I read today that eight former Anglican clergymen have commenced their studies to become Catholic priests in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. They join another one who is in his second year of studies. In view of their experience in the Church of England, former Anglican clergy are able to follow an accelerated course of training.
In addition, there are two men training to become priests of the Ordinariate at Oscott College. Since these two were not formerly Anglican clergymen, they have to do the full seminary course of six years. I understand that both of them are half way through their training.
If all goes well, the Ordinariate will have 11 new priests to add to the 90 that they have at the moment. This will mean that the Ordinariate will have more priests than many of the dioceses of England and Wales.
I also keep reading of of lay people being received into the Church and joining Ordinariate groups. Unfortunately, like the Catholic Church in England and Wales as a whole, the Ordinariate does not publish figures for its general membership, but there is no doubt that it is growing at a steady, albeit slow, rate. An educated guess is that it has about 2,000 members.
Many people dismiss the Ordinariate as insignificant or irrelevant, but the fact is that it is growing and here to stay.
This weekend - the Immaculate Conception
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