Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fr. Michael LaRue

A Requiem Mass or Holy Eucharist for the departed of Autry House and students, faculty, alumni, and staff of Rice University will be celebrated by Fr. Michael LaRue as his first public Eucharist after returning to the active ministry as a priest of the Episcopal Church on Wednesday, March 9, 2016...
Somebody I've been acquainted with more than 20 years (time flies, more so as you age). When I was a library assistant at St. Charles Seminary (one of the best jobs I've had, except the pay; by the way, our seminary is in my parish!), one day a very young priest in a black suit with a white collar going all around his neck, an SSC cross lapel pin, a mid-Atlantic (slight English) accent, and a winning smile despite a certain cultural reserve impressively asked me for some item written in French, unlike the English pronouncing the title with what sounded like a good French accent. Knew his background right away: an orthodox Anglo-Catholic; yes, Episcopal from Texas. (A co-worker, incidentally a non-Catholic: "With that accent and that collar, I knew he was an Anglican.") Our paths occasionally crossed after that as I dropped out of the church and he dropped in, deeply, for a long time. Of course I don't agree with him now but people like him keep me honest, on my toes. With an Oxbridge-like intellect (still too smart for dumb liberalism Catholic or Anglican) and over a decade in the church under his belt, the man knows our arguments, our playbook, arguably better than I do. Like another good Anglican apologist, this one born a Catholic, Fr. Jonathan Mitchican. Mitchican, the late Catholic Michael Davies, and born Anglican Archbishop Peter Robinson have explained the faith of my birth to me such that I now understand it (and have no desire or intention to return). Anyway, as I like to say, the alterna-Catholicisms from the Orthodox to the Polish National Catholics to the Episcopal Church's Society of Catholic Priests (an SSC copy but with women priests and gay marriage) to churchmen such as Fr. Chadwick and Fr. LaRue fascinate me because they all have something worthwhile to say, sometimes a reproach to us for our human failings. I wish him nothing but good. Me, recently to him, which he approved of: "Any new or changed doctrine I hear, I tune out. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it."


  1. I like to think that I have something worthwhile to say at times too:

  2. Is this the same Michael Larue who used to work at (or own and operate?) a rare book store in a little house in Northeast Philadelphia (if I recall correctly)? He was introduced to me as a convert, a classicist and general Renaissance man.

    1. I believe so. I thought the rare-book shop was downtown.


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