brief history of the Anglican Use Society
There have always been converts to the Catholic Church
from Anglicanism. Certainly the names of Saint
Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman,
G.K. Chesterton, and Ronald Knox come to mind as famous
converts. The Anglican Communion, in spite of
herself, has continued to point many individuals toward
the Catholic Church. When radical changes began to
be introduced in the Anglican Church, such as the
ordination of women and changes in the Prayer Book, many
Anglicans felt forced to leave. Some made their way
into other churches, others formed new churches, and some
stayed. Today this disintegration of Anglicanism is
more pronounced and rapid than ever, and it appears that
the Anglican Communion itself may be in danger of
In the 1970s two significant groups of Episcopalians in
the United States petitioned the Holy See to let them come
into the Catholic Church. His Holiness Pope John
Paul II responded with the Pastoral Provision for
Anglicans and permitted Episcopalian priests, including
quite a number of married men, to be ordained Catholic
priests. The Holy Fatherís Pastoral Provision,
together with the Roman Catholic Bishops in the USA, also
allowed Anglican Use Congregations to be formed, and
personal parishes were erected in several dioceses of the
The early days of exceedingly difficult work saw the birth
of two Anglican Use parishes which continue to this
day: Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in
San Antonio, Texas with Fr. Christopher Phillips, Pastor;
and Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church, Houston,
Texas, with Father James T. Moore, Pastor. Both
these parishes are thriving, and have built new churches.
The fact that Anglican Use Congregations remained few in
number is due to a number of factors. It was rare
that an Episcopalian congregation entered with their
priest, as was the case with Fr. Allan Hawkins and St.
Mary the Virgin Church in Arlington, Texas. Fr.
Richard Bradford of Boston, MA also entered the church
with a number of his parishioners from All Saints,
On February 23, 2003 a group of people met at St. Lukeís
Church in Whitestone, New York, under the leadership of
Father Joseph Wilson, a Catholic priest who was a
long-time devotee of the Anglican Use. The purpose
of the meeting was to discuss the formation of an Anglican
Use Congregation in New York City. Out of those
discussions came the sense that there might be many people
in various other parts of the country wishing to do the
same thing, and that they needed a vehicle by which to do
it. Father Joseph Wilson celebrated Mass, and the
participants signed a document forming the Anglican Use
Confraternity. Joseph Blake was elected President
On June 16, 2003, Trinity Sunday, Father Richard Bradford,
Chaplain for the Anglican Use in Boston, celebrated Mass
at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Manhattan. This was
the first official Anglican Use Mass in New York
City. Father Carleton Jones, OP, a former Cowley
Father, and Father Kevin Robb, OP, the Superior,
were our gracious hosts. Following Mass there was
further discussion about the Anglican Use Confraternity.
On January 4, 2004 there was a Quiet Day held at St.
Lukeís, Whitestone, New York, and Father Wilson celebrated
the Anglican Use Mass.
By this time the original plan for the Confraternity had
been vetted by canon lawyers, and it was decided to call
the organization the Anglican Use Society. Mr.
Blake, as President pro tempore, was authorized to
incorporate the Society as a Non Profit Corporation in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The provisional Board
of Directors included Mr. Blake, Father Wilson, David
Burt, Joseph Oliveri, and Jacob Dell. They signed
the incorporating documents.
It was decided that the Board of Directors should meet
quarterly at the Embertides, and that the Society should
have a Retreat in the Fall and an Anglican Use Conference
in the Spring. The First Annual Meeting of the
Society met on Trinity Sunday 2004 in conjunction with the
second Anglican Use Mass to be celebrated at St. Vincent
Ferrer Church in New York City.
In the meantime there have been eight Anglican Use
Conferences and the journal Anglican Embers appeared
regularly every quarter between 2004 and 2013.
With the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution
Anglicanorum coetibus and the subsequent establishment of
the three Personal Ordinariates in the United Kingdom,
North America and Australia, it was decided to extend the
spectrum of the Societyís activities beyond the Pastoral
Provision communities to encompass the whole Ordinariate
movement. The Society was internationalised and the name
changed to Anglicanorum Coetibus Society in 2015.
President, Anglicanorum Coetibus Society
Mission Statement of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society
The mission of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is:
- to offer independent and loyal support to the Personal
Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum
coetibus and the Pastoral Provision communities
- to foster relations between the members of the Ordinariates
worldwide and encourage synergies
- to promote and where possible to provide an environment
where thinking, pondering, discussing, informing, educating,
creating, writing and publishing can take place with regard to
the entire span of the received Anglican patrimony -
liturgical, intellectual, pastoral, spiritual, theological,
literary, artistic, musical, social - which the Ordinariates
are called to bring into the Catholic Church as a treasure to
- to encourage full participation of lay members of the
- to embody the ecumenical spirit of the Ordinariates by
reaching out to other Christians who are also custodians of
the Anglican patrimony, encouraging them to participate fully
in our activities and possibly to become associates.
In order to fulfil this mission, the Anglicanorum Coetibus
Society will try to achieve the following specific goals:
- The ACS will encourage and facilitate research to study and
identify and suggest ways of implementing the Anglican
patrimony, working together with academia.
- The ACS will organise an annual conference (with parallel
conferences/meetings in other nations or regions where
possible) where theologians, historians, liturgists, etc. can
share their expertise with the Ordinariates and where
constructive exchange can be fostered.
- The ACS will publish the papers presented at the conferences
and other books or individual tracts.
- The ACS will publish a quarterly journal, Shared Treasure,
available online but with a limited number of print copies,
for serious writing on the Anglican patrimony and other
- The ACS will encourage the composition or adaptation of
music for the Divine Worship liturgy. Similarly
artists, poets, spiritual writers will be encouraged and
perhaps sponsored where possible.
- The ACS will, where requested, support the Ordinariates in
the development of the formation of Ordinariate priests in
Anglican patrimony. Additionally, the ACS will take on a
fund-raising role to support the formation of future
Ordinariate clergy, particularly in the Ordinariate of the
Chair of St Peter.
- The ACS will invite open-minded and willing friends from the
Anglican churches to cooperate in its activities, to attend
and speak at conferences, to write in the journal, etc.
- The ACS will continue and expand on its traditional
communications role, informing about the Ordinariates and the
remaining Pastoral Provision communities.
- The ACS will maintain close ties with the Ordinariates,
informing and consulting them on all important matters, and
offering support where possible, whilst safeguarding a healthy
The following concrete targets or projects will form the
basis of the work of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society in the
- A conference will be planned for Summer/Autumn 2017 at a
location in the USA which can be easily reached. The main
topic of the conference will be the Anglican Patrimony,
particularly the new Divine Worship liturgy.
- The feasibility of organising a parallel conference or
meeting in the United Kingdom and maybe Australia, which can
be linked electronically to the main conference, will be
- The revision of the Anglican Use Gradual in line with the
new Divine Worship Missal will be undertaken by C. David Burt
as soon as possible.
- The Ordinariate Expats news blog and the Anglican Use of the
Roman Rite blog will be merged and additional authors will be
- A first edition of Shared Treasure is planned to be
published in late 2016, to be edited by the previous editor of
Anglican Embers or the Secretary
- The Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website will be updated
and probably redesigned.
- An editor or editors for Shared Treasure and a new
webmaster for the ACS website are currently being sought.
- The recruitment of new members shall be one of the ACS's
Anglicanorum Coetibus Society
June 24, 2016
(Australia: June 25th, 2016)