Father Chalmers ordained for US Anglican ordinariate

GREENVILLE–Father Jon David Chalmers completed a long spiritual journey when he became the second priest ordained for service in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on June 3. He was ordained by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone at St. Mary Church in Greenville.

The ordinariate, based in Houston, includes all of North America. It is the second ordinariate established following Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” which formed the new canonical structures to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage, including parts of the liturgy. Father Eric Bergman became the first priest for the U.S. ordinariate when he was incardinated from the Diocese of Scranton in May. Father Bergman was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 2007.

The first ordinariate was created for England and Wales in 2011.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, head of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, attended the ceremony and thanked Bishop Guglielmone and members of the community for supporting Father Chalmers.

“Those who have come today to support Jon come to support what is intended to be a work of Christian unity,” Msgr. Steenson said in an

interview. “This unity is a very strange road with many twists and turns along the way, but we all are on the same road. I pray with all my heart that the work of the ordinariate will always be the work of Christian unity, so that when Jesus comes back we all are all about the work dearest to his heart, ‘that they all may be one.’”

Father Chalmers was a priest in the Episcopal Church before becoming Catholic. He will continue to serve as director of ministry relations at Bon Secours St. Francis Health Systems in Greenville. He will also serve at St. Anselm’s Greenville Ordinary Church, a new parish under the ordinariate that is forming in Greenville and will start worship services on June 10.

His wife, Margaret Chalmers, a civil and canon lawyer, is chancellor for the U.S. ordinariate.

Photos by Richard Shiro