Father Marcel Algernon new priest in charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church | News, Sports, Jobs

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Father Algernon

Father Marcel Algernon grew up in Guyana, South America, where he was ordained in the Anglican Church. Growing up as what he describes as a staunch Anglican led him to want to become a priest.

“It’s not just because I wanted to. We have to test this call,” Algeron said.

As a teenager, Algernon found himself in many retreats doing just that, which led him to the seminary at the age of 19. At 23 he had been ordained a deacon and at 24 he was ordained a priest.

Algernon said he believes one of the keys to a life of faith is having a large community.

“You have this light of each person, to mold, shape and influence, whether you are in seminary or not”, Algeron said.

Algernon’s experience on Pine Island, before he was called here as a priest in charge, was limited, as he said he had visited it a few times, but never for an extended period. The island, he said, is beautiful, laid back and peaceful, calling it a gem. He explained his role as a responsible priest as a mutual agreement between himself and the congregation, with input and blessing from the church diocese and the bishop.

“They let the church know, we have these candidates, and they will interview you, although it is not an in-depth interview and if there is a mutual agreement, they will let the bishop know and he will take the nomination”, Algeron said.

A call to the military ministry moved Algernon to active duty chaplaincy in the U.S. Army and later, the U.S. Air Force. During his military service, he said he had the privilege of assisting a number of Episcopal churches in the local dioceses where he served, including the Diocese of Colorado, South Carolina and Springfield, USA. Illinois. Algernon said he also had the unique opportunity to pastor St. Alban’s Episcopal Congregation at Kapaun Chapel, Vogelweh Air Base, Germany.

His departure from active duty in 2004 brought him to the Diocese of Southwest Florida.

“In January 2005, I began my term as Vicar of St. Anselm’s, Lehigh Acres. My ministry there lasted 17 years, and now God has called me to shepherd his people in St. John’s,” Algeron said.

Another facet of Algernon’s professional life, he said, is the privilege of working in education. Since 2004, he has worked as an elementary school counselor at Lee County Schools, serving as a bi-vocational priest, for which he said he is truly grateful and humbled.

“The full range of pastoral responsibilities are covered. The arrangement is more flexible. I am there every Sunday, I take care of all the pastoral visits for the sick, I still do all the pastoral services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. Where it’s a little more flexible is that I have a permanent presence, rather than keeping office hours. If anyone needs to see me, we can meet when I’m done with school or talk on the phone or even meet on weekends,” Algeron said.

In this season, Algernon is very prioritized when it comes to his goals as he has stated that his role in this time and place is to be a constant presence, nurturing people and nurturing them spiritually.

“That’s my ministry — caring for them, loving them, fellowshipping with them — that’s what a priest does. A priest is a shepherd who cares for the sheep—the people to whom he was sent. St. John’s Episcopal Church is here. We are open, we are welcoming, we are warm. If anyone is looking for a church home, or even just looking to visit, we would like to extend an invitation,” Algeron said.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 7771 Stringfellow Road, St James City, FL 33956. To learn more about the church, call 239-283-1820.


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