Saturday, February 18, 2012

Graffiti preservation under way at Morgan Chapel

From West Virginia-

Neither William Briggs nor Andrew Shute ever made the history books, but their names are causing a stir at the Morgan Chapel where their signatures - along with various other soldiers' drawings, doodles and even some personal messages, collectively referred to as Civil War graffiti - dot the old Episcopalian church's interior walls.

Although it's been about four years since workmen doing minor repairs discovered these personal artifacts, both church officials and local historians are now more eager than ever to move forward with plans to preserve them.

Excitement was running high Friday morning as the Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, and Berkeley County Landmarks Commission members examined the historic treasures and talked about future collaborations.

Smiling as he looked up at a wall in the building's balcony, space that was originally reserved for slaves attending a church service, Klusmeyer chuckled as he recalled one of the soldier's inscriptions.

More here-

So what sort of Anglican are you?

From Get Religion-

I think it is safe to say that until about 30 - 40 years ago very few people would know what an Anglican was.

Identifying yourself as an Episcopalian or a member of the Church of England in the mid-1970s would not generate the blank stare that a declaration of Anglican identity would elicit. There also was not the need to distinguish between the terms. Save for a few obscure groups here and there just about all Anglicans in the United States were members of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A.

Likely the question would never arise, for if you were an Anglican (an Episcopalian) you would not be talking about this anyway as religion was one of the three cardinal no’s of polite society — along with sex and money.

I raise these memories of my untroubled youth by way of introducing the question of how reporters should identify someone who calls themselves Anglican.

Via the magic of Facebook, commentator Daniel Stoddart directed my attention to a DC-area newspaper, the Vienna Connection, which has a nice story about a new church. The article entitled “Vienna Resident ‘Plants’ a Church” chronicles its story.

More here-

Churches sharing a minister

From Ohio-

In an unusual arrangement between two denominations, St. Paul's Lutheran Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church are sharing one spiritual leader.

Beginning earlier this month, the Rev. Craig Lewis, pastor for St. Paul's Lutheran at 930 Harding Memorial Parkway since 2002, began also serving the parish of St. Paul's Episcopal, 197 E. Center St.

"I think both churches were in a position where they were just kind of trying to come up with creative ways to keep both places open," Lewis said, estimating the Lutheran church's membership to be about 40 and the Episcopal congregation to be about 25.

Martha Wright, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, of which St. Paul's Episcopal is a part, described such a situation of sharing pastors between the two denominations as "not all that unusual. There are at least two other situations like that in our diocese. Often it's a case where the churches are nearby, and they can share a pastor or a priest."

More here-

Salt Lake City chosen for 2015 Episcopal General Convention

From Utah-

The Episcopal Church Executive Council announced during its February meeting in Fort Worth that the 2015 General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be held in Salt Lake City.

General Conventions of the Episcopal Church are held every three years, traditionally in July. The 2012 General Convention is being held in Indianapolis. The most recent General Convention was held in 2009 in Anaheim, Calif.

"This is really a tremendous thing, both for the Episcopal Church in Utah and for Salt Lake City," said the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Bishop of Utah. "We could potentially have as many as 20,000 people come to Salt Lake from all around the Episcopal Church. I'm pleased that they will be able to get a sense of our ministry here, and see what a wonderful place Utah is to live."

The Convention is expected to take place in July 2015. The exact dates will be determined later.

The General Convention usually lasts about 10 days and brings to town with it thousands of delegates and their families, vendors, journalists and religious leaders from throughout the world. Convention sessions are open to the public and traditionally attract hundreds of observers.

More here-

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gary Carter, Star Catcher Who Helped Mets to Series Title, Dies at 57

Some sad news from the world of Baseball-

Gary Carter, the slugging catcher known as Kid for the sheer joy he took in playing baseball, who entered the Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo but who most famously helped propel the Mets to their dramatic 1986 World Series championship, died Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 57.

The cause was brain cancer, which had been diagnosed last May. Carter had been treated with chemotherapy and radiation, but his daughter Kimmy Bloemers said in mid-January that new tumors had been discovered. She announced his death on her family journal at

Carter played with intensity and flair, hitting 324 home runs and punctuating many of the ones he hit at Shea Stadium with arm-flailing curtain calls emblematic of the Mets’ swagger in the middle and late 1980s. In his 19 seasons in the major leagues, all but two of them with the Expos or the Mets, he was an 11-time All-Star and was twice named the most valuable player in the All-Star Game.

More here-

Queen defends C of E

From The Church Times-

THE Queen said on Wednesday that the Church of England was “com­monly under-appreciated”, and she assured non-Christian faiths of “the protection of our Established Church”.

Speaking at a reception of religious leaders from a number of faiths, in the Guard Room of Lambeth Palace, during one of the first public engagements to celeb­rate her Diamond Jubilee year, the Queen said that she wanted “to pay tribute to the particular mission of Christianity and the general value of faith in this country”. She wished to remind people “of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life”.

The Queen continued: “The concept of our Established Church is occasionally misunderstood, and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free prac­tice of all faiths in this country.”

The Queen concluded by saying that she and the Duke of Edinburgh wished to send good wishes to each of the faith groups represented by the guests, “in the hope that — with the assurance of the protection of our Established Church — you will continue to flourish and display strength and vision in your relations with each other and the rest of society”.

In his speech to the reception, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Queen had “always been explicit in her public dec­larations — more than ever in recent years — that her personal com­mitment to her office as a call from God is at the heart of her under­standing of her role, and she has not hesitated to be explicit about the Christian grounds of that commitment”.

More here-

Non-linear Verite

From The Living Church-

The Tree of Life is nominated for three Academy Awards (best picture, best director, and best cinematography). It is also a film very few Episcopalians have seen. This strikes me as odd, particularly in light of the director’s background.

Africa: Statement By the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church

From South Africa-

We, the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, gathered from 6 to 10 February, 2012, under Mantsopa Mountain at the St Augustine's Centre, Modderpoort, in the Diocese of the Free State, for a time shaped by worship, prayer and reflection around the theme of spirited leadership.

Inspired by the beautiful scenery surrounding the diocesan centre, we worked and relaxed under the generous hospitality provided by Bishop Paddy Glover and his team, in the comfortably refurbished mission centre.

We began our work with a lively discussion facilitated by Bishop Brian Germond around the topic of creatively thinking outside of the box. We re-examined some of the mission opportunities God provides us, and the recent proposals of multiplication coming from the dioceses of Mozambique challenged us to think again on how we might respond to the fresh manifestation of the Spirit of God in our midst. We were challenged to take imaginative and courageous action that might include alternative models of ministry, mission and episcopal oversight. We agreed that we must willingly take risks, in faith.

More here-

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Exclusive Barna Group Research Reveals Our 'Favorite Sins', Most Common Temptations

From Christian News Wire-

With more than thirty years of pastoral experience, Todd D. Hunter -- author of the new book, Our Favorite Sins: The Sins We Commit And How You Can Quit (Thomas Nelson, March 2012) -- knows that most people, himself included, struggle every day with temptation.

In fact, according to exclusive research conducted for the book by the Barna Group:

60% of Americans fall prey to worry and anxiety

60% get stuck in habits of procrastination

55% are overwhelmed by the desire to overeat

44% overuse technology and social media

41% succumb to laziness

While not numerically as many, Americans also deal with lust, lying, cheating, and anger, among other things. In fact, when last faced with one of these temptations, 59% of those surveyed did nothing to resist. Of those that did, most struggled using ineffective means.

More here-

Kashmir High Court stays proceedings against Anglican clergy

From Kashmir-

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir stayed further proceedings against an Anglican clergyman.

Last November, an Islamic court summoned Rev. Chander Mani Khanna to answer charges he had forced seven young Muslims to convert to Christianity in exchange for money, but both Khanna and the converts rejected the allegation.

Khanna was arrested and then released a week later, but in January, the court ordered his expulsion, along with other Christian missionaries.

"With the court order, the pastor can finally leave the state," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians. "Because of the threats from the Islamic court, his family has already left. They are no longer safe there."

"The atmosphere is increasingly tense," Sajan said. "The situation is precarious and unstable. Islamic fundamentalists have threatened to seize all the properties of the families of the converts in order to have them go back to Islam.

More here-

Historic church building could be moved 80 miles away

From North Carolina (with video)

A 19th-century Germanton church building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places may be moved 80 miles away.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church has straddled the Stokes and Forsyth County lines since 1894. The church still doesn’t have electricity or running water, just like when it was built.

The Episcopal diocese, which owns the property, wants to move the building to the Church of the Advocate in Carrboro, Orange County. The diocese believes it could be better used by a growing congregation than continuing to sit unused like it has for many years.

The proposal got rolling last year, when the diocese contacted Germanton Baptist Church, which sits literally next door to St. Philip’s.

“They expressed that they nether had the energy or the resources to maintain St Philip’s,” said Rev. Jeff Stevens with Germanton Baptist. “They expressed to keep that building in the Kingdom of God and for it to be used for its purposes.”

More here-

Anglican Clergymen Become Catholic Priests: Taking the Final Steps to Ordination

From National Catholic Register-

Charles Hough already had quite a career, including 18 years in the prestigious post of canon to the ordinary in the Episcopal Church’s Fort Worth Diocese. Now he wants to become a Catholic priest.

Hough hopes to lead a group of former Episcopalians in Cleburne, Texas, who have asked to belong to the new Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, created by Rome for former Episcopalians. Every Saturday, from 9 to 4, he participates in a newly developed program of training for former Episcopal clergy.

He and approximately 60 other former Episcopal priests around the United States, many of whom are married, are studying for the priesthood using a teleconferencing system to hear lectures and discuss their intense course of readings. While some men join the teleconference alone, Hough gathers with several other men at a Catholic church.

A similar group meets in Baltimore for the weekly teleconference. Hough has special ties to one of the other Texas participants — Charles Hough IV, his son, another former Episcopal clergyman who hopes to become a Catholic priest.

Read more:

Episcopal Church launches new iPad app, ‘Wayfarer’

From ENS-

The Episcopal Church Office of Communication has launched its first iPad app, Wayfarer.

Available as a free, quarterly iPad app downloadable at iTunes, all the content can also be viewed in an Internet browser here.

“Wayfarer features compelling stories told through video, photographs and words,” said Lynette Wilson, Wayfarer producer.

Wilson, who is also an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service, addressed the appropriateness of the name. “We chose to name the app Wayfarer because we intend to tell a wide spectrum of stories about people, possibilities and action across a broad landscape,” she said.

“This is an exciting moment – it represents our entry into mobile content, appealing both to Episcopal and broader audiences,” noted Anne Rudig, Director of Episcopal Church Office of Communication. “As the title suggests, each issue of Wayfarer has been shot in a different far-flung location.”

More here-

Grace Church Offers ‘Ashes to Go’

From Illinois-

Grace Episcopal Church of Freeport is excited to offer a 21st-century twist on the ancient holy day of Ash Wednesday.

On Feb.22, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., people of all faiths are invited to stop on the sidewalk, or drive up at curbside, for a traditional blessing of ashes without even entering the church. Grace is known fondly as “the church with the red doors” at 10 S. Cherry Ave., and the sidewalk corner at Stephenson and Cherry will be the place to visit.

Copying a similar practice pioneered by Episcopal churches in urban districts of Chicago, Grace is calling the new ministry “Ashes to Go.” According to Father Eldred George, rector at Grace, “Ashes to Go is a relatively new concept for us, but considering that most of Jesus’ ministry was done in open places where he met the people, maybe we’re returning to our very roots.”

For centuries of Ash Wednesdays, Christians have observed what is called the “imposition of ashes,” in which a pastor draws the sign of the cross, using ashes, on the foreheads of the faithful. Curiously, in a way of bringing the church year full-circle, the source of these ashes is the burning of palm branches saved from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

More here-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network seeks diocesan insight

From ENS-

The coordinator of the Anglican Communion’s newest international network, the Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network (ARMN), is looking to connect with dioceses around the world.
A letter sent to nearly 800 diocesan bishops by the Rev. Terrie Robinson, in her role as Anglican Communion’s Networks’ Coordinator, introduced ARMN’s new coordinator, the Rev. Catherine Graham, and asked them to share with her insights and information from their dioceses about issues of refugees or migration.

“Across the Anglican Communion, church communities are supporting migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in many different ways,” wrote Robinson. “To help Catherine understand how best to facilitate networking among Anglicans who are involved in such mission and ministry, and to enhance international awareness and support of local initiatives, we would like to ask for your assistance.

“Catherine would be very grateful to receive as much information as you are able to offer in respect of migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in your diocese or area. This might include a description of the local situation with any available statistics, together with an account of particular challenges faced locally by children, women and men who are now living away from their country or place of origin – and also by host communities.

More here-

Bishop declines service for dean

From South Africa-

The Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral on Tuesday night hosted a memorial service for the suspended Dean of St Alban’s Cathedral, the Very Rev Livingstone Ngewu, after Anglican Bishop Jo Seoka refused permission for it to be held in his cathedral.

Ngewu died last week after a long illness.

An Anglican parish representative said the family had wanted the service in the dean’s cathedral on Tuesday, but his bishop refused, saying he still had authority over Ngewu and that he wanted it held on Thursday.

After recent confrontations between dean and bishop, Ngewu was charged with, among others, undermining the authority of the bishop.

He was suspended from active duty and barred from services at his cathedral.

But his former congregants filled the Catholic cathedral to celebrate the life of the man they said stayed resilient in the face of persecution.

More here-

Anglican priest found dead in vicarage

From UPI-

The body of a Church of England priest was discovered Tuesday morning inside his vicarage in a market town in western England, authorities said.

Police said the death of the Rev. John Suddards is considered "suspicious," The Guardian reported. His home on Castle Street in Thornbury was locked when two workers entered it just after 10 a.m. and discovered him dead.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp of the Somerset and Avon Police said the body had stab wounds but the cause of death had not been determined.

"A full search and examination of the property will take place, and we're determined to find the cause of the death," Crisp told the BBC.

Suddards moved to Thornbury, a town of about 12,000 people 18 miles north of Bristol, last summer, The Guardian said. He previously served a parish in Essex.

After training as an attorney, Suddards decided to become a priest when he was involved in a car crash at age 31. He had been in the church for the past 22 years.

Read more:

Casual Churches: The Rise Of Informal Worship Places

From Huffington ans RNS-

Ron Williams is the pastor of Church at the GYM in Sanford, Fla. As the Baptist church's name implies, Williams' congregation meets, well, in a gym.

Williams said the goal is to remove the "stained-glass barriers" for people who might not be comfortable in traditional church settings.

"I think all the trappings of traditional religion can make it difficult for people to start coming," he said. "You can invite someone, and they will say, 'I don't have any clothes to wear to church.'"

To make people feel more comfortable, Williams wears jeans. In the warm Florida climate, some members wear shorts. Other clothing types, from urban wear to biker gear, also are welcome.

Sanford native Sandy Adcox, 38, had not been to church in 18 years before she attended Church at the GYM last March. She hasn't missed a service since.

"I've never in my life felt more comfortable in a church," she said. "It's so warm and welcoming."

More here-

Michigan team of Episcopal adults return from a Dominican Republic mission trip

From Michigan-

Three Episcopal dioceses from Michigan’s Lower Peninsula are partnering with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic to complete the building of a church and school in San Simon, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

The project is called D.R.E.A.M. (Dominican Republic and Episcopal Churches in all of Lower Michigan). Having established relationships with Bishop Julio Holguin of Santo Domingo and his staff, area teams have been formed combining ideals, talents, finances and dreams to work together over a four-year period to build a new church and school.

As described by Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch translation of Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the turning of dreams into deeds, the betting of your life on unseen realities.”

Working together, the Episcopal missionaries are creating a new reality in San Simon.

Team No. 1, comprised of 11 Episcopalians from different locations within Lower Michigan, met in Detroit on Jan. 15 and flew to Puerto Plata, DR via Miami. Though the majority of the team had never met and some had never traveled outside the country, they quickly formed friendships that allowed the group to bond together. The group was met at the airport by a matching group of Dominicans lead by their pastor, Padre Bienvenido, who is currently assigned to four churches in the area.

More here-

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

African Anglicans Appeal For Inter-Faith Peace

From Eurasia Review-

Anglican leaders from across Africa on 8 February made an emotional plea to Muslim faith leaders to stand with them in opposition to the “tragic violence that is destroying our communities.”

The appeal was issued at the end of a three-day meeting in Burundi of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) where Christian-Muslim conflict was high on the agenda, according to the Anglican Communion News Service.

A statement from the council said it “has noted with much sadness the increasing deterioration between Muslim and Christian communities in different parts of the world, specifically our Provinces of Sudan, Nigeria, and the Diocese of Egypt.

“Coming from communities diverse in religion and culture, the present circumstances have forced us to ask whether the violence we see and experience is driven by religious intolerance from our brothers of different religions with whom we have lived together for generations, in some cases centuries, or whether in fact it is a result of a much greater problem of exploitation of ignorance and religious beliefs for political gain.

More here-

Canada and Anglican Church Give 50 Refugee Families New Hope

From Canada-

The Government of Canada and the Anglican Church today celebrated a joint agreement under which approximately 50 refugee families have been brought to this country from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran.

"Canada has a long and proud tradition of providing a safe haven to those around the world most in need of protection," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

"Volunteer groups such as the Anglican Church have played an integral role in helping refugees come to and settle in Canada. I strongly encourage groups to come together to sponsor refugees and help provide a new secure beginning for victims of persecution from around the world."

The agreement has allowed approximately 150 refugees to be brought to Canada by Anglican dioceses that hold sponsorship agreements with the Government.

The families were selected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and referred to Canada for resettlement. This initiative, which was launched in April 2009, was part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund established by the Anglican Church. Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson was the patron of the project.

More here-

Atlanta announces slate of 5 nominees for 10th bishop

From ENS-

Five priests have been nominated to stand for election to become the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

They are:

the Rev. George F. Adamik,58, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Cary, North Carolina (Diocese of North Carolina),

the Rev. Michael A. Bird, 44, rector, Christ Church, Bronxville, New York (Diocese of New York),

the Very Rev. Samuel G. Candler, 55, dean, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia (Diocese of Atlanta),

the Rev. Canon James H. Pritchett, 55, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Western North Carolina and
the Very Rev. Robert C. Wright, 48, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Atlanta, Georgia (Diocese of Atlanta).

The Feb. 13 announcement opens a month-long period during which members of the diocese may petition to add additional names to the ballot. (Information about the petition process is here.)

“Today we look with excitement to the presentation of candidates for our next bishop,” said the Rev. Timothy Graham, president of the Standing Committee, in a press release. “I express profound gratitude for the careful and comprehensive work of the nominating committee. This committee, made up of clergy and lay representatives from across our diocese, has given us a fine slate of diverse, talented and qualified candidates.”

More here-

Underground Railroad re-enactment celebrates Absalom Jones Day

From ENS-

he Rev. Karen Eberhardt’s first face-to-face encounter with racial discrimination still resonates, half a century later.

She was visiting the North Carolina drug store where her aunt worked when an African-American woman entered with a boy, two years at the oldest. He made a beeline for the seats at the soda fountain and began spinning around on them.

Because he was black, “my aunt had to say to the woman, ‘You know he can’t do that,’ and I was devastated,” Eberhardt recalled. Her aunt told her: “I don’t own the store, and it’s the owner’s policy, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I need to keep my job.”

“It has stayed with me all my life,” said Eberhardt, now a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

More here-

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bolly installed as Archbishop

From Borneo-

Bishop of the Diocese of Kuching the Most Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok was officially installed as the fourth Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia at an elaborate ceremony in St Thomas’ Cathedral here yesterday.

Bolly, who is the first Sarawakian ever to hold the post, succeeds Bishop of Singapore the Most Reverend Dr John Chew.

With his installation as the Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia, Bolly becomes one of the 38 Primates in the worldwide Anglican communion.

The solemn ceremony was attended by over 2,000 Anglicans, including guests from England, Australia, Canada, the US, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and the Philippines.
During his sermon, Bolly said he felt unworthy of the celebrations which were arranged for his installation.

Humbled by his installation as an archbishop, he said his ministry in becoming a priest relied very much on the support of everyone.

“This occasion (the installation) is not about me but for the church of God,” he added.
As an archbishop, his task would be to oversee the province which is made up of the Diocese of Kuching (Sarawak and Brunei), Diocese of Sabah, Diocese of West Malaysia and the Diocese of Singapore, which also covers Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Read more:

Arctic bishop John Sperry dies

From Canada-

Anglican Bishop John R. Sperry died on Saturday in Hay River, N.W.T. He was 87 years old.

Sperry, who was better known as Jack, worked as a bishop with the Anglican Church throughout the North.

He was a minister at Anglican missions in Kugluktuk, N.W.T. — then called Coppermine — and Fort Smith, N.W.T. He also served as the Bishop of the Arctic for the Anglican Church and worked throughout Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Nunavik.

He learned Inuinnaqtun and worked to translate the Bible and hymns into the Inuktitut dialect.

Bishop Andrew Ataguttaaluk knew Sperry well, having worked and travelled with him in the North since the 1970s. He said Sperry's translation work was instrumental in teaching the Anglican faith to the people of the Western Arctic.

More here-

Cardinals install Catholic convert in rarefied post

From The Houston Chronicle-

The Rev. Jeffrey Steenson became the head of a new structure for Catholic converts from Anglican churches during a special Mass Sunday.

His new position, Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, is the first of its kind in the country and based in Houston. The only other one is in England.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, along with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and nine bishops from across the nation, installed Steenson as first Ordinary during Mass at The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown.

During the ceremony Sunday, Cardinal Wuerl read the Vatican's official letter of appointment and presented Steenson a crozier, a pastoral staff representing his role as a spiritual shepherd and a miter, a tall hat worn during liturgies to represent his authority. He also received the title of "monsignor."

"It's a great joy for me personally because I think all my life in a way has been preparing for an opportunity to be a part of this return," Steenson told reporters Sunday. "But also working with people again, to be a pastor and walk alongside the people that in their conscious are leading them back to the Catholic church is a joy."

More here-

The Rev. Jeffrey Steenson Installed as First Ordinary for the U.S. Ordinariate

From Catholic Online-

Rev. Jeffrey Steenson, at the time of his conversion to the Catholic Church in 2007 after being an Episcopal bishop, thought that his future ministry would be in a small parish. On Sunday his name was written in the history books as he was installed as the first Ordinary for the U.S. Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (

Cardinals Donald Wuerl of Washington and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston along with nine other bishops from across the nation joined Fr. Steenson for this historic Mass of Institution held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houseton.

During the ceremony, Cardinal Wuerl read the letter of appointment. Then, as the leader of the second Ordinariate jurisdiction established by the Holy Father, Steenson was then presented with the symbols of his new office, a crozier and a miter. He also received the title of Monsignor.

More here-

Sunday, February 12, 2012

As police chaplains, Palm Beach clergy available to offer comfort, consolation 24/7

From Florida-

A Palm Beach police officer was on his way to work one night when a man jumped in front of his car on Interstate 95.

It was the officer’s personal car, so it was just coincidence that the man jumped in front of a car driven by a police officer.

As the officer stopped to make sure aid was on the way, he also called the Palm Beach police station to let the duty captain know what had happened.

When the duty captain got to the scene, he called back to the station to ask if a Catholic priest was available to talk to the officer, who was distraught.

On the other end of the telephone was then-Sgt. Fred Hess.

“The officer was Catholic and wanted a priest to provide consolation,” Hess said. “He knew it wasn’t his fault, but was still going through the ‘what ifs.’”

The Florida Highway Patrol determined it was the man’s intent to commit suicide; he died from his injuries, Hess said.

More here-

Episcopalians flood Bryan-College Station for two-day conference

From Texas-

More than 1,000 Episcopalians from across the state congregated at the Brazos County Expo on Friday to kick off the 163rd annual Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

More than 700 clergy and church representatives came in town with family members to take part in the two-day conference led by the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, who serves as the Episcopal Bishop of Texas.

"It's a business meeting. We gather to look at the budget, how to spend missionary funds, take care of any elections," Doyle said. "But at the same time, it's a reunion for our folks."

Some people have been attending the annual councils for decades. In addition to the event being a key part of the church structure and its growth, Doyle said, many Episcopalians have come to look forward to it as a fun, yearly tradition.

And non-Episcopalians can enjoy some of the festivities as well.

From 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, vendor booths will be set up showcasing a variety of arts and crafts including scarfs, wood-carvings, jewelry, stained glass and religious memorabilia.

The exhibits also serve as way to educate the public about the Episcopal church and share some of its missionary work.

Although it's the first time the Council has been held in the area, Doyle is not a stranger here. From 1997 to 2003, he was a priest at St. Francis in College Station.

More here-

New Jersey's Episcopalians keep the faith despite papal invitation

From New Jersey-

The Vatican has invited Episcopalians who oppose their church’s liberal leanings to join the Roman Catholic fold, but so far, New Jersey congregations aren’t budging.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Jan. 1 the creation of what’s essentially a nationwide diocese to allow Episcopalian congregations to cross over while preserving some aspects of their Anglican heritage. But despite deep philosophical dissent in the Episcopal Church, church leaders and clergy said they do not expect the Vatican’s measure to spur any exodus by conservatives in New Jersey.

“We have lots of differences of opinion, but we honor the differences we all bring and a have a commitment to live and work together,” said Bishop Mark Beckwith of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, which covers North Jersey. “It’s not a problem in this diocese.”

The new national diocese, called an “ordinariate,” was created to accommodate Episcopal congregations whose members disagree with their church’s liberal stances on matters like same-sex marriage and the ordination of women and gays. The Episcopal Church, the main U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has some 2 million members.

More here-

After prolonged legal battle, Virginia Episcopalians prepare to reclaim property

From The Washington Post-

For the past five years, the remaining members of several Episcopal congregations in Northern Virginia have been worshiping in borrowed basements and empty houses while praying to return to the prominent sanctuaries where they married, baptized their children and buried their parents.

Now, after a prolonged and bitter legal battle with former members who broke away and took with them more than $40 million worth of church property, the Episcopal Church and the members who stayed with the denomination are on the verge of taking back their buildings, which include some the faith’s largest, most prominent churches in the region.

After a judge’s ruling last month in favor of the Episcopal Church, settlement talks are underway for a massive property swap that would bring to an end the most expensive litigation — and perhaps the most watched — in Episcopal Church history. While the breakaway congregations still can appeal, both sides said they are trying to work out the details of the property turnover.

“Everyone is moving on the assumption that they need to be prepared to move,” said Scott Ward, attorney for the Falls Church congregants who broke away.

More here-