Thursday, August 17, 2000

One step away from being a bishop

Anglican Catholic candidate taught at Simon Kenton

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Northern Kentuckian and 1973 graduate of Covington's Holmes High School is set to become the next bishop for the Anglican Catholic Church's Diocese of the Midwest, which comprises 30 parishes in six states, including Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

        The Rev. Canon Rommie Starks, 45, became bishop-elect when diocesan clergy and lay representatives met July 28 in Indianapolis to choose a replacement for former bishop Joseph P. Deyman, who died in May.

        The Rev. Mr. Starks already has served more than a decade as an assistant to the bishop and has been a pastor at the Midwest diocese's mother church, the Pro-Cathedral Church of St. Edward the Confessor, Indianapolis, since 1995.

        He is an Eastern Kentucky University education graduate who taught industrial arts at Simon Kenton High School before joining the priesthood. He made annual visits to St. John's Anglican Catholic Church in Dayton, Ky., as an assistant to the bishop. “A local boy makes good,” said the Rev. Canon William C. Neuroth of St. John's, the Tristate's sole Anglican Catholic Church.

        The Anglican Catholic Church, which is split into five dioceses, is a conservative off-shoot of the Episcopalian Church. Its archbishop, the Most Rev. John T. Cahoon, of Washington, D.C., called the July 28 meeting.

        The church's Council of Advice and College of Bishops still must approve Rev. Canon Starks as a bishop.

        Canon Neuroth doesn't foresee any problems.

        “He's got a good handle on what it means to be a bishop,” he said.

        The Rev. Mr. Starks received bachelor's and master's degrees from EKU's education department. He taught at Simon Kenton High School between 1979 and 1982. He then attended the Anglican Catholic Holyrood Seminary in Liberty, N.Y., before becoming an assistant to the bishop in 1984.

        Simon Kenton Principal Michael Tolliver remembers him.

        “He was always a cheerful fellow,” he said. “He would help out the students and come up with some creative projects. He just always seemed to have a smile on his face and (have) a pretty good sense of humor. He had that deep concern for our students.

        “Obviously, it's an honor” to know that he taught at Simon Kenton.


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