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St. Ambrose on the Importance of Ongoing Formation: The Duties of the Clergy


January 10
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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St. Charles Borromeo
2739 NE Stinson Pkwy
Saint Anthony, MN 55418 United States
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In about A.D. 391, St. Ambrose wrote On Duties for the explicit purpose of helping his clergy to live worthy of their sacred calling and to be faithful examples to their people in everything that they say and do. This will be a study day focused on the words of St. Ambrose, one of the great doctors of the Latin Church, who emphasized the importance of on-going formation for “his sons” whom he has ordained for the service of the Lord (II.6.25).  Ambrose’s work is considered the most important account of the duties of the clerical office amongst the Western Fathers.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, P.A., was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on Jan. 1, 2012.  The Ordinariate is a jurisdiction established by the Holy See for groups coming from the Anglican tradition who are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.  He also taught patristics at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary, Houston, from 2009 to 2016.

In 2016, the Holy See appointed the Ordinariate’s first bishop, and Msgr. Steenson relocated to the North.  He then served as Priest Scholar in Residence in the School of Divinity at St. Paul Seminary for several years and now assists in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  He is also vice president of the Coming Home Network International, an organization which assists individuals on their journey to Catholic unity.

From 1983 to 2007, he served in the Anglican ministry, at Episcopal parishes in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, and as canon to the ordinary and then the Episcopal Church’s 100th bishop, of the Diocese of the Rio Grande based in Albuquerque.  He was received into the Catholic Church on Dec. 1, 2007, and through the Pastoral Provision created by Pope John Paul II, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on Feb. 21, 2009.

He has an M.A. in church history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a D.Phil. in patristic theology from the University of Oxford in 1983.  For next twenty-five years in the Anglican ministry, both as a priest and a bishop, the Fathers of the Church continued to be his inspiration and guide and were instrumental in his decision to come into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2007, together with his wife Debra.  Married for 49 years, they have three adult children and two grandsons.  He is an aviation enthusiast, a licensed pilot, and a member of the National Association of Priest Pilots.


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