Witnesses to Freedom

A witnesses to Freedom Mass and Relic Tour was attended by Fr. Lowell and a number of his parishioners in Phoenix, Arizona at St. Mary’s Basilica. This event was on June 30th. The Mass principal celebrant was the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix.  This Mass was to honor the presents of the relics of STS. Thomas More and John Fisher.  These two men are part of our heritage of the Ordinariate.  The relic tour is taking place in eight cities throughout the USA.  The big church was packed with the faithful and what a joy to attend.


I thought you might like reading this about our new Bishop

from the

National Catholic Register

Daily News

First Anglican Ordinariate Bishop Ordained: ‘It Means We’re Here to Stay’

The ordinariates rejoice as Bishop Steven Lopes is ordained in Houston as the shepherd of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.


Facebook/Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

HOUSTON — In a majestic Mass at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday evening, history was made for the Anglican ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI: Their first bishop was ordained.

“In a nutshell, it means we’re here to stay,” summarized Msgr. Harry Entwistle, the ordinary of Australia’s ordinariate, which is under the patroness of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

The new bishop, Steven Joseph Lopes, 40, a native of California, was in fact instrumental in the creation of the ordinariate that he now leads — the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

The ordinariates were established as the Vatican’s pastoral response to repeated and persistent inquiries made by Anglican individuals and groups who desired full communion with the Catholic Church, in a history that goes back to at least Pope Pius XII.

In November 2009, in response to these inquiries from Anglican groups worldwide, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus. This document authorized the creation of “ordinariates” — communities that would be fully Catholic yet retain elements of Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

So far, there are three ordinariates globally: The first was established in the United Kingdom (the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham) in 2011. The following year, an ordinariate was established here in the United States, with jurisdiction also including Canada, and another in Australia.

Bishop Lopes was working in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) as this process unfolded, having been named an official of that congregation in 2005. For seven of his 10-plus years at the Vatican, he served as secretary to the cardinal prefect, and he was in effect the coordinator for the three ordinariates. Hence, he knows well his flock and their unique home in the Church.

He explained at the end of his ordination Mass that his episcopal motto — Magna Opera Domini (“Great are the works of the Lord”) — flows from this intimate knowledge of the ordinariate.

Addressing the priests gathered for his ordination — just for the U.S.-Canada ordinariate, there are 62 of them, along with six deacons, four candidates for the priesthood or diaconate and one seminarian, in service to 42 parishes and communities — he noted, “I have met each one of you.”


‘Stories of Faith and Courage’

Reminiscing about a clergy assembly held several years ago in Florida, he explained that the event was one of the first occasions that he had to put faces to the names and autobiographies that he had read and studied at the CDF.

“Yours were stories of faith and of courage, and of a passion and zeal for the truth and the search of the truth in sacred Scripture,” Bishop Lopes told the priests. “And they were also often enough stories of sacrifice, suffering and the anguish of leaving what was familiar and comfortable in order to embark on an unknown and sometimes lonely path toward the fullness of Catholic communion.”

Seeing the faces of these priests and knowing their stories, he said as he named some of them by name, “in that moment, beholding, if you will, before me, the great work of communion manifest in that chapel, my heart was moved to only one thought: We did not do this. God did this. This is the work of the Lord, and great are the works of the Lord!”

For his priests as well, Bishop Lopes’ long involvement with the ordinariates is a source of consolation and hope.

“We all know him very well. He knows each one of us priests very well,” explained Father John Vidal, pastor of St. Anselm Catholic Community in Corpus Christi, Texas. “It’s like a brother priest is being ordained. He’s not coming from the Anglican Communion, but he knows it just as much as we do, if not better, which is really exciting.”

Father Vidal remarked that Bishop Lopes is, in fact, “kind of the one who defined who we were.”

“I’m just thrilled,” he said. “For him, but even more for us.”


Proper Catholics

The ordinariates are still in their infant stage (what’s five years in the history of the Church?), so much of the work before Bishop Lopes is furthering their establishment.

And many Catholics are still unaware that the ordinariates even exist. Msgr. Keith Newton, the ordinary of the U.K. ordinariate, in a presentation prior to the ordination Mass, joked that he still gets Catholics asking him, “Why don’t you become a proper Catholic?”

But the ordination of a bishop will undoubtedly help to further awareness of the ordinariates and their mission.

With their own bishop, said Msgr. Entwistle, “we have become a particular Church. This is a statement of confidence from the Holy Father.”

The Australian ordinary added that the ordinariates’ mission is for the entire Church: “We have a spirituality and a distinctiveness that will enrich the whole of the Catholic Church,” he said. “So we are not a ship passing in the night. … The influence of that English spiritual, theological and pastoral tradition will in fact hopefully enrich [the whole Church].”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston and thus the host for Tuesday’s celebrations, echoed those thoughts, noting the distinctiveness of the ordinariate now having a bishop. He said the ordination underlined “a sense of the unity of the Church” and “a true sense of unity with Peter, too.

Said Cardinal DiNardo, “I think it’s great.”

Register correspondent Kathleen Naab writes from Houston,

where she covers news of the Church

as a coordinator for Zenit News Service.


To all of our friends in the wide world of the faithful

Yes, it has been some time since you have heard from us…but we had a little problem with our web page but  we are now back on.  A whole lot has happened since last reporting. There have been many events in the parish. We now have a bishop to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.  Please go to our related page for all the news on Bishop Steven Lopes.  Also our Sunday Bulletin page has updates about our happenings.

Parish Visit of Monsignor Jeffery N. Steenson

On January 25, 2015 we had a visit to Holy Nativity of Monsignor Jeffery Steenson an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and servers as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The parish church was full and a very hearty welcome to our Ordinary was given… He celebrated Mass assisted by Fr. Lowell and Deacon Ed. Following Mass there was a Luncheon in his honor and everyone enjoyed the fellowship and good food.

Starting off with great news in 2015

We will have for the first time since the parish has become Roman Catholic under the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, that Monsignor Jeffery N. Steenson, our Ordinary will pay a visit to Holy Nativity, Payson on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at our 10:00 a.m. Mass. We will have a wonderful brunch following Mass so that people can visit and ask questions. We invite all who can make it to come.


Merry Christmas to all of our friends and viewers.  What a wonderful Christmas Eve Mass  we had at Holy Nativity with all the smells and bells and great music.  There was much happiest and glad tidings to be had.  Our Christmas Day Mass was the same as the night before with a church full of wonderful people. 

  • After losing our Webmaster last year it has taken us some time to find a replacement…and now a wonderful and bright new Webmaster we have.  She has helped us more than a great deal in not only the new look on our home page but the whole website.  Now our work begins to bring all up to date what has been happening at Holy Nativity.
  • Our parish has grown more than twice the size it was last year, 2013 and still growing.
  • Our Pastor Fr. Lowell is now part of that unique “band of brothers” the Knights of Columbus and has his fourth degree.
  • Fr. Lowell has successfully completed the Rural Clergy training for the Department of Veterans Affairs and is continuing to work with the retired Veterans in the Rim Country of which Payson is part of.
  • Fr. Lowell has completed the training for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and now has the ability to work for this great society that serves the poor and needy.
  • Holy Nativity now has a new Parish Council and will be meeting every three months to help Fr. Lowell to carry out the mission of the parish.
  • The parish has added on the first Wednesday of each month the service of  Benediction and Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 5:30 p.m.  Following this service we have a potluck supper and much fellowship.  If you are in the area please join us.
  • The Rev. Mr. Edward Burgin, Deacon (Ret.) has been helping the parish with its Masses and fellowship.


Payson’s Church of the Holy Nativity has taken it’s place in history the weekend of Sunday, December 16, 2012.  It became the first Anglican Catholic church in Arizona and second in the Southwest to return to the Roman Catholic Church through the changes authorized by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2009.  The congregation had 16 people received and 15 confirmed along with the congregation remaining. Holy Nativity’s pastor, Father Lowell E. Andrews was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood under the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter at the 2:00 p.m. Mass

Founded in 1974, Payson’s Church of Holy Nativity left the Episcopal Church and dedicated its new sanctuary, first in their parish hall and then in 1983 dedicated its new beautiful church sanctuary at 1414 North Easy Street.  Father Lowell is the fifth Rector (Pastor) since its founding.

The Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson  did the confirmation, and ordination of Fr.Lowell and the Rev. Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter received the new parishioners and was Concelebrant and Homilist.

Father Andrews said, ” it was one of the most exiting things,  after 500 years that parts of the Anglican Church is coming back to the Mother Church and bringing the rich and traditional liturgy and patrimony of the  Anglicanism.”


Reception, Confirmation & Ordination Dates are Set

It is with great joy and relief that we at Holy Nativity Church can announce the dates for the Reception and Confirmation of the congregation of Holy Nativity to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. This will take place under the Anglican Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the ordination of its priest to be re-ordained into the Roman Catholic Priesthood. This will happen on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Both Bishop Kicanas, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson and our Ordinary Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson will be present for these events. The Reception and Ordination will take place at our parish church of Holy Nativity in Payson, AZ. Please join us for this very historical time in our church and in Southwest United States.



The Anglican Ordinariate will be established in the United States on January 1, 2012.  This comes after much speculation has been quelled about whether it would really happen or not.  Fr. Lowell was one of the  first of fourteen who had received the initial unlla osta (cerificate of no impediment) from Rome  and is slated to begin his third stage in the process before re-ordaintion into the Roman Catholic priesthood under the Anglican Ordinariate.  Hopefully the Ordaintion will take place this late spring after completing fourteen weeks of  intellectual formation through the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, TX.

The Establishment of the Personal Ordinariate

On 15 January 2011 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church publish a Decree which will formally establish a ‘Personal Ordinariate’ in England and Wales.  The establishment of this Ordinariate will be the first fruit of the Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 November 2009. The Constitution and the Complementary Norms published by the CDF provide the essential norms which will enable members of the Ordinariate to preserve within the Roman Catholic Church those elements of Anglican ecclesial prayer, liturgy and pastoral practice (patrimony) that are concordant with Catholic teaching and which have nurtured and nourished their Christian faith and life.  In time, it is expected that further Ordinariates will be established in other parts of the world.  The United States is expected to have an up and running Ordinariate by the end of this summer 2011.  Holy Nativity is ready and has forward all necessary documents and paper work to the Patrimony of the US and to Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington DC and appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to head for now the American Ordinariate.  GREAT AND WONDERFUL NEWS FOR ALL THOSE COMING INTO FULL COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SEE.

The Anglican Ordinariate

The week of November 16th. – 18th. Fr. Lowell attended an event of 75 or more Anglican Catholics, Episcopalians, and Roman Catholics priests coming together at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX. The event is being called “Becoming One” and is one of the first stages of the coming into the Anglicanorum Coetibus or the Ordinariate of those seeking to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church with our own Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral tradition.  Please pray for this coming together in love and faith of our Holy Church.


The institution of personal ordinariates for Anglicans who could join and be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church was announced on October 20, 2009.  This Personal Ordinariate is an intended canonical structure within the Roman Catholic Church enabling Anglicans to maintain some degree of corporate identity and autonomy with regard to the bishops of the geographical dioceses and to preserve elements of their own tradition and forms of worship of their Anglican faith.  Its precise nature is described in the apostolic constitution (Anglicanorum coetibus) of November 4, 2009 and in the complementary norms of the same date.   Please keep this process in your prayers.


Holy Nativity Memorial Garden

Over the years Anglicans and those of other faiths have preferred to have their loved ones buried near their Church.  Country church yards in New England provide graceful examples of this custom.  Traveling in England is enriched by visits to the burial grounds close by ancient churches.  With this in mind Holy Nativity some ten years ago created a living tribute in the form of a memorial garden offering a place to grieve, reflect, and pay homage to our loved one’s memory buried there.  We are in the process of redoing our garden making it bigger and much more attractive. Please see the garden as it is now before the renovation on our photo page.   We  also have a garden for our pets on the other side of the church.  For information on either garden please contact the Rector or Senior Warden.

We are looking for a statue of our Lady of Walsingham

If you have one that you would like to place in the church please let us know.