Davenport to get its first married priest

Davenport to get its first married priest March 24, 2014

He will be ordained a deacon on Tuesday, and become a priest in June.

From The Quad-City Times in Iowa:

The 29-year marriage of Chris and Jody Young will continue, even after he is ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport this summer.

“I get to keep my wife, and I am keeping my wedding band on,” Chris Young says.

Although the Catholic Church historically has prohibited priests from marrying, the 53-year-old Davenport man is joining the clergy thanks to a special 1980 dispensation from Pope John Paul II called The Pastoral Provision, which applies only to former clergy of the Episcopal, or Anglican, Church.

This will make Young a rarity. It’s estimated that about 100 Catholic priests in the U.S. have made the same conversion that he has.

Young, a lifelong Episcopalian until eight years ago, previously served as the priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Moline.

His entry to the Catholic faith brings a different dimension to the priesthood, Bishop Martin Amos of the Davenport Diocese said.

Amos, who has led the diocese since 2006, agreed with Young’s quest for the priesthood and sponsored him in a 26-step process that has taken six years.

Young will be made a transitional deacon — one who intends to become a priest — in a ceremony Tuesday at Davenport Assumption High School, where he has taught religion classes for two years.

Then, on June 7, Young will be ordained by the bishop at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Two other men also will be ordained as priests at that time, but both are following the more traditional path.

“I hope that priests know what a privilege it is to serve,” Young said. “The ministry’s tough, and the days are long and it can be wearying at times. To no longer be able to do those things, when your whole heart was in that for all those years … It will be wonderful to serve in those ways again.”

Young has adopted a motto used by his late brother, Craig Young, who was also an Episcopalian priest: “Say the Mass and love the people.”

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