President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush’s former Episcopal priest becomes a Catholic

Here an excerpt of the news story:

The Rev. Larry Gipson, who was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham from 1982-94 and rector at the largest Episcopal church in the nation from 1994-2008,  has become a Roman Catholic.

Gipson retired in 2008 from the 8,000-member St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parishioners included former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara.

Last month, Gipson was accepted as a Catholic into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure set up by Pope Benedict XVI to accept former Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

“The nature of authority in the Catholic Church is what attracted me to it,” Gipson said in a telephone interview from his home in Houston. “After I retired, I was concerned and had been for many years about the Episcopal Church’s authority structure.”

Gipson will be among 69 candidates for Catholic priesthood attending a Formation Retreat this weekend in Houston, where the headquarters for the Ordinariate is based.

Among those leading seminars at the Formation Retreat in Houston will be the Rev. Jon Chalmers, who was ordained a Catholic priest in June, the second former Episcopal priest to be accepted as a priest under the Ordinariate. Chalmers served as curate, associate priest and interim rector at Canterbury Chapel in Tuscaloosa from 2007-2009.

His wife, Margaret Chalmers, former canon lawyer for the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham and now chancellor of the Ordinariate, will also be a presenter at the weekend retreat that runs Friday night through Sunday, Dec. 2.

“It’s a really big deal,” she said. “Larry Gipson, who was the priest of the largest Episcopal Church in America, is now a Catholic.”

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3 Responses to President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush’s former Episcopal priest becomes a Catholic

  1. Matthew the Wayfarer says:

    Too bad he didn’t bring a few hundred of his congregation along with him! 8000 members – OMG!
    Just think if they had been properly catechized as ‘Catholic’ Episcopalians.
    I have another concern – a disturbing one – that I dare not voice quite yet. I hope I am wrong for I truly want the Ordinariate to grow, prosper and be in good spiritual health but…………..

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matthew,

      You wrote: Too bad he didn’t bring a few hundred of his congregation along with him! 8000 members – OMG!

      Don’t worry. It’s likely that a significant number of his former parishionners will decide to follow his lead when they read this article, or similar articles, in their local newspapers. And when that happens, the congregation of the ordinariate’s “principal church” likely will have to start planning for a much larger building.

      Norm.

  2. Pingback: President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush’s former Episcopal priest becomes a Catholic | Catholic Canada

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