Anglicanorum Coetibus Society goes live with map pinpointing groups across North America

Updated to reflect revisions on Catholic in the Ozarks

Anglican Patrimony Groups

Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI
Signing Anglicanorum Coetibus.

The “Anglican Patrimony” is the liturgical history, particular to Medieval England, that the Catholic Church and Anglicans have in common. It is upon this Patrimony that the Ordinariate Form (Divine Worship) was built. Divine Worship is the official liturgy of the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans.

The “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite” is now effectively and functionally suppressed (If indeed the term “suppressed” can even properly be used. It may be more accurate to say “obsolete.”). It no longer exists. It was the prototype for Divine Worship, lasting 35 years (from 1980 to 2015). Divine Worship is now the official liturgy of the Ordinariates, known officially as “Divine Worship” and less officially as the “Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite.” A full mass sample of Divine Worship can be viewed here…

Divine Worship consists of a Missal (mass liturgy) as well as a Breviary (daily office), though the revision of the Breviary is still awaiting final approval from Rome. If you would like to see what this revision looks like, you need only visit the Covert Prayer website: Many lay Catholics, both in the Ordinariates and outside them, are already using the Covert Prayer website as their guide to “Divine Worship: The Office,” even though it’s not official yet.

The Personal Ordinariates are special jurisdictions within the Catholic Church that apply specifically to certain parishes and persons, hence the name “personal.” The idea here is to create a special diocesan-like structure that overlaps other dioceses, but only applies to certain persons who are attached to that Ordinariate. It’s sort of like a Military Archdiocese that applies only to military chapels, chaplains and members of the armed services. Think of it this way. Imagine if you will a religious order, like the Benedictines, or the Franciscans, for example. There would be a special headquarters for that order, that have several monasteries under it. Well, the Ordinariate is like the religious order, and the parishes are the monasteries.

Three Ordinariates were created to overlap dioceses in certain geographical areas. These are (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Anglo-America which consists of the United States and Canada, and (3) Oceania which consists of Australia, New Zealand and even Japan. Within these Ordinariates can be found a number of parishes that celebrate the Anglican Patrimony of Divine Worship. The legal structure for creating these Ordinariates is an Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 entitled Anglicanorum Coetibus (which is Latin for “Groups of Anglicans”). It’s pronounced like this: ANG-lick-an-OR-oom CHAY-tee-boos. Now these are the Ordinariates…

Now these Ordinariates were primarily designed for Anglicans who wish to convert to Catholicism, but retain those liturgical practices that are most familiar to them. However, this also applies somewhat to Methodists too. Any Roman Catholic, who was once connected to Anglicanism or Methodism, is automatically eligible for Ordinariate membership. Furthermore, anyone who converts to Catholicism (from anything) is automatically eligible, if he/she converts in an Ordinariate parish or community. Any Roman Catholic who has not yet received a sacrament of initiation (baptism, first communion, or confirmation) is eligible to become a member if he/she receives one of those sacraments in an Ordinariate parish or community. Finally, any Catholic with an immediate family member in the Ordinariate is also eligible for membership.

Membership in any one of the above Ordinariates may be requested by visiting the above websites and filling out the required application.

Ordinariate parishes and communities are not exclusive clubs just for certain kinds of Catholics. In fact, any Catholic may become a member of an Ordinariate parish or community, even if said Catholic is not eligible for Ordinariate membership. This is important to note, because Pope Benedict XVI said the Anglican Patrimony was a gift to the whole universal Church, not just members of the Ordinariate. This means that any Roman Catholic can meet the Sunday obligation by attending mass in an Ordinariate parish, and any Roman Catholic can join such a parish or community as a full member, and yet remain under the episcopal jurisdiction of the local diocesan bishop.

Yet there is more. While the Divine Worship mass can only be found in Ordinariate parishes and communities, there is the other half of the Anglican Patrimony — The Office! As Pope Benedict XVI said, the Anglican Patrimony is a gift to the whole universal Church. The Divine Worship Office is part of the Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite. In other words, it’s part of the Roman Rite. It’s a third form of the Roman Rite, which means ANY LAY ROMAN CATHOLIC CAN CELEBRATE IT. That’s right, any lay Roman Catholic can use the Divine Worship Office for Morning and Evening Prayer as an alternative to the regular Novus Ordo Office (Christian Prayer), or the older Tridentine Office (The Breviary). Because of this, many lay Roman Catholics, who have no previous connection to Anglicanism or Methodism, are now reciting the Divine Worship Office, currently proposed to Rome for approval, as shown on the Covert Prayer website: They’re praying this office with their families, in their homes, all over the United Kingdom, Anglo-America and Oceania.

In addition to that, new groups are now forming, creating the foundation for a second wave of Ordinariate parishes and communities to sprout up in the future. We are particularly seeing this happen in Anglo-America. These consist of lay Catholics who have some kind of attachment to the Anglican Patrimony. This might be because they were formerly Anglicans or Methodists before converting to Catholicism. It might be because they have relatives who are Anglicans or Methodists. It might simply be because they are Anglophiles and love all things English! Whatever the reason, it’s happening. Small groups of families are meeting in living rooms, libraries, office buildings, and sometimes even Catholic chapels, to recite and sing the Divine Worship Office.

The Anglicanorum Coetibus Society (ACS), formerly the “Anglican Use Society,” serves to help such small groups organise and network together, particularly in Anglo-America for now, and may expand this to the United Kingdom and Oceania at some later date. The ACS provides scholarly publications, as well as a news blog, and will soon offer podcasts, for all things related to the Ordinariates and the Anglican Patrimony. However, it’s crown service right now is the ACS Patrimonial Map. This is a map, primarily of Anglo-America, featuring not only the established Ordinariate parishes and communities, but also emerging “Anglican Patrimony Groups” or “Patrimonial Groups” that might someday become Ordinariate communities and parishes. Catholics (and converts) interested in becoming part of the Ordinariate can link up with such Patrimonial Groups when no Ordinariate parish or community is nearby. OR, if they’re adventurous enough, and are willing to make the long-term commitment, they can start their own Patrimonial groups. The ACS will support them with a listing on the map, provided they follow the requirements. The requirements for placing a Patrimonial Group on the map, are listed on the map page itself…

Unlike the Ordinariates, literally ANYONE may be a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society. This is a lay apostolate, that serves the Ordinariates. So any Catholic can be a member of the Society and support its mission. The Society provides connectivity for those who are attached to the Anglican Patrimony, regardless if they were ever Anglicans or not. So it doesn’t matter who you are, or what your background is. Membership in the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society is open to you.

The Society supports its members with the services mentioned above, and also provides occasional conferences, wherein ACS members can meet and mingle with one another. The main focus of the ACS, however, is networking Catholics attached to the Anglican Patrimony, letting them know they’re not alone, and their part of a bigger family within the Catholic Church. The gist of it is this. Through the ACS, Roman Catholics who celebrate the Vatican-approved Anglican Patrimony outside established Ordinariate parishes, now have a voice and a network.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society (ACS), simply go to the membership form on the website and sign up! However, if you’re interested in starting a Patrimonial Group in your area, because there is currently nothing else around, just visit the ACS map and follow the instructions for listing.

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of ‘ — Apologetics and random musings from a Catholic in the Bible Belt.’ 

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17 thoughts on “Anglicanorum Coetibus Society goes live with map pinpointing groups across North America

  1. It’s a bit artificial and bizarre that an explanation of who we are starts with an assertion that the Anglican Use is “suppressed”. In fact, “Anglican Use” was never an official terminology anyway, but a colloquial reference to the liturgical use of Catholics of the Anglican tradition.

    That same phrase is still used in the same manner to describe the liturgical use of Catholics of the Anglican tradition today as found in the most recently authorized books, which themselves are based on the previous editions. To suggest that DWM is a totally different thing than the BDW is to assert a false dichotomy between the two. One builds on the other.

    The fact is, we worship according to the Anglican Use still today using Divine Worship: The Missal, just as we worshipped according to the Anglican Use formerly using the Book of Divine Worship. Both missals had proper titles but were commonly referred to using the very sensible term Anglican Use. That usage continues and for good reason.

    While the Anglican Use is a form of Latin liturgy, it is not the only form other than the EF & the OF. It is also irrelevant that its kinship with the ‘Roman Rite’ means lay Roman Catholics with no Anglican connection can use our form of office. It is a simple fact that any Catholic layman can use any orthodox form of office, breviary or daily prayer, whether Tridentine, Sarum, Anglican Use, Byzantine, or so on.

    We need to stop this neurosis about the word Anglican describing our form of liturgy and aggressively asserting how ‘Roman’ it is. None of us denies our form’s kinship with the Roman rite. But we did not join the Catholic Church to be Roman in our forms or culture but to be fully Catholic, to be in communion with Rome and under Rome’s authority. That is essential to understand if you want to understand us as a people!

    Prior to the creation of Anglican ordinariates, it was not that we were unable to become Roman that held us back from joining the Catholic Church. We were always able to become Roman Catholic. What is new is that we are able to be Catholic without having to assimilate ourselves to the common Roman patrimony, to be Catholic without abandoning the Anglican forms of our Catholic faith.


  2. I actually agree with your comments Christopher, and perhaps my use of the word “suppressed” was a bit artificial. I am torn on the matter. I like the terms “Anglican Use” and “Anglican Form,” but the neurosis you speak of is widespread, and I have been discouraged from using those terms publicly.


    • Thanks, Shane. I get why you’re torn about it, given the difference of perspective on the part of some of our brothers and fathers in the faith. We want so much to respect and assent to the direction of those who take that distinct perspective, but I at least haven’t been able to bring myself to accept the accuracy of their way of thinking. I’ve found though that the challenge to the language & concept of Anglican continuity in the ordinariates has actually forced me to think that much more deeply about the broader issue, and as a result I’ve found my perspective confirmed and strengthened. Perhaps that’s why God is allowing a bit of a challenge to our Anglican identity in the ordinariates: to strengthen it over the long term. In any case, good work on the map!

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    • The decision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church to refrain from using the term “Anglican” in reference to the three ordinariates of the Anglican patrimony and the Divine Worship liturgical rites is a concession, in a spirit of ecumenism, to the sensibilities of the leadership of the Anglican Communion. Apparently the leadership of the Anglican Communion has determined that the term “Anglican” in the context of Christianity should refer exclusively to entities thereof. Here in the States, by way of example, I understand that The Episcopal Church (TEC) has a tacit policy of not selling church buildings or other property to any entity that identifies itself as “Anglican” or that has the word “Anglican” in its official name.

      Also, the magisterium of the Catholic Church and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have repeatedly asked us to refrain from using terms such as “convert” and “conversion” in reference to any baptized Christian who comes into the Catholic Church from another Christian denomination. The reason is simple. In its strictest sence, these terms mean a fundamental change in religious beliefs — which does not happen when a Christian moves from one Christian denomination to another. Indeed, the misuse of these terms is even more egregious from the perspective of ecumenism since it carries the implication that the denominations from which the individuals have come does not adhere to the basic tenets of Christian faith expressed in the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed.



    • Norm, the policy decisions of officials in the chancery are in no way an expression of the Magisterium. What is much more arguably an expression of the Magisterium is Anglicanorum Coetibus and the utterances of the popes towards their Anglican interlocutors over the past few generations, which taken together make a coherent ecclesiological argument for an Anglicanism “united but not absorbed”.

      Frankly, neither ECUSA nor any other non-Catholic body has authority in the Catholic Church, so it doesn’t matter what their disgustingly uncharitable policy is on selling properties to those leaving their communion. Besides, they obviously have that policy for the sole self-interested reason that it undermines those whose existence & continued Anglican identity undermines their own monopoly on that identity and the maintenance of their ecumenical social status. We as Catholics should be doing anything but propping up that power structure, regardless of what a few Catholic chancery officials say (and neither the bishop nor any other OCSP authority has ever asked me to stop using this language).

      The fact is, the Canterbury communion has haemorrhaged members for many years now, and those Anglicans, whether in the continuing churches or the ordinariates, maintain their identity with a healthy lack of regard for the views of the liberal Protestant clerics of ECUSA & the ACC.

      It is that same “ecumenical” attitude that you’ve identified that sank the hopes of the Anglo-Catholics in the 1990s, as described in Dr Oddie’s The Roman Option. Cardinal Ratzinger & St John Paul II were clear on their view of it: “What are the English bishops so afraid of?” “Why are the English bishops so unapostolic?”


  3. Since Philip Mayer was formally told to discontinue holding Evensong for an Ordinariate exploratory group, and has announced on his Facebook page that he will be leaving the Tampa Bay areOCSP membership. a at the end of the year when his current job ends to pursue options for forming a group in another diocese, I think his name should be dropped from the contact details for the Tampa Bay Anglican Patrimony Group, He clearly stepped on some toes and does not need more problems. What is happening in Puerto Rico, BTW? At one point Bp Juan Garcia of the ACA Diocese of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean was actively pursuing OCSP membership, and I believe Bp Lopes paid a visit there.


  4. I’m an Anglican who supports the Personal Ordinariates, and I for now did not know about the breviary rule. So I don’t see that as a fixation at all, just helpful information. Maybe some people know it, but sharing it with others is entirely reasonable.


  5. The Xerox company doesn’t like it when you use “xerox” as a verb. Or, to get away from a commercial example, try figuring out who is entitled to be called a Macedonian. I think that Anglicans must be the custodians of the term “Anglican”. The sixth FAQ on the OCSP website is “Are members of the Ordinariate still Anglicans?” And the answer is “No”. There are references to Anglican Tradition and Prayer Book English, but it is clear that these are not of the essence. The opportunity to express one’s Anglican Patrimony in Catholic worship is limited to a very small number of North American communities. Regarding this as the centerpoint of one’s Catholicism is short-sighted, I think.


    • Regarding the elements of Anglican patrimony that led one to the Catholic faith, and to the centrepoint Who is God, Father Son and Holy Spirit as important, worth preserving and passing on is important and farsighted, I think.


    • “Anglicans must be the custodians of the term ‘Anglican’.” Which Anglicans would that be? The Archbishop of Canterbury? The C of E Synod? The ACCC? ACNA? The OCSP? What if we consider ourselves Anglicans in communion with the Holy See, and thus custodians of our own Catholic Anglicanism? Can we then self-identify as Anglicans who are fully Catholic?

      Communion with Cantaur is not the definition of Anglican, and that is more clearly apparent now than it ever has been in the past. If that is the case, then the only thing left to define Anglicans is their patrimony.

      Our Anglican identity and heritage is not the centrepoint of our Catholic faith. Jesus is. By highlighting our Anglican distinctiveness in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, governed by the Pope and the bishops in communion with him, we can better show forth the very real universality of His Church.


      • I can only reiterate “Are members of the Ordinariate still Anglicans? No.” I would hesitate to define myself in contradiction to this clear statement on the official OCSP website.


      • EPMS, the website is obviously saying we’re no longer members of any Anglican communion, not that we don’t preserve our Anglican heritage or identity. The website also says that the ordinariate is “ecumenism in the front row”. If those who form the ordinariate have left one community and identity and joined another, it is by definition not ‘ecumenism’. If it is ecumenism, and if the Catholic Church was not lying to Anglicans throughout the ecumenical dialogue that we were aiming for an Anglicanism united not absorbed, than we have in fact retained our Anglican identity in a significant sense. Either the ordinariates are the fruit and end of that long ecumenical journey or they are not. I believe they are.


  6. According to the policies of the Archdiocese of Bostton, and i am sure it is typical, a former Catholic church cannot be sold to ANY denomination that intends to use it as a house of worship within 90 years of the sale, lest the faithful be misled into continuing to attend it, or otherwise scandalized. So do not characterize TEC policy as “uncharitable”. At what point in your life did you become a Catholic? You seem young; your career in the ACC or the ACCC or wherever cannot have been one of many decades.


    • I can’t speak to the policies of the Archdiocese of Boston, but the policy I was referring to is quite different and discriminates particularly against those identifying as orthodox Anglicans. Many of those in the ordinariates and the continuing churches are aware of this, so I needn’t belabour the point.

      As for saying I seem young: thank you! I like to think I’m still youthful!


      • It was of course a compliment, but also an inquiry as to what your former Anglicanism did or didn’t mean to you between when you entered the Church and when AC was proclaimed, a period of about six or seven years, I gather.


      • The policy is not “quite different”. TEC/ACC regard themselves as the local representatives of the Anglican Communion and as such custodians of the term “Anglican”. Hence they will not sell a building to another denomination which will put a sign on it identifying it as an “Anglican”.church. The Catholic church has a wider self-definition as the One True Church, and thus it does not want its former buildings to be used as churches of any denomination. The motive is the same; not lack of charity but the wish to avoid misleading anyone into thinking it is “business as usual” in that church building.


  7. If Anglican is to mean “part of or embracing the traditions of the authentic (i.e. orthodox and Catholic) Ecclesia Anglicana,” then yes, members of the Ordinariate are “Anglican,” and no, the schismatic bodies do not have a monopoly on the word (much like how the Orthodox churches in separation from the Holy See don’t have a monopoly over the use of “orthodox”). But if Anglican is to mean “member or affiliate of a faith community holding fast to heretical ideas and/or a schismatic mindset stemming from the 16th-century schism of the English Church,” then saying “Anglican Catholic” makes about as much sense as “Arian Orthodox.” Since in common parlance “Anglican” seems to mean the latter to all but a small niche of folks invested in these rather esoteric questions, it seems very prudent to me to unequivocally state that we are not “Anglicans” in any modern, common, non-esoteric sense of the word. After all, all the elements of the “Anglican Patrimony” rightfully cherished, are really essentially Catholic, and were always materially so, being now also formally reclaimed by Holy Mother Church.


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