Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

10/28/2010 (5 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 (5 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

Historical Jubilee documents on display! Watch

Image of An exhibition of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi will be displaying pieces normally hidden safely away (Wikimedia Commons).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For the Jubilee of Mercy, which will close November 20 this year, the Vatican Library is set to release delicate items for display. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, the Jubilee Year of Mercy will be honored with a display of ... continue reading


The Happy Priest Reflects on the Ascension

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into Heaven.  The risen and glorified Jesus physically returns to the Father.  We await with joyful expectation his return in glory.  Where he has gone, we hope to follow.  There is a Heaven and we need ... continue reading


Fr. Tom still missing - Bishop holds tight to faith Watch

Image of Fr. Tom still missing but Bishop Paul Hinder believes he will be saved (Shutterstock).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Two months after being kidnapped in Yemen, Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil remains missing, although a bishop involved in his case remains hopeful about his timely release. Aden, Yemen (CNA/EWTN News) - "The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly ... continue reading


Making a Difference: The miracle of life Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

I experienced a miracle! A few days ago, I held in my arms my first grandbaby - newly born Faith Annmarie. Thank God she's healthy and perfectly formed. And as I was looking at her, I reflected how wonderfully she is made - arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ... continue reading


'We have done little for women...': Pope Francis dedicates May prayer video to the dignity of women Watch

Image of Pope Francis asks the world to respect women (Pinterest).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his May prayer video Pope Francis issued a global petition that women in all countries would be respected and valued, asking rhetorically if the mere recognition of their role is enough, or if more can be done. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "The contribution ... continue reading


Religious freedoms endangered around the world Watch

Image of Religious freedoms started their rapid decline in 2015 (Pinterest).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

The right to exercise religion came under sustained assault around the world in 2015, according to a new report from a bipartisan United States commission, affecting Christians, Muslims, Jews, among others. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "By any measure, religious ... continue reading


HAPPENING NOW: Incredible 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon outside U.S. Capitol Watch

Image of The 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon started May 1, 2016 (Faith & Action).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The 27th annual 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon at the U.S. Capitol began Sunday evening and will continue through May fifth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The event was launched with a hymn and prayer, then Reverend Rob Schenck, the president of the National ... continue reading


Catholic Bishop abducted, attacked and assaulted before release Watch

Image of Bishop Prasad Gallela was abducted on his way home from mass (CNS).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic bishop Prasad Gallela was on his way home from Mass on April 25, when two vehicles pulled up to him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bishop Gallela concluded Mass at Karunagiri Shrine in southern India then headed home.When the vehicles stopped, ... continue reading


Quick! What is the most quoted book of the Bible? This celeb knows! Watch

Image of Bono with Eugene Peterson have teamed up to make a short documentary about the Psalms.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is the most popular book of the Bible? There's one book that people enjoy more than any other and it's also the most frequently referenced in our culture. Now, Fuller Theological Seminary has asked two very famous people to help spread the word about this ... continue reading


Pope Francis spreads words of love Watch

Image of Pope Francis speaks of reconciling with God (Pinterest).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Reconciliation is an essential aspect of God's mercy, Pope Francis said Saturday, explaining that when we distance ourselves from the Lord through sin, it takes much more than our own effort to get back to him. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Referencing St. ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Historical Jubilee documents on display!
  • 'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school ...
  • Bl. Edward Jones: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Monday, May 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 1:1-11
1 In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:46-53
46 and he said to them, 'So it is written that the Christ would suffer ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:17-23
17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 5th, 2016 Image

St. Hilary of Arles
May 5: Bishop of Arles, France, and friend and relative ... Read More