This year's Anglican Use Conference, the yearly gathering of former Anglicans in full communion with the See of Peter, will be sponsored by Our Lady of Hope in Kansas City. This year is the Year of Faith and the theme will be on evangelism. Naturally, the focus for this conference will be what the Anglican patrimony brings to the table of evangelism. Keynote speakers will not only include Mgr. Jeffrey Steenson and Fr. Scott Hurd of the American Ordinariate, but also Fr. Ian Ker, world-renown Newman scholar.
In addition, I will be co-presenting with Fr. Eric Bergman on the practicalities of starting and growing an Anglican Use/Ordinariate parish with focus on evangelism. We will use examples of Bl. John's, Orange County and St. Thomas More, Scranton - what has worked and what has not. The presentation will not be an infallible list of guarantees for others, for every situation is so unique, but rather general guidelines and principles that we can recommend to others who wish to venture out and start something.
But the point that I wish to emphasize above all is that we are not creating museums to simply survive, or odd places for anglophiles to worship. Our goal is to reach non-Catholics and lapsed Catholics using our unique patrimony. If our goal is to reach people where they are and bring them to a higher place - ultimately union with Christ - we see that our goal is the same as other Catholics and that provides a proper perspective on everything else we do: liturgy, music, homilies, education, evangelism, and parish growth.
I encourage everyone to try to attend this year's conference if you have any connection to the Ordinariates or the Anglican Use, and if you're not able to come, to please keep this conference in your prayers. As the Ordinariates are in their infancy stages, there are obviously many details to sort out, including enabling and encouraging the various mission parishes to find their local identities and visions. For while we all share a common one as Ordinariate mission communities, we also share unique local ones. Those need to be discovered and nurtured. Likewise, the Ordinariates in each country need to find their own visions, and of course, the Ordinariates collectively around the world need to be in harmony.
But our chief vision, above all else, is to use our Anglican patrimony for conversion: conversion of non-Catholics to come into the Church and a continuing conversion of the Catholics once inside. This is where faith comes in, and this conference taking place in this Year of Faith seems rather providential.
So pack up your Books of Divine Worship - they'll need their own suitcases! - rosaries and some clothes, and come out to Kansas city this November and join in the fun!