A Towson area church will make a faithful transition this weekend as its rector is ordained — and its congregation confirmed — into the Catholic Church.
Anglican priest Father Edward Meeks — of the Christ the King Anglican Parish in Towson — will be ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, on June 23, during a ceremony in Washington D.C.
The next day, Sunday, June 24, some 120 of Meek's parishioners are expected to be received into the Catholic Church during a Mass of Confirmation and Reception at Christ the King, located at 1102 Hart Road.
Meeks is part of the first ordination class in history for the new Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Equivalent to a diocese, but national in scope, the U.S.-based ordinariate was created earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI, specifically for Anglican groups and clergy seeking to become Catholic — while still retaining elements of their Anglican heritage.
Three other men were ordained Catholic priests for the ordinariate on June 9 by Archbishop William Lori.
Meeks, 64, has been rector of Christ the King Anglican Parish in Towson since its founding in 1996. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in 1969, a master of science in administration from George Washington University and a master of ministry from Holy Trinity Theological College.
Married for 41 years, Meeks and his wife, Jan, have four adult children and 13 grandchildren. Special permission has been given for former Anglican priests who are married to be ordained Catholic priests.
Nationally, 30 former Anglican clergy are being ordained this summer in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and other states. Another 30 men are preparing for ordination over the next year.
Three ordinariates exist in the world, in the United States, United Kingdom and, as of June 15, Australia.
The U.S. ordinariate is led by a former Episcopal bishop, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson of Houston, Texas.
According to a release from the ordinariate regarding this weekend's events, Msgr. Steenson will participate in Sunday's Mass and will, "confirm parishioners who have never been Catholic and receive back those who are returning to the Catholic Church."