An Appeal from the Society Convener

Dear members and friends of the Society of Catholic Priests

On behalf of the Society in North America, I am writing to ask for your help. The strength of our Society and our vital mission of nurturing priestly spirituality and fostering Catholic evangelism in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada depend on each and every one of us.

We need your help in paying debts incurred for the 2012 annual conference and ensuring that our Society continues to grow and flourish in the years to come. Like many of you, I serve as a parish priest. I know the many demands that ministry makes on all of us, including demands on our finances. I have also seen firsthand the joy of God’s People in giving to make our ministries possible. And so, I’m never ashamed to ask people for financial support, especially when it comes to strengthening the Church, bearing witness to the Kingdom, and sharing the Gospel of Christ.

First, with regard to the debt, as part of our effort to keep costs for the annual conference low, we always reserve a block of rooms at a discount rate. This year, in Los Angeles, even given a conservative attendance estimate based on prior years, our numbers fell below the minimum of reservations required by our contract. After negotiating our obligations down with hotel management, we still owe $5000, to be paid in quarterly installments. We are asking every member of the Society to consider a gift to help cover this debt. I myself am making such a gift, both from personal and discretionary funds, and I am asking all of us who are able to do the same. As we move forward toward the 2013 annual conference in Philadelphia, we need to be debt free.

We are suggesting a donation of $100, understanding that some will be able to do less and others more. Donations may be made to our Paypal account Alternatively, checks may be made out to “The Society of Catholic Priests” with “Donation” in the memo line and sent to the Treasurer:

The Very Rev. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
St. John’s Episcopal Church
524 Washington
Grand Haven, MI 49417

We also need as many members of the Society as possible to make it a top priority to join us in Philadelphia, (October 9-12, 2013) — and to recruit new members to come share the blessings we have come to know in our common life. Our 2014 conference will be in Toronto, Canada.

As we surveyed the membership about the reasons for lower attendance this year, several answers were given, mostly focused on the costs and time involved. We are announcing the dates early, to help members clear their calendar. We are making every effort to keep costs down. We also continue to solicit scholarship funds, to make it possible for seminarians and others who may need assistance to attend. A major challenge the Society faces in our North American context is the sheer distances involved. Necessarily, the life of the Society is sustained at the local level. Nevertheless, the annual conference is an indispensable opportunity to connect with brothers and sisters around North America, to be renewed and formed for our vocations as Catholic priests, deacons, and religious in the Anglican tradition, to worship and share fellowship with each other, and to share the struggles and burdens of ministry with colleagues who truly understand.   

This year, your participation and your generous financial support are especially needed, not as a duty but as a joy. I am supporting these efforts, because I am convinced that the Society of Catholic Priests and the mission we share is desperately needed for the renewal of this branch of the Catholic Church in the work of the Gospel. I am convinced these needs will be met, if we all do what we can.

Will you join me?

In Christ,

The Rev. R. William Carroll, TSSF, SCP
Convener, Society of Catholic Priests, North America