Last year around this time we started attending Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church. It is part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, that is a sort of "diocese" made up of Catholic Churches in North America which have been formed for Anglican (and other) converts to the Catholic faith. Our pastor, clergy, and many parishioners are former Episcopalians. But other Catholics are welcome to worship there as well, and being that my father was raised in the Episcopal church, our family is actually even more "official" than we'd initially realized.
The mass is beautiful and reverent, the sacred music is uplifting, and the community is vibrant and welcoming. We love smaller, traditional churches, and are blessed to be a part of this parish, which is the Principal one for the Ordinariate. This week is a very exciting one as The Holy Father has named the first Bishop to lead the Ordinariate, and he will be ordained here at the Cathedral in Houston on Tuesday night. It will be broadcast live on EWTN (also streaming online).
Tuesday will be filled with lots of events and a big children's festival at the church. That evening, Bishop-elect Steven Joseph Lopes (yes, his name is Steven Joseph!) will become a bishop, and next weekend our parish will actually become a Cathedral! His story is a beautiful one of faithfulness and service to the church and to the mission of the Ordinariate. Our three oldest children will be performing some traditional old English country dances during the children's festival and have been rehearsing for several weeks. They've been doing these dances with their local homeschool clubs for many years, and now they finally get to perform them with their local friends who attend our parish! We look forward to watching their dances and also experiencing the bishop's ordination mass. I hope the children handle well the events of the day, as we celebrate with our friends and church community this joyous event!
Our current Administrator, Msgr. Steenson, describes the Ordinariate as "the most remarkable endeavor the Catholic Church has ever launched for the cause of Christian unity." We are blessed to be a part of it and continue to pray for the unity of all Christians.