Tuesday, December 18, 2012

News from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

The latest news from the Ordinariate in England is about some of the nuns from an Anglican order joining the Ordinariate:

A group of Anglican nuns from the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) in Wantage, Oxfordshire, are to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in January 2013.

Eleven sisters from the historic Anglican community will join the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the structure established by Pope Benedict XVI to enable groups of Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church whilst retaining elements of their liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral heritage. The group includes the Superior of the community, Mother Winsome CSMV.

The eleven CSMV sisters, will be joined by Sister Carolyne Joseph, formerly of the Society of St Margaret in Walsingham, who joined the Ordinariate in January 2011. These twelve sisters will initially be established as a Public Association of the Faithful within the Personal Ordinariate. They will be known as the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and will continue in their work of prayer and contemplation, whilst retaining certain of their Anglican traditions and practices. Foremost amongst these is the tradition of English plainchant for which these sisters are well known.

After consultation with Church of England authorities it has been decided that the sisters will move from their convent in Wantage and, after reception into the Catholic Church, will spend a period of time with an established Catholic community. Following this, the newly established Ordinariate community will seek to find a suitable new home.

Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said, “The Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage has been at the heart of the Church of England’s Religious Life since the mid-nineteenth century. The contribution of the community to the life of the Anglican Communion has been significant, not least through the community’s care for those marginalised by society in Britain, and also in India and South Africa”.

The order was founded in the wake of the Oxford Movement, according to the community's website.

In his book Glorious Battle, John Shelton Reed mentions that the Community of St. Mary the Virgin maintained a High Church Tractarian liturgy, using a book called The Day Hours of the Church of England, "an 1858 adaptation of the pre-Reformation use of the Diocese of Salisbury (Sarum)." (p. 53) Thus the nuns joining the Ordinariate will further its efforts to maintain the Anglican patrimony.

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