Ordinariate Priest on Concelebrating Mass with the Pope.

After a full day of events and meetings on Wednesday, Pope Francis made his way to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the canonization Mass of Junipero Serra, which he celebrated with 275 bishops, almost 1,000 priests, 200 deacons and over 27,000 lay faithful and religious.

One of the priests in attendance was Rev. Albert Scharbach, an Ordinariate priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who is married with eight children. He was ordained in 2013 and now serves as pastor of Mount Calvary Church in the heart of the city.

The Ordinariate was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 to enable groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church while retaining aspects of their patrimony that can in turn be shared with the broader Catholic world. 

Fr. Scharbach, you concelebrated the Mass with the Holy Father; what was the highlight for you? 

Simply being there. In a profound way, I saw myself as the pope’s priest — connected to the Holy Father. As an Anglican priest, when I would go to the hospital and someone would say, ‘Are you a Catholic priest?’ and I had to say ‘no,’ it became painfully apparent that something was lacking there. When, by conscience, I had to become Catholic, I had to lay down my priesthood not knowing if I’d ever be able to pick it up again; I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to make that visceral desire a reality again. After 5 years of being laicized, it was gratifying beyond words to be able to say Mass with my local bishop after I was ordained a Catholic priest, knowing he is connected to the Holy Father. But now to say Mass with the pope himself, really confirms that reality for me — that I am his priest, connected to the center of the Church, to that authority in an organic way...

(Read on)

Archbishop Di Noia on the Liturgy and Mission of the Ordinariates. (UPDATED)

On Saturday, 19 September, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia OP, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Chairman of the Interdicasterial Working Group, Anglicanae Traditiones, spoke at the annual Ordinariate Festival in London. The title of his paper was "Divine Worship and the Liturgical Vitality of the Church". Listen to his address, and to pray that his encouraging words may become a true roadmap for the growth and development of this important project in the Church.

UPDATE: Commentary from Fr. James Bradley:

As Archbishop Di Noia points out, “The institutional importance ofDivine Worship for the ordinariates is considerable. More than simply giving the ordinariates an outward distinctiveness that creates a profile for their parishes in a sea of Catholic parochial life, Divine Worship gives voice to the faith and tradition of prayer that has nourished the Catholic identity of the Anglican tradition”. In other words, whilst other elements of the Anglican tradition are by no means insignificant, it is only possible to make sense of these if first we have attended to the liturgical life given us. If the liturgical life of an ecclesial structure “uniquely expresses its inner life”, how can it make sense, on the one hand, to downplay the proper liturgical rites attributed to the personal ordinariates whilst, on the other hand, seek to promote other elements of the Anglican patrimony? The liturgical rites and texts are a priority. Divine Worship is an essential element. (Read on)