Of your charity, please pray for our new Anglican Use Society in Orange County, California, now so named, Blessed John Henry Newman Society. This is a community of about thirty people so far - seventeen of which will be entering the Ordinariate when it is erected here in the United States, and others who will be coming in at a later time or regularly worshipping with us. This is a new congregation in formation, which will, Lord willing and the world doesn't end on October 21, form into a parish of the Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church.
We will have our first meeting this Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, with Evensong, a Marian procession and intercessions commemorating Mary's Month (squeezing it in just in time!), and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Afterward, we will have refreshments - if not a proper bun fight ala Fr Barnes! - and I'll give a brief outline of where we are headed as a group in the next couple of months, and our organist/choir master will do the same for her vision of the music.
This project started off rather accidentally; a request from someone to get a support group going for former Anglicans in Orange County has now turned into a full-on movement to build a parish from scratch! This is very much a trial-by-fire thing, where I am learning as I go, but have found it very rewarding. There is a good group of very devoted and passionate people there who are dependable, committed, and excited about this. Many of them have prayed for something like this for years, it turns out! Everyone is giving it their all, which is why it's working. God's grace and providence over this whole endeavor clarifies that this is indeed what he is directing. What this will look like in a year's time no one knows, but considering the folks involved, I imagine the best possible outcome will occur. Hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future, we will be a growing parish of the Anglican Ordinariate called, Blessed (or Saint!) John Henry Newman Catholic Church!
Please pray for us as our first meeting is this Sunday, and we will begin to meet weekly on the Sunday evenings following, until the erection of the Ordinariate and the reception of everyone into the Church occurs. When the time comes when we can be self-sustaining - and who knows when that will be! - we will petition to become a proper parish of the Ordinariate. I don't doubt God's hand in this, because it's one of those projects where amazingly all of the right doors have opened at just the right time, and often completely unexpectedly, or if prayed about, the answer given greatly exceeded our requests! I'm really at a loss for words about how to properly describe it all so far, but alas, I must, as I have a homily to prepare for our first Evensong this Sunday!
Blessed John Henry Newman, ora pro nobis!