The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

The thoughts expressed here are my personal thoughts and sometimes reflect my political views. As a private citizen I have every right to express these views.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baltimore Episcopal Parish Becoming Catholic

The rector of Mount Calvary Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland has informed his parishioners that the church's vestry voted unanimously to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Catholic Church as an Anglican Use parish. Later next month the entire church will meet to vote on the vestry's resolutions. According to the rector, Reverend Jason Cantania, this is a logical move for Mount Calvary because the church has been well-known since the 19th century "for its adherence to Catholic faith and practice." In a letter to his parishioners he attributes the decision to a recent retreat at which the vestry decided to explore this possibility of joining the Catholic Church, as well as the Vatican's recent announcement of the Apostolic Constitution providing a path of Anglican groups to enter the Catholic Church.


Mount Calvary is not the first Episcopal parish to make such a move, but I find it particularly interesting that they are located in Maryland, once the center of Catholicism in colonial America. I suspect it's also no coincidence that this decision was announced to the parish only two days after Pope Benedict beatified Cardinal Newman during his visit to the UK. Blessed Newman was, after all, the 19th century's most famous convert from Anglicanism. In fact, on its website -- Mount Calvary Church -- the church traces its origins (it was founded in 1842) to the Oxford Movement in which Blessed Newman played a very active role. To quote the website:
Founded in Baltimore in 1842, Mount Calvary Church has borne faithful witness to the essential truth of Catholic Christianity and the tradition of the Oxford Movement for over 150 years, and remains to this day a bulwark of orthodox Anglo-Catholic practice. From its foundation, Mt. Calvary has “contended for the faith once delivered to all the saints,” the Catholic and Apostolic faith grounded in Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Fathers and Councils of the undivided Church.
It will be interesting to see what transpires at the meeting of church membership on October 24.

Keep this parish in your prayers.

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