Dec 16, 2008

Anglican Use Catholic Mass in Kansas City

Kirk Kramer whom everybody knows (as I once proved when I asked a group of European pilgrims whether anyone knew Kirk] sent this message on the Anglican Use Mass in Kansas City. I was reminded of the Anglican Use Catholic parish, Our Lady of the Atonement, in north San Antonio, TX which impressed me very favorably a few years ago with their beautiful church. Their Anglican Use Solemn High Mass involves the use of incense, bells, a full procession, and Sacred Music from both the traditional Latin and English Catholic heritage.

A former Anglican pastor, now a married Catholic priest, also came into my thoughts after reading Kirk's email. Fr. Bob McElwee is well known for blessing motorcycles in southeast Kansas and for the words on his business card, "When I'm not riding, I'm guiding." Last March this pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Frontenac, KS invited a FSSP priest into his 'high liturgical' Kansas church for several days to explain and offer the old Latin Mass. Fr. McElwee is a rare priest who insures that his Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day to pray in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Here's Kirk's letter about the Anglican Use Mass in Kansas City.
Friends in Kansas City & environs:

A friend sent me a link to the website of the Kansas City, Missouri, diocesan newspaper a few days ago. On it I saw this notice:

After reading it I called the pastor at St Therese, Fr Davis, & had a good chinwag with him. He told me that he will celebrate Mass according to the Anglican Use every Sunday at 11:15.

Most Catholics know that Pope John Paul established the "Pastoral Provision" for married convert clergymen so that ex-Anglican & Episcopalian parsons who become Catholics can be dispensed from clerical celibacy & ordained priests. A less known part of the Pastoral Provision is the possibility of using a modified form of the Book of Common Prayer at Mass.

Next to the King James Bible, nothing has formed our rich & delicate language so deeply as the language of the Prayer Book. If that is what had been meant 40 years ago by "the vernacular" after Vatican II, many of the Church's current liturgical woes might have been avoided.

The music at Anglican Use parishes is from the 1940 hymn book & Anglican chant, and is consistently at a high standard.

A few years ago I nearly moved to Fort Worth to take a job in a library. The attraction of living there was a whole parish, St Mary the Virgin, devoted to the Anglican Use.

This note is just meant to make you aware of this development. I wish we had the chance to worship in this way on a regular basis. The nearest Anglican Use parish to Washington is in Scranton, which I have visited a few times.

More information about the Anglican Use Society is available on their website:

Blessed Advent,

Kirk Kramer


Anonymous said...

At Kirk's suggestion I am writing you to introduce myself and invite you to consider whether you or people you may know may be called to participate in the adventure of forming an Anglican Use community in Kansas City. We have already begun with a core group of people, some of whom made Professions of Faith on December 7, some are Catholic spouses of former episcopalians and Anglicans, some previously converted, and some are waiting while marriage cases are resolved.

Our goal is to become a viable Catholic community of people able to reach out to Anglicans, Episcopalians and others being drawn to the Catholic Church. Our inspiration is Pope John Paul II and Ut Unum Sint. By viable, I would mean that we would be able to provide hospitality, formation, examples, and inspiration. The central unifying function of the community would be offering the Anglican Use mass with beauty and dignity.

At this point in our development, we need pioneers. We cannot pretend to be a mature community. We need people to assist in liturgy, music, public relations, community development, education, finance, and especially prayer.

St. Therese Little Flower Parish where I am Pastoral Administrator has offered us hospitality. While there are certainly challenges to envisioning a parish that functions with an African-American inspired Gospel Mass at 9:15 and an Anglican Use Mass at 11:15, there are great possibilities for
working together. We are on the outskirts of the inner city, with a long tradition of serving the community and working for social justice - as did many of the Anglo-Catholic pioneers. St. Therese has a noble building, amenable to the Anglican Use liturgy. St. Therese is a gracious patron of evangelism and I can sense her personal interest.

I am a former Episcopal priest, educated at General Theological Seminary but my heart was at Nashotah. I was curate at St. Stephen's in Providence, and together they gave me a foundation for high church and Anglo-Catholic
spirituality and liturgy. I was Canon Missioner for St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Independence, served on the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of West Missouri and was Secretary of the Diocese. After my family and I converted to the Catholic Church, I was chaplain at St. Joseph Medical Center. In July 2007 Bishop Finn appointed me Pastoral Administrator at St. Therese Little Flower. I am now director of the Office of Priestly Life and Ministry. Bishop Finn has been very supportive of this venture. If you would like to read more about my conversion, check out my blog

I solicit your help in spreading the word and invite you to consider assisting this venture personally. Our Anglican Use Mass is celebrated on Sundays at 11:15. On Christmas Day it will be at 10:00 a.m. St. Therese is located at 5814 Euclid Avenue, Kansas City Missouri. We are not far from Brookside, easily accessible from 59th Street. You can easily pick up 59th Street at State Line Road, Ward Parkway, the Paseo, or 71 Highway.

If you would like to speak with me personally, give me a call at the parish 816-444-5406.

Fr. Ernie Davis

Anonymous said...

" at Anglican Use parishes is from the 1940 hymn book..."
As a convert of nearly 20 years, I still have my old 1940 Hymnal on my piano. Ah, #585 or #345!!! OCP just isn't the same. God provides in all things and the fullness of faith trumps the music. Perhaps St Louis might get an Anglican use parish someday in God's time.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and all the Anglican Use parishes. Since the Pastoral Provision was actually put into place by several priests in Los Angeles, CA going to Rome over 28 years ago, it is a shame that we probably will never have an AU parish here, unless we get a good Shepard in charge to lead us. It is very difficult living in such a liberal area.

I also am Anglican Use and so are my children.

God Bless