About 25 Anglicans and ex-Anglicans met at the University of Toronto’s Newman Centre May 1

Toronto Anglicans explore joining Catholic Church

  • May 4, 2011

TORONTO - Practical steps toward establishing an Anglican Ordinariate for Canada were taken at the University of Toronto’s Newman Centre May 1.

About 25 Anglicans and ex-Anglicans met to discuss their personal decision to seek union with the Catholic Church and how they would fulfill the conditions of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the apostolic constitution which governs how groups of Anglicans will be able to retain Anglican liturgical and pastoral traditions even as they become Catholics.

Ex-Anglican Canadians have been asked to send individual letters to Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins by May 31 seeking inclusion in the Anglican Ordinariate. This will indicate to Collins how many people would eventually make up the ordinariate. The ordinariate is analogous to a diocese without the usual territorial borders.

The meeting drew a range of people, including three Anglican priests, from those fully committed to becoming Catholic to those still pondering the move. There were others who became Catholics years ago, but still wish to recover the Anglican liturgical and musical traditions they left behind.

"To me, this is more about a sense of unity. This is an opportunity to be one," said Jane, who wished not to be identified by her last name.

Though Beth Abraham left the Anglican Communion more than 20 years ago to become Catholic, she was close to tears at the prospect of hearing Anglican hymns and pronouncing prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

"It’s just so moving," she said.

The Anglican Catholic group will meet at 2 p.m. every Sunday at the Newman Centre for discussion, followed by evening prayer in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel next door. It’s a natural place for the group to meet, said Newman Centre pastor Fr. Michael Machacek.

"OK, who is this place named after? It’s my hope and prayer for all of you that you will be finding common ground."

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