Saturday, May 21, 2005
The Pontificator Comes Home . . .
A little over a year ago, Fr. Kimel had asked his readers for their prayers, as he made the bittersweet announcement that his son had found his way to the Catholic faith:
. . . Early last week he called my wife and I and informed us that he had decided to become a Roman Catholic. Today he will be confirmed and will make his first communion as a Catholic. And from that point you, he will no longer be able to receive communion from the hands of his father.
My eyes filled with tears of grief upon hearing this news. Over a year and a half ago I had to counsel him to explore other Christian traditions. There is no future for you and your future family in the Episcopal Church, I told him. He heeded my advice and began to explore and read and pray. He is a serious Christian young man. And so today he begins a new chapter in his walk with our Lord.
I was struck by the significant of that action, to place loyalty to Christ above family ties (what struck me as a personal application of Luke 14:26). I was greatly impressed by Father Kimel's courage and integrity in doing so, and kept him in my thoughts (and prayers, when I could bring my slothful mind to remember).
Consequently, it comes as an especially great joy -- for myself, as for many of his Catholic readers at 'St. Blog's Parish' -- to read Fr. Al Kimel's announcement to his blog that a decision is reached: he will follow his son into full communion with the Catholic Church:
Last night I tendered my resignation to the Vestry of St. Mark’s Church, effective July 1st. It is my intention to renounce my orders as an Episcopal priest and to enter, for the sake of my salvation, into full communion with the Catholic Church. I freely affirm the Catholic Church to be the one true fold of Jesus Christ. It is also my intention to avail myself of the Pastoral Provision and to apply for ordination to the Catholic priesthood.
Please keep Fr. Kimel, his wife and family in your prayers, for as many a convert can attest, the journey is only beginning, and there will be trials ahead. I pray that the saints of Heaven watch over him, and let the venerable John Henry Newman, another great Anglican convert, be his guide and inspiration.
And, if it pleases the Lord, may Fr. Kimel once again have the joy of giving communion to his son.