Saturday, June 11, 2011, the eve of Pentecost,
in the St. Barnabas Chapel at the Cathedral of St. Anthony
in Detroit, Michigan, the Gateway to Freedom City.
Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Prelature
was the presiding consecrator
and was assisted by Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger,
RCWP, from Austria, Bishop Andrea Johnson, RCWP
and Archbishop Dr. Karl Rodig, ECCC, the Cathedral’s pastor.
Ad Multos Annos
By Paul Stubenbort
"Long time FCM member, Rev. Dr. William J. Manseau has been consecrated a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church! This took place by authority of the Married Priests Now Prelature initiated by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, a Roman Catholic bishop who has married as a member of the world wide movement for a married priesthood catalyzed by Vatican Council II. While recognizing that such an action, while valid, is “contra legem” or contrary to ecclesial law, it is done as an act of conscience and faith in the belief that the law is impeding the life of the Church and as such violates the supreme law of the Church which is the salvation of souls (CJC, can. 1752) and need not be observed.
The momentous event occurred on Saturday, June 11, 2011, the eve of Pentecost, in the St. Barnabas Chapel at the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Detroit, Michigan, the Gateway to Freedom City. Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Prelature was the presiding consecrator and was assisted by Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, RCWP, from Austria, Bishop Andrea Johnson, RCWP and Archbishop Dr. Karl Rodig, ECCC, the Cathedral’s pastor.
Some twenty FCM members were in attendance and joined the ceremony when each laid on hands to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit upon William and to signify their assent to his consecration as bishop. Bishop Manseau intends to devote much of his episcopacy in efforts to extend nationally the reach and influence of the St. Barnabas Mission, an FCM community member.
In reflecting on this spiritual and emotional moment, William observed, “This is the culmination of a multi-year process of discernment and guidance. Upon the call of God and the International Society of the Apostles, Sts. Peter, Thomas and Mary Magdalene, an FCM member community, and after a lifetime of priestly service through the Federation of Christian Ministries and CORPUS, I felt comfortable and compelled to take this step.” He did this, he said, to be in solidarity with the bishops of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Association (RCWP), to make available the support of episcopacy, in particular, to married Catholic priests, Catholic women priests and other faithful and spiritual seekers. He recalled also that Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB had challenged the American Catholic Council participants to “take a leap” in faith on behalf of the renewal of the Church. In a serious and moving introduction to the ordination ceremony, William traced his experiences and epiphanies that led him to the altar where we gathered.
The Federation of Christian Ministries wishes to extend its congratulations to William, not only for this present blessing, but also a robust thank you for Bill’s lifetime of blood, sweat and tears in the vineyard of the Lord and for his efforts to return the Catholic Church to the vision each of us had in earlier days as we experienced or learned of Vatican Council II. Thank you, Bill."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Best wishes to Dr. Bill Manseau in his new episcopal ministry! Bill and I have collaborated as members of FCM's Circle. With Gerry Grudzen, Bill and I dreamed a new dream together in the creation of Global Ministries University, an online religious studies degrees program to equip ministers with theological/pastoral courses which prepare them to serve God's people. www.globalministriesuniversity.org
I am delighted that, Bill, a dedicated minister of the Gospel, is now a bishop. He will be a great blessing to Catholics especially those of us who are working for the reform and renewal of the Catholic Church. I am hopeful that Bishop Manseau will offer married men, called to serve a faith community as priests, a path to fufill their vocation within the supportive network of married priests who have had years of experience in parish ministry and who left because of the celibacy requirement. What a powerful charism and great opportunity for wisdom sharing!
It is significant that Roman Catholic Women Bishops, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger and Andrea Johnson participated in the ordination rite. The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is blessed as we collaborate with bishops, like Bill and Married Priests Now, on our journey in an inclusive priestly ministry in a community of equals. We are kindred spirits in the transformation of our beloved church as together we live Gospel equality now!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests