Kevin Greenlee
Kevin Greenlee
A group of Portland-area families is working to become Catholic while retaining much of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage.

Members of the Portland Anglican Patrimony Society want to meet the requirements of the Catholic Church’s Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The ordinariate is a Catholic governing structure, similar to a diocese, established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 for Anglicans and whole Anglican communities wishing to become Catholic.

Pope Benedict called the Anglican heritage “a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate” and “a treasure to be shared” with the whole Catholic Church.

Kevin Greenlee, coordinator for the Portland Anglican Patrimony Society, said the group aims to grow into a community with enough people to support an ordinariate priest and form a parish.

“I was raised Pentecostal, but entered Anglicanism during college and practiced it for more than a decade,” Greenlee said in an article for the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, a national group promoting Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church.

Greenlee became Catholic in 2017, the same year he and others formed the Anglican Patrimony Society. Greenlee now works as business manager at Holy Redeemer Parish in Vancouver, Washington.

He thinks a parish of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter could boost local Catholic evangelization.

“We want this community to be an evangelical witness to the glory of the Catholic faith for the people of Portland, and we hope to bless the local Catholic Church with the gifts of the Anglican Patrimony,” says the Anglican Patrimony Society website.

Members gather monthly at Holy Rosary in Northeast Portland to have evening prayer as prescribed by the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Some members of the society already have joined the ordinariate as individuals.

The group has begun to gather for Masses according to the Divine Worship Missal, which features distinctive Anglican spiritual traditions, such as Prayer Book English, while fully conforming to the sacramental, liturgical, and doctrinal standards of the Roman Catholic Church.

In many ways it is similar to the Traditional Latin Mass, but is said in English. The liturgy is said ad orientum, with the priest facing the altar.

The Portland group organized an ordinariate Mass Feb. 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Dominican Father Gabriel Mosher presided at Holy Rosary.

Father Mosher noted that the name of the ordinariate hearkens to papal authority and that submitting is an act of faith in the Holy Spirit.

“We must know this Spirit,” Father Mosher told the group. “We must become his intimate friends.”

Cantores in Ecclesia, a Catholic liturgical choir well known for Renaissance English polyphony, led music.

Once the Portland Anglican Patrimony Society meets requirements, it can ask the bishop of the ordinariate, Bishop Steven Lopes, to declare them a community in formation.