December 7, 2012
The Holy See has approved the establishment of a deanery in Canada that will minister to groups of Anglicans and Anglican clergy in Canada who come into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the Ordinary, or head, of the Ordinariate, which is based in Houston, TX, and Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, the ecclesiastical delegate for the Ordinariate in Canada, jointly announced the news on Friday.
Msgr. Steenson has appointed Rev. Lee Kenyon, administrator of the first Ordinariate congregation in Canada, St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, AB, as dean of the new Deanery of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Kenyon trained for ministry in the Church of England, and served there as a parish priest from 2005 to 2009, when he came to Calgary. He brought his parish community into the Catholic Church in 2011 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry in June.
“The territory of the Ordinariate in North America is enormous, and it will be a great blessing to be able to delegate many of the duties for shepherding these groups to Fr. Kenyon,” said Msgr. Steenson. “He brings to this work a superb foundation within the Anglican tradition, and he brings this patrimony to the Catholic Church with a wise and generous pastoral heart.”
Cardinal Collins said, “I am delighted that the Holy See has approved the establishment of a Canadian deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. Father Kenyon will provide excellent pastoral leadership for the new deanery and I offer my prayers for all involved in this important initiative.”
Cardinal Collins and Msgr. Steenson had petitioned the Holy See to create a deanery, after receiving the unanimous support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at its September plenary assembly in Quebec.
“I continue to be full of gratitude for the encouragement and active support of the Canadian bishops for the Ordinariate and Pope Benedict’s vision for these intentional communities of Christian unity,” Msgr. Steenson noted.
The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012 for groups of Anglicans and Anglican clergy seeking to become Catholic, while also retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy. It is one of three Ordinariates for former Anglicans in the world. To date, it includes 24 priests, 1,500 people and 35 communities across the United States and Canada. Peter Wilkinson, former bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, will become the third Ordinariate priest in Canada, when he is ordained in Victoria, BC on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.
The other Ordinariates are Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
Background on Fr. Lee Kenyon:
Fr. Lee Kenyon was born and raised in Manchester, Lancashire, England. He was educated at the University of Lancaster (BA Philosophy) and at the University of Leeds (BA Theology, MA Theology). He studied and trained for the Anglican ministry at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, and was ordained into the Church of England in 2005. He served a curacy St. Cuthbert, Darwen with St. Stephen, Tockholes, in the Diocese of Blackburn before coming to serve as Priest-in-Charge at St. John the Evangelist, Calgary in 2009.
Fr Kenyon was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in December 2011, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter by the Bishop of Calgary in June 2012. Fr Kenyon and his wife Elizabeth have three children.