The Community of Jesus
Archbishop Sean and Gill Larkin
Sean Larkin is the Archbishop of a Traditional Anglican Jurisdiction (www.unitedanglicanchurch.com)
Originally a “Missions Bishop” for this small jurisdiction serving churches in Romania, Canada and the USA, he became Archbishop in 2004. Towards the end of 2005 he had a visit from an acquaintance who was already working with Matteo. He shared the vision and calling of the Community of Jesus and felt strongly that God was calling Abp. Sean to become part of the work Matteo was doing. Abp. Sean already knew a call on his life from God to work for unity within the Church and had received several prophecies to that effect over the years. As an initial step he visited the Community of Jesus in Bari in February 2006 and attended a worship conference being held there. He immediately felt “at home” and there began a friendship with Matteo and the Community of Jesus. A common vision for unity confirmed, Matteo invited Abp. Sean shortly afterwards to accompany him and a small team drawn from across the spectrum of the Christian Church, to speak on and visibly demonstrate the reconciliation and unity that Christ desires for His Church. This included visits to Argentina, where time was spent with Cardinal Bergoglio during which he gave his blessing for the establishing of the Community of Jesus in Buenos Aires, to Brazil, Italy and the USA sharing with leaders and groups on whom God had laid the same desire for unity.
In May 2009 Matteo asked Archbishop Sean and his wife if they would consider starting an Anglican expression of the Community of Jesus. With the blessing and approval of the Vatican, and fully identifying with the call of the Community of Jesus, Abp. Sean and Gill made the promises that all those who desire to commit themselves to the Community of Jesus make. This took place in May 2010 during the international gathering of the Community, “Kairos”, before Bishop Mario Paciello who accompanied the Community at that time. It was an historic moment as the hitherto Roman Catholic Community of Jesus embraced an Anglican expression.
Based in Woking, United Kingdom, the calling of the Community of Jesus is lived out within an Anglican context. Meetings are centred around Anglican Evening Prayer or Holy Communion. They include a time of worship and study/reflection on themes associated with our calling, prayer and fellowship. Those wishing to formally identify with the Community as members make covenant promises before Abp. Sean. This, however, is not a requirement and meetings are open to all. Our desire is to see reconciliation and unity grow within the Church in the United Kingdom.
We participate in the wider work of the Community of Jesus, sharing in different dioceses around Bari during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, speaking at “Kairos” gathering both in Italy and the USA and at events organised by other groups and parishes working for unity and reconciliation. In 2017 this included participating in Rome at the “Golden Jubilee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal” where Abp. Sean co-led a workshop on “Fostering Spiritual Ecumenism” and shared on a panel at the “Ecumenical Meeting of Charismatic Christians”, which was part of the same event. Though small, the Anglican Expression is nevertheless an ever present reminder within the one Community of Jesus, of God’s heart and desire for ONE Church.
The Community story continues to be written ………