The prayerful, peaceful presence of Mariann Budde

As I sat there looking across the vast and very full National Cathedral, my focus always came back to Mariann. Our journey together began on a bus, then for breakfast, followed by an ever deepening collegial relationship.

When I first read the profile for the IX Bishop of Washington, I immediately thought of Mariann. No surprise, by the time I called her, she had already been contacted – my guess is multiple times.

Thus began another chapter in our journey together. From that initial conversation about the possibility of the DC episcopacy, we talked and texted frequently about a wide array of things leading up to this day -including a little ‘Mitre 101′.

Watching her now on this life-changing day, one thing was clear, one thing was consistent: Mariann was prayerfully and peacefully present. Which is how I have always experienced Mariann.

There is an unquestionable feeling of bitter-sweetness in Mariann’s becoming the Bishop of Washington.  She has been an incredibly valuable presence in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and an absolutely exceptional rector at St John’s, Minneapolis. Both are undoubtedly immensely richer because of the way she shared her gifts for ministry.

The good news is that both the Episcopal Church in Washington and the House of Bishops will be blessed with her abundant gifts. The other good news, for all of us, is that whether through a call, a text, a sermon online or a visit to our nation’s capital, we will most certainly be blessed with the prayerful, peaceful presence of Mariann.

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** Photo courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. More photos are available on their website. Read the Episcopal News Service story on the Consecration.

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