Bishop Roundup: Louisiana, New York, New Jersey

Louisiana bishop nominees Devall, left, and Duckworth

By Mark Michael

On April 1, The Diocese of Louisiana announced a slate of two internal candidates for bishop, the Rev. Frederick DuMontier Devall IV, rector of St. Martin’s Church in Metairie; and the Rev. Canon Shannon Rogers Duckworth, the canon to the ordinary. The successful candidate will succeed the Rt. Rev. Morris Thompson, Louisiana’s eleventh bishop, who has served since 2010. The diocese confirmed on April 11 that no additional nominations were received by petition.

Devall, 52, is Louisiana native and a graduate of Sewanee and Virginia Theological Seminary. He has served his entire ministry within the diocese, first as curate at St. Luke’s in Baton Rouge, then as a vicar and college chaplain in New Orleans, and for the past 17 years as rector of St. Martin’s, a medium-sized parish in a New Orleans suburb, where he worked to rebuild after a quarter of the congregation relocated due to Hurricane Katrina. Devall has served twice as president of the diocese’s standing committee and has represented Louisiana at four General Conventions.

Duckworth, 46, is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and General Seminary, and served in the Diocese of Mississippi for twelve years before becoming canon to the ordinary under Bishop Thompson in 2013. She began her ministry as a curate and vicar of rural parishes, and later served at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and St. James’ Church in Jackson. During her time in the Diocese of Louisiana, she coordinated the disaster response in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and has served as chair of transition officers in Province IV.

The election will be held on May 14 at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, and the consecration is tentatively scheduled for November 19.

The Diocese of Louisiana’s territory comprises the eastern portion of the state, and its cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans’ Garden District, was the first Protestant congregation to be organized in the Louisiana Purchase territory (in 1805). The diocese has 15,757 members in 46 congregations.

New York & New Jersey

Two of the Episcopal Church’s founding dioceses, New York and New Jersey, have also released profiles for their bishop searches in recent weeks.

Nominations for the Diocese of New York’s seventeenth bishop are being received until April 29, and candidates will be announced in September. The election is scheduled for December 3, and the ordination and consecration of the new bishop for May 20, 2023. The bishop will serve as a coadjutor to the Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche until he retires in March 2024.

The Diocese of New York is one of six Episcopal dioceses in New York State, and has 193 congregations and 47,264 members in the three of New York City’s boroughs, Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, plus seven counties in the Hudson Valley and the Lower Catskills. The largest diocese in Province II, it is headquartered in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights, on a campus dominated by the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

The Diocese of New Jersey released the profile for the search for its 13th bishop on April 18. Nominations are being received until May 9. Candidates are expected to be announced in late October, and the electing convention will be held January 28, 2023. The service of ordination and consecration will be held June 24, 2023, and the current bishop, the Rt. Rev. William Stokes, will retire when his successor is consecrated.

The Diocese of New Jersey, one of two in the state, is comprised of the parishes in southern and central New Jersey, and has its cathedral in Trenton. It has 141 parishes and 34,788 members.

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