History was made in the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine when Nick Marziani became the first married man to be ordained as a Catholic priest under authority of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, set up by the Pope to provide pastoral care to former Episcopalians and Anglicans. Marziani was ordained June 17 by the Most Rev. Felipe J. Estevez, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
Marziani, 61, is a former engineer, teacher and Episcopal priest and holds the doctor of ministry from Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. He and his wife of 40 years, Joanne, are residents of St. Augustine Beach. The couple has three adult children and four grandchildren.
According to Father Mike Morgan, chancellor for the diocese, “Father Marziani was not ordained for service to the Diocese of St. Augustine, so he will not be receiving an assignment from Bishop Estevez. His ministry and assignments will be under the authority of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Peter, set up by the Pope to provide pastoral care to former Episcopalians and Anglicans, and headquartered in Houston, Texas.
The story is not quite accurate, last week 6 former Episcopal clergy were ordained in Fort Worth, Tx and five of them were married and two of them were in fact father and son. This though is my diocese and the ordination was held in my parish Immaculate Conception in downtown Jacksonville, Fl.
Interesting though in that the majority of the stories that cover these clergy conversions put much more stress on that fact that they were married than that there were converts from Episcopalianism. Really the historic part is the number of converts from Anglican and Episcopal churches. The other really historic part is the length that Pope Benedict XVI has gone to to welcome these converts by setting up the Ordinariate.