BY JIM JONES
Special to the Star-Telegram
KELLER -- Under a huge dome with images of winged angels, six former Fort Worth-area Episcopal clergymen -- including a father and son -- lay facedown at a marble altar Saturday and were ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
In what officials called a historic moment, Fort Worth Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann and other white-robed priests in the diocese laid hands on the priests at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller to welcome them.
It was the first ordination class under Pope Benedict XVI's new Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, created Jan. 1 to allow Episcopal priests to be ordained as Catholic clergy and for Episcopal congregations to join the Roman Catholic Church.
The priests' wives carried in vestments that the priests later donned, assisted by other clergy. Then, standing before Vann, the priests each said, "I will" in answer to his questions about whether they will faithfully carry out their responsibilities.
More than 1,000 in the church stood and applauded.
The ordinariate is headed by a former Fort Worth Episcopal priest, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, who earlier converted to Catholicism.
"This is very moving for me today personally," Steenson said. "These men were all part of my generation, and we all served in Fort Worth."
The pope created the ordinariate to help Episcopal churches and clergy who want to become Catholic but keep part of their Anglican roots.
It's an enlargement of a system begun by Pope John Paul II in 1981 that first allowed married Episcopal priests to become Catholic clergy...
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