Traditional Nuns Forced From Texas Diocese

Traditional Nuns Forced From Texas Diocese

Church Militant Headines – 1/8/18

Sources say Poor Clares [resident at Our Lady of the Atonement, an Anglican-use Catholic parish] suffering payback from new San Antonio archbishop [because of the recent transfer of the parish to the Anglican-use Catholic Ordinariate].

FULL STORY: See comment below

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9 comments on “Traditional Nuns Forced From Texas Diocese

  1. I think that since Our Lady of the Atonement Parish transferred “kit and caboodle” (clergy and any resident religious as well as the complete parish plant of church, rectory, school and convent) from the San Antonio Archdiocese to the Anglican-use Catholic Ordinariate, the archbishop no longer has any jurisdiction over the Poor Clare nuns, who are now under the Ordinariate bishop, Steven Lopes.

  2. Maybe what is needed is a Catholic-use Catholic Ordinariate, in which “Catholic-use” means traditional orthodox Catholic, everything that Catholics believed in 1959, on parallel with Anglicans who follow the 1928 prayer book. That way those of us who have no interest in or use for the progressive carnival of the modernist spirit of Vatican II could be under the jurisdiction of the Catholic-use Catholic Ordinariate: Latin Mass, traditional Catholic architecture, no folk guitars, no pant-suited radical nuns, no Communism or Marxism in sermons, no proclamations on air conditioning or situation ethics. Just traditional Catholicism without the detour through 1960s and 1970s modernism every Sunday. Those who want the progressive absurdity of AmChurch could still get that, but traditional Catholics would not be under the control of modernist bishops. “Catholic-use” Catholic Ordinariate. Think about it.

    • You’ve just described what the SSPX “personal prelature” would look like.

    • Long before Summorum Pontificum and the offer of a personal prelature to the SSPX were twinkles in Cardinal Ratzinger/B16’s eye, Californian W. Robert Opelle (R.i.P.), the second president of Una Voce in the United States (1978-1995), conducted a national petition for a worldwide “Traditional Ordinariate,” which gathered about 50,000 signatures, and which he himself personally delivered to JP2 in 1994. Nothing came of it, because I think that such an idea was beyond JP2’s comprehension.

  3. If you look at all of the modernist nonsense that passes for “Catholicism” today and compare that with the Anglican-use Catholic Ordinariate, it’s an eye-opener.

    According to the modernist Spirit of Vatican II zombies pushing “the Church in the modern world” gnosticism, this is “Catholic”:

  4. Basically, the Anglican Catholics of the Anglican-use Catholic Ordinariate are allowed to be traditional Anglicans (who pledge allegiance to the Pope and Catholic moral teachings). They’re allowed to be 16th-century Anglicans, for all practical purposes, ( who pledge allegiance to the Pope and Catholic moral teachings). But traditional Catholics who want to worship as traditional Catholics face all kinds of obstacles, hazing, threats, and intimidation. Let’s just say that that is not quite fair, in the language of social justice.

  5. Texas Archbishop Forces Traditional Nuns Out of San Antonio

    by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • January 8, 2018

    Banishment by Abp. Gustavo Garcia-Siller described as payback

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ChurchMilitant) – Texas Catholics have suffered a loss at the hands of San Antonio’s Abp. Gustavo Garcia-Siller.

    At the end of Mass Sunday, parishioners at Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church (OLA) were stunned to learn Garcia-Siller had commanded three Poor Clare nuns attached to the parish back to their motherhouse in Alabama after nine years in San Anotonio. They had been in the process of raising funds to build a monastery.

    The sisters left Sunday morning before the announcement was made; parishioners weren’t even given the chance to say goodbye.

    The whole affair, inside sources at Our Lady of the Atonement allege, is a retaliatory tactic by the archbishop. They believe Garcia-Siller banished the nuns as an act of revenge after losing his battle over the parish, which last year was transferred from Garcia-Siller’s control to the Anglican Use Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in Houston.

    Members of the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration — an order distinguished by its orthodoxy and traditionalism — Sr. Grace Marie, Sr. Elizabeth Marie and Sr. Mary Peter originated from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, the Hanceville, Alabama convent established by the late Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA, founder of EWTN.

    Their call to San Antonio dated to September 2007, when then-Archbishop Jose Gomez invited them to Texas to launch a new foundation in the Alamo City.

    On August 11, 2008 (the Feast of St. Clare), they arrived in San Antonio to begin their mission: the establishment of a Texas monastery — the Poor Clare’s second cloister in the South — under the patronage of St. Michael the Archangel.

    Their base of operations was in a house lent to them by Fr. Christopher Phillips, then-pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement, a parish recently brought under the umbrella of the Anglican Ordinariate.

    From their earliest days in Texas the young nuns worked diligently and prospered, establishing a blog to respond to the Culture of Death, starting an organic soap business, and establishing a live radio program.

    Sunday morning, the parish read a letter written by Mother Dolores Marie.

    Our three sisters in San Antonio, Texas … have been blessed to encounter Christ’s light in the many holy men and women they’ve met during their nine years of ministry in the Hill Country. Honoring the request of Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, the Sisters are returning to our monastery in Hanceville, Alabama this week. Like the Magi, they will follow the Light of Christ in discerning their next steps, confident in God’s providential care.

    The letter explained that parishioners could stay in touch with the sisters via email at

    Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church was founded decades ago by converts from the Anglican Church.

    In the 1980s, Fr. Christopher Phillips, then an Episcopalian priest with a wife and children, converted to Catholicism after St. Pope John Paul II established a Pastoral Provision permitting Anglicans (Episcopalians) to leave the rapidly deteriorating denomination.

    Together with a small core of other Episcopalian converts, Fr. Phillips established Our Lady of the Atonement, becoming the very first Catholic parish in the United States to incorporate Anglican liturgical and musical traditions into the Mass.

    In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI established a series of Personal Ordinariates (similar to diocesese) for Christians raised in the Anglican tradition who wanted to become Catholic, including the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which covers all of the United States and Canada.

    Father Phillips — with the backing of Abp. Garcia-Siller — petitioned to join. But the parish hit a snag: The Personal Ordinariate’s initial head insisted that as a precondition of joining, Our Lady of the Atonement would have to surrender its property (land, school, buildings, etc.), which parishoners had worked for more than 30 years to build.

    As a result, Fr. Phillips rescinded his petition. Garcia-Siller, meanwhile, pledged to support any future resubmission.

    In 2016, the Chair of St. Peter received its first bishop, Steven J. Lopes. Bishop Lopes immediately set out to rectify OLA’s plight, seeking help from Pope Francis himself.

    Under the Pope’s guidance, Fr. Phillips resubmitted his petition to transfer Our Lady of the Atonement from the Pastoral Provision under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, to the Ordinariate.

    This seemed to incite Garcia-Siller’s wrath. He insisted he was fine with OLA leaving his diocese, but demanded the parish surrender its property as a precondition for doing so — a reversal from his 2012 position.

    Father Phillips refused; standing firm, he pushed the petition forward.

    According to sources inside OLA, Garcia-Siller dug in his heels, refusing to forward to Rome the material required to settle the question of authority over Our Lady of the Atonement.

    In January 2017, the archbishop announced he was removing Fr. Phillips as pastor so the priest could “dedicate some time to reflect on some specific concerns that I have shared with him.” Parishioners denounced the move as “illegal and abusive.” (Fr. Phillips was reinstated shortly after, but has since retired.)

    In March 2017, Pope Francis gave final approval for Our Lady of the Atonement to join the Anglican Ordinariate.

    This, parishioners believe, set the stage for Sunday’s expulsion — a move they have described to Church Militant as punitive, vindictive and godless. Their sadness is compounded by their recognition that the loss is bigger than their parish. Our Lady of the Atonement lost three beloved sisters. Texas lost an entire monastery.

  6. Never stand between a bishop with a vendetta and nice chunk of real estate.
    The first parish erected in my old home town was paid for by French immigrants who made sure the diocese never held the title. Good move, now 200 years later! Last I heard, the Trustees still had control. Yaaaaay!
    Turf wars are nothing new in this country or anywhere else and few ever end happily. The first victim is always the honor and glory of God, of course. The second is the disenfranchised parish itself. The third is the reputation of the Church Herself. While necessary to orderly govern diocesan property with equity, pertinent law must always look to the supernatural end from which such law solely derives authority. Failing that, matters inevitably descend into mere worldliness.
    The eviction of the nuns was a lateral Arabesque but as the Wynne piece states, Texas lost a great deal beyond their fruitful presence. Sic Semper tyrannis!
    I still question the Ordinarite’s fundamental thesis, all warm and fuzzy ecumaniacal sentiments aside. But if its members and clerics are at least professing submission to Rome at this time then the rest of this quagmire, founded in the fever swamps of Nuovo Roma by two liberal popes at least has a patina of semi-Catholicity and the Anglicans who belong to it are likely to be acting in good faith. But I still think they’re Anglicans.

  7. An observer very close to the issue says it’s too early to say who ordered the move (below). In AQ’s ongoing coverage of the Anglican Ordinatiate story, I’ve posted Mr. Bruce’s observations as he seems cogent and doesn’t have an axe to grind. My last comment, with more info on all this, is here:

    Back to the current post: Tom, Mr. Bruce gives AQ a mention [see my insert, below]

    Poor Clare Sisters Leave Our Lady Of The Atonement

    At the end of mass on Epiphany Sunday at Our Lady of the Atonement, Fr Lewis read a letter from the Mother Superior of the Poor Clare Sisters in Alabama, saying that the nuns who had resided in a convent at OLA were returning to Alabama in response to a request by Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo Garcia-Siller. It was not made clear, and it isn’t clear to observers, if they were ordered to leave or what exactly the request was. The letter also spoke of discernment on the nuns’ part.

    An announcement of this appeared briefly on the Atonement Online blog, authored by Fr Phillips, but it was taken down almost immediately. A source apparently at OLA also notified this blog [link to AQ post!] of the news:

    Traditional Nuns Forced From Texas Diocese
    Church Militant Headines – 1/8/18
    Sources say Poor Clares [resident at Our Lady of the Atonement, an Anglican-use Catholic parish] suffering payback from new San Antonio archbishop [because of the recent transfer of the parish to the Anglican-use Catholic Ordinariate].

    As far as anyone can tell, what we currently know of the “full story” doesn’t imply that anything was “forced”, nor whether it had anything to do with either “payback” or tradition. In my view, opinion from what I would call very solid priests like Fr Chad Ripperger is that “traditionalism” can easily turn into “substitution of private judgment”, of which Anglo-Catholics have always been notably guilty. I would cite only the most recent pronouncement from the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society that, in its semi-official view, it is not needful for Catholics to avoid near occasions of sin, as this is not consonant with the Anglican Patrimony.

    I’m told, though, that coffee-hour conventional wisdom at OLA was that this was “payback” from the archbishop, though I’m not exactly sure how this would pay anything back. An observer suggests that changes in administration at OLA due to recent audits may have resulted in review of the nuns’ use of the parish house and the convent. This may in fact be about discernment, rather than anything the archbishop may have in mind. But I await the FULL STORY.
    [more at the link]

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