Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Congregation Switches Teams

This is different. The story says that it’s the first instance in Arizona of an Anglican congregation switching to the Roman Catholic Church. Apparently it has happened in at least a few other cases.
Payson’s Church of the Holy Nativity will have a place in history this weekend as it becomes the first Anglican church in Arizona and the third in the Southwest to return to the Catholic Church through the changes authorized by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2009. 
The congregation will be received and confirmed into the Catholic church and Holy Nativity’s pastor, Father Lowell Andrews will be ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood ... Andrews is also the first Anglican Catholic pastor in Arizona to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.
This happened last December, by the way; I'm not exactly on top of things here.

I was struck by their use of the term ‘Anglican’ rather than Episcopalian, but that’s explained by this paragraph.
Founded in 1974, Payson’s Church of the Holy Nativity split off from the Episcopal Church and dedicated its sanctuary … in 1983 …
Which makes it sound like the congregation traveled to Catholicism in stages. Nonetheless, while I knew the Episcopalians (and other mainstream churches) were bleeding membership, I didn’t know they had entire congregations ditching them.

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