St. Michael's is a Roman Catholic church that, above all, seeks to glorify God by practicing the catholic and apostolic faith in the Anglican tradition. Our hope is to be a haven of orthodoxy where Episcopalians, Anglicans, other Protestants, and all who seek God may encounter Jesus Christ and enter into the life of His Body, the Catholic Church. Current Roman Catholics who were formerly Episcopalians or Anglicans are also welcome to join our parish.
We believe that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who died for our sins, and through whom we are reconciled to God and offered a place in heaven. We regard Scripture as God's word, containing all things necessary to salvation and to be understood within the Tradition and the teaching of the Magisterium.
In the midst of all the confusion in the world today, St. Michael's tries to help people come to God and his Church with all the assistance of the rich Anglican tradition. The faith which has been handed down to us from the apostles is a priceless treasure. We are determined to uphold it, practice it as best we can, and pass it unimpaired to our children.
St. Michael's values the traditional forms of Anglican worship. Until the Ordinariate liturgy is completed, the parish uses the Book of Divine Worship (full-text pdf available here) and the Hymnal 1940. Since the Book of Divine Worship is not in print, its Eucharistic rite is printed separately and available at the church as missalettes.
The altar is at the center of parish life. We celebrate Rites with traditional ceremonies which set forth in action the belief that our Lord is really here present. The sacrament is perpetually reserved in the Oratory at the rectory for devotion and for the communion of the sick.For answers to some common questions about the Anglican Use liturgy, see our FAQs.
The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is the continuation of the the parochial and congregational life of the Episcopal Church of Saint James the Less. St. James disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church in 1999, and the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania sued the parish in 2001 to seize its property. The Pennsylvania courts eventually decided that while the parish owned the property, there existed an “implied trust” in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Given the choice between the property and the faith, the congregation chose the faith and moved out of its historic property in 2006. While it was difficult to leave behind the landmark property, the congregation is committed first and foremost to the faith once received from the saints. We have not had our own property ever since.
St. Michael's began its current phase of life in 2012, when the priest and congregation together entered the communion of the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Holy Cross Catholic Church has been a friend to us and a strong source of support, and is our home for the time being. For more on our spiritual journey so far, see this article about us in Phaith.
Fr. David Ousley has led the congregation since 1983, having previously served parishes in New York and Connecticut. He attended Yale College and Nashotah House Theological Seminary, and holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from the University of Chicago. His publications include Pilgrimage: A Newsletter of Christian Spirituality, The Way of Holiness (published by Latimer House in England), and articles in various magazines, including Touchstone, The Evangelical Catholic, The Church Times, etc. The rectory household includes his wife, mother, three children, and a Corgi (the last courtesy of the Montomgery County SPCA).