Picture England twenty years from now. The Church of England is on its last legs. They have far too many buildings. The clergy are ancient and have to look after ten or fifteen parishes. The atheistic English government has refused to step in and maintain the ancient medieval churches, cathedrals and abbeys. The Church of England has closed numerous churches as the English population declines and Islam advances.

The Catholic Church has also declined. Churches have closed and Catholics are few and far between. But in the midst of the gathering gloom Catholic religious orders have revived. Here there is a small, but dynamic band of Benedictines. Over there the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are the only inner city presence. Here an order of Carmelites, there a group of Dominicans. There are even some Jesuits who have renewed their order in the midst of the persecutions.
There are new ecclesial communities too. Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Neo Catechumenate, Emmanuel Community–groups of lay people, religious and priests who have kept the faith. In the vacuum these Catholic communities quietly start to re-colonize the empty Anglican Churches. They move into villages and towns. They ask if they can say Mass in the Church because no one worships there anymore and they need a place to meet. The old Anglican priestess sees no harm in it. Eventually they meet there every week. The people begin to gather again.
In time the Church of England puts together a measure offering the ancient churches to the priests and people who are maintaining worship there, and by default the ancient faith is restored.
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04287681931799759902 Padre Steve

    I think you are right on with your prophetic vision… I hope there are a few of us Salesians hanging on, but time will tell. St. Dominic Savio would often pray for England and they could use the young saint’s intercession now!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04313286544695110514 Kevin Davis

    This dream is assuming that the C of E drives out the Evangelicals as well, which is certainly possible. But, for now, the Evangelicals are the only hope for the future of the C of E as a passibly Christian communion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    You left out the bit where the muslims kill all the orthodox christians and the seculars when they reach a majority. Sad but true in every muslim nation so far.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13824256061658361536 Fr. Christopher G. Phillips

    An especially appropriate vision, since most of the buildings were ours to begin with…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06835692937709637939 DJ

    Interesting dream, and I think it is right on… Let us pray that all of this results in a return home to Rome for the people and the buildings in the C of E. Well done Fr.!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00277922447843163814 fried chicken strips

    “It is easy for many to be overcome by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverence by many or by few; for victory in war does not depend upon the size of the army, but on strength that comes from Heaven” (1 Mc 3:18-19). This is what the Muslims say to us, “Our religion today, your religion tomorrow.” “With great presumption and lawlessness they come against us to destroy us and our wives and children and to despoil us; but we are fighting for our lives and our laws” (1 Mc 3:20-21). Marcius, I don’t like this any more than you do, but I prefer a confrontation to our present shallow religiousity. Our forebears must think us perverbial pansies. Let them come, they spread their faith by the sword, we spread ours by surrendering our very lives. My words are easy while the storm is a ways off, but it will come. Then we can boast, like St. Paul, of our afflictions, “knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance proven character, and proven character hope, and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that been given to us” (Rom 5:3-5). “We know that all things work for good for those who love God…” (Rom 8:28).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01379244511897838006 Marcus Aurelius

    I dunno. I rather think St. James the Moor Slayer argues that we can actually defend ourselves now and again. Martyrdom has its place, so does self defense.