I was Baptized and Confirmed Episcopalian, but I joined the Catholic Church just a few short years after the Episcopal Church decided to ordain women priests.
Three years ago my former boyfriend of college days at the University of Georgia whom I knew through the Episcopal Center in 1971, and I got reconnected and decided to get married. I moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, from Athens, Georgia, and we married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Oldtowne Portsmouth two years ago.
He is still an Episcopalian, but he basically shares many of my views, such as the pro-life and anti-gay marriage ones, and we both love The Book of Common Prayer (Actually, I learned about the Oxford Movement from him and how to be a Catholic in the Episcopal Church those many years ago and we both love to read Morning and Evening Prayer together from the Episcopal version of the Divine Office) but he has not become convinced that becoming Catholic is the way to go.
He has always thought he would always be an Episcopalian, but I think he feels affirmed by the recent decision of the Anglican Communion to censure the Episcopal Church USA as well as the Anglican Church of Canada.
I joined the Ordinariate long-distance before our wedding, but I have yet to attend an Ordinariate Mass. I have always dreamed of what is happening now, and I have wanted to find some way to help the growth of the Ordinariate in this area.
We have recently inherited Donald’s family home and there is much repair and restoration to do before I can try to make a reality of my idea: to have a “Bible Study” using the “Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham,” of which I have obtained a copy, and also a discussion group on “Early Christian Literature” (such as “The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary” and the writings of the early Church Fathers, such as Ignatius and Polycarp, and even maybe up to St. Augustine of Hippo; actually, I got this idea after reading “Four Witnesses”, a book by a convert to the Catholic Church showing that the hierarchical and Catholic structure of the Christian Church was there from the beginning, and did not wait until after Constantine.) in our home.
My husband is a Gideon and perhaps I could persuade some of his friends or their wives to take part in this “Bible Study”, as well as some of my Catholic friends. (I am a Secular Carmelite.) Wouldn’t that be a great work of evangelism?
We still have much work to do on the house before we would dare invite people over, but I would like to ask all of the members of the Ordinariates and the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society to pray for this intention.
I do not know of anyone in this area who would be interested in the Ordinariate, but I would want to find out. We live in Portsmouth, Virginia, near Norfolk, an hour’s drive from Williamsburg and two hours drive from Richmond.
During my journey to the Catholic Church from the Episcopal Church I started attending St. Steven’s Anglican Catholic Church in Athens, Georgia, and the pastor, Fr. Mark Haviland, was a neighbor of mine in Athens. I have read on their website that they have grown by leaps and bounds, and Mark Haviland has become the Archbishop and St. Steven’s, in Athens, Georgia has now become its co-cathedral. Ever since I became Catholic, I have been praying for the eventual conversion of that body to the Catholic Church. Could you also pray for that intention?
Ginger Galt Epley
P.S. Ginger has left us her e-Mail address and asked us to forward any responses or helpful information to her. So please leave your comments below.