From The Southern Cross, the newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego:
by Denis Grasska
Glenn Baaten’s path to the Catholic priesthood is very different from that of the three men who were ordained alongside him at St. Therese of Carmel Parish.
He is the married father of two grown children and is a soon-to-be grandfather. He credits his wife of 33 years, Cathy, with playing an invaluable role on his path of discernment.
“I can truly say that my faith journey has certainly been just that, a journey,” said Father Baaten, 58, the newly appointed pastor of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish in Carlsbad. The parish is not part of the Diocese of San Diego, but rather the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and his flock is composed of former Anglicans like himself.
Father Baaten did not grow up in a home where the faith was fervently practiced. Later, as a teenager, he felt drawn to the “dynamic expression” of the faith that he saw in Charismatic Christianity. He later joined the Episcopal Church and then the Presbyterian Church, where he was ordained a pastor, but ultimately left both denominations after encountering theology that he considered to be at odds with “the ageless teaching of the Church.”
He joined the traditional Anglican Church of North America and was ordained an Anglican priest. But he and his wife ultimately decided to “become visible members of the Roman Catholic Church.”
“We were confirmed and received into the Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Eve 2013,” he said. “We were finally home.”
Though he was resigned to being a member of the Catholic laity, his ministry experience and the retirement of Father George Ortiz-Guzman, his predecessor as pastor of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, provided the opportunity to serve as a pastor once again.
He was ordained a transitional deacon in the Catholic Church on May 31 by Bishop Steven Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Bishop Lopes also was in attendance at his priestly ordination on June 24.
“I thank God for all the years He has allowed me to serve His Church,” said Father Baaten, “as a Presbyterian pastor, an Anglican priest and now, most especially, as one serving the fullness of the Church as a Roman Catholic priest.”