Lovely testimony by a married Catholic priest at Crux

Rev. Jonathan Duncan, a former Episcopalian writes on being a married Catholic priest, but I thought this part about why he became Catholic interesting:

Now, having traded in long sermons for short homilies and altar calls for actual altars, I’m part of a small number of men who have been allowed to come into this ancient fraternity, bringing our wives and children along with us for the ride. For my wife, it’s a vocation that simultaneously makes her proud and very often annoyed; for my children, it’s just what dad does. Some dads are firefighters and policemen; their dad chants loudly and carries a big chalice.

Why I converted

For me, coming into the Church was not about fleeing one religious tradition, but rather recognizing the absolute necessity of union with the See of Peter and realizing that the authority the Magisterium offers is not a burden, but a gift.

The most crucial passage, or verse, for me, in all this, was Luke 22:32 where St. Peter receives the commission from Our Lord to “strengthen the brethren”. I began to see the ministry of the papacy as a gift from Jesus Christ for the strengthening of the Church.

This gift of “strengthening the brethren” means, for me, a strengthening in worship, a strengthening in mission, and, most of all, a strengthening in teaching. I began to understand that without that gift, it was impossible for me and my flock to truly live as Catholic Christians, a desire that we, along with many others in the “Anglo-Catholic” portion of Anglicanism, had long held.

After theological study, and life as an Anglican priest, I came to understand that Catholic truth and Catholic life could only be truly found and fully lived within a Catholic Church, guided and strengthened by the successor of Peter, the ultimate gift of authority.

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One Response to Lovely testimony by a married Catholic priest at Crux

  1. Richard Grand says:

    Fr. Duncan says “Now, having traded in … altar calls for actual altars”. I can’t comprehend what he means. Anglicans/Episcopalians do not have evangelical-style “altar calls” but they certainly have altars. Can anyone clarify?

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