Former Anglican priest William “Doc” Holiday will be ordained a Catholic priest by Orlando Bishop John Noonan on Saturday, Dec. 15, 9:00 a.m., at the Church of the Incarnation, 1515 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, Florida 32804. Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, head of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, will concelebrate the Mass.
Holiday, a senior curate at Incarnation (www.theparish.org) since 2007, was among 140 parishioners who were received into the Catholic Church on Sept. 16, 2012 as part of the ordinariate. This national entity was established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012, for former Anglican clergy and groups seeking to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy.
Holiday was ordained an Anglican priest in 2005 following studies at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. He served at St. Alban’s Anglican Cathedral from 2005-2007 and since then as senior curate at Incarnation. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he has worked in law enforcement since 1988, first on the SWAT Team for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (1988-1992), and since 1992, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Since 1998, he has assisted in administration of that office’s chaplaincy program. He and his wife, Tammy, have been married for 25 years and have three adult children. Special permission has been given to former Anglican priests who are married to be ordained Catholic priests.
In speaking about his ordination, he said, “There are four men through whom God has shown his grace and to whom I would like to express my sincere appreciation. First is the Holy Father, who embraced those of us from the Anglican tradition who understood the necessity of communion with the Catholic Church. Second is our Ordinary, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, for his pastoral hand in guiding us. Third, I offer my personal appreciation to Bishop John Noonan for his unwavering and proactive assistance in facilitating our parish community’s reception into the Catholic Church and my ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Finally, I express my undying respect for Mr. Louis Campese, a former Anglican bishop whose vision and stalwart persistence in staying the course for the reunion of Anglicans with the Catholic Church exemplified the admonition of the Lord Jesus to ‘take up your cross and follow me.’ Words could never express my respect and devotion to these men, but I pray my priestly ministry will.”
The ordinariate will have 26 priests following Holiday’s ordination, and has more than 1,500 people in 35 communities across the United States and Canada (another ordination [with the reception of 30 layfolk - ed.] is scheduled for Dec. 16 in Payson, AZ). Its Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson, is a former Episcopal bishop who is based in Houston, TX. Msgr. Steenson noted that the ordinations this year “mark a significant moment in the history of Catholic unity.”
Congratulations to Fr. Holiday and to all the people of the Church of the Incarnation who have persevered in their journey toward the fulness of Catholic unity.