Seacoast New Hampshire
Bishop Roland Jacques, OSB, and his wife Anne paid a pastoral visit to the
seacoast area of New Hampshire during a mid-June meeting with Father Thomas
Coover. Father Coover works at the University of New Hampshire in Durham
and has served as chaplain to the UNH Police Department since 1997 as well as
Accreditation Manager for the police department.
Upon his arrival at the university campus, Bishop Jacques was warmly greeted by
the UNH Chief of Police Nick Halias, as well as the department staff on shift
for the day. Father Coover and his guests were kindly afforded the use of
a department vehicle for a tour of the campus throughout the morning.
One of the many stops during the tour was at the University Fire
Department. Having been a firefighter for several years, Bishop Jacques
asked for a close examination of the equipment and vehicles currently in use.
To everyone’s enjoyment, the fire department personnel offered to provide
Bishop Jacques and his wife on a ride in their newest engine around the town of
Durham. This activity certainly provided a particular excitement and a
memorable aspect of the visit to the area.
Following the completion of their
morning excursion, the bishop and his wife were joined by the Reverends Michael
Bradley and Mary Adebonojo of Saint George Episcopal Church in Durham for a
luncheon at the University Conference and Dining Center. Forgetting
calories and point counting for the day, the group enjoyed a delightful lunch
and the opportunity to talk “shop” about the relationship between the ECC+USA
and the Episcopal Church, referring frequently to the mutually open and
hospitable relationship shared by the two groups.
After lunch, the group gathered at
St. George Church for a celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy, using an
adapted form of the Gallican Rite. Father Coover has been given a
welcomed use of the church facilities for his ministry in the area, as well as
a frequent homilist at the regular Sunday liturgy for the Episcopal family of
Father Bradley again affirmed the openness of his
community to the ECC+USA and invited Bishop Jacques to visit again when the
university community is fully operational during the academic year. He
indicated that the parish young adult group, called the Canterbury Club, would
be interested in knowing more about the Old Catholic tradition and specifically
about the Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA.
With a full day of activity and fellowship behind them, Bishop Jacques and Anne
bid farewell to their hosts and left for their journey back to Maine, promising
prayers and a return visit to the area that had warmly welcomed them for this