Friday, November 22, 2002

Former Episcopal priest to be ordained RC in RI

David Lewis Stokes, who caused a stir three years ago when he announced he was resigning as rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church to become a Catholic layman, is to be ordained by Roman Catholic Bishop Robert E. Mulvee in a ceremony tomorrow at 10 a.m. in St. Sebastian Church on the city's East Side.Stokes and his wife, Gail, have four children, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 21 to 11.

....Stokes has been a professor of theology in Providence College's Western Civilization program for many years. A native of Asheville, N.C., the soon-to-be-ordained Stokes received his education and training at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.; Keble College in Oxford, England; Westcott House in Cambridge, England; and Princeton Theological Seminary.

An Episcopal priest for 25 years, including seven years as rector of St. Stephen, Stokes appeared to follow in the footsteps of another former rector of St. Stephen's, the Rev. van K. Thomson, who also left his post there to become a Catholic, ultimately becoming a vice president at PC.

Married with seven children, Father Thomson was ordained into the priesthood by Bishop Louis E. Gelineau in 1983, and continued to serve in the priesthood until his death in December 1999.

According to the Diocese, Father Stokes will be immediately assigned as an assistant pastor at St. Sebastian parish, while continuing his teaching duties at PC.

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