“Mrs. Bishop” and the Theology of “but of course!”

I’m starting in the middle and steering you here for the rest,

Let’s leave aside all of the giddy “yes I was ordained and then made a bishop by the super-coolest of the cool bishops” anti-establishment boring-ese bits — and also the question as to whether she is being used as a handy stooge by bishops too cowardly to proclaim themselves (because sneaking about is so very Holy) and be forced from their powerful positions. Here’s what jumped out at me:

“I had felt called by God to priesthood since I was a small child,” she says simply, “and I wanted to be a priest before I died.”

That’s four I’s in two sentences, and not a “Jesus” in sight, in the whole long piece, except as necessary to provide the vaguest of explanations for our teaching on ordination.

Once again, as with the lady from Long Island, there is a great deal of pride and self-reference in all of this. Beyond that, the idea that “I felt called and wanted this before I died, because I am a prophet” makes her theology terribly suspect.

She calls herself “a prophet” but prophets generally don’t want any part of whatever it is they’re being called to. If they eventually find joy in their obedience, their first response is usually, “oh, hell no.”

Theologically, she is missing the whole idea — the Christ-promulgated idea — that you can’t always get what you want, but (if you try sometimes, though obedience is hard) you get what you need.

I am thinking of Moses, reluctantly leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and through the desert, only to be denied the Promised Land.

I am thinking of Saint Gemma Galgani, who certainly felt “called” to become a Passionist nun yet never made it into the convent. Rather, when it became clear that what she was being offered a calling of unquenchable thirst, she discovered her consolation in the self-abnegation into which she had been invited; the calling-within-a-calling, so to speak: desire without consummation, except as Christ consumes. “Not my will, but Thine.”

Her calling, in other words, was not to the cloister, as she fervently believed and desired, but to the very Cross, with Christ, and with suffering, too. Because reluctant prophets and those who answer the call to “pick up your Cross and follow me” always do suffer with him, in the end.

via “Mrs. Bishop” and the Theology of “but of course!”.

Happy Easter! In Appreciation “Take & Eat”

Happy Easter Everyone!

This glorious morning, we will celebrate the Mass of Easter. After hearing the sermons and summonings of Lent, after fulfilling our “Easter Duty,”and after a week of holy preparation and solemn Liturgies, Easter is splendidly here.  It is Jesus , Who has been at the center of our preparation. Jesus, the Christ, our Lord!

Throughout this time,who else has enabled us to fulfill the mandate of Christ, “Take and eat!”  Who is it that have heard our confessions and blessed us in His Name, and in His Person?  It is those upon whom He breathed His peace, empowered to forgive and sent forth with His authority, His holy priests, ministering His holy sacraments.

Thank you holy Fathers, faithful Fathers, faith-filled Fathers! It is into your care that Jesus entrusted His flock.  We. a flawed People, yet a royal priesthood, a kingly, and prophetic People, thank you, our flawed in your humanity, and yet gloriously appointed and anointed Priesthood.  Happy, holy Easter, dear Fathers. May you be forever blessed!

Ordination 2009 New York

H/T  nypriest.com and Grassroots Films:

Ordination _ Kiss of Peace

More – O Happy Day – Ordination Video

Update: O HappyDay:


entrance-processional

Procession of the Cross


procession-steenson-follow-book

The Candidate for the Sacred Priesthood –  Jeffrey Neil Steenson


entrance

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

approach1

Calling and Presentation of the Candidate for the Priesthood  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


prostration

Prostration and Litany of the Saints

ordination1

Ordained and Invested


greeting-brother-priests

Kiss of Peace


brotherly-greeting-fr-scott

Greeting by Rev. Fr. Scott Mansield

family-presenting-gifts

Presentation of the Gifts by the Steenson Family


eucharist

Eucharist


a-few-words

A Few Words

recessional-frjeff

Recessional  – Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neill Steenson


bishop-sheehan1

Recessional and Blessing by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

Thanks Be To God!


Oh Happy Day!

THE ORDINATION OF JEFFREY NEILL STEENSON TO THE SACRED PRIESTHOOD

SATURDAY,THE TWENTY-FIRST OF FEBRUARY,TWO THOUSAND AND NINE

At SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, RIO RANCHO, NEW MEXICO


entrance-processional

Procession of the Cross


procession-steenson-follow-book

The Candidate for the Sacred Priesthood –  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


entrance

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

approach1

Calling and Presentation of the Candidate for the Priesthood  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


prostration

Prostration and Litany of the Saints

ordination1

Ordained and Invested


greeting-brother-priests

Kiss of Peace


brotherly-greeting-fr-scott

Greeting by Rev. Fr. Scott Mansield

family-presenting-gifts

Presentation of the Gifts by the Steenson Family


eucharist

Eucharist


a-few-words

A Few Words

recessional-frjeff

Recessional  – Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neill Steenson


bishop-sheehan1

Recessional and Blessing by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

Thanks Be To God!


Old Bishop, New Priest

WITH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO

ALMIGHTY GOD

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SANTA FE

ANNOUNCES

THE ORDINATION TO THE

SACRED PRIESTHOOD OF

JEFFREY N. STEENSON

THOUGH THE IMPOSITION OF HANDS AND THE INVOCATION OF THE

HOLY SPIRIT

BY HIS EXCELLENCY

MICHAEL J. SHEEHAN

ARCHBISHOP OF SANTA FE

SATURDAY,THE TWENTY-FIRST OF FEBRUARY,TWO THOUSAND AND NINE

AT  TEN-THIRTY O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING AT ST.THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, RIO RANCHO, NM

Jeffrey M. Steenson will be new to the Roman Catholic priesthood, but not new to our Lord’s vineyard.  When ordained February 21, 2009 by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of the Santa Fe Diocese of New Mexico, Steenson will continue a faith adventure that still astounds him.

It was much more than the divisions within the Anglican Church over issues such as the affirmation of the openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop, and the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first female presiding bishop, that coaxed the then Bishop Steenson onto a new path.  These issues were monumentally troubling to his church and he was himself,  “deeply troubled about where the Episcopal Church is heading.”  Bishop Schori had also blessed same-sex unions.  Though grave, still more important issues than these motivated his faith journey to the Roman Catholic Church.  No less than the Fathers of the Church held great sway in this matter of faith, conscience and desire.

Before he even entered the ministry, Jeff thought about entering the Roman Catholic Church.  One of his professors, a nun, did a very good job showing him that the early Church looked and was as it continues to be very Roman Catholic.  She also pointed out that she thought he might have a vocation to the priesthood but he was married and so that was then not to be.  Years passed, Jeff became an priest and then a bishop in the Anglican Church .

The Church Fathers still sounded Roman Catholic but life got very complicated.  It took the powerful personage of the inimitable Pope John Paul II to re-ignite his Catholic leanings.  He made a promise to himself that he would revisit his Catholic inclinations and act if that meant becoming a Roman Catholic.  Acting on the promise was tougher and so a bit late in being fulfilled.  He meant to act while JPII was still alive, and not doing so troubled him, but life as Rt. Rev Steenson of the Rio Grande Diocese of the Anglican Church made serious decisions too serious to rush.  Prayer, study, meetings and mentors,  more prayer and more study, soon demanded that conscience be honored.  The promise he made to himself ended with his resignation as bishop.  This was not without pain.  There were explanations to be given and loose ends, at all ends.  In his customary gentle manner,  Jeff reached out as best he could to make clear with persuasive reason and Patristic history the underpinnings of his choice.

Happily, eventually the sun did shine on the road ahead for Jeff and his wife, who shared these dilemmas and discoveries.  Soon came his entry into the Roman Catholic Church. and now, more promises to be made, the promises of the sacred priesthood.  Jeff goes forward carrying his faith-filled past in his heart, grateful for loved ones in his Anglican Church family and his beloved deep Anglican roots.   At this, a new beginning on a continuing faith journey, may God bless Jeffrey Steenson and his family.