Dear Friends of Caravita Oratory,

Grace and peace to you.

I want to share a remarkable experience that occurred on Tuesday of this week in London. We held the 50th anniversary service for the Anglican Centre in Rome at Westminster Abbey, largely for UK based supporters , but some colleagues in Rome also came. Among them was Father Keith Pecklers at our invitation, as well as Bishop Brian Farrell and Father Tony Currer in their official Vatican delegation capacity. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at the evensong and made reference to Caravita in these words:

“In its neighbours like Caravita, The Anglican Centre in Rome  finds a reciprocity of affection, which provokes and disrupts disunity.  May God be praised for His mighty work over us and through us, despite our disobedience and division. May we find afresh both pain and hope, and may the ACR minister to us both.” 

Never before has an Archbishop of Canterbury referred to Caravita in Westminster Abbey, and before a crowd of approximately 1400. This is in large measure due to your kindness, your prayers each Sunday for the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as your gentle, consistent care over the years through the extraordinary leadership and solidarity of Father Keith Pecklers, who offers a friendship to me and to many of the most creative and uplifting kind.

This care reaches across denominations and differences, finding a community of interest out of those would normally never find each other in Rome, which is such a vast and diverse place. The spiritual fruit is the emergence of  many gentle but highly influential networks that make so much good come through in this city and beyond. This care is serendipitous and people driven, meaning it is not paid, not instituted by some ecclesiastical agenda; it is there because it wants to be there, as a free gift with no strings attached, like the great love of God.

I used the following words when editing my own speech that evening to a mixed group of Anglicans and Catholics,  to record the power of Caravita for me and for the ACR, as well as for posterity. I have added these words to the record now, where I give thanks for unexpected blessings such as  ….

“The ever supportive and life-giving covenant with the Caravita oratory community, our remarkable neighbours, created during the time of Canon David Richardson, care of The Reverend Professor Keith Pecklers SJ of the Gregorian University”.

Pace et bene, Deo Gratias

Archbishop David Moxon KNZM, The Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See

and former Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.