Father Cornelius retires from his ministry at Rochester Ordinariate fellowship immediately for health reasons

Following our recent report that Father John Cornelius of the Rochester, New York, Fellowship of Saint Alban planned to retire next spring we have now received the following eMail announcing his immediate departure for health reasons:

To the St. Alban Fellowship and friends,

A blessed All Saints Day to you.

Fr. John CorneliusI am afraid that I have some sad news to relate to you. I received a note earlier this week from Fr. Cornelius about his health. I have since had a chance to speak with Fr. Hough, our Vicar General, and Fr. Cornelius directly. Fr. C asked me to send a note out to the group:

He is suffering from two different health problems:
1) He needs to have hand surgery because of tendon problems – even driving is currently painful.
2) He has started to experience spells of disorientation, including forgetting where he is. His doctors have advised him this could be related to a kind of stroke.

Consequently, after a period of discernment and conversations with Fr. Hough and Msgr. Steenson, he has decided to resign his position as our pastor, effective immediately because of these health problems.

At the instruction of Fr. Hough, I have written to the diocese asking if there is a priest who would be interested in saying mass for us as a stop-gap measure. Msgr. Steenson has indicated that he will happily give faculties to any priest here willing to celebrate the Anglican Ordinariate Use.

Msgr. Steenson has communicated to us that they are actively looking for a successor to Fr. Cornelius, and have tentatively identified a candidate. However, it will take some time to make the replacement.

Fr. Cornelius has told me that he intends to come back up to Rochester when he returns to the area to come and say his farewells as our pastor.

I will keep you posted as events unfold.
Please keep Fr. Cornelius and his family in prayer.

Faithfully yours,
Andrew, for the FSA

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Father Cornelius, also on the recent passing of his mother.

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5 Responses to Father Cornelius retires from his ministry at Rochester Ordinariate fellowship immediately for health reasons

  1. EPMS says:

    Thank you for once again keeping us informed about the OCSP. Have you heard any reports from the recently concluded OCSP clergy conference in Belleville,IL? Any idea when the next “quarterly” issue of Ordinariate Outlook will appear?

  2. Nancy Walsh says:

    Thank you for the news of Fr. John…many of his old friends from Bolivar have been worried about him…would appreciate any updates…God Bless

  3. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    From the quoted communication: Msgr. Steenson has communicated to us that they are actively looking for a successor to Fr. Cornelius, and have tentatively identified a candidate. However, it will take some time to make the replacement.

    One wonders whether this is because the candidate is already ordained but needs some time to relocate his family or because the candidate is still in formation for ordination. We obviously will learn the answer either way when the ordinariate announces the appointment.

    There is a significant advantage to ordinariates being clergy-rich: it’s much more likely that somebody would be available to go there for a few months to provide interim pastoral leadership.

    Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    The implication is that in the short term a local diocesan priest could offer the Ordinariate rite to the congregation. I am glad to hear that a permanent replacement is likely, although the group is small and would need a priest who is financially independent. Rochester is not normally thought of as a retirement destination, but perhaps offers other resources.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: The implication is that in the short term a local diocesan priest could offer the Ordinariate rite to the congregation.

      In fact, this is not novel. Rather, it is a faculty granted by the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which states that the pastor of the diocesan parish within which an ordinariate parish is located has the faculty to supply whatever an ordinariate community needs if its pastor is not available and there’s no parochial vicar. This could mean celebrating the liturgy of the Book of Divine Worship personally or delegating another to do so.

      Norm.

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