Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

10/28/2010 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Historic Congregation leaving the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

An Episcopal parish since 1842, Mount Calvary Church has been a bastion of orthodox Anglicanism in the Baltimore area. In a strong majority vote, the parish now begins a journey into the Roman Catholic Church as an Anglican Use Parish. Parish rector, Fr. Jason Catania states, "Nonetheless, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit has guided us to this moment, and that God is leading us forward toward the rebirth and renewal of Mount Calvary. And so once again, I ask that you continue to pray for me and for our entire parish family, as each of you remain in my prayers."

The Mount Calvary parish in their Corpus Christi procession, June of 2009.

The Mount Calvary parish in their Corpus Christi procession, June of 2009.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/28/2010 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Anglican, Episcopal, conversion, full communion, anglican ordinariate, Anglican constitution


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Sunday evening, October 24 Mount Calvary Episcopal Church congregation voted by an overwhelming majority to leave the Episcopal Church and become an Anglican Use parish in the Catholic Church. The decision was not reactionary but came after several years of evaluation, discussion and prayer.

At the beginning of October, I reported on this small Episcopal Congregation in the heart of Baltimore who had begun the process of calling for a vote to leave the Episcopal Church and coming into full communion. This vote is a milestone in the long journey that began three years ago when, during a retreat in October of 2007, the Vestry voted unanimously to explore the possibility of becoming a part of the Catholic Church.

In a letter to the parish immediately following the vote, the Rev. Jason Catania, rector of Mount Calvary Church, wrote, "Needless to say, I welcome this decision of the parish, and I have written to the Bishop of Maryland informing him of my own intention to also enter the Catholic Church and to seek ordination as a Catholic priest. Father Reamsnyder [Editor - The other priest on staff at Mount Calvary] has also written to the bishop stating the same intention.

"As for many of you, this decision of mine was the culmination of much thought and prayer. I have not come to it without a degree of sadness, sadness at what Blessed John Henry Newman described under similar circumstances as the 'parting of friends.'

"I will regret no longer being part of the same ecclesial community with a great many people who are dear to me, clergy as well as laity. That includes the small number of members of the Mount Calvary family who do not feel called to embark on this journey.

"If you are one such person, please know that the clergy and people of Mount Calvary will continue to welcome you and care for you as a brother or sister in Christ. No one is being expelled, no one is being cast out."

During the past three years of discernment for the parish a lot has happened on both sides - their Episcopal/Anglican affiliation as well as Catholic reception. The Episcopal/Anglican world has continued to disintegrate based on the continuing insertion of unorthodox and even heretical influences. Even this month at the Lausanne Conference of World Evangelization, a panel of Anglicans offered their perspective that the Anglican Communion beyond repair.

At the same time, Pope Benedict XVI has opened the arms of the church through the new initiative - the Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Apostolic Constitution calling for the creation of "personal ordinariates" (essentially non-geographical dioceses) for groups of Anglicans entering the Roman Catholic Church while retaining elements of their tradition.

Now, a two-fold process begins. The church must negotiate its exodus from the Episcopal Diocese, including the issue of property and facilities. At the same time, they will begin a course of action toward full communion.

According to Canons of the Episcopal Church, "All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located." (Canon 7.4)

Some parishes that have left the Episcopal Church have lost all land and church property in the process. Others have been able to purchase the land and buildings. Still others have chosen to seek a legal solution to maintaining their property.

It was just a year ago, in September 2009, that a convent of Episcopal nuns, All Saints Sisters of the Poor, with whom the parish had a very close relationship, was received into the Church.

Not all members of the parish will be a part of the new Catholic congregation. In a press release about the church's actions, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland reported that Of the 45 eligible voters, 28 were present at the meeting and cast written ballots for both resolutions. The ballot for the resolution on leaving the Episcopal Church resulted in 24 yea votes, 2 nay votes and 2 abstentions. The ballot for the resolution on entering the Catholic Church as an Anglican Use parish yielded the same results.

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop diocesan of Maryland, said in the release, "I am saddened that members of this small congregation have found a need to leave the Episcopal Church, of which Mount Calvary has been a part since 1842. For those who are leaving I wish God's blessing upon them."

Fr. Catania has handled the situation very carefully, fully aware of the seriousness of their endeavor and the lives affected. In respecting the need for proper due process with regard to their disaffiliation as an Episcopal parish, he is quoted in the press release, saying, "It is the hope of the clergy, vestry, and people of Mount Calvary that this transition can be accomplished with efficiency and with all due sensitivity to all involved.

"We are grateful for those members of the leadership of the Diocese of Maryland who were present to observe the meeting, and we look forward to working with the Diocese as we begin this journey seeking to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit."

As the Associate Editor of Catholic Online, I was especially gratified to see that the parish had included, in its November newsletter, those comments of encouragement printed in Catholic Online as a result of our previous article. Truly, this parish will receive many more prayers and encouraging words in the days ahead.

In his letter from the newsletter, Fr. Catania ends by saying, "In the short term, very little will change in the day-to-day life of the parish. Mass will continue to be celebrated daily, as it has since 1868. Confessions will be heard, the sick will be visited, the poor cared for. But there will come a point, inevitably, when things do change, and the prospect of change is always a little frightening.

"Nonetheless, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit has guided us to this moment, and that God is leading us forward toward the rebirth and renewal of Mount Calvary. And so once again, I ask that you continue to pray for me and for our entire parish family, as each of you remain in my prayers."

I would encourage our Catholic Online family to join in praying for these pilgrims as they continue their journey toward full communion.

-----
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote a ... continue reading


Pope Francis says that if law 'doesn't get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what appears to be a rebuke to legalism within the church, Pope Francis declared in his morning homily that if laws do not lead people to Christ then they are obsolete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scholars of the law in Jesus's day, Pope Francis ... continue reading


Monday, October 13 - Homily: Columbus Day Watch

Image of Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today we celebrate the Mass for Evangelization of Peoples. Are you doing your part to bring the one, true Faith to all peoples? continue reading


Learning the Christian Way of Active Prayer and Prayerful Action Watch

Image of The Lord invites us to ask, knock, seek and persist in prayer. Prayer is a path to a new way of living in continual communion with God. That leads to fruitful and effective action. The way of active prayer and prayerful action is the Christian Way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Too many people draw a separation between prayer and action which can fail to understand the integrated Christian Way of Life. The two should not be separated. The two cannot be separated. St. Luke's account of the teaching of the Lord on the call to active ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed one, to Cyrus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:15-21
15 Then the Pharisees went away to work out between ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:1-5
1 Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 19th, 2014 Image

Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil
October 19: In 1642 the Huron country was in great distress. Harvests were ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter