Bishop Jack Leo Iker writes:
It was my joy and privilege on Saturday, Aug. 22, to share in the consecration of the Rt. Rev. William H. Ilgenfritz, the first new bishop for the Anglican Church in North America. Archbishop Robert W. Duncan was the chief consecrator, and the other co-consecrators were Bishop Keith Ackerman, Bishop Edward MacBurney, and Bishop William Wantland, who also preached at the service. Thirteen bishops participated in the apostolic laying on of hands in the historic ceremony.
Bishop Ilgenfritz continues to serve as Rector of St. Mary's Anglican Church in Charleroi, Pa., in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The service took place at the local Roman Catholic parish a few blocks away, called Mary, Mother of the Church. The new bishop previously served here in the Diocese of Fort Worth as Rector of St. John's Church in Brownwood from 1990 to 1994.
It is important to recognize that this first consecration was of a Forward in Faith Bishop and that it creates a new diocese for FIF congregations across the country. This new Missionary Diocese of All Saints begins with about 13 congregations and is charged with planting new churches for traditional anglo-catholics in the United States and Canada. Bishop Ilgenfritz continues to serve as Vice-president of Forward in Faith, North America.
This consecration fulfills the vision of the Episcopal Synod of America, formed in 1989 here in Fort Worth, to create a non-geographic diocese or province for congregations upholding the faith and practice of the historic catholic church, including the tradition of an all-male priesthood. It secures a continuing line of apostolic succession for traditional anglo-catholics, which is no longer possible in The Episcopal Church in the United States.
Please continue to pray for Bishop Ilgenfritz and this new missionary diocese.
The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
Aug. 25, 2009