The Deacon's Bench


And a little piece of history is made in Florida:

The former Episcopalian bishop of Southwest Florida, Rev. John Lipscomb, was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church on December 2 at the Bethany Center spiritual retreat in Lutz, Florida.

The 59-year-old former Episcopalian was joined by his wife Marcie and approximately 100 diocesan priests. Archbishop John Favalora of Miami ordained Lipscomb, while Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg FL delivered a welcome. Lynch is recovering from colon surgery. He has been Lipscomb’s mentor since the latter’s reception by the Catholic Church in 2007. Of the ceremony, Father Lipscomb said, “Tears were shed.”

Said Father Lipscomb, “I’m at a point in my life where I want to do the things God called me to do, and not have to make the kinds of decisions that are impossible to make anyway.”

“We’re happy that John has found his place,” said Jim DeLa, the Episcopal Diocese’s director of communications. “If this is it for him, God bless him.”

Twelve years ago, Lipscomb was elevated to lead nearly 40,000 Southwest Florida Episcopalians in a ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in St. Petersburg.

He later fought Parkinson’s disease, and malaria contracted on a mission trip to Kenya. In 2003, he joined 19 bishops in a “statement of sorrow” over the naming of V. Gene Robinson as the first openly homosexual Episcopalian bishop.

There’s more at the link. The local Tampa paper has more, too.

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