Anglican Catholics in Canada

On the Sunday of the Divine Mercy of the Lord, the first fourth (see comments below) Anglican group in Canada is received into the Catholic Church with the intent of joining an Ordinariate for former Anglicans. The group includes 40 members of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Ottawa, which has been a member of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) and of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). They were received into full communion with the Catholic Church in St. Patrick's Basilica in Ottawa by Archbishop Terrence Prendercast earlier today.

With Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus (and complementary norms), personal ordinariates can be established in countries where sufficient number of Anglicans wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church. Similar to a Diocese, an Ordinariate possesses public juridic personality in Canon Law, and has jurisdiction of possibly a whole country. These Ordinariates can celebrate the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments according to the Anglican tradition which have been approved by the Holy See.

Former Anglican bishops who enter an Ordinariate (as Ordinary or not) may receive ordination to the diaconate and priesthood, but only those who are not married can receive ordination to the episcopate. The head of an ordinariate is called an Ordinary. He must receive ordination as priest from the Catholic Church but would have similar power to a diocesan Bishop and be similarly vested. The only difference for Ordinaries who cannot receive episcopal ordination in the Catholic Church is that they cannot perform ordinations.

Canada does not have sufficient members to form a personal ordinariate of its own. Anglicans from the country will join the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in the United States, established four months ago. This is only the second ordinariate for Anglicans, with the first one being the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, established in 2011. The Canadians will form a Deanery within the Ordinariate, under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, who has special significance to Canada.

Ottawa's Cathedral of the Annunciation will lose its status as cathedral as it is incorporated into the American Ordinariate with the Principal Church of Our Lady of Walsingham (de facto Cathedral) in Houston. The former cathedral will now be known as the "Sodality of the Annunciation", where a sodality is a "parish in waiting". Former Anglican Bishop Peter Wilkinson and Suffragan Bishop Carl Reid as well as some priests belonging to the sodality will undergo formation until they receive presbyteral ordination in the Catholic Church, presumably from Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto. At that time, these new Catholic members will be formally made part of the American Ordinariate which will expand its jurisdiction to cover Canada, and the sodality will be raised to the dignity of a parish.

I was in a business trip in the Canadian capital last year for two days. After work I had a 2-hour tour of seven cathedrals: Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of Notre Dame, Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation and St. Nicholas (Orthodox Church in America), the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Xenia (Russian Church Abroad), the Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Elias, the Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, and the Anglican Catholic Cathedral of the Annunciation.

It was in the latter cathedral that I attended the Liturgy of the Hours and a Mass, the first time that I attended a high Anglican liturgy. I was very impressed by the beautiful English Mass texts, somewhat similar to the new English translation of the Catholic Mass which would take effect months afterwards. My thought was that it combines the solemnity of the Tridentine Mass and the most elegant English text. I could not receive Communion then (by reason of canon law), but next time I will be able to! I had the opportunity of briefly speaking to the bishop after Mass, when I told him I was anxiously waiting for the parish to become Catholic. He told me to pray for that day. My unworthy prayers were fulfilled today!

Ottawa has lost a cathedral and but has gained more joy. Praise be to God.


  1. Anonymous16/4/12 17:39

    Check out Archbishop Terrence's homily at http://youtu.be/RPibIy_CCM8

    1. Anonymous27/4/12 16:34

      Good morning.

      I just happened upon this piece.

      For accuracy, you may wish to revise the piece! The first Anglican group in Canada to be received into the Catholic Church, and that is ordinariate-bound, is St. John the Evangelist in Calgary who were received in mid-December, 2011. The second group was the Toronto Ordinariate group which was received into the Church in late December. The Third group was in Waterloo, Ontario now The Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, who were received into the Catholic Church on January 1, 2012.

      Further, there were only 30 received on April 15, and they were from Ottawa (the Annunciation), Spencerville (St. Barnabas) and Barrhaven (Holy Nativity). Also received on April 15 was the Victoria group (The Fellowship of John Henry Newman).

      All the communities referred to above were formerly ACCC groups except for Calgary and Toronto which were, I believe, all Anglican Church of Canada members.