Thursday, December 06, 2012

Land Donated to U.S. Ordinariate to Build First Chancery

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has been given land in Houston, Texas, on which to build its first chancery, or headquarters, Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, the Ordinary, announced today.

During a Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham, the principal church of the Ordinariate, he said, "Today, I want to acknowledge with deepest gratitude a very generous gift from an anonymous donor to Our Lady of Walsingham and the Ordinariate: the gift of five acres. ... This will be the future home of the chancery of the Ordinariate as well as serve future expansion needs of this wonderful, growing parish. It is an incredible blessing, and I know you all will want to say with me: To God be the glory."

The property, purchased by donors for $5 million, is located on Westview Drive, immediately behind and contiguous with Our Lady of Walsingham, which is at 7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston. The parish site also includes a shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham.

Joining parishioners at today's Mass were a number of Anglican priests from throughout the United States and Canada who are applying to become Catholic priests for the Ordinariate. The men were in Houston as part of the Ordinariate's priest formation program.

Planning for the chancery design will begin later this month. Additional donors will be sought for the construction of the building. The Ordinariate currently has a small office at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, with most of the small staff located in other cities across the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI established the Ordinariate on January 1, 2012 for former Anglican groups and clergy seeking to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy. In one year, the Ordinariate, which is equivalent to a diocese, has grown to include 1,500 people across the United States and Canada, 35 communities and 24 priests. Msgr. Steenson, the Ordinary, is a former Episcopal bishop who became Catholic in 2007 and a Catholic priest in 2009.


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