On the Catholic Herald website there is a lovely piece about a former Anglican who attacked the Ordinariate publicly, then visits, finds himself converted to the Catholic Church.
One of my first posts, an attack on the ordinariate and a call for Anglo-Catholic unity under the See of Canterbury, draws the ire of a certain Damian Thompson. We have a heated (but cordial) exchange over email and part amicably, agreeing to disagree.
Winter 2016 After finishing my degree at USYD I decide to abandon academia and pursue journalism full time. A Catholic friend convinces me to visit Boston’s ordinariate community: if I’m going to spend so much time rubbishing it, I should at least do a bit of field research. Reluctantly, I agree.
The liturgy is almost identical to that of the Church of the Advent’s, except on a much smaller scale. The community meets in the basement chapel of a local parish. Its 12 members make the place feel huge. I take a seat at the back and tap my foot, regretting humouring my friend. Then it comes time for Communion.
When visiting Catholic churches, I always go up to receive a blessing, more out of respect to the priest than anything. I take my place at the far end of the altar rail as the priest begins to make his way back down the line. As he draws nearer, something lights up inside me. It’s a kind of sixth sense, like the one you might feel at the airport when your loved one comes through the gates: you can feel them before you see them. This is what I sense, kneeling at the altar. And suddenly it hits me: this, here – this bit of unleavened bread – this is the living God.
It didn’t matter that this particular community was meeting in a basement chapel of a local parish, or that it only had 12 members.
It didn’t matter that compared to the magnificence of a service at the Anglo-Catholic parish of Church of the Advent the liturgy was pretty bare bones.
What mattered is Jesus in the Eucharist. What matters is hearts transformed by feeding on Him.