Rousseau Appointed Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul's, Haymarket
The Rev. Sean Rousseau will be the next priest-in-charge of St. Paul's, Haymarket, one of seven congregations returned to the Episcopal Church following the resolution of a five-year legal dispute. In accepting the appointment from the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, bishop of Virginia, Rousseau will conclude his ministry as priest-in-charge at St. Peter's, Oak Grove, in Westmoreland County.
"I look forward to getting to know the existing members of St. Paul's and to welcoming new and former members to the community," said Rousseau. "I am hopeful that together we will grow and change to become a strong and thriving community of faith through our love in action."
Episcopal worship resumed at St. Paul's on May 6. Although the Prince William County parish did not have a continuing congregation associated with it during the litigation, Episcopal worshippers and supporters have been gathering in the building every Sunday since the property was returned. The Diocese has arranged for supply priests, including the Rev. Stuart Smith and his wife, the Rev. Deacon Lizabeth Smith, to lead worship during a discernment process of identifying a new priest-in-charge. A core of dedicated lay leaders has formed the backbone of the congregation, and is already at work strengthening and growing the church. Rousseau will join the congregation on September 1.
"Sean Rousseau brings remarkable skills and experience to this ministry," said the Rev. Susan Goff, bishop suffragan-elect. "We look forward to the new life that he and the people of the Haymarket area will share in Christ's name. We also give thanks to the people of St. Peter's, Oak Grove, for the sacrifice they experience as their beloved priest-in-charge leaves them, and we hold them in prayer as we work together to raise up new clergy leadership there."
At St. Peter's, Oak Grove, Rousseau served as a supply priest and then as priest-in-charge since January. Prior to that, he served as interim assistant rector at Christ Church, Winchester. He was received into the Episcopal priesthood in 2011 from the Roman Catholic Church, where he served as a priest for 15 years. During his time in the Roman Catholic Church, he was the founding priest-in-charge of Corpus Christi Mission in South Riding, Va.
St. Paul's is one of several congregations supported by a team from Dayspring, the diocesan-wide effort to identify and grow vision and energy in the congregations and properties returned to the Diocese. "This new beginning, through Dayspring, is an opportunity to give witness to the message of Christ as we strive to re-establish the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia [in Haymarket]," added Rousseau. "I am honored by this exciting opportunity to serve and have found guidance in these words of St. Paul: 'We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose' (Romans 8:28)."
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