Bridgeport, Pa. – Starting Nov. 18, Roman Catholics in the Philadelphia area will be able to attend Mass at a
located in a familiar setting.
This Friday at 7 p.m.,
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
will be established as the newest parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter: a diocese for Roman Catholics in the United States and Canada who were once Anglican, but are now Catholic.
St. John the Baptist is making its home at 502 Ford St., the previous location of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, which was a parish of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Though the community of St. John the Baptist has been worshipping in the church since December 2015, next Friday marks its official institution as a Catholic parish of the Ordinariate.
Bishop Steven J. Lopes, the Ordinariate’s first bishop, will establish the parish and institute Father David Ousley as its pastor at the Nov. 18 Mass.
Bishop Lopes chose to form the Bridgeport parish after evaluating its size, pastoral team, ministries, financial stability, relationship with its territorial diocese, and other criteria required for the erection of an Ordinariate parish.
St. John the Baptist is a parish merged from two previous communities of the Ordinariate: the former St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Community of Philadelphia, and the former Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Community of Strafford, Pa. Both congregations had been worshiping in other parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While the two Ordinariate communities had received warm hospitality from their host parishes in the Archdiocese, the combined congregations sought a permanent location to house their merged community. The fall of 2015 brought St. John the Baptist a chance to purchase the Bridgeport campus. Catholics from Princeton, Atlantic City, Wilmington and Philadelphia are served by the new parish.
“While most Ordinariate communities grow one family at a time, we’ve had the advantage of bringing two small communities together to make one larger one,” Father Ousley said. “This ‘worked’ because of the generosity and good will of all our parishioners. The fruit of this work is not only in our new identity, which is already well established, but in the attractiveness of St. John’s to others. Each Sunday seems to bring some new faces, and many come back to become familiar faces.”
“Bridgeport is a close-knit community and has been very welcoming,” Father Ousley continued. “We look forward to being an integral part of this vibrant community.”
Ordinariate clergy from across the Northeast will attend the Nov. 18 Mass, which will be celebrated by Bishop Lopes. The public is welcome to the liturgy, which will be followed by a reception at the parish.
Ordinariate parishes celebrate Mass according to
Divine Worship: The Missal
, a book of liturgical texts for the Ordinariate approved and promulgated by the Vatican in November 2015. The Ordinariate Form of the Mass is fully Catholic — conforming to Catholic sacramental and liturgical standards – while featuring Prayer Book English and other elements of Anglican heritage.
WHAT: Bishop Steven J. Lopes to establish St. John the Baptist Catholic parish, a new Roman Catholic parish in the Philadelphia area
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: 502 Ford St., Brigdeport, Pa.
Media Contact: Jenny Faber,
Pictured above: Father David Ousley, the new pastor of St. John the Baptist, celebrates Mass at the Bridgeport parish. Photo courtesy of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.