In Massachusetts, a North Shore Area former Episcopal priest to convert to Catholicism

A longtime North Shore clergyman is in line to become one of the first Episcopal priests in the country to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. Jurgen Liias, who led Christ Church in Hamilton for 14 years before forming a breakaway Episcopal church in Danvers, has applied to the Vatican to be ordained into a new U.S. ordinariate created by Pope Benedict XVI on Jan. 1.

Liias said he will resign as an Episcopal priest and will be confirmed as a Catholic in a Mass on Wednesday at St. Margaret Church in Beverly Farms. If his application is approved by the Vatican, he will be ordained as a Catholic priest this fall.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

11 comments on “In Massachusetts, a North Shore Area former Episcopal priest to convert to Catholicism

  1. Don C says:

    I came to the Episcopal Church, and thus to Anglicanism, at Christ Church. Without out doubt, Jurgen Liias played a significant part.

    Here’s his [url=]blog[/url]

  2. MichaelA says:

    From the description of Fr Liias in the article and by Don C, Anglicanism’s loss is the RCC’s gain. I am sure he will be given plenty of pastoral work to keep him busy and fulfilled.
    [blockquote] “Liias said that about 20 members of his former church, Christ the Redeemer in Danvers, plan to convert to Catholicism.” [/blockquote]
    Does anyone know what is happening to the rest of the congregation? Are they continuing as episcopalian, and are they in ACNA, or a Continuum group, or independent?

  3. Don C says:

    Most of the parishioners at Christ Church left to form Christ the Redeemer (Anglican) in 2008 or ’09. CtR is a parish in ACNA.

    I’m happy that Fr. Liias is following his conscience but, the church split really was bittersweet for me.

  4. small "c" catholic says:

    Christ the Redeemer is doing very well and has a new rector, Fr. Tim Clayton. Christ Church, though smaller now, has an active congregation under Fr. Patrick Gray, who is solidly evangelical. Though my husband and I are members of CTR, we have good friends in both churches. Another offshoot of that split is Hope Chapel, under Fr. Mario Bergner, smaller in numbers but also a vibrant congregation.

  5. Sarah says:

    It looks as if the group of orthodox at Christ Church [the original] chose from a variety of options: new ACNA church plant, Ordinariate, Hope Chapel [ACNA], or to stay.

  6. small "c" catholic says:

    Exactly. And Fr. Liias can largely be credited with the (relatively) peaceful way the story has unfolded. He is a man of peace.
    (Hope Chapel, I am pretty sure, is not ACNA. Maybe Quincy?)

  7. Sarah says:

    Hi small c catholic,

    Hope Chapel’s website states that it is ACNA:

  8. small "c" catholic says:

    You’re right!

  9. CofS says:

    Well, I just came back from the mass – it was beautiful! The very Rev’d Fr. Scott Hurd was celebrant with the wonderful local parish priest, Fr. David Barnes and his assisting priest concelebrating. The Holy Spirit was truly present. We sang all my favorite Marian hymns plus the wonderful whole version of St. Patrick’s breastplate , not the watered down one in “Worship”. Jurgen took John Vianney as his confirmation name, patron saint of priests. People were there from both sides of the aisle and were all happy for Jurgen. I can’t wait until he can say mass!

  10. Charles52 says:

    He’s not even close to being “one of the first”. Not even under Anglicanorum Coetibus. Six men were ordained in Fort Worth on June 30, and there were 80-100 under the Pastoral Provision.

    Religious journalists make me nuts.

  11. MichaelA says:

    Sarah, thanks for that information. It seems like the vast majority of the parishioners wanted to stay Anglican and have each found somewhere to worship and minister, which is great to hear.