The Rev. Dagnall Free called as Rector of St. Mary's, Staten Island, NY
April 14, 2015
The Reverend H. Dagnall Free, Jr., has been called as the 17th Rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Staten Island, NY, in the Diocese of New York. His first Sunday at the parish will be May 17.
Fr. Free previously had served as associate rector at St. John's, John's Island. Last September, the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, welcomed Fr. Free back into The Episcopal Church as a priest in good standing, having completed the necessary steps for reinstatement.
Seeking to open a path for reconciliation, the Bishop worked with diocesan leaders to craft a new reinstatement process for priests who want to return to The Episcopal Church after the 2012 schism that affected our diocese.
On March 27, another priest, the Rev. H. Jeff Wallace, was reinstated by the Bishop after following this new process.
Diocesan officials worked closely with other diocesan transition officers and contacts across The Episcopal Church to help Fr. Free find his new call.
Bishop vonRosenberg offered his congratulations to Fr. Free and to St. Mary’s, Staten Island. “The process of finding each other has taken time, but everyone seems excited about future prospects,” he said. “Dagnall certainly now knows first-hand the blessing of being part of a larger church, in which a priest in South Carolina can find his place and calling in New York. May St. Mary’s and their new priest have a long and happy union, together serving Jesus Christ and all God’s people!”
Fr. Free also expressed excitement about the new call. "Sallie and I both sensed a connection to St. Mary's when we visited a few weeks ago, in terms of the people and the place," he said.
"We are so excited to be going to St. Mary's and being a part of the Diocese of New York; however, it is hard leaving our friends in the South Carolina diocese. I am grateful for all of our relationships here. I am especially thankful for the efforts of the Bishop, Archdeacon Walpole, the Standing Committee and all clergy," he said.