Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

10/28/2010 (4 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 (4 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

5 Disney movies you never knew had hidden religious messages Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disney movies are a well-known and well-loved part of most people's childhood. These stories talk and teach us things, like believing in ourselves and follow our dreams. Recently, the stories inspire courage and kindness, as well as forms of "true love." But viewers ... continue reading


5 excellent tips on how to read the Bible Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Bible is one of the most popular published books ever written in the history of life, but also one of the hardest to read and understand. Unlike most books published today, the Bible contains a lot of statements that are full of dates, metaphors and written to ... continue reading


Unholy political positions in the Holy Land Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

As the minds and hearts of Christians throughout the world focus on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we naturally think of the Holy Land. Throughout much of history, in the land where the world's savior taught human beings to love one another as ... continue reading


200 Christian teachers denied day off for Good Friday Watch

Image of The 2014-2015 school years are the first time in recent memory that officials scheduled classes during both Good Friday and the Jewish holidays.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Rhode Island school district is being sued over the claim that 200 Christian teachers were denied requests to take Good Friday off from work. The teacher's union claims that the decision denies educators the two religious days that they are afforded in their ... continue reading


For the first time in over 150 years -- Blood of St. Januarius liquefies during Francis' visit to Naples Watch

Image of According to legend, Januarius was allegedly born in Benevento to a rich patrician family that traced its descent to the Caudini tribe of the Samnites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in over 150 years, the blood of St. Januarius liquefied in the presence of a pope this past weekend. The phenomenon occurred when Pope Francis visited Naples this past weekend. It was the first time the blood liquefied in the presence of a ... continue reading


Church to Canonize Mom and Dad of St Therese, Show the Holiness of Christian Marriage Watch

Image of Pictured: Louis and Zelie Martin, the Mom and Dad of St Therese
For those called to live their Christian life in a consecrated Christian marriage, it is in the domestic church where progress in the spiritual life finds its raw material. The question we face every day becomes whether we live Christian marriage and family as a Christian vocation by responding to grace.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Louis and Zelie married in France in 1858. They had nine children. Five entered a consecrated or religious life in the Church. We have 218 letters which were written by Zelie.  They record the naturally supernatural pattern of a very real, human and devout ... continue reading


Drinking the Chalice of the Lord: Facing Suffering, Struggle and Failure Watch

Image of All of those who bear the name Christian are invited to follow the path of Jesus' struggle, to walk along with Him on the way of His rejection. We too are invited to climb the mountain of His great saving act of unmerited selfless Divine love. Golgotha beckons.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

James was the son of Zebedee and brother of John. From faithful stock, we see in this encounter that some forms of zeal may indeed be genetic. In fact, the zeal in both of these brothers caused the Lord to name them the Sons of Thunder.(Mk 3:14-17) However, human ... continue reading


7 endangering myths Christians believe about other Christians Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disheartening isn't it? But it has been observed that Christians are divided among themselves. This is not what God wanted, as expressed by the writings in the Scriptures. However, there are some issues between the believers that makes them not united as they should ... continue reading


Josephs Way: Joseph, Husband of Mary, Model for Christian Men Watch

Image of The Dream of Joseph led to the response of a life given over to God

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In an age that has lost its way, because it has succumbed to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Joseph needs to be lifted up as a model for men who truly want to follow Jesus Christ. It is time for Christian men to follow his example, and become men again. ... continue reading


Pope tells Nigeria's bishops to form united front against terror group Boko Haram Watch

Image of In addition to addressing various issues, the Pope praised Nigeria, with a population of more than 170 million people, and has experienced strong economic growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the emerging African economic powerhouse of Nigeria takes to the polls, Pope Francis, in a stirring message, has urged the country's bishops to build a united front against the Boko Haram terrorist group. Pope Francis' comments came in a letter to the ... 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 50:4-7
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
8 'He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 15:1-39
1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests, ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 29th, 2015 Image

St. Berthold
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite ... 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