Anglican friends visit us at The Lay Centre


Sebastian Harries, Ruth, Donna Orsuto, Jean Chiswell, Giles Frampton

Congratulations to the Anglican Centre in Rome that celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on October, 5th.

By Donna Orsuto

The various celebrations culminated with vespers at San Gregorio presided by Pope Francis with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, taking an active part in the service.  It was a beautiful moment of prayer together and also a call to go out to the world and serve others side by side.  During the Homily Pope Francis said:

“To work always and everywhere as instruments of communion is a great calling.  It involves working for the unity of both the Christian family and the human family.  These two goals are not only not opposed, but are mutually enriching.  When, as disciples of Jesus, we serve together side by side, when we promote openness and encounter, and reject the temptation to narrow-mindedness and isolation, we are working both for the unity of Christians and for the unity of the human family.”

At the end of the Vespers, in his reflection, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that “While we rejoice that our Good Shepherd is the one who rescues, we also know that we – each of us, all of us, every Christian – is called to be his feet and hands and mouth. We are the mouth that calls, the hands that pick up, the feet that cross any obstacle to find the lost sheep and bring it home.”

We at The Lay Centre appreciate the strong bond of friendship that we have with the Anglican Centre and are grateful for the opportunities we have had in the past to collaborate and we look forward to serving others side by side into the future.

During these days, it was also a special joy to have five Anglican friends visit us at The Lay Centre visit:  Clare Broadent, a longtime friend, joined us for an evening to meet the new community.  Staying with us in these days were Jean Chiswell, a retired diplomat who volunteered at The Lay Centre for several years, Sebastian Harries, recently ordained a deacon and now serving at The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Lingfield, Surrey, England, Rev. Ruth Frampton and her husband Giles. Ruth was ordained in September and now serves as Assistant Curate in the Benefice of Salcombe and Malborough with South Huish, Devon, England.

Sebastian and Ruth stayed at The Lay Centre as part of an Anglican exchange program, where Anglican ordinands come to Rome for a period of study and Ecumenical Placement.

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