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About the Ordinariate

What is an Ordinariate?

It is a diocesan like structure to serve a specific mission and pastoral need. It overlaps with the established territorial Roman Rite dioceses, but is its own jurisdiction, with its own bishop. The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is the Ordinariate established for the United States and Canada. Ordinariates established by Anglicanorum coetibus also exist in the United Kingdom and Australia.


Who leads the Ordinariate?

Bishop Steven J. Lopes was appointed bishop in 2015. Communities, missions and parishes are most often led by Ordinariate priests, but newly planted communities such as ours may be supplied by diocesan priests until the community is able to support its own priest.

How large is the Ordinariate? Where is it?

The headquarters, or seat of the bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas.

In addition to the Cathedral, the Ordinariate has over 40 parishes and missions across the US and Canada, with new ones starting every year. You can find existing communities/parishes by using the parish finder on the Ordinariate website. Ordinariate members hope to start a new community in Western NC.

What is the liturgy of the Ordinariate?

We celebrate Mass according to Divine Worship: The Missal, an adaptation of the Roman Rite that praises God with the eloquence of the Anglican liturgical patrimony and traditional Prayer Book English. All properly disposed Catholics can receive Holy Communion and fulfill their Sunday obligation at this form of Mass. It is often called the “Ordinariate Form” or “Ordinariate Mass” for short.

How is this liturgy different from the other Roman Rite Masses?

Most Roman Catholic parishes celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which is mostly in the vernacular and is usually celebrated facing the people. A growing number celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which is entirely in Latin, and was the Mass promulgated and used since the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Ritually, the Ordinariate Form appears more like the Extraordinary Form, with the priest facing the altar when addressing God. However, while retaining many of the rituals and traditional liturgical seasons of the “Latin Mass,” the Ordinariate Form is celebrated in a dignified, traditional “Prayer Book English.” It has some elements of the Ordinary Form, in that the readings are proclaimed towards the people, three readings are proclaimed on Sundays and the three-year cycle is used for a richer coverage of Sacred Scripture. It also preserves many of the beautiful Anglican prayers and customs that make up what is often referred to as “Anglican Patrimony” and Pope Benedict XVI said are “treasures to be shared.” For more FAQ on the Ordinariate Mass, click here.

I am not Catholic. Can I attend and participate in this community and attend your liturgies?

Yes, our community exists for you! Many of our members were brought to faith in Christ and nurtured into a deeper relationship by Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and other Christian traditions. Some of our members had no religion at all before becoming Catholic. They have found great joy and peace in the Catholic faith and are here to grow in friendship with you, answer your questions, and walk on the journey with you.

I am not Catholic. Can I receive Holy Communion at your Mass?

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. While all are welcome here, because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the oneness of faith we cannot extend to all an invitation to receive Holy Communion. This is not a lack of hospitality; rather, it is the recognition by the Catholic Church of the real divisions of faith and practice do sadly exist among Christians. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (John 17:21)

I am a Catholic. Can I receive Holy Communion at your Mass? Will attendance at your Mass fulfill my Sunday obligation?

All Catholics may fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending an Ordinariate Mass. Any properly disposed Catholic may receive Holy Communion at an Ordinariate Mass.

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