Dating former priest
My desk is covered with sermon notes, Bible study materials, parish records, and so forth.
Speaking for myself, I’m simply a man, trying to be faithful to two all-consuming vocations.
Some nights we lay our heads down knowing we’ve been more faithful to one of those vocations than the other, and most nights we know we could have been more faithful to both.
While the Episcopal priest has authority over spiritual things, such as preaching, teaching, and conducting liturgies, the vestry has ultimate authority over finances and assets.
With the power of the purse strings, vestries have the potential to wield a great amount of authority over the Episcopal priest and his ministry.
I began to see the ministry of the papacy as a gift from Jesus Christ for the strengthening of the Church.
What this really means is that you’re less likely to hear hard truths from Episcopal pulpits.Our ministry tended to be one of persuasion, not of authority. This means that my authority comes not from the parishioners, but rather from our chief pastor and ordinary, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson.
After theological study, and life as an Anglican priest, I came to understand that Catholic truth and Catholic life could only be truly found and fully lived within a Catholic Church, guided and strengthened by the successor of Peter, the ultimate gift of authority. power While the externals of ministry in the Catholic Church don’t look all that different from ministry in the Episcopal Church, beneath the surface there is a marked difference. Episcopal churches are set up so that the priest and the church vestry (lay leadership) are in a relationship that can easily become adversarial.The most crucial passage, or verse, for me, in all this, was Luke where St.Peter receives the commission from Our Lord to “strengthen the brethren”.Now, having traded in long sermons for short homilies and altar calls for actual altars, I’m part of a small number of men who have been allowed to come into this ancient fraternity, bringing our wives and children along with us for the ride.For my wife, it’s a vocation that simultaneously makes her proud and very often annoyed; for my children, it’s just what dad does. I straighten it up when I know I have a meeting, but mostly it’s a mess. What may be a little different, however, is the fact that on any given afternoon, my office plays host to my two young sons arguing over who will be the altar server and who will be the priest in today’s installment of “play church.” The winner gets to carry the small brass chalice around wearing miniature-sized priest vestments, while trying to put a Styrofoam communion wafer in the dog’s mouth.