BLADENSBURG, MD. (Catholic Online) - Pentecost Sunday is when Catholics celebrate the birth of the missionary church in power. There, in the Cenacle, as the Lord Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples who, gathered with Our Lady, had waited and prayed. How fitting that during this month when we celebrate Pentecost over 50 men will be ordained to the Holy priesthood in a series of ordinations throughout England and Wales.

These Catholic priests will be ordained for service to the whole Catholic Church but assigned to Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate for England and Wales. One Thousand former Anglicans have now come into the full communion of the Catholic Church and are living the ancient yet ever new Catholic Christian faith within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the leadership of the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton.

The members of Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate are fully Catholic, living the ancient Catholic faith in the heart of the Church, loyal to the Vicar of Christ and successor of Peter, while still maintaining an Anglican Patrimony. The whole Church is being enhanced by their presence. They are a seed, a sign of hope, as the prophetic work of the Ordinariate spreads throughout the whole world.

In the United States, Cardinal Donald Wuerl , the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington was designated by the Holy See to oversee the erection of an Ordinariate for groups of Anglicans in the United States. The Cardinal will report on the progress of the US Ordinariate this month as the Bishops of the United States gather for their Spring General Assembly in Seattle, Washington. Cardinal Wuerl has gathered information from groups of Anglicans in the US who seek to enter into full communion through the new US Ordinariate. He also has prepared dossiers on those men who seek priestly ordination to serve the US Ordinariate, once it is erected.

One of the most exciting events to occur as that day draws closer is the announcement this week that an entire parish, St Lukes in Bladensburg, Maryland, has voted to enter the Catholic Church and seeks admission as a member of the US Ordinariate once it is erected. They shared this good news on their parish web site this week. Here is the announcement from St. Luke's followed by the Press release issued by the Archdiocese of Washington conforming this historic event:

From the Parish website
We Are Ordinariate Bound!

+Welcome to St. Luke's Ordinariate Catholic Community website! It is with great joy St. Luke's announces its intention to join the Personal Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church. We have been discerning the leading of the Holy Spirit since the Holy Father's announcement of Anglicanorum coetibus in October of 2009. Since that time we have been in close dialogue with both the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the Archdiocese Washington.

Over the next few months the people of St. Luke's Ordinariate Catholic Community will undergo formal preparation to become Roman Catholics. This formal preparation will take place at St. Luke's primarily on Sunday's at 9:00am, and on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm. If you are interested in joining the people of St. Luke's on this journey you are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

We are deeply grateful to Cardinal Wuerl and to Bishop Chane for their support throughout this discernment. We look forward to continuing to worship in the Anglican tradition, while at the same time being in full communion with the Holy See of Peter.

These are exciting times! We will endeavor to keep you up to date with any information concerning our community and with the Ordinariate. Please browse through our website for the latest information.


From the Archdiocese of Washington: Episcopal Parish Community in Bladensburg, Maryland to Join Catholic Church

After a period of deep discernment, the rector and parishioners of St. Luke's Episcopal parish in Bladensburg, Maryland have decided to seek entry into the Roman Catholic Church through a new structure approved by Pope Benedict XVI called an ordinariate. Saint Luke's is the first church in the Washington metropolitan area to take this step.

The transition is being made with the prayerful support of Bishop John Bryson Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Catholic Archbishop of Washington.

"We welcome the St. Luke community warmly into our family of faith. The proposed ordinariate provides a path to unity, one that recognizes our shared beliefs on matters of faith while also recognizing and respecting the liturgical heritage of the Anglican Church," Cardinal Wuerl said. "We also recognize the openness of the community to

the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their faith journey."

In fall 2009, Pope Benedict XVI authorized the formation of "ordinariates" for former Anglican parishes seeking to enter the Catholic Church as a congregation. An ordinariate is a geographic region similar to a diocese, though typically is national in scope. Until one is established for the United States, St. Luke's congregation, which has approximately 100 members, will come under the care of the Archdiocese of Washington.

"This was a transition achieved in a spirit of pastoral sensitivity and mutual respect," said Bishop Chane. "Christians move from one church to another with far greater frequency than in the past, sometimes as individuals, sometimes as groups. I was glad to be able to meet the spiritual needs of the people and priest of St. Luke's in a way that respects the tradition and polity of both of our Churches."

Under the terms of a letter of agreement signed last week with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the St. Luke congregation will continue to worship in their current church, at 4006 53rd Street, Bladensburg. The agreement is a lease with a purchase option. The community will begin preparations for reception into the Catholic Church later this year while Rev. Mark Lewis, rector of St. Luke's, hopes to begin the process to be ordained a Catholic priest.

"I am deeply grateful to Cardinal Wuerl and to Bishop Chane for their support throughout this discernment. We look forward to continuing to worship in the Anglican tradition, while at the same time being in full communion with the Holy See of Peter," Rev. Lewis said.

The first ordinariate was established in England in January 2011. Ordinariate parishes are fully Catholic, while retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgical tradition. Cardinal Wuerl is the Vatican's representative for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus (pronounced Anglican-orum chay-tee-boose) in the United States, the papal document authorizing the establishment of ordinariates.