Fr. Steve Sellers writes us about St. Margaret’s

Replying to our request for more information about the St. Margaret Catholic Church project in Northwest Houston, Fr. Steve Sellers, the new group’s pastor, has written us the following:

At present we are gathering our community of St. Margaret. I was rector of a fairly large Episcopal Church in Northwest Houston in the 1990’s, and many of our families knew Dixie (my wife) and me from those years. Since we have been back in Houston, after I resigned my orders in the Episcopal Church as dean of the cathedral in North Dakota (2011), we have been making contact with many of our former parishioners who have left Anglicanism behind, or who are searching. I have an initial group of about 200 families that I have contacted in the Northwest part of Houston. We are very early in this process, but I hope to begin the process of catechesis during the season of Lent. Our first meetings will be early in March. Msgr. Steenson and Cardinal DiNardo are guiding this missionary work, and we are excited about what the Holy Spirit is doing around here!

As you know, many of us in the Ordinariate left much behind when we arrived in the Catholic priesthood, so we are doing many other things while we are building our communities within the Ordinariate. I teach full-time at a Catholic school in the Fifth Ward of Houston, as well as a college adjunct position in comparative religion. And, obviously, my “real” office is in our new Chancery as director of communication. God is doing amazing things all around us, and I know I speak for my brother priests in the Ordinariate when I say that we are all tremendously, eternally, and unapologetically grateful and thankful to the Lord and to the Holy Father for bringing us into the fold of St. Peter.

We are still very, very early in gathering the community of St. Margaret, but this gives you an overview of where we are!

Blessings to you!

Fr. Steve Sellers

Fr Steve Sellers in Houston

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4 Responses to Fr. Steve Sellers writes us about St. Margaret’s

  1. godfrey1099 says:

    Thank you, David, for contacting Fr Sellers and thank you, Fr Sellers, for such openness and sharing the picture with us, despite the fact that it is all still in the initial phase.
    This is simply amazing. Even if a quarter of those 200 families ultimately decide to join, the resulting congregation will be bigger right at the start than many in the CSP Ordinariate have grown by now. And it seems that these will be mostly new people rather than some ‘founding group’ from the OLW Church.
    The Ordinariate in the Houston area has gained a number of outstanding priests from TEC in the last few years. Apart from Fr Sellers, these include e.g. Fr Laurence (Larry) Gipson, former rector of the largest Episcopal parish in the US (St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston), or Fr Peter H. Davids, a renowned biblical scholar. For some time, I have been thinking that the example of such extraordinary pastors (kind of ‘creme de la creme’) leaving everything behind and leading the way must draw a number of lay people to the Ordinariate as well. What Fr Sellers says seems to confirm that intuition.
    In a larger perspective, it shows an effective expansion pattern different than an entire Episcopal/Anglican parish joining the Ordinariate.
    Well, certainly I will keep the, God willing, St Margaret Church in Houston and their pastor in my prayers this Lent.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      godfrey1099,

      You wrote: This is simply amazing. Even if a quarter of those 200 families ultimately decide to join, the resulting congregation will be bigger right at the start than many in the CSP Ordinariate have grown by now. And it seems that these will be mostly new people rather than some ‘founding group’ from the OLW Church.

      A personal contact from a former pastor undoubtedly is significant. Also, these parishioners can visit a nearby ordinariate parish (that of its principal church, no less) to see its liturgy and other possibilities first-hand. If these parishioners really “have left Anglicanism behind, or who are searching,” as Fr. Sellers characterized them, the yield probably will be substantially greater than the figure 25% that you hypothesize — and a yield in excess of 100% is not exactly out of the question: some of his former parishioners may well invite their own friends from other congregations who also are searching.

      Norm.

  2. EPMS says:

    Thank you, Mr. Murphy, for taking the initiative and contacting Fr Sellers directly. His statement gives us a much better idea of the project. Now that you have established a link, perhaps you can ask him about plans for the upgrade of the “Communities” section of the OCSP website, whose many inaccuracies/deficiencies have been frequently commented upon by readers of this blog. I note that the Ordinary’s clerical assistant is the webmaster at OLW, Houston, so the necessary technical expertise is clearly readily available.

  3. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    I second both of the above comments. Thank you again, and please assure Fr. Sellers of our prayers for the foundation of St. Margaret Church in Houston!

    Norm.

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