Skip to comments.(All Saints) Sisters Doing It For Themselves (Anglican House converting en masse)
Posted on 06/15/2009 1:37:19 PM PDT by markomalley
NLM is reporting this morning that the Anglican All Saints Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville, Maryland have announced their intention to be received into the Caholic Church on September 3. These are wonderful women and this is wonderful news.
Founded in England at the famous All Saints Margaret Street, the sisters opened a house in the U.S. at the request of the rector of Baltimore's Mount Calvary, an early bastion of the Anglo-Catholic movement. True to their full name, The All Saints Sisters of the Poor, the sisters lead a mixed life, chanting the office from the Anglican Edition of the Monastic Diurnal and also working in the hospice they founded in downtown Baltimore.
I remember being in the convent chapel for a Holy Hour several years ago. At the exposition, Mother Virginia came out from behind the organ console, which is in the visitors area, and knelt on the tile floor. And knelt and kept on kneeling. Mother Virginia could be the mother or grandmother of all the people who were there on retreat. She stayed on her knees on the tile for an hour, so we stayed on our knees on the tile for an hour. These women are serious business.
When I had made my own submission and was beginning to visit religious communities, it was Sr. Elaine who gave me some of the best advice I got on vocation. She said, "Don't sweat this too much. When you find your community, it will fit you like a glove." She was right.
Is this confirmed anywhere else?
Welcome home, sisters!
But we got Fr. Cutie...
I think the Catholics got the better part of this bargain...
Won’t the Chapel have to be re-consecrated as Catholic?
Just on the blogosphere.
However, on the sisters' website, there is a little news article from last February indicating that they were in discernment at that time.
A more pertinent question is if the Episcopals will let them keep the property (or let the Church buy it). Think about what has happened when individual Anglican parishes have tried to leave.
However, assuming that the property goes with the order, then I would imagine that they would have to consecrate it (since the Church doesn't recognize Anglican orders, it hasn't actually, technically, been consecrated in the first place)
“One of their sisters was assigned to St. Anna’s, the small house they maintain in Philadelphia, and I knew her quite well from my days at S. Clement’s.”
Boy, oh boy, do I wish St. Clement’s - the whole parish -would swim the Tiber.
The announcement says the Mass in the convent chapel will be led by the RC Archbishop of Baltimore .. so I would assume part of the Mass would be the consecration of the chapel, as part of accepting them into ‘full communion with the Holy See.”
I really don’t know, but I would imagine ownership of the property is more likely that of the Order than the Episcopal Diocese in Baltimore.
Just like one would think that churches built by Anglican parishes that existed prior to the formation of the dioceses they were later incorporated into would take their church property with them when they left the episcopal church.... But they have not (California, Colorado, etc.)
I would agree with you on the better part of the bargain. LOL!
That’s enough for me. Praying and discerning for nearly six months.
Great! We really could use new orders of orthodox nuns in habits in the Church. The pantsuit brigades are dying out and don’t seem to be attracting new members.
You think the Episcopal Church will let them keep the property? That’s prime real estate and TEC has something called Denis Canon. The national church owns everything.
I think it is doubtful TEC will allow them to depart with the property.
Not much different from your side...
Welcome home Sisters, btw....do we get your property?
I have a mild connection with this whole event.
The article notes that their chaplain had already converted. I knew Fr. Tanghe when he was the rector of the little ultramontane Episcopal/Anglican parish here in Atlanta - Our Saviour, Virginia-Highlands. It had the flavor of a pre-VCII Catholic parish, only much more so.
We visited Our Saviour when we were trying to determine what to do after the GC 2003 debacle. We ultimately decided not to join, because it was apparent that the parish was in tumult over whether to stay, secede or just go Straight Over to Rome. Fr. Tanghe himself was mulling his own future. But we had several long discussions with him regarding the alternatives for shocked and stunned High Church Piskies, and we corresponded for awhile.
The last letter I had from him, he had decided to stay with the Episcopalians, but become chaplain of this convent. He seemed a bit ambivalent about it, though, and it looks like the Hound of Heaven ran him down at last.
I'm going to pray for him like mad.
bump for l8r
All the Episcopal orders still wear the old habits.
They should be allowed to wear them.
This is no surprise as the orders are Anglo Catholic
to begin with.
Last I heard, the Episcopal parishes in VA that bolted from the ECUSA Diocese in Richmond got to keep the property as that of the parish. Two of them are the largest, wealthiest in the Commonwealth, too. Tho, I have to admit, I haven’t followed it in the past few months.
Have no idea what the story is in Maryland, but under US Supreme Court precedent individual parishes in "hierarchical" churches are pretty much behind the 8 ball.
You are correct; Truro and Falls Church, the two great parishes of Virginia have won their court battles (along with nine other churches) and have departed the Episcopalian church.
I might think that a parish might have more difficulty than a convent. Among Catholics, a parish is a part of a diocese; a convent is not. I would think that among anyone, if a diocese were to agree to anything, the parish would likely be part of such an agreement, so if a diocese accepts the Denis canon, than the parish, by remaining affiliated with the diocese, probably could be said to be partaking in whatever covenant exists. But how would a convent affirm or reject such a document? The order could; the convent could; but did anyone force the order or the convent to do so?
If the order signed onto the Dennis canon, the ECUSA could have an argument, I suppose that the convent, as a part of the order signed on. But if the order did not sign on, through what is the convent attached?
This is precisely the hierarchical problems that limited Bishop D’Arcy’s responses to Notre Dame. The most he could do would be to expel the order from his diocese, but the diocese, even in the Catholic church where the diocese really does directly own parishes, could not take ownership of the university.
That unique VA statute goes back to the Civil War and obvious splits that arose among the parishes ... it has served Truro, Falls Church and the others quite well under more recent circumstances.
Without getting into the historical religious differences between VA and MD that still resonate in some quarters today, I have to believe this convent in MD is not part or property of the ECUSA diocese. How else could Archbishop O’Brien and other Catholic priests be celebrating a RC Mass in its chapel ? Catholic priests just don’t celebrate Mass in chapels belonging to other faiths, especially if the other faith’s diocese could step in and claim it as their own property.
If the ECUSA or its Baltimore diocese owned the property and the sisters chose to become RC, they would likely transfer to a RC convent. But it sure looks like they’re staying right where they are.
I’m pretty sure the Baltimore RC diocese’s lawyers checked it all out very carefully.
But I doubt that the Presiding Bishopess and her attack dog Beers are willing to take on the Catholic Church. Picking on small parishes and threatening individual bishops is more their style.
As you wrote in a later post, the VA decisions were based solely on a civil war Virginia state statute, unfortunately. I believe that everywhere else in the nation the rulings have gone against the local parishes. I wish for the sake of this convent that it was located in VA.
“Chancellor” Beers is so big and brave, he took on my husband, an individual Vestry member (back in the day). Hahahahha, we won !!!! Then ‘kicked the sand from our shoes.’
By the time we shook the dust from our sandals, we weren't doing anything in the parish but singing in the choir, we had gotten progressively more disgusted with the whole show and eventually couldn't stand it even just going to choir practice and singing while trying not to pay attention to what was going on down front.
But God & St. Cecilia were merciful, and our new Catholic parish has wonderful music, and I don't even need to add the snarky qualifier "for a Catholic parish". So now we have great music and sound theology too . . . < whew! >