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New priest for St. Paul’s Haymarket on Sept. 1

The Rev. Sean Rousseau will become priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s, Haymarket on Sept. 1, according to a news release from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. St. Paul’s, Haymarket was one of seven congregations whose property returned to the Episcopal Church following the resolution of a five-year legal dispute. The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, bishop of Virginia, appointed Rousseau. The new priest will come to Haymarket from St. Peter’s, Oak Grove, in Westmoreland County.

“I look forward to getting to know the existing members of St. Paul’s and to welcoming new and former members to the community,” said Rousseau in a news release.

Episcopal worship resumed at St. Paul’s on May 6. Although the Prince William County parish did not have a continuing congregation associated with it during the litigation, the release said. Episcopal worshippers and supporters have been gathering in the building every Sunday since the property was returned. The Diocese has arranged for supply priests, including the Rev. Stuart Smith and his wife, the Rev. Deacon Lizabeth Smith, to lead worship during a discernment process of identifying a new priest-in-charge. A core of dedicated lay leaders has formed the backbone of the congregation, and is already at work strengthening and growing the church.

The Rev. Susan Goff, bishop suffragan-elect, was quoted as saying, “Sean Rousseau brings remarkable skills and experience to this ministry.”

At St. Peter’s, Oak Grove, Rousseau served as a supply priest and then as priest-in-charge since January. Prior to that, he served as interim assistant rector at Christ Church, Winchester. He was received into the Episcopal priesthood in 2011 from the Roman Catholic Church, where he served as a priest for 15 years. During his time in the Roman Catholic Church, he was the founding priest-in-charge of Corpus Christi Mission in South Riding, Va.

St. Paul’s is one of several congregations supported by a team from Dayspring, the diocesan-wide effort to identify and grow vision and energy in the congregations and properties returned to the Diocese. “This new beginning, through Dayspring, is an opportunity to give witness to the message of Christ as we strive to re-establish the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia [in Haymarket],” Rousseau was quoted as saying.

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