Ordinariate priest to take over as Pastor/Administrator of a diocesan parish in the diocese of San Antonio, Texas

On the website of Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville, Texas, we read the following:

Leadership Changes at Notre Dame Church

March 29,2016

At the Chrism Day of Reflection for Priests held last Tuesday it was announced that I, Fr. Mike, will be returning to full-time ministry as the founding Director of St. Peter Upon the Water: A Spiritual Direction and Formation in Ingram, Texas. This change will take place on July 1, 2016, when I will have fulfilled my six-year term as pastor/administrator of Notre Dame Catholic Church. I have mixed emotions at this announcement, but I have felt for a very long time God’s call to the ministry of spiritual direction, and I am glad to remain in Kerr County, my home for over 23 years.

It was also announced that our dear Parochial Vicar, Father Scott Janysek, has been named Administrator of St. Jerome Catholic Church, Martinez, Texas (just southeast of San Antonio), beginning July 1. This is a well-deserved promotion for Fr. Scott, and he will indeed be a good shepherd for that parish. Both Fr. Scott and I ask you to pray for us as we will be praying for you. There will be several weeks to say our farewells and for you to welcome your new pastor and his family.

A New Pastor/Administrator for Notre Dame Catholic Church and School
At the Chrism Day of Reflection for Priests it was also announced that Father David Wagner, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, will be on loan to our Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., who has named Fr. Wagner the Pastor/Administrator of Notre Dame Catholic Church and School beginning July 1. Many already know Father David from his many visits to our parish assisting with Sunday and weekday Masses and confessions. As a former Episcopalian priest, Father David is married to Carol Anne Castillo Wagner and brings two children, Joseph David Wagner (14), and Natalie Estella Wagner (9). His Holiness St. John Paul II and His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have made it possible for former Episcopal priests, after they have converted to Roman Catholicism, to be re-ordained as Roman Catholic priests while remaining sacramentally married. It will be a joy to welcome them as a family to our parish, which is a family of families. Father’s wife, Carol Anne, has many family members in the parish, for she is the granddaughter of our recently deceased parishioner Lilia Castillo (the daughter of Lilia’s son, Joe).

Father David Wagner’s story is a truly blessed one. Born on March 28, 1958, in Ravenna, Ohio, and baptized that April, he lived in Ohio before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1978, assigned in Albuquerque, N.M., and Germany. In 1988 he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Philosophy, then studied Library Science. From 1994-1996 Father David studied at Yale Divinity School, graduating with the degree of Master of Arts in Religion. After marrying Carol Anne Castillo from Albuquerque that same year, they worked in Chicago while Father David continued studies at Dominican University there. Their first child, Joseph David, was born in Chicago and is presently a 9th grader at O’Connor High School, Helotes, Texas.

In 2002 Father David responded to the interior call to ministry, entering the Episcopal Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and finishing his studies with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained an Episcopal priest on June 12, 2005. Their second child, Natalie Estella, was born in 2006 and is currently a 4th grader at Charles E. Kuentz Elementary School, Helotes, Texas.

Out of a deep conviction of faith, Father David renounced his Episcopal Holy Orders and left the Episcopal Church in 2008, moving to San Antonio, Texas, and converting to Roman Catholicism.

In November 2009, His Holiness Benedict XVI promulgated his decree, Anglicanorum Coetibus, with which he created the path for former Episcopal priests and lay men and women, to join the Roman Catholic Church while celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy with various parts from the Book of Common Prayer and a Canonical jurisdiction under which they would be able to govern themselves under the authority of the Holy Father. This jurisdiction for former Episcopalians (now Roman Catholics) of the United States of America and Canada is known as the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Their first Ordinary (having the authority of a bishop without the authority to ordain priests) was Monsignor Steenson who resided in Houston. More recently His Holiness Pope Francis gave the Ordinariate a Roman Catholic bishop as Ordinary, the Most Reverend Stephen Lopes of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, who has lived in Rome for the past 16 years and for 12 years has served on the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

As soon as Pope Benedict created the path, Father David applied for ordination to then-Ordinary Monsignor Steenson. While waiting, Father David taught Philosophy, English, and Theology at Northwest Vista College, the Mexican American Catholic College, and St. Mary’s University, all in San Antonio, Texas. Finally, once all permissions were granted and studies were accomplished, Father David Wagner was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on August 24, 2014, by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.M, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Boerne, Texas.

Because the Archbishop wishes me to continue working on several formation teams (for priests, deacons, and laity) as well as serving at St. Peter Upon the Water, and because there are more priests than people in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Archbishop Gustavo and Bishop Lopes have made an agreement to bring Father David Wagner and his family to Notre Dame Catholic Church and School.

Having listened to the dignity Fr. Wagner brings to the liturgy and the wisdom in his preaching, we are delighted and give thanks that he has been called to serve here. I know that our devoted Pastoral Team and Staff and the blessed People of God of the Parish will welcome Father Wagner, his wife Carol Anne, and their children, Joseph David and Natalie Estella, with great joy and thanksgiving. As time becomes available, we will be pleased to introduce them personally to the Church and School. …

Fr. Mike Boulette

(Hat tip to EPMS, who writes: ‘The author, who seems otherwise very positive, notes that this appointment is possible because the OCSP “has more priests than people.” Ouch.’)

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2 Responses to Ordinariate priest to take over as Pastor/Administrator of a diocesan parish in the diocese of San Antonio, Texas

  1. EPMS says:

    So where does this leave St Gilbert’s, Boerne, or was there any community there? I found no website or Facebook page, nothing in the bulletins of the host parish. Fr Wagner does not appear to have been previously associated with a local Episcopalian congregation; did any former Anglicans ever actually find their way to St Gilbert’s?

  2. EPMS says:

    I forgot that this community was originally led by Fr Mark Cannaday, who reported in the first issue of Ordinariate Observer (September 2014) that the average Wednesday attendance was 18 and the average Sunday attendance 43.

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