Yesterday's announcement of an Apostolic Constitution providing for groups of Anglicans to come into the Church was met by us with a double excitement. We didn't think we could share with you the reason why but Fr. Brian Mulcahy, OP, socius for Fr. Dominic Izzo, OP, provincial of St. Joseph's Province posted an important announcement on the friars' website explaining why. We will simply republish it below:
On February 21, 2009, many Dominican priests, brothers, [nuns], sisters and laity received an e-mail with an urgent prayer request requested by (then) Fr Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking all Dominicans to pray the Litany of Dominican Saints from February 22 (the Feast of the Chair of St Peter) through March 25 (the Solemnity of the Annunciation) for an at-the-time undisclosed intention. Today, we received an e-mail from Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P., the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, with the following announcement:
"Today there was announced -- at press conferences in Rome and London -- the forthcoming publication of an apostolic constitution in which the Holy Father allows for the creation of personal ordinariates for groups of Anglicans in different parts of the world who are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. The canonical structure of the personal ordinariate will permit this corporate reunion while at the same time providing for retention of elements of Anglican liturgy and spirituality.
When I asked the friars (and other OPs - Ed.) to pray the Dominican litany from 22 February to 25 March earlier this year, the intention was that this proposal would receive the approval of the cardinal members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which was necessary if the proposal of some structure allowing for corporate reunion was to go forward. Our prayers at that time were answered, and now that the proposal has become a reality we can tell everyone what we were praying for then.
+Abp. J Augustine Di Noia, OP
This momentous news has already hit both the secular and Catholic press, but Archbishop Di Noia wanted all of you to know that your prayers were very effective, and that he extends his most profound fraternal thanks.
Here is a link to the Vatican website that has the text of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Note concerning this new, historic arrangement.
Immediately on receiving this communication in February—Fr. Mulcahy's left out the nuns(!) in this posting but we'll forgive him—Sr. Mary Martin provided a booklet of the Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds for each Sister and it was a regular sight to see Sisters staying after Office, especially Compline, asking the intercession of all our Heavenly Brothers and Sisters. You can find the Litany HERE. We had to update it and add a few more saints bringing the total of invocations to about 160!
We learned back in early June that in God's great mercy our prayers were being answered and that it had to do with the Anglican question but had no idea of how momentous this actually was.
As all the details are ironed out and as many of our Anglican brothers and sisters make many difficult decisions and sacrifices to avail themselves of our Holy Father's loving gesture welcoming them to their True Ecclesial Home, we support them, our Holy Father and all involved by our prayer.