Former rector of nation’s largest Episcopal church becomes Catholic

From Religion News Service: 

The Rev. Larry Gipson was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham from 1982-94 and rector at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parishioners included former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, from 1994-2008.

Last month, Gipson was accepted as a Catholic into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure set up by Pope Benedict XVI to accept former Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

“The nature of authority in the Catholic Church is what attracted me to it,” Gipson said. “After I retired, I was concerned and had been for many years about the Episcopal Church’s authority structure.”

Gipson will be among 69 candidates for Catholic priesthood attending a formation retreat this weekend in Houston at the ordinariate’s headquarters.

Among those leading seminars at the Formation Retreat in Houston will be the Rev. Jon Chalmers, who was ordained a Catholic priest in June, the second former Episcopal cleric to be accepted as a priest under the ordinariate.

His wife, Margaret Chalmers, former canon lawyer for the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham and now chancellor of the ordinariate, will also be a presenter at the weekend retreat that runs Friday night through Sunday, Dec. 2.

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