From the Priest
Welcome to St. Mary the Virgin! You have come to a unique parish. This parish was the first in the United States to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church as an entire community—pastor, people and property—from the Episcopal Church. Today, St. Mary the Virgin is a vibrant and diverse community of faithful Catholics—converts, cradle Catholics, as well as people from all over the world and from all walks of life--and is a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Although our worship and ministry bear signs of our Anglican origins, we are fully Catholic, thankful and joyful to worship God in the fullness of the faith in communion with the Successor of Peter and with all the faithful of the Holy Catholic Church throughout the world.
We hope you will join us for Mass or for one of our many parish events, and consider making St. Mary the Virgin your home. May the prayers of our Blessed Mother bring you ever nearer to her divine Son, and May God bless, guide, and keep you in peace.
A Brief History of St. Mary the Virgin
Formed as a mission of the Episcopal Church in 1961, St. Mary's was originally known as St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. In 1980, the Reverend Allan R.G. Hawkins came to the parish from England and was named rector. The parish name was changed in 1986 to Saint Mary the Virgin.
Then, in an historic decision in the summer of 1991, the parish decided to leave the Episcopal Church and to seek full communion in the Roman Catholic Church as a Personal Parish for the Anglican Use, under the terms of the Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II established in 1980. Although a number of other such parishes had previously been formed, St. Mary's was the first Episcopal parish to have transferred corporately into the Roman Catholic Church, and to have retained its property in so doing. Members were all received and St. Mary the Virgin was formally erected as a parish of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth on June 12, 1994, by the Most Reverend Joseph P. Delaney. A few days later, June 29, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, Bishop Delaney ordained Fr. Hawkins to the Catholic priesthood.
In April of 2013, Father Timothy Perkins was given pastoral charge of St. Mary's. Coming to the parish with him at that time were most of the members of the community of St. Peter the Rock. St. Peter's was the first community in America to be received into the Catholic Church for the Ordinariate, a structure within the Catholic Church that was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and implemented in North American January 1, 2012.
On July 1, 2015, St. Mary's became a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Based in Houston, Texas, our Ordinariate consists of more than 40 Roman Catholic parishes and communities across the United States and Canada.
Today St. Mary the Virgin serves faithful Catholics from all walks of life and from many backgrounds. Our distinctive style of worship includes various elements from the Anglican tradition incorporated within the Mass of the Roman Rite and authorized by the Vatican for Ordinariate use beginning in Advent 2015. Together we seek to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord and to share our faith with all who come among us. Come, grow with us!