Into the Deep is developed by a group of concerned laity within the Australian Church anxious about the development of liberalism within the Catholic Church, who demand a return to orthodox Catholic teaching, and practice; a return to the Magesterium for all Catholics. Who can argue with that?
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross is the diocese in Australia (one of three worldwide at the moment) that was set up under Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglicanorum Coetibus, allowing those of the Anglican tradition to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while still retaining much of their heritage. The liturgy is authorised by the Holy See. Membership of the Ordinariate is limited to former Anglicans (and those of other denominations, faiths, or no faith) who receive Sacraments of Initiation within the Ordinariate; members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate; or those who were baptised Catholic but did not receive First Holy Communion or Confirmation and who return to the practice of the faith within the Ordinariate. However, any Catholic may worship with them, as in any other Catholic parish. There is also the Ordinariate Supporters Network which is open to all (more on that in the next issue of ITD). What I like about the Ordinariate Mass:
- There is quiet before and after Mass (even when Mass is said in the hall!).
- Father says Mass facing the altar, so has no temptation to make himself the centre of attention or to put on a ‘show’.
- There is no rush – Mass is said unhurriedly and prayerfully.
- There is a longer and more deliberate penitential rite, with a prayer for forgiveness recited while kneeling.
- There is a beautiful prayer recited before Communion (beginning, “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies…”).
- There is a beautiful prayer recited after Communion as part of the Rite of the Mass (beginning, “Almighty and ever-living God, we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost feed us, in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son…”).
- The prayer to St Michael the Archangel is recited after the final hymn.
- Holy Communion is at the altar rail (even if there’s no altar rail).
- There is a real sense of community and sincere friendliness.
- There is no temptation for priest or parishioners to Protestantise the Mass or the parish – they’ve ‘been there done that’ and found it wanting; they are faithful, committed, orthodox Catholics who value and love the Catholic faith.
- People sing (even if they don’t know the hymns!).
- Parish prayers of the faithful include “for a return to authentic Catholic teaching, reverence for the Sacraments, and a return to traditional Catholic values”.
- There is no individual sign of peace among parishioners, so no temptation to greet all and sundry out of a false sense of politeness.
- I can fulfil my financial obligation to the Church without supporting a diocese that is not faithful to the Magisterium and does not educate children or adults in the faith (in spite of a vast network of well-funded Catholic schools).
What you don’t have to worry about:
- It definitely is Catholic.
- It does fulfil your Sunday obligation.
- You will be welcomed, without fuss or insincerity.
- You don’t have to be ex-Anglican to go to the Ordinariate Mass.
- The missal provided will help you follow where you are in the Mass.
- You are not ‘ignored’ because Father sometimes has his back to you – we are joining him, all facing the same way, as he prays to the Father.
- The ‘old English’ language used is the same as we’ve always used in the Our Father; it’s not that
- If you want to donate to the Ordinariate, you’re supporting Catholic orthodoxy and helping to grow the Church, faithful to the Magisterium, in our local area.
So come and see! For a ‘no-obligation, free trial’ (!) Sunday Mass is at 10am at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Heyfield (although currently in the school hall while cracks in the church are being fixed). – Ed. (No, I receive no ‘commission’ for this! I am simply delighted, and profoundly grateful, to have found a spiritual home, an oasis of unashamed orthodoxy, amidst the liberal mire that exists in this diocese.)
Into the Deep, while not an official Church publication, is a newsletter of concerned laity. It is sometimes controversial, does not hold back on criticism when they see something wrong, challenges priests and bishops to live up to their sacred vocation, and challenges us all to return to the Magesterium; and we are all called to do that.