By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News
On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, two bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) will lead their clergy and people into the Catholic Church.
The two are Bishop Peter Wilkinson from Victoria and Bishop Carl Reid from Ottawa.
Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa will receive the groups at special Masses and afterwards provide spiritual oversight and priests for the new Catholics until their priests are ordained and their 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 groups.
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 Jan. 1 this year, with Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopalian bishop and married Catholic priest, as ordinary.
Other congregations and fellowships across the country, part of the ACCC's temporary "pro-diocese" of Our Lady of Walsingham, will follow April 22 or dates soon to be announced.
All these, including groups in Edmonton, Oshawa, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Montreal, and possibly Vancouver expect to become ordinariates or parishes within Catholic dioceses.
Archbishop Prendergast described the move as "among the first fruits" of the response to Anglicanorum Coetibus, Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Constitution that offered a way for Anglicans to become Catholic while bringing in approved aspects of their tradition, including their liturgy, "as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared."
"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 the archbishop. "The Deanery structure reflects the small nucleus that is following through on the wish for union with the Holy See."
"Whether and how that will grow we entrust to God's Providence," he said.