OTTAWA – On Divine Mercy Sunday April 15, two bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) – Bishop Peter Wilkinson in Victoria, and Bishop Carl Reid in Ottawa - will lead their clergy and people into the Catholic Church.
Other congregations and fellowships across the country, part of the ACCC's temporary Pro-Diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham, will follow on April 22 or dates soon to be announced to become ordinariate parishes-in-waiting in their respective Roman Catholic dioceses. There are groups in Edmonton, Oshawa, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Montreal and possibly Vancouver.
Victoria Bishop Richard Gagnon and Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast will receive the groups at special Masses and afterwards provide spiritual oversight and priests for the new Catholics until their priests are ordained and the parishes can join the American ordinariate.
Until the ACCC priests are ordained, Catholic bishops will supply priests to celebrate the Anglican Use liturgy for the new ordinariate parishes-in-waiting.
These parishes will join two already received into the Catholic Church to eventually form the Canadian deanery of St. John the Baptist of the American Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter that was established on Jan. 1, 2012 with Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopalian bishop and married Catholic priest, as ordinary.
Prendergast described the move as "among the first fruits" of the response to Anglicanorum coetibus, Pope Benedict's apostolic constitution that offered a way for Anglicans to become Catholic while bringing in approved aspects of their tradition, including their liturgy.
"While the apostolic constitution left open the possibility of an ordinariate in Canada this linking Anglicans in Canada to the United States ordinariate as a deanery attached to it is a good step for now," said Prendergast.