Here is my Letter from the President from the latest edition of Shared Treasure, now behind our membership wall at our website.
I am publishing it here because it explains our the Anglicanorum coetibus Society’s name and mission. I hope after reading it you will join the Society to build our movement.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Anglican Use Society had a long history in supporting the Pastoral Provision parishes in the United States, the forerunners of the Ordinariates. The Society published the journal Anglican Embers and held a number of successful conferences that brought together people interested in unity with the Catholic Church and in preserving and fostering our Anglican heritage.
When I was invited to join the board, the Society was in a state of transition. Some felt we needed a new name to reflect the development of Personal Ordinariates in the United Kingdom, North America and Australia. The board had new members from the United Kingdom and Australia, and some questioned whether the word “Anglican” had the same cachet in some other parts of the world. It also became apparent that the words “Anglican Use” were frowned upon by some individuals in the Roman Curia. Some suggested Latin names, but I objected because I feared a tendency among new Catholics to go overboard and jettison everything we are in fact encouraged by the Catholic Church to keep.
So, I said, “The only Latin name I would accept is the Anglicanorum coetibus Society.” We had a ranked ballot and this name won.
We also renamed our journal Shared Treasure to reflect the words of Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus where he described the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as “a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.”
I see both sides of the argument regarding the use of the word Anglican. It comes down to knowing our context and audience and being strategic in our branding as Catholics of the Anglican way. Our Society’s name is a Latin mouthful that means “groups of Anglicans” or “the gathering of Anglicans” but juridically we are Catholic and more specifically Western Catholics or Latin Catholics. In many parts of the world, it is confusing to start off with “Anglican” first, even though in many news articles in Catholic outlets such as the National Catholic Register in the United States we are already called the “Anglican Ordinariate” in journalistic shorthand. This can lead some to conclude we are not fully Catholic, or are in some halfway house to full communion. It is important to dispel this idea, and many of our members in fact see this as an opportunity for evangelization and formation.
But among ourselves, it is crucial that we identify, maintain and pass on our Anglican patrimony as we unpack our treasures and share them with the wider Church. We must know who we are as we raise up new generations or bring newcomers in from other traditions. We must be effective in helping each new generation to receive the Anglican heritage and identity we have so graciously been given so they can in turn pass it on. Otherwise we risk homogenization and becoming in a few generations indistinguishable, and many beautiful, theologically-rich traditions will be lost.
Cultivating this Anglican heritage is not about curating a museum or a theme park with historical costumes and archaic language. The Ordinariates and the Anglicanorum coetibus Society are about the salvation and sanctification of souls. Our aim is to attract through the beauty of worship; to evangelize and to encourage ever deeper conversion through the gifts of liturgy and prayer from our Anglican heritage approved by the Holy See, and all those other aspects of our unique ethos, parish life, hymns and so on. In other words, we cherish and hand on all those aspects of Anglican patrimony that led us to deeper conversion and impelled us towards Catholic unity.
As a lay-run organization, the Society is about exploring and preserving our unique identity. While the Catholic Church plays a role in determining the shape of our liturgy, we who share our desire to keep the beauties of Anglican heritage alive have a responsibility to cherish and hand on those aspects of our identity that bubble up from our grassroots, from who we are, elements that cannot easily be codified by a dicastery in Rome.
The Society, we hope, will help connect through social media and other means members of the Ordinariate who often live in far flung communities even on the same continent. We have begun to do so through our website at http://www.acsociety.org and a blog that has grown steadily in international readership since it began last spring. The blog can be reached at https://anglicanorumcoetibussociety.wordpress.com or through the “blog” button at the Society’s website. Please join the Please join the conversation! Members of the Society are also active on social media through the Anglican Ordinariates Informal Conversation Forum on Facebook, and through sharing blog posts on Twitter.
To encourage new members, we are now putting our journal behind a membership wall on the website. This is our first members-only edition. No one else is providing a scholarly outlet for exploring Anglican patrimony and we hope to constantly improve this effort and inspire thinkers from around the world to contribute to the project.
Our journal Shared Treasure will take a more scholarly approach to our patrimony, examining liturgy, music, the Anglo-Catholic slum priests and commitment to the poor and social action, Anglican and English Catholic approaches to theology, as well as to our approach to festivals, to parish life, to Anglican ways of praying from the contemplative Cloud of Unknowing and to our tradition of lay people also praying the daily offices.
We have also begun to offer podcasts featuring interviews and conversations on subjects related to the Catholic faith and Anglican patrimony. Our inaugural podcast with Msgr. Keith Newton, the first Ordinary of the first Ordinariate, Our Lady of Walsingham, is now available on our website in the members-only section. [We decided to make the podcast available for free via the website after this edition was published.
The Society also plans to provide resources and materials to help Ordinariate communities and fledgling “Patrimonial Communities” that are groups “in formation” but not yet part of an Ordinariate, and perhaps not yet even part of the Catholic Church.
As of Advent, we are posting a Sunday and Solemnities bulletin template with the introit and gradual, the readings and other elements that a parish or group can adapt to their own circumstances.
Someday, we hope to have available to our members instructional videos on such things as Anglican chant, Anglican plainsong for example, because “use it or lose it” applies when it comes to patrimony. There’s no reason why a group of lay people cannot learn to do this even if they do not have a trained choir director.
So, stay tuned, dear Society members, and spread the good news, both of Jesus Christ and of our mission to help deepen our appreciation of the Gospel through the “precious gift” of our patrimony that is a “treasure to be shared.”
Deborah Gyapong, President
Here is the latest edition of Shared Treasure’s Table to Contents:
Letter from the President, Deborah Gyapong
The Worship of God in the Beauty of Holiness, Bishop Lopes
The Caroline Liturgical Movement, Benedict Andersen, OSB
John Henry Newman’s Apologia for Our Lady, Robert M. Andrews
The 2017 Anglican Joint Synods, A Report, William Tighe
A Note from the Editor, C. David Burt
Please join the Society and support our mission !