Cousin Jason becomes Father Jason

Bishop Mark Lawrence leads the congregation in applauding the new priest. Jason may be wary of pride, but that's all right -- we'll be proud for him.

Normally, I wouldn’t share something this personal, except it made news.

I spent Saturday driving with my mother and her older brother to Conway and back, where her younger brother’s son, Jason Collins, was being ordained as an Episcopal priest.

Here’s where I could say all sorts of things about this not being the same as a real priest, because real priests don’t have a wife and children and Jason does, but let’s not get all technical. I’m proud and happy for him, and pleased to call him “Father” even though he wasn’t born until I was almost 18.

The reason I post about it here is that it was news in those parts. In fact, it made the front page of The Sun News, on account of Jason’s prominence in the community:

CONWAY — Jason Collins wasn’t sure he wanted to be interviewed for this story.

He didn’t want readers to think it was his prideful narrative of a journey from the secular world to the faith-based world. He was afraid people would think he was boasting, that he was telling a story of how remarkable he is for having done what he’s done.

But the story is his journey, as Collins knows well. And he hopes readers will finish it with the knowledge that everyone’s life can be transformed through God and Jesus Christ.

Collins, a former Conway city planner, is being ordained today into the Sacred Order of Priests at a 3 p.m. ceremony at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Conway…

It was a wonderful ceremony, very moving. The bishop was there (of course; else there’d be no ordination) as well as a whole mess of priests, friends and relations. Jason’s wife and two children were involved integrally involved in the proceedings, and all of us felt privileged to be there. Even though I was tempted, as a Roman, to erupt in a loud “ahem!” when the bishop charged him with words attributed to St. Thomas More in “A Man for All Seasons.”

But Jason is now officially a priest in the one holy catholic and apostolic church, and none may say nay to that. Not around me, anyway.

7 thoughts on “Cousin Jason becomes Father Jason

  1. `Kathryn Fenner

    Roman Catholic priests can have wives and children, if they came over from the Anglican tradition (or others, for all I know). The Pope has different rules for poaching than original ordaining.

    Congrats to your nephew!


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