Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who can be a member of Saint Aelred?
A: Any Catholic looking for a parish home or anyone looking to become Catholic.
Q: Why does Mass at Saint Aelred look and sound a little different than what I'm used to?
A: We say Mass according to our liturgical book Divine Worship: The Missal which was given to us by Rome. Most are familiar with Mass according to the liturgical book The Roman Missal: 3rd Edition.
Q: What Diocese is Saint Aelred in?
A: Saint Aelred Catholic Church is in The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (POCSP), a non-geographical diocese whose Cathedral, Our Lady of Walsingham, is located in Houston, Texas.
Q: What is The Ordinariate?
A: Our diocese was created by Pope Benedict XVI in the document Anglicanorum Coetibus. It was created to help former Anglicans become Roman Catholic but our diocese also has a mission to share its particular liturgical, pastoral, and spiritual tradition with all Catholics.
Q: Is the Ordinariate Catholic?
A: Yes, the Pope created The Ordinariate. It is part of the Roman/Latin Rite.
Q: Who is your Bishop?
A: The Most Reverend Stephen J. Lopes. He worked for the Congregation or the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) for ten years before being ordained a Bishop in 2016 to serve the POCSP.
Q: Why would I want to join The Ordinariate?
A: If our mission to (1) evangelize to help Protestants come into full communion with Rome through a particular English-speaking Christian tradition & (2) share our Patrimony: the way we do liturgy, fellowship, and spirituality inspires and reinvigorates your faith, and you want to make our mission your mission, then you should consider joining. Likewise, if you want Bishop Lopes to be your Bishop and your tithe to go to a diocese that focuses on evangelization through reverent liturgy, orthodox teaching, fellowship, and the spiritual life.
Q: Can I join Saint Aelred without joining the Ordinariate?
A: Yes. Any Catholic is welcome to become a member of our parish while remaining in their current diocese.
Q: What is the Patrimony your diocese is charged to share?
A: The Anglican Patrimony in the Catholic Church is an exercise of Peter’s authority over the churches which recognizes the authentic Faith of The Church expressed in an Anglican form, confirms that expression as a patrimony or treasure for the whole Church, and which then orders that expression in such a way to favor the pastoral good of the community and its desire for communion.
The two original sources of the patrimony are the King James Bible & The Book of Common Prayer. This Patrimony also has specific traditions which come from Pre-Reformation Catholicism in England as well as the development of that tradition within Anglicanism that kept some essentially Catholic practices. In a manner, we are charged to heal the English Reformation and to graft back onto the Catholic Church what was lost and what was worth keeping. This means a unique form of English speaking Catholicism as having its own culture and traditions can be restored and enriched in America, England, Wales, Australia, etc.
For more on our emphases see below, but more than this, come see what we're about in person.
Study of Scripture
Those in Need
English Benedictine Spirituality
The time will come when the true worshipers will worship in Spirit and in Truth.
The Ordinariate seeks to provide a liturgy that is oriented toward The Lord (Ad Orientum), and not ourselves, by giving of our very best in worship, music, art, and sacral language. It finds inspiration in the Anglican heritage.
The Ordinariate Form is one of three forms of the Mass in the Latin Rite of The Roman Catholic Church, alongside the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms.
They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
The study of Sacred Scriptures is rooted in praying them daily. The Daily Office is an order for praying throughout the day that assigns continuous Scripture readings. By praying it every day one will go through most of the Scriptures in one year and learn how The Church connects The Scriptures to daily living. Alongside this, we read ancient Christian authors, Patristics, who teach us how to read the Scriptures.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
Charity is not an institution or a tax write-off; it is a virtue, a character trait. Charity is a habit of willing the good of another for God's sake because God is Charity. The Mission of POCSP is no different from the mission of the broader Catholic Church: to love God & neighbor for God's sake. Saint Aelred in particular points to spiritual friendships that are rooted in the eucharist as the beginning of this love.
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
The beginnings of The Church were marked by these four elements and we seek to continue this. Christ forms our parish around the The Mass, The Daily Office, Doctrine, & Fellowship.
The Anglican Patrimony roots "fellowship" in actual flesh and blood time together that flows from The Eucharist, the flesh and blood of our Lord, rather than abstract ideas of community.