinariate.

Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, noted his gratitude for the decision. 

«We are very grateful to Archbishop Vincent Nichols for this gesture of goodwill and support for the Ordinariate,» he said. «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 realization of the ultimate goal of all ecumenical work, the restoration of full ecclesial communion.»

In his «Apologia,» Blessed John Henry Newman mentions a visit to the church as a young boy with his father.

Monsignor Newton also spoke of the opportunity to engage in missionary work to the marginalized of society.

«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,» the ordinary added.

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 Jan. 1, 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.

Priest assignment

It was also recently announced that the Parish of the Most Precious Blood, Borough, is to be cared for by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. 

By the invitation of the archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, the diocesan parish of the Precious Blood near London Bridge station will be cared for by Father Christopher Pearson, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate, with the permission of the ordinary.

Replacing the Religious Community of the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorians), who currently care for the parish, Father Pearson will undertake the pastoral care of the diocesan faithful alongside the London (South) Ordinariate Group, who have worshipped in the parish in recent months. Father Pearson’s appointment begins this month.

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, while 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.

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