14 June 2012

New Pastor in Houston

With the retirement of the excellent Fr. James Ramsey who was one of the first priests of the Pastoral Provision 25 years ago, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has appointed recently ordained Deacon Charles Hough IV as pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Houston, Texas.

Some are concerned that he was only ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2007 and hasn't had that much experience as a parish pastor in his own right.  Don't worry, dear friends.  The gift of a new priest with all of his energy and zeal is a wonderful thing!  He must be very special indeed to enjoy the confidence of the Ordinary, and having been born into the family of an Episcopal priest he is no stranger to parish life ... both its beauties and its rough spots.

Pray for him.  Bless him.  Encourage him. And hope with him for a wonderful future at your parish in Houston.  When God permits an appointment there are always marvellous discoveries to be made in getting to know each other, and there needs to be a real openness among the laity to receive and rejoice in his gifts just as you hope to be received by him and have him welcome your gifts.

I hope the new pastor is not teased too much for his youth.  When I was his age and put in charge of a my first tiny parish, I heard over and over again "And a little child shall lead."  Some will be put off by a priest's youth, but it is that very youth which is needed at this time as you set out on the next chapter in your great Catholic adventure as a parish of the Anglican Patrimony within the Catholic Church.

The finest Christian congregation I have ever known is that of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, and although I am moving to another parish outside of the area, I pray for every blessing and success for the parish and the new pastor.  May the honeymoon be long, and the joys together abundant!
+Gloria in excelsis Deo