The Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter

Origins and Ethos


A very long name! But this is the jurisdiction in which St John Vianney Catholic Church resides. What is it, and why do we exist are common questions about the Ordinariate. I will cover this question in the next few articles.

Beginning in the early twentieth century, the Anglican Church, known locally as the Episcopal Church, began to separate itself from scripture. As we remember well from scripture:

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”1

Genesis 3:1

The devil continually tempts us, and we continually have to decide whether we will follow his evil suggestions or follow God. But what about the times we are not certain if it is God speaking or not? The Episcopal Church had this problem when the idea of women’s ordination came to their doorstep. From a “fairness” perspective one might think woman’s ordination is an obvious acceptable evolution of ministry. But then we have scripture, in which God definitively states that ordained ministry is reserved for men. “Did God really say you shall not ordain women, or was this simply the men that wrote the bible installing their own misogyny into scripture?” The Episcopal Church grappled with this idea for a time, but in the end, a few bishops took it upon themselves to simply ordain women, on their own authority. When this happened, instead of censure or any form of discipline, the bishops who made this innovation, were lauded. It was not long after that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to ignore the scriptural prohibition and ordain women out of a sense of fairness. This precedence turned out to be the downfall of the Anglican Church. Once theology was not the purview of the King or Queen (A practice that was absurd in it’s own right) it was now given to political discourse and vote of all the church. This effectively un-anchored the Anglican communion, and started a downward spiral that would see many of it’s bishops and clergy deny the Trinity, biblical ethics and morals, and most egregiously decide that birth control and abortion were “neutrals” as far as God was concerned. (as apposed to being evil in His sight)

At this point, many priests and bishops knew the church was lost, and began to look towards Rome for help. Pope John Paul II in 1982, of his charity, created the pastoral provision, allowing married and un-married clergy to come from the Anglican church into the Catholic Church. This was done on an individual basis. The Anglican cleric would leave the Anglican church, renounce his orders, and enter the Catholic Church through a Catholic diocese. That diocese would then educate him as seen fit, and then ordain him deacon and priest for that diocese.

As the 1990’s rolled in, the Episcopal Church was becoming alarmingly apostate, and there were several congregations that desired entrance into the Catholic Church. This was done on rare occasions, as long as the Anglican bishop agreed, the entire parish would transfer to the Catholic diocese in which it resided. The entire congregation and pastor would go through RCIA, be confirmed; and lastly the pastor would go through appropriate education and after what usually was a year or so they would be a Catholic parish.

This was not a clean process though, to add to the issues, many of those who came to the Catholic Church wanted to bring some of their traditions with them. Pope Benedict XVI would be the perfect pope to fix this issue, which we will cover in the next article. (Patrimony)

Fr Scott

1Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition (Ge 3:1). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA


Why do we suffer?

Not too long ago the daily lectionary was in Job. We all know the story of the innocent man that all of a sudden found himself in a world of hurt. We, and Job, are left with the big question, why?

We all have that sin that just keeps appearing in our confessions. Too many of us have crosses to bear in life that just seem too heavy. The modern world has answered these problems in making “common” sins not sins at all. Our society has also said that if your cross is too heavy you should do whatever is necessary to shirk that cross, the ends justify the means.

Christ teaches us otherwise. Suffering is good for the soul. This is indeed radical. I for one spend most of my time trying to figure my way around suffering. But lets look at the cooperation between sin and comfort. When I had Covid, I had a pretty sinless month. (yep, pride…that’s a sin!) Looking back I understand that when you cannot breathe your mind turns to prayer, not to sin. On the other hand, when I have free time and feel great, I turn to wonderful past times such as gluttony. Sin abounds in good times, in bad times usually it is much easier to keep things under control. As an aside, Christianity in general thrives under persecution.

So, does this mean we should seek out suffering? Run into hospitals hoping to catch some horrid disease? Well, no. What it does mean though, is that we should recognize suffering as opportunity. Why don’t we volunteer more? Usually we are scared away because what might happen. The danger, the time it will take me away from work. If we understand first and foremost that this life is short and this broken world is not our home, then we suddenly see things differently. If we then look at suffering as a part of this broken reality, and use it to gain a closer relation with Christ, we begin to navigate our way through life without having to resort to societal work arounds. We begin to use suffering, the very work of the devil, to beat him spiritually.

Even if we had a perfect life, and died at 105 in our sleep, that will pale in comparison to the eternity we will spend with God. Look at this life as transitory. Look at suffering as transitory. I was taught back in my chaplaincy that we should not waste suffering. Use that time to develop your prayer life, and grow closer to God. Don’t expect instant results, except for a better relation with your Father. Look forward not to a lucrative life here, but look forward to life with God in heaven.

Strike a Balance!

Well this has been an eventful few weeks. Just off Covid, I had a ton of catching up to do! I am almost up to date, with a few things still behind, but the church just seems to keep generating work! I want to be clear on this, this is a good thing. But this does create an issue that must be dealt with.

In our lives we (most of us) have three areas to be concerned with. First is our relationship with God, second is our relationship with our family, and third is our relationship with our boss. Interesting how every aspect of our life has to do with relational concerns, almost as if because our God is relational with all in love, He would like us to have plenty of practice while in this broken world!

But as God is omnipresent, we are not. (though it would make things much easier!). We must be careful to strike a balance in our life. Which of the three areas do we spend the most time with? Which of the three areas should we spend the most time with? Of course the answer to this depends on your calling, but rest assured, all three should be in our lives at all times.

Say God gave us a call to be an accountant. Then much of our time will be spent doing that job to the best of our ability. Say God also called you to be a parent, likewise, in good examples, we spend much of our time away from the office being the best parent we can. Lastly God calls us to worship. So in the best examples we spend time with God daily.

But what does this all look like in reality? Our job takes over our life! Family comes in second and God is a distant third; if He gets noticed at all!

I found, in the last 30 years of being an employed adult, that as life happens, we play the balance of the big three like some weird three sided teeter totter. At times we are focused on our job, ignoring God and family. Sometimes we focus on family, shorting God and work. And there were times we focus on God, ignoring work and family. None of these are healthy nor good examples of how to live life. We must strike a balance.

Work requires 8 hrs a day, 40 hrs a week. If yours is requiring more, you should speak with your family about the reasons why. Say you are starting a business, and your family is on board with the first few years of absenteeism, that would be fine. But if it becomes a lifestyle, your work schedule needs to change.

Family should get evenings and weekends. Your children need you..they may not say that or even express it with their bedroom door slammed in your face, but they need you. They don’t need your money, they don’t need gifts, they don’t need cards or phone calls, they need you. Some nights there will be meetings, and that is OK, but most of your evenings should be spent with family.

Sundays and at least 30 minutes each days should be spent with God. Prayer is important, but do not let it get in the way of family time. Please do not take this as a “God comes third” statement, God gave us our family responsibility, and though God comes first, He does expect us to tend to our families by working to put a roof over their head and giving them a proper raising (time spent). If you think you need more prayer time, wake up early or go to bed late to spend more time with God. Lunch is a great time for prayer, so are breaks during the day, so if God is calling you for more, make certain to be inventive, don’t steal time from family or work. Rosaries while driving, or even listening to the bible on your car stereo are also great ways to make the best of down time and giving it to God.

Striking the balance is difficult, but we must constantly keep after it! Look at your balance and see where you are off, then sit down and figure out how to give appropriate time to all three areas.

Fr Scott

Worried? Stressed Out? Read this.

We are certainly in interesting times. As we come out of 2020, a year plagued by Covid, we are well into 2021…a year still plagued by Covid. A year and a half with such a dark cloud over our heads has produced an economy that is less than certain. The news is awash with experts telling us the forth quarter of the economy is going to be bad. And if you look at the internet there are many, many people telling us that the future is bleak.

What do we do? Of course each of us will have to make up our own mind on which pundit to believe and chart our courses the best we can. But I want to remind you that God has the answer.

God has from the beginning told us He would take care of all that believe in Him. I think we all, that believe, know this. Why do we worry then?

Will God take care of us as we would like to be taken care of? I like my house, I like my car. This list of “I like’s” could go on for awhile. I know that if times get tough I am going to have to make some tough decisions on those things “I like”. Will I have to sell my RV, or how about one of our cars? Heaven forbid I have to sell my house! This is where stress and worry come from.

But God will take care of us, we know this. But we still worry. This stems from trust. We read in scripture that God wishes us to live simple lives, this has to be the most ignored piece of scripture. Is God, through bad economic times, directing us back to simple lives? Are simple lives, being God’s wish, the better life?

Answer, (in question form) has God ever led you wrong?

Of course He has not. We should look at these times as God leading us to better lifestyles…maybe not financially, but spiritually. Can you come to grips with selling off some of your “I likes” and thereby enabling yourself to look forward to God’s peace?

I have to say, a little more peace in my life sounds very good!

Without a doubt, protect yourself from whatever is to come financially. But as you start to worry and fret, remember that God is with us, and is going to use these times to help us get closer to Him. So every hard decision you make, make it with an alleluia (as hard as that may be at the time) knowing that God is working even in the worst of times to bring you closer to Him.

Fr Scott

The Cross

Feast of the Holy Cross

Today we celebrate something that to an atheist would seem very odd, a form of execution. The cross in Jesus’ time was very simply a means to end lives of enemies to the state, whether they be criminals or the unfortunate folks that were frowned upon by the reigning authorities. Even to a Christian, to honor a form of execution might seem different, until you look at what that device did for all creation.

The cross itself was instantly turned into an object of veneration. After the death and resurrection of Christ, many believers would flock to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion…of all crucifixions. So many came that the empire covered it in a mound of dirt and built a temple of Venus over the site. The mother of the emperor 200 years later ordered the site excavated and found the real cross that Jesus was crucified upon. They knew they had found it when two people in close proximity that were ill were healed instantly upon the crosses uncovering.

From the moment after the crucifixion, the cross has been venerated. It should remind us of the sacrifice that God made for us. It should remind us of God’s love. It should remind us that we should make a response.

Christ emptied Himself for us. We likewise should empty ourselves for Christ. Our hopes, our dreams, our desires should not be our own, they should be God’s. This is hard. We grow up dreaming of “our” future. We dream of what we will do and what we will see. We forget that we are created by God for His purpose, to do otherwise is to be outside of God’s plan and likely to be miserable. Look at the use of alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs today. We have an epidemic of sad and unhappy people that make themselves comfortable by partaking in things that hurt the body. Finding God’s call for our lives is the real answer.

Empty yourself, just as Christ did. See the cross as the constant reminder of God love for you and His call for your life. Put down your own thoughts as to your life, and follow God and the cross, it is there that you will find true happiness.