A blessed 2012 to all of you!
While the secular world ponders on the purported Mayan doomsday predictions looming towards the end of the year, these pages greet 2012 with much joy, as the Holy Father has given us much to celebrate and anticipate in the coming year.
Perhaps the biggest news for the Church in the United States is the establishment of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for former Anglicans coming into the fold. The Ordinariate, based out of Houston's Our Lady of Walsingham, came into being yesterday, January 1, 2012, on the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Last year, I had the grace of assisting at Mass at this beautiful church. The quality of the sacred music the parish uses is spectacular and the church, itself, is magnificent. I really felt at home there and, on a deeper level, experienced something that is completely extraordinary.
For not a few Anglican communities who have voted to come home to the Church, this new Ordinariate is certainly cause for immense rejoicing. For those of us who are not Anglican, this is also a day of thanksgiving for we are welcoming our brethren back home. Perhaps this is the beginning of the fulfillment of the High Priest Prayer that Christ uttered at Gethesemane, when He prayed that "all may be one". As Fr. Z so famously puts it, Pope Benedict XVI is the "Pope of Christian Unity", for it is through his efforts that these wonderful things are happening.
Another cause for rejoicing in 2012 hits a little closer to home in the sense that the Holy See has announced the schedule for the Holy Father's upcoming to Mexico and Cuba. The Mexican trip may actually be feasible for some of us living in the South Texas hinterland, as Pope Benedict XVI will be traveling to Leon, Guanajuato. It's a scant 460 miles away from my little corner of the Texas border. I missed the opportunity to see the Holy Father when he was on our blessed shores three years ago. Maybe, just maybe, if I can get my passport/passcard, I could see him in the Spring.
The other good news is a carryover from the tail end of 2011: the implementation of the revised Roman Missal!!! Down here, it's been warmly received. A couple of the parishes (to my knowledge) are using the ICEL chants. This is certainly a wonderful thing, as we are praying and chanting these noble words with music that is most fitting.
The Year of Our Lord 2012 carries with it a lot of promise and a lot of hope, indeed!