Bishop Kevin Vann to Ordain Six Former Episcopalians

Pat Svacina

Communications Director

Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth

June 25, 2012

Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin W. Vann will ordain six former Episcopalian priests as Catholic priests at an ordination Mass at 9 a.m., June 30, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, located at 2016 Willis Lane in Keller. Bishop Vann will preside at the Mass.

The six men will be ordained as Catholic priests for the "Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,” which was established in the United States by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012. The creation of an "Ordinariate" for former members of the Anglican community and their priests came from the establishment of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in November 2009. The Ordinariates” allows those of the Anglican heritage to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony, and which, in turn, enriches the Universal Church.

Rev. Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, former rector of Fort Worth’s St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, is the "Ordinary" of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The principal church of the Ordinariate is Our Lady of Walsingham Church in Houston. Although Msgr. Steenson is not a bishop, his position of “ordinary” is equivalent in Catholic Canon Law to a diocesan bishop. The Ordinariate is equivalent to a diocese, but national in scope and based in Houston.

Msgr. Steenson will be present for ordinations.

The new pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham Church will be the Charles Hough IV, one of the men being ordained. His father, the Charles Hough III, will also be ordained in the same ceremony. There have been only a few father-son priests in the history of the United States.

Bishop Vann notes that Anglicanorum Coetibus and the subsequent establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, of which these men and their faith communities will be a part of, is the fruit of the guidance by the Holy Spirit, going back to the Oxford Movement that began in the 1830s and Blessed John Henry Newman’s efforts to unite Anglicans and Catholics. Reunification efforts continued through the Second Vatican Council and culminated with the Pastoral Provision enacted in 2009 by Blessed John Paul II.

Like Msgr. Steenson, Bishop Vann says that these events are the fruit of the Ecumenical Movement and a vital part of the healing of the Body of Christ.

The men who will be ordained and many of their former parishioners began the process of coming into full communion with the Catholic Church and the Ordinariate a number of years ago. The first group of the former Episcopalian priests and their communities in the Fort Worth area entered the Catholic Church last Fall.

Communities of former Fort Worth Episcopalians undergo a year of special catechetical and pastoral formation, in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and a formation program established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, designed to prepare individuals for being received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Candidates for priestly ordination undergo a special formation program at Houston’s St. Mary's Seminary. The priests’ formation program began in January under the direction of Msgr. Steenson.

Bishop Vann served on an ad hoc committee which assisted the Holy See’s Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) with guiding the incorporation of Anglican groups into the U.S. Catholic Church. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., was the Holy See delegate. Bishop Robert McManus of the Diocese of Worcester, MA also was a committee member. Father Scott Hurd, of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. and a former Fort Worth Episcopal priest, served as staff. Father Hurd is the vicar general of the Ordinariate. Bishop Vann serves as a member of the "Governing Council" of the Ordinariate.

In October 2011, Bishop Vann was appointed as "Ecclesiastical Delegate" for the Pastoral Provision by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the Holy See. The Pastoral Provision has been in existence since l981 when it was established by the late Pope John Paul II as a means through which individual former Anglican priests could be received into the Roman Catholic Church and to be prepared for and ordained as Catholic priests for individual dioceses.

Those to be ordained on June 30 are:

Mark Cannaday, 63, of Boerne, was an Episcopal priest for 36 years. A graduate of the University of Texas and University of the Incarnate Word, he received a Master of Divinity from the Episcopalian Seminary of the Southwest in 1975 and a doctorate in ministry from the Episcopalian Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, IN. He held a number of positions in the Episcopalian Diocese of West Texas and the Diocese of Fort Worth, most recently as rector of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Gainesville, Texas. He has been married for 43 years. He and his wife, Doris, have two adult children and three young grandchildren.

Charles Hough, III, 57, of Granbury, was an Episcopal priest for 31 years, including 18 years as Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth before he stepped down in September 2011 to become Catholic. A graduate of the University of Texas and the Episcopalian Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin, he was rector of two Episcopalian parishes in the Fort Worth area from 1982 to 1993. He currently leads St. John Vianney Catholic Ordinariate Group, which meets at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Granbury, and is online at stjohnvianneycleburne.org. Married for 32 years, he and his wife, Marilyn Ann, have two adult children and two grandchildren. Their son, Charles IV, is being ordained with his father.

Charles Hough, IV, 30, of Keller, was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2007 and was rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church until entering the Catholic Church in June 2011. He is a graduate of Texas A&M and received a Master of Divinity from the Episcopalian Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin. He is on the adult religious education staff at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller and, starting on July 1, he will be pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate Parish in Houston. Married for eight years, he and his wife Lindsay have two young sons.

Timothy Perkins, 57, of Arlington, was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1989 and received into the Catholic Church in September 2011. After graduating from Abilene Christian University, he received a Master of Music from the University of Texas and then a Master of Divinity from the Episcopalian Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin in 1989. He served as a vicar, associate rector and rector in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth for over 21 years. In 2010, he founded St. Peter the Rock in Arlington, now a Catholic ordinariate community. The community attends Mass at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington and meets regularly for study at the University of Texas at Arlington Catholic Campus Ministry Center. The community is online at facebook.com/St. Peter the Rock Ordinariate Catholic Community. Perkins and his wife of 37 years, Jody, have three children ages 19 to 30.

Christopher Stainbrook, 52, of Fort Worth, along with Chuck Hough and others, was involved in reunification efforts by Episcopal priests with the Holy See prior to the creation of the Ordinariate. Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1991, he was a chaplain for a girls' home in Las Vegas from 1990 to1991 and then a curate in Texas until 1994. For the past 18 years, he has led St. Timothy's Episcopalian Church in Fort Worth. The St. Timothy community was received into the Catholic Church in May 2012. The community currently meets at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church and is online at www.sttimothyfortworth.org.

Joshua Whitfield, 34, of Mansfield, was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2003. He is a 1999 graduate of Texas Tech University and received bachelor's and master's degrees from the Episcopalian College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, England. He went on to receive a Th.M. from Duke University in Durham, NC, where he studied under famed theologian Stanley Hauerwas. In 2009, Whitfield published a book, Pilgrim Holiness. He has served as a curate and rector in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. He and his wife of nine years, Allison, have two young children.

Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin W. Vann will ordain six former Episcopalian priests as Catholic priests at an ordination Mass at 9 a.m., June 30, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, located at 2016 Willis Lane in Keller. Bishop Vann will preside at the Mass. The six men will be ordained as Catholic priests for the "Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,” which was established in the United States by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012. The creation of an "Ordinariate" for former members of the Anglican community and their priests came from the establishment of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in November 2009. The Ordinariates” allows those of the Anglican heritage to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony, and which, in turn, enriches the Universal Church.

Published (until 1/8/2115)
Back