The ordinariate needs its own churches
SIR – I had the pleasure of attending the ordinariate Mass discussed by Stephen Bullivant in his recent blog on your website.
It was not my first visit since, unlike him, I have been attending the ordinariate Mass in Oxford whenever I am in the city. It is a remarkably beautiful, prayerful experience which lights up what is otherwise a rather unattractive church. What is disappointing, however, is how few people attend. Despite having excellent, enthusiastic priests, the ordinariate in Oxford, as elsewhere, has to be satisfied with having one Mass on a Saturday evening, which makes it difficult to build a proper congregation.
I really do not understand why more bishops are not giving the ordinariate their own churches in which they can develop their distinctive mission. What is becoming apparent is that specialist churches run by enthusiastic orders are able to develop active congregations if they are simply given the opportunity. The Latin Mass churches in the North West, the Oratories and the Syro-Malabar church in Preston are all examples of bishops having the courage to give orders their own churches and let them get on with the job. I sincerely hope that it will not be long before ordinariate members in Oxford and elsewhere are given a church of their own, to love, develop and grow.
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