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Steps Toward Reception of Holy Orders

for persons ordained in Churches in the Historic Succession but not in communion with this Church (summary)

  1. Applicant disengages from active priestly ministry.
    If not officially laicized, applicant communicates with his superiors in the Roman Catholic Church to clarify that he no longer wishes to function as a Roman priest and is exploring priestly ministry in the Episcopal Church.
  2. Applicant explores the Episcopal Church.
    The applicant takes a period of time to study and participate in the Episcopal Church, making sure that this is the branch of the Catholic Church to which he wishes to make a commitment.[Steps one and two may, of course, vary in sequence.]
  3. Applicant becomes involved member of a parish in the Diocese of New York.
    The applicant is an active member (an adult confirmed communicant) of a parish for a minimum of one year (or longer if required by the rector).  During this year the applicant gets to know the parish and becomes known by parishioners and the clergy.  The applicant may not function as a priest.
  4. Applicant is formally received into the Episcopal Church as a layperson by a Bishop of this Diocese.
    [See Book of Common Prayer requirements and canonical requirements]
  5. Applicant discusses discernment with the rector (or priest-in charge by whatever title).
    The applicant and rector discuss the possibility of meeting with a parish discernment committee.
  6. Parish Discernment Committee is formed.
    After at least one year of active parish participation, and if the rector recommends continuing the discernment, the applicant meets for some months with a group of parish laity serving as a discernment committee.  Together they explore whether or not the applicant has shown the gifts and talents needed in the priesthood in this Church.
  7. Rector writes sponsoring letter to the Bishop.
    The rector writes a sponsoring letter to the Bishop.  For an outline of the categories this letter should contain see the website of Episcopal Diocese of New York (for priesthood).
  8. Rector & Vestry submit canonical form.
    If the rector and vestry decide to sponsor the applicant, they sign a recommendation attesting to this sponsorship.(This form is sent to rector in response to the rector’s letter to the Bishop.)
  9. Applicant completes application and essays & provides documentation, as requested on application.
  10. Applicant completes: (1) physical evaluation; (2) psychological evaluation; and (3) background check.
    Please refer to the sheet “About the Physical and Psychological Evaluations”.
  11. Applicant meets with Canon for Ministry.
    Call to schedule appointment.
  12. Bishop reviews the applicant’s file.
    The Bishop reviews the file and decides if the applicant should proceed to the preliminary interview stage of Diocesan discernment.
  13. Applicant completes 3 preliminary interviews.
    If the Bishop requests that the applicant proceed, he is invited to schedule separate preliminary interviews with three members of the Commission on Ministry and/or the Standing Committee.  Following each interview, the interviewer either recommends or does not recommend to the Bishop that the applicant continue in discernment with the Diocese.
  14. Bishop reviews the applicant’s file.
    Following this review, the Bishop decides if the applicant should proceed with Diocesan discernment.
  15. Applicant meets with a Special Committee.
    Applicant meets with the Special Committee appointed by the Canon for Ministry (composed of members of the Commission on Ministry and/or the Standing Committee) one or more times, at the discretion of the Committee chair.  This committee submits a report to the Bishop making recommendations regarding the next steps, including formation.
  16. Bishop reviews the applicant’s file.
  17. Bishop meets with the applicant (if the Special Committee has recommended that the person continue Diocesan discernment) to discuss the possibility of reception of orders
    The Bishop considers the recommendation of the Special Committee and makes a decision about receiving the applicant’s orders pending formation and examinations in required areas.
  18. Applicant receives certification from Bishop and Standing Committee that Applicant is acceptable as a member of the clergy of this Church, subject to the successful completion of the examinations specified in Canon III.10.3(c)(d).  Applicant shall not be received less than twelve months from the date of having become a confirmed communicant of this Church (Canon III.10.3 (l) and six months after the certificates have been received.
  19. If the Bishop approves, applicant begins study at the Bishop’s direction at a seminary approved by the Bishop.
    Applicant begins Anglican studies (normally 1-2 years) at an Episcopal seminary.  Reception of orders follows completion of study and completion of General Ordination Examinations (GOEs).  Payment of tuition and other expenses during the time of formation are the responsibility of the Applicant.
  20. Standing Committee consents to Bishop’s reception of Applicant’s Orders into the Episcopal Church.
  21. Before reception, Bishop requires promises in writing from Applicant. (Canon III.10.3 (f))
  22. Bishop receives into the Episcopal Church the Orders of the priest already ordained by a Bishop in the historic succession.
    (Canon III.10.3(g))
  23. In consultation with the Commission on Ministry, Bishop assigns a mentor priest to meet with the priest whose orders have been received.

The Episcopal Diocese of New York
April 2013

Ministry Office Contacts

The Rev. Canon Charles W. Simmons
Canon for Ministry

Office: 212-316-7416
Fax: 212-932-7368

Mr. Alito Orsini
Liaison to Canon for Ministry, Liaison to Canon for Transition Ministry

Office: 212-316-7414
Fax: 212-932-7368