An Episcopal priest from a church that I have driven past on my way to a Catholic Church has resigned to cross the Tiber.
The history of this action includes a direct move of the Holy Spirit in which I heard, quite clearly, the Lord telling me on Holy Tuesday past, in good Cracker language, “you don’t have a dog in this hunt anymore!”. The Word to depart the ECUSA was shortly to be confirmed by a couple of other witnesses quite outside of my normal circle of influence, and I have sought Wisdom from the Lord as to how to obey that Word and to also best serve the needs of Nativity church, and the Diocese of Florida. The phased departure arrangement that I have requested from Bishop Howard seeks to accomplish that end.
The Lord was also, in my case, quite specific as to what future course I was to pursue – to seek absorption back into the Roman Catholic Church into which I was baptized in 1950, and not to any longer pursue any sort of Anglican ecclesial identity.
One-time Oxford Anglican and later priest-Cardinal of the Roman church, John Henry Newman, it was who came to constantly breathe the prayer, “Lead on, kindly Light”. That has also become my own spiritual aspiration before the Lord.Speaking only for myself at this point, I am convinced that I must seek the most solid apostolic grounding I can for the rest of my earthly life, which at 55 years and counting is clearly a considerably shorter period than the time on this planet I have already spent as a baptized child of God. For all of its difficulties Rome, along with Constantinople, represents the most ancient of apostolic sees still existent, and I have come to understand that for the past 15 years I have been on missionary “loan” to the Anglican/Episcopal world. I know for a fact that the Lord called me to engage in this ministry, and concerning it I have no essential regrets (even if I do have far more bruises from ordained service than I could have ever imagined when +Ed MacBurney first laid hands on me in diaconal, and then later, priestly ordination going on some 12 years ago now).[Source]
Like the large majority of converts/reverts his letter shows nothing but thanks for the journey and those he leaves behind as he enters the Catholic Church.
All that said, it’s time to go home, and so to Rome I will be shortly departing. I have been in conversation with Bishop Victor Galleone, a true man of God and a humble soul so reminiscent of our Lord himself. It is most unclear, given my Roman origins, that I will be permitted to serve again as a married priest in that communion, but that is a side issue to me right now. What is
important now is to obey the voice of God, and that I shall endeavor to do.
He is certainly right about our Bishop Victor Galleone and it is quite doubtful considering that he was raised Catholic that he could be ordained under the Pastoral Provision started in 1980 by the Holy See. Please send some prayers the way of Nick Marziani and his family. I have nothing but admiration for those clergy that make the difficult decision to leave their community behind to enter the Catholic Church. Who step out onto the water to follow Christ and to trust in the Lord even amongst the concerns of providing for their family.
What an awesome story. Thanks for haring. It seems that ECUSA priests crossing the Tiber is becoming commonplace….
“haring”, “sharing”…..It’s all the same for me. Somethings your spell checker just won’t catch.
God’s going to bless this man beyond all reckoning — and I hope we keep hearing of him in the days to come.
Thank you for this story, Jeff. Good things are happening in our diocese! May God bless this priest and his family…and also Bishop Galeone.