CHARLESTON—Episcopalians and Catholics united in support of Father Patrick Allen as he was ordained for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on July 7.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone ordained Father Allen, a former Episcopal priest, at St. Mary Church in front of about 80 people.
At the beginning of Mass, Father Allen sat next to his wife Ashley. Their children — Lucy, 4, and Henry, 2 — did not attend but waited for them in the reception hall.
Father Allen is the second Anglican priest to enter the ordinariate in South Carolina. The first was Father Jon Chalmers, who was ordained last summer. Father Allen’s community is comprised of six families who joined the Catholic Church in June.
During his homily, Bishop Guglielmone told the new priest that the day would lead to tremendous joy and challenges. The bishop reminded him that there will be many times in his life as a priest that God will call him to more and more.
“God never ceases to invite us to enter more deeply into the mystery of His life and into the challenges of spreading the Gospel,” the bishop said. “God’s grace will be given generously to you, be generous in your response.”
His new bishop also offered encouragement.
“Recognize that in your mission, in your priesthood in the Anglican ordinariate, you have one brother in this state of South Carolina, but also recognize that you will be accepted and you will also be embraced with the friendship of many brothers who are part of the Diocese of Charleston,” Bishop Guglielmone said.
At the end of the Mass, Father Allen thanked Bishop Guglielmone; Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, head of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, who was also present; Msgr. Steven Brovey, rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and administrator of St. Mary of the Annunciation; and all who had supported him. He also asked people to pray for the community.
After the ordination, Father Allen described his journey to the Catholic priesthood as blessed.
“Of course all the priests hug you and say now you have to go to work,” he said laughing, “but I’m ready. I’m excited about it. I really believe there’s an open door for the Gospel and for an ordinariate community in Charleston.”
He asked that people pray in support for his wife and family.
Father Allen hopes to start celebrating Mass with his community at St. Mary beginning in September. It will be at 11:30 a.m. and fulfills Sunday obligation for all Catholics.
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