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"Called To Be One!" Ordinary speaks at Shrewsbury Cathedral
The Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton, has said that people like him who became Catholics via the Ordinariate did so, "not because we wanted to escape the Church of England, but because of the more important call to unity - a priority which Christ himself prayed for. We want to encourage others to do the same" he said.
Mgr Newton added that a day had been set aside - 6 September this year - when Ordinariate groups across the country would organise local events and invite anyone who might be interested in exploring the particular mission of the Ordinariate, to come and see it in practice.
The Ordinary was speaking in Shrewsbury Cathedral, where he preached at all the Masses over the weekend of 5 to 6 July. The event was part of an appeal organised with the kind permission of the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies, by the Friends of the Ordinariate, a charity which supports the work of the Ordinariate.
Mgr Newton said that, when he set the Ordinariate up, "Pope Benedict described it as a prophetic gesture because it puts into concrete form the teaching of the second Vatican Council on ecumenism - that there can be unity of faith but diversity of expression, and because it points forward with hope for possibilities for unity in the future".
The Ordinary went on to speak of the Ordinariate's evangelising mission. "The Ordinariate has a particular historic and cultural link with a British expression of Christianity which can be a tool for evangelisation. We have people who have become Catholics through the Ordinariate who would not have found a pathway into communion wth the See of St Peter any other way" he said.
Speaking before Mgr Newton's visit, Bishop Davies said the Cathedral was delighted to be able to welcome him. "It will be an occasion for us to give thanks for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. It is wonderful to see the "prophetic gesture" Pope Benedict spoke of, being part of the daily life and witness of the Catholic Church in this land" Bishop Davies said.
At the invitation of the Bishop, the Ordinary presided at the Cathedral's Solemn Pontifical Mass on Sunday morning as well as preaching. Fr David Mawson of the Ordinariate, who asists at Shrewsbury Cathedral, presided at the 8.30 Mass on Sunday morning.
There was a retiring collection for the work of the Friends of the Ordinariate after each Mass. Nicolas Ollivant, chairman of the Friends, said: "The Cathedral could not have been more welcoming. We are very grateful indeed to Bishop Davies, to Canon Stephen Coonan and the other priests of the Cathedral and to the parishioners in Shrewsbury for their generous support".
To read Mgr Newton's homily, click here