Christ the King in Towson, MD to launch capital campaign

downloadHere is some news from a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in Maryland.

Christ the King Church in Towson is to launch a capital campaign in October (on the Christ the King Feast Day).

By fall 2018, they intend to build a new parish hall plus rebuild/expand an educational center.

Their original mortgage for the church building has been largely paid off since 2003, so they will be able to finance the project.

As Fr. Meeks has explained to parishioners on September 24, CTK is a relatively small Catholic parish (110 households) unable to offer a number of things available in large ones, so it is the hospitality and community life which can make the difference and attract new people.

In addition, it is a young parish with 25% of parishioners less than 18 (and 7 babies to be born within a few months), so it is of crucial importance to offer Catholic ‘program’ for children and youth.

I went over to the parish website and found some lovely articles about and by Fr. Ed and this one by Jan Meeks, that began with their experience as young parents of two, fostering babies for a Catholic charity.

When Katie was four months old, this same close friend gave us a teaching tape by an Irish Catholic nun, Sr. Briege McKenna, who had (and still does have), a healing ministry within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Sister’s message was simple: Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  She spoke of the necessity of committing ourselves totally to Him.  She also said that we needn’t be afraid to ask God for anything, that we should never compare our needs and desires with those of others, and that the fulfillment of our needs could never deplete God’s storehouse of blessings for them.  She gave the example of pregnant mother who wanted to pray for a healthy baby, but who was hindered by the fact that her next door neighbor had five children who were all born with special needs.  She thought, “How could I ask for such a blessing when my dear neighbor has had to suffer so much?” Sister Briege said that God is not limited in any capacity to bless everyone.

When the tape was over, my heart was bursting.  Most importantly, what had been missing in my life was Jesus!  How had I not seen Him before?  He was there in the liturgy and the scriptures at Mass, in the Eucharist, in all of the sacraments, in my own soul, and yet I had failed to respond personally to Him, and thus had failed to really know Him.

I had been like the blind man in the Gospel who, after Jesus placed spit on his eyes, saw men, but they looked like trees walking.  And now, through the words of Sister Briege, Jesus touched my eyes a second time, and I could see everything clearly.  In addition, her teaching made me realize that God’s storehouse of babies could extend to both our family and the other family that was waiting to adopt a child.

That night I did respond to Jesus, I made a total commitment of my life to Him, and then I prayed for us to be able to adopt Katie.

There are some who might call what happened to me, and subsequently to Ed, a “born again” experience, but having already been born again by Baptism, we refer to it as a personal conversion.  It was that powerful, and our lives have never been the same since. It was for various administrative reasons that Katie’s stay with us was extended many months beyond the norm.  The mutual bond between our family and Katie was immeasurable.  As far as we were concerned, she was our daughter, and as far as she was concerned, we were the only parents she had ever known.  After much prayer and waiting, we approached Catholic Charities and made a formal petition to adopt Katie who was then about seven months old.



During the months we were waiting for the decision concerning Katie’s adoption, we learned of an unwed teenage girl who needed a place to live after she gave birth to her baby.   The case worker from Catholic Charities told us that she was planning on parenting her baby, but could not go back to her parents’ home.

Ed and I prayed and felt God calling us to bring this young girl and her baby into our home as well.   She and her baby lived with us for two years during which time she completed her high school education, and then, having been reconciled to her family, the two of them returned home.

Not long after they came to live with us, however, we received the decision from Catholic Charities concerning Katie’s adoption.  Based on the many months that she had been in our care and her attachment to our family, her adoption was granted to us.

We continued to bring pregnant unmarried teenagers into our home one at a time.  We provided a place for them where they could be cared for, counseled, and have the space away from outside pressures to make an informed decision between parenting and adoption.


I wish them all the best in their capital campaign!

9 thoughts on “Christ the King in Towson, MD to launch capital campaign

  1. THANK YOU for this posting on Fr. Ed and Jan. I have followed their amazing journey for some time now, and been inspired by this wonderful couple. If I ever get the chance to travel to the U S of America, Christ the King, Towson, will be on my “bucket list”. Thanks again for the posting. Kind regards, and God Bless, Fr. Ed, Jan and the people of Towson. BILL H.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Godspeed to them! CTK is also one of the very few OCSP communities in the U.S. that prefer the Novus Ordo to the Divine Worship Use (though I believe they now use the latter at least once a week), I’m guessing due in part to their previous charismatic background. I hope embracing more fully the Ordinariate’s unique liturgical patrimony will also be part and parcel of their growth plans eventually.


    • First, I personally cringe when people refer to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite as the “Novus Ordo” (literally, “New Order”) — first, because there is no official recognition or use whatsoever of that term and, second, because it is a term widely misused by hard core Traditionalists, in their theological ignorance, to disparage not only the post-conciliar restoration of the authentic liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite, but also the authentic magisterium of and since the Second Vatican Council that directed and implemented these reforms. The members of the commission charged with the reform of the liturgical rites used the term “novus ordo — and note the LOWER CASE, as they did not use it as a proper noun — informally to distinguish between what was then the official (Tridentine) rite and the revisions under development, but it never became an official designation. The official term for the liturgical books promulgated by Pope Paul VI, and subsequently amended by his successors, has always been, and continues to be, the “Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.”

      BTW, I’ll grant you that the manner in which many parishes celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is gross, disgusting, irreverent, disobedient, and potentially even sacrilegious. I have seen far too many abuses over the years. However, I can assure you that the problem is not the liturgical rites. I have also participated in many celebrations of the liturgy using the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite that were reverent and worshipful, and more “high church” than anything that the Tridentine liturgy can muster. Thus, I have no desire whatsoever to revert to the Tridentine liturgical rites.

      Second, the community of Christ the King, in Towson, Maryland, is in a rather unusual situation. It is one of three communities of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter located in the metropolitan area of Baltimore, Maryland, along with St. Timothy’s in Catonsville and Mount Calvary in downtown Baltimore. Such proximity allows the three communities to offer alternatives to the ordinariate members in the area. If the parishioners of Christ the King prefer to use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, prospective ordinariate members who prefer the more Anglican style of the Divine Worship liturgical books are not left without options — they can simply go to either of the other parishes nearby. It would be much more problematic if a more isolated community such as St. Joseph of Arimathea in Indianapolis, Indiana, or Our Lady of Hope in Kansas City were to use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite exclusively because the ordinariate has no other parishes nearby to serve those who prefer the Divine Worship liturgy.



      • Perhaps I’ll call it the Paulo-Bugninite Rite, though I doubt that will assuage your sensibilities, Norm. Unfortunately, as liturgists on both “sides” have astutely pointed out, from Joseph Gelineau SJ (progressive Consilium member and your fellow-gloater for the demise of the traditional Frankish-Roman Rite that has come to be known as “Tridentine”), to Msgr. Klaus Gamber, to Prof. Laszlo Dobszay, and others, the reformed rites are a form of the “Roman Rite” only in a very tenuous legal-positivistic sense, “because the Pope said so” and maybe because they happened to have been written and promulgated in the city of Rome, but not for any substantive continuity with the last 1,500 years or so of organically developed Roman liturgy.

        The essence of the liturgy — that is, the lectionary, kalendar, collects, offertory, anaphorae, etc. — were largely either made up (I recommend you consult Bouyer’s memoirs detailing the sordid facts, since he was there), or else cobbled together from a smattering of various fragmentary non-Roman sources, in an exercise of selective academic antiquarianism based partly on scholarship we now know to be faulty (e.g. the pseudo-Hippolytan canon; the now-universal “versus populum” fad that, as both Bouyer and Jungmann admitted, cannot really be substantiated from any patristic evidence, etc.). Saying that “well, they added an offertory procession and ‘prayers of the faithful,’ therefore the ancient Roman Rite is restored,” is like me getting my Ford Fusion painted black and calling it a Model T.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Holy Mass is the Holy Mass and that is where I receive the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is what matters to me. END of STORY.


      • I should note also that the aforementioned “essence of the liturgy — that is, the lectionary, kalendar, collects, offertory, anaphorae, etc.” is the real issue in the reform, not the window-dressing of “high-churchiness.” I personally cringe (to borrow your term) when I hear advocates of the reform allege that all “traditionalists” care about is pretty liturgy or aesthetics. OK, it’s true that many “traditionalist” authors rightly point out that the reform brought with it a denuding of our churches and some obscene and even blasphemous liturgies, but those are secondary issues at best.


      • I’m inclined to the same breadth of spirit you demonstrate, Norm, where options exist, as is the case in the Baltimore area. Two concerns, however. Those for whom transportation is an issue don’t have the same options. (I speak from my experience when I was a parishioner of Mount Calvary in the 1980s and was an impecunious law student without a car. Mount Calvary would have been my choice anyway. But had I preferred Christ the King or St. Timothy’s, they would have been effectively inaccessible.) The other concern: since we’ve already seen instances of clergy re-assignments in the OCSP, does this mean that those priests who do not favor the DW form effectively remove themselves from being re-assigned?


      • There always will be a few for whom transportation is a difficulty. Nevertheless, most metropolitan areas have public transportation that’s affordable. A college student who really wants to get to a particular parish should be able to figure out how to make the necessary connections.

        As to the reassignment of clergy, the fit between the cleric and the community that he will serve is always the crucial issue. Liturgical style and practice is a significant component of this fit. If the prospective pastor does not feel comfortable with the liturgical style of the congregation, and vice versa, it’s simply not going to work.

        Of course, dioceses here in the States face a similar challenge with the need to serve people who are not fluent in English. A parish that has a mass in Korean or in Vietnamese or Spanish or Portuguese or whatever other language must have a pastor, or at least a parochial vicar, who is fluent in the respective language. Likewise, a parish dedicated to the Tridentine liturgy must have clergy who understand that liturgical use and are competent to celebrate it properly — which includes fluency in Latin.



  3. I suspect Baltimore’s public transportation system hasn’t gone through radical changes in the past several decades, in which case I recommend experimenting with public transportation from downtown Baltimore to Towson or Catonsville — and doing so on a Sunday morning. True, not all transportation issues can be resolved. And all of the Ordinariates have plenty of experience with the geography issue. But there are those who would find the assurance that the Baltimore-area situation offers three options to be truer on paper than in reality.
    As for the statement that “the fit between the cleric and the community that he will serve is always the crucial issue,” how I wish that were true!


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