Bishop Jacques visits
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 faith.

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 pastoral visit.