The vision document of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham entitled Our Calling and Our Mission was launched in November 2019 on the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus: “Providing for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into the full communion of the Catholic Church”.
The document contains the Ordinariate mission statement and explains the three priorities for its — and our — work over the next five years. Subject sub-headings under each priority are provided to provide a little more detail as to the key areas of work. Lead people have been appointed to oversee the development of Action Plans for each of the priorities.
The next stage of the work is to translate the overall vision and priorities for the future into practical initiatives adapted to the circumstances of each local group and mission community, like ours in Eastbourne.
Lay people have a significant part to play in the process of discernment of the vision, and to reflect on their own vocation and calling in response to the vision, through prayer and discussion. The document is intended to empower and support people to carry on good work and to help them to discern and use their gifts and creativity.
To realise the vision of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, as a concrete means of bringing lay faithful, clergy, and religious to a faithful and authoritative expression of the Catholic faith through the liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral traditions of the Anglican tradition now within the full communion of the Catholic Church, cultivating bonds of unity, and promoting this precious gift as a means of building up the one Body of Christ, which is the Church, through love.
The priorities which have been identified are
- Our Common Life
- Vocation and Formation
and these are fully described in the booklet.
Together with the Mission Statement, the priorities set out broad principles for living out our calling and mission. So that we can put these principles into practice, the Governing Council has identified the following areas for action:
- Our Common Life
- Developing and growing groups, personal parishes, pastoral areas and deaneries.
- Strengthening the Ordinariate identity in our communities.
- Developing our distinctive liturgical and spiritual life.
- Reflecting our Anglican patrimony by worshipping in the beauty of holiness.
- Encouraging the use of Divine Worship.
- Developing a vibrant lay faithful.
- Developing and drawing on the gifts of our Religious and hermits.
- Providing high quality pastoral care.
- Safeguarding and protecting vulnerable people.
- Engaging with local communities.
- Promoting Catholic social teaching and action.
- Bringing treasures to share.
- Promoting marriage, family, and the sanctity of life.
- Vocation and Formation
- Promoting and praying for priestly and Religious vocations.
- Forming men for the priesthood.
- Accompanying former Anglican clergy.
- Providing formation for the permanent diaconate.
- Providing high quality and ongoing formation for our clergy.
- Providing high quality and ongoing formation for our lay faithful.
- Developing a culture of missionary discipleship.
- Developing specific formation and pastoral care for the young.
Outreach and Mission
- Undertaking effective charitable outreach and apostolic work.
- Explaining our vision and mission to others in an historical context.
- Utilising a wide range of media to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Developing gifts and resources for mission.
- Promoting devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham.
- Strengthening links with the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham.
- Ensuring an effective Pastoral Council and lay involvement.
- Ensuring excellence in financial and resource management.
- Increasing our property portfolio and formalising property agreements.
- Ensuring civil and canonical legal compliance, and support for the Chancellor.
How is the Ordinariate putting this into action and evaluating it?
Specific action plans will now be developed, with people appointed to lead on each of the three priorities. The Governing Council hopes you will be able to contribute to the development and delivery of these plans; and they will work closely with these lead people to carry out a thorough annual review of the implementation of the plan.
How can we get involved?
The first thing to do is read the booklet! Then, if you’re a member of the Ordinariate, come along to a Pastoral Committee meeting. If you can’t do that, do discuss your thoughts with Fr Neil. The task locally is to embrace the calling and mission under the three priorities, and to examine what you and our local group are doing, or can do in the future, to help contribute to these. Over time, this local good practice will provide a toolkit and a bank of resources for local pastors to assist them with this work. What we do well can help other groups; and other groups will have found ways of doing things which may work well for us too.