Our community formed in the Fall of 1996!
On St. Edmund’s Day (Wednesday, November 20, 1996) we held an Information Meeting which was chaired by the then Ordinary of The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC), The Right Reverend Robert Mercer, CR, with about 20 individuals in attendance. (Robert Mercer was received into the Catholic Church and ordained a Catholic priest on March 27, 2012. He is now Monsignor Robert Mercer, CR, and a member of the English/Welsh Ordinariate.)
Our ﬁrst service, Matins, was held on the next Sunday, November 24, in Guelph. Subsequently, we were able to have Sunday and Holy Day Masses with the kind assistance of several ACCC priests in the area. One of our original number, Ted Bowles, was ordained and became our Priest-in-charge.
From Guelph, we moved to Kitchener and had the use of the Chapel at Grand River General Hospital. We later moved to Waterloo and had the use of the chapel in Luther Village on the Park (a retirement home), thanks to a Lutheran Pastor-friend of the community. We had the use of the chapel until the end of 2011.
As the result of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, we were anxious to complete our journey to full communion with the Holy See – the fulfillment of the dreams for many of us.
In the Fall of 2011, we started studying The Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the direction of Father William Foote, the Pastor of St Patrick’s Church in Cambridge. We completed our instruction on December 11, made our individual confessions, and were received into the full communion at the Catholic Church by our Diocesan, The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI, DD, in his Cathedral of Christ the King in Hamilton, during an Anglican Use Mass, on January 1, 2012. (See His Excellency’s letter, under Links – “Our Reception into the Catholic Church”.)
While our intention was to become part of a Canadian Ordinariate, as perceived in Anglicanorum coetibus, we were delighted that Bishop Crosby agreed to receive us as a Catholic community and allow us to use the Anglican Use liturgy. At the suggestion of the then Chancellor of the Hamilton Diocese, we changed our legal name from “The Parish of” to “The Sodality of” St. Edmund, King and Martyr.
Father Foote gave us a permanent place to worship in his Church and agreed to celebrate an Anglican Use Mass for us each Sunday. Our ﬁrst Mass was celebrated on January 5, 2012 at the Lady Altar in St Patrick’s Church. (The Sodality gave St. Patrick’s the altar, altar candles, and much “holy hardware”) Initially, the Mass was at 1:00 pm, but was subsequently changed to 8:00 am.
In May of 2013, during a visit by Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, the then Ordinary of The Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, we were informally received as a community of the Ordinariate.
In December of 2014, we received an American Ordinariate priest, Father Jason Catania, in to the community. Father Catania was with us for a year and celebrated Sung Mass each Sunday at 5:00 pm at The Church of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, Kitchener. Thanks to the Pastor, Father George Nowak, CR, for allowing us the use of his church. Father Catania was initially housed in Father Nowak’s Rectory. Father Catania returned to the US at the end of November, 2015.
After Father Catania’s departure, The Sodality went in to “hibernation” mode.
In the Spring of 2018, The Sodality was approached by 3 “young people” who wished to re-establish it in the community. As a result, we started having Evensong, on the last Sunday of the month at 7:00 pm, again at The Church of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, and again thanks to Father Nowak. The first Evensong was on May 28. In addition to Evensong, each month, we had an “Ordinariate” Mass on St Edmund’s Day, November 20. Thanks to Father Brendan McGrath for celebrating the Mass.
Our plan, at the end of 2018, was to continue Evensong (on the last Sunday of each month), and to start having Masses, perhaps on the second Sunday of each month, Deo volente (this did not happen, but we are hopeful). As the result of COVID, Evensong was suspended in the Spring of 2020. We are now happy to announce that we have received permission (September, 2021) to start Evensong again, on the last Sunday of the month! Evensong will be at 5:00 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church – 66 Shanley Street, Kitchener – starting September 26.