Friday, December 7, 2012

Ordinariate Deanery for Canada - St. Ambrose - The Handing Over of the Bible at Sagrada Familia Parish

The Holy See has approved the establishment of a deanery in Canada that will minister to groups of Anglicans and Anglican clergy in Canada who come into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the Ordinary, or head, of the Ordinariate, which is based in Houston, TX, and Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, the ecclesiastical delegate for the Ordinariate in Canada, jointly announced the news on Friday.

Msgr. Steenson has appointed Rev. Lee Kenyon, administrator of the first Ordinariate congregation in Canada, St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, AB, as dean of the new Deanery of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Kenyon trained for ministry in the Church of England, and served there as a parish priest from 2005 to 2009, when he came to Calgary. He brought his parish community into the Catholic Church in 2011 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry in June.

“The territory of the Ordinariate in North America is enormous, and it will be a great blessing to be able to delegate many of the duties for shepherding these groups to Fr. Kenyon,” said Msgr. Steenson. “He brings to this work a superb foundation within the Anglican tradition, and he brings this patrimony to the Catholic Church with a wise and generous pastoral heart.”

Cardinal Collins said, "I am delighted that the Holy See has approved the establishment of a Canadian deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. Father Kenyon will provide excellent pastoral leadership for the new deanery and I offer my prayers for all involved in this important initiative.”

Cardinal Collins and Msgr. Steenson had petitioned the Holy See to create a deanery after receiving the unanimous support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at its September plenary assembly in Quebec.

“I continue to be full of gratitude for the encouragement and active support of the Canadian bishops for the Ordinariate and Pope Benedict’s vision for these intentional communities of Christian unity,” Msgr. Steenson noted.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012 for Anglican clergy and groups seeking to become Catholic, while also retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy. It is one of three Ordinariates for former Anglicans in the world. To date, it includes 24 priests, 1,500 people and 35 communities across the United States and Canada. Peter Wilkinson, former bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, will become the third Ordinariate priest in Canada, when he is ordained in Victoria, BC on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.

The other Ordinariates are Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

Background on Fr. Lee Kenyon:

Fr. Lee Kenyon was born and raised in Manchester, Lancashire, England. He was educated at the University of Lancaster (BA Philosophy) and at the University of Leeds (BA Theology, MA Theology). He studied and trained for the Anglican ministry at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, and was ordained into the Church of England in 2005. He served a curacy St. Cuthbert, Darwen with St. Stephen, Tockholes, in the Diocese of Blackburn before coming to serve as Priest-in- Charge at St. John the Evangelist, Calgary in 2009.

Fr Kenyon was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in December 2011, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter by the Bishop of Calgary in June 2012. Fr Kenyon and his wife Elizabeth have three children.

Online: and; Media contact: Susan Gibbs, 202-525-9554 and or

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O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Saint Ambrose of Milan

Today's saint, a Doctor of the Church is by tradition the patron of bee keepers; bees (note the hive in the portrait of the elderly saint below); of  candlemakers; chandlers; domestic animals; French Commissariat; learning; Milan, Italy; schoolchildren; students; wax melters; wax refiners.

Around the year 333 Ambrose was born at Trier, the child of a noble Roman family. After his father's death he went to Rome, and was soon appointed consul with residence at Milan. While attempting to settle a dispute between the Arians and Catholics over the choice of a bishop, he himself was chosen, although only a catechumen at the time. Thereupon he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of theology, and gave his possessions to the poor. He was an illustrious preacher, and through his sermons brought Augustine to the faith and baptized him.

Candid and fearless no matter how strong the opposition, Ambrose was directed to confront Maximus, the murderer of the Emperor Gratian. When Maximus refused to do penance, Ambrose excommunicated him. Later he denied Emperor Theodosius entrance into church for his massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica. It was on this occasion that allusion was made to [King] David as a murderer and adulterer, and Ambrose retorted: "You have followed him in sin, now follow him in repentance." Humbly, Theodosius accepted the penance imposed.

We often meet this saint in the Divine Office as a teacher and as an inspired composer of hyms (fourteen of the hymns attributed to him are definitely authentic, true pearls of religious poetry). His writings are vibrant with ancient Christian liturgical spirit, for his life was wholly rooted in mystery and sacrament. We can profit greatly by reading Ambrose's works. He is [with St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great and St. Jerome] one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church. [Excerpted from Pius Parsch, The Church's Year of Grace]

Saint Ambroise de Milan, Docteur de l'Eglise (339-397)
Ambroise de Milan est une des plus grandes figures de l'Église ancienne et le meilleur représentant latin, avec Augustin, de la pensée mariale occidentale.

Ambroise naît entre 334 et 339 à Trèves, où son père est préfet. Il étudie et enseigne la rhétorique. Vers 370 il est nommé gouverneur de la Ligurie et de l'Emilie, en siégeant à Milan. Ambroise, homme intègre et consciencieux, après la mort de l'évêque aryen Assenze, et alors qu'il est encore catéchumène, est acclamé évêque par tout le peuple de Milan, aussi bien les orthodoxes que les aryens. Il est baptisé et, huit jours après, consacré évêque, le 7 décembre 374. Guidé par le prêtre savant Simplicianus, il se consacre infatigablement à l'étude des Livres saints, de la Tradition de l'Eglise, des Pères latins et surtout grecs. Prédicateur célèbre, il exerce une influence déterminante dans l'Eglise et dans la politique de son temps.

Ambroise, amoureux du Christ, le Verbe, brûle comme saint Paul d'une jalousie divine pour la virginité consacrée au Seigneur. Il fonde et dirige des monastères de vierges. Il écrit aux vierges quatre oeuvres célèbres dont « De la virginité » - entendue dans le sens le plus ample: de corps, de cœur et d'esprit - et il s'exprime avec une délicatesse exquise. [...]

Il nourrit et manifeste envers Marie une vénération profonde, qui ne naît pas d'un sentimentalisme piétiste, mais de la conscience précise de la place singulière de Marie dans le mystère du salut.

Il accepte, avec une claire formulation christologique, la maternité divine de Marie ; il reprend et développe l'ancienne antithèse Ève-Marie. [...]

Il propose comme modèle la Vierge Marie suivant son portrait le plus vrai et le plus évangélique, formé de pudeur virginale, d'écoute attentive de la Parole de Dieu, d'humilité de cœur, de labeur incessant, de prompte charité envers les pauvres, d'ascèse quotidienne, d'équilibre intérieur, de désir ardent de l'Époux continuellement recherché et fidèlement suivi.

Vatican II a repris un aspect important chez saint Ambroise : la typologie ecclésiale de Marie. En effet saint Ambroise fonde un parallélisme typologique entre Marie et l'Église, entre la maternité de Marie et les sacrements de l'Église, entre Marie et chaque fidèle dans l'Église : ce parallélisme concerne la virginité de la foi et à la fécondité dans l'Esprit.  [L. GAMBERO, Testi mariani del primo millennio, vol 3, Padri e altri autori latini, Città Nuova Editrice, 1990, extraits des pages 160-163 par Françoise Breynaert.]

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This fall, catechists from the Neo-Catechumenal Way (NCW) presented a program of discipleship to interested persons who gathered at Sagrada Familia Parish (in Spanish) and at Assumption of Our Lady Parish (in English).

One of the key moments in the attachment to the Lord and His Church is the ceremony of the Handing Over of the Bible, which I did to some twenty-seven men and women in a ceremony at Sagrada Familia Parsh Hall. The sharing of a supper added an additional festive dimension to our gathering.  Photos: Fr. Jorge Lopez.

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