Following the appointment of the previous pastor, Father Timothy Perkins, as Vicar General, a new pastor has now taken over at St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas, as of July 1st. Father Prentice Dean is a former Pastoral Provision priest who has been pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, Springfield, and St. Michael, Cedar Hill, in the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee. To my knowledge, Father Dean is the first Pastoral Provision priest to be incardinated into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, who is not accompanied by a community.
The website of St. Mary the Virgin reports:
Introducing the New Pastor
Father Prentice Dean and his wife Teresa entered into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2006. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests, through the Pastoral Provision, on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 2010. Fr. Dean has served as Administrator/Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish and St. Michael parish since June 2011. The churches are located in Robertson County, north of Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to those assignments Fr. Dean served as transitional deacon and as Assisting Priest at The Church of the Assumption in Nashville between August 2009 and June 2011. He also served as Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese of Nashville between 2006 and 2011. Prior to entering the church, he was Rector of St. Bede Episcopal Church in Manchester, Tennessee.
Having grown up in the northeast, and graduated from The George Washington University in Washington DC, with a Bachelor’s degree in history, he married and raised his family in Maryland. Fr. Dean has worked in historical research with the government and for a remodeling contractor and operated his own furniture-making business while being a stay-at-home father. He has finished all course work for Masters in management, and earned a Master’s degree in Divinity from the School of Theology, the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in 2004.
Besides their twin daughters, Clarissa and Sarah, Fr. Dean and Teresa have been blessed with two grandchildren, Daniel, age 20 months, and Joseph, 2 months. Clarissa and her husband Tim live in Maryland and are members of St. Luke’s Ordinariate Church in Washington, D.C. Sarah earned her PhD at Rice University in 2014 and works in the oil industry in Houston.
In his two final parish bulletins in the Diocese of Nashvilkle, Father Dean himself wrote the following:
The Diocese of Nashville has finally announced what most of you already know; that I will be leaving Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Michael parishes as Administrator/Pastor at the end of June. I thought it prudent to wait for the formal announcement by the diocese. My last Sunday will be the 25/26th of June.
I have been your Pastor for the past 5 years, and since 1979 I am the second-longest serving Pastor of these two churches. I have been offered a unique opportunity to serve as Pastor of a church in Texas. It is part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which is the ecclesial home of those former Anglican priests and laypeople who now are Catholic.
I will miss you, and Robertson County and it has been a privilege serving you as Pastor.
May we offer each other our prayers as we go our different ways. The Bishop is assigning Father Anthony Lopez as your new pastor effective July 1.
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
That prayer is called the Prayer of Humble Access. It is the prayer Anglicans (Episcopalians) say just before receiving what they called “communion” and it is what I grew up saying and praying. I still have it memorized from age 11, many years ago. It was indeed many years ago, in a land and time long gone away. I thought I had left it all behind, but now I have a unique opportunity to say it again.
The Ordinariate is the work of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI; a Pope who saw (along with St. John Paul II) that there were some protestants who wanted to “swim the Tiber” but desired to keep elements of their liturgy. They also saw many in the Western countries walking away from the Catholic Church. Perhaps, with God’s grace, the Ordinariate may be a model of liturgy and a bridge to those who desire the truth of Catholic teaching and of all the Catholic sacraments.
In all humility I have been granted “access” to the hearts and minds of two Catholic parishes for five years. I hope I have left them in better shape. I hope I have done some good. We are not worthy, but may we all know of God’s manifold and great mercy to pick us up and start over, and over again, in our daily conversion as we answer His call of holiness in each of us. The world and all its temptation is scary; be sure of your faith, hand on all the truth of the Catholic and Apostolic faith, and know that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.
ad Jesum per Mariam,
(to Jesus through Mary)