Clergy resources

Information, forms or policies specific to members of the clergy.

  • The Chaplains to the Retired Program in the Diocese of Southern Ohio provides local support to retired clergy, their spouses, and surviving spouses. These chaplains serve you by:

    • Providing local pastoral care and support for spouses and beneficiaries
    • Hosting gatherings
    • Keeping you in touch through regular communication which includes a periodic newsletter “Seasons”

    Our Diocesan Chaplains to the Retired are supported by the Chaplains ministry of the Church Pension Group (CPG). CPG holds annual meetings and regional meetings to keep your diocesan chaplains up-to-date on the benefits provided by CPG and other information important to retirees.

    The Rev. Nancy Hopkins-Greene, based in Cincinnati coordinates the chaplaincy to retired clergy and spouses in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.  She is assisted (as of 2021) by the following volunteer chaplains. Cincinnati area: Tom & Nancye Van Brunt (convenors),Top Borden, Roger Foote, Ariel Miller, Anne Warrington-Wilson.  Dayton area: Greg & Margaret Sammons, and Elaine Silverstrim.

    The Rev. Bruce Smith, based in Columbus coordinates the chaplaincy in the Columbus and Eastern areas of our Diocese. Bruce is assisted (as of 2021) by the following volunteer chaplains: Philip College, George Glazier & Diana Shirley.

  • All active clergy are expected to attend clergy days in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Please register to attend in order for the proper amount of food to be available.

    If you are unable to attend, direct communication with the bishop’s office at asabo@diosohio.org is required.

    Find scheduled clergy days here

  • Opportunities include

    • Residency
    • Bi-annual Clergy days
    • Continuing education/Professional development
    • Sabbaticals
    Learn more
  • All clergy are expected to attend Convention, the annual Renewal of Vows held in Holy Week, Ordinations, the semi-annual Clergy Days and funerals of clergy. Clergy should attend Celebrations of New Ministry within their area.

    Clergy are expected to vest for convention Eucharists, all ordinations, area celebrations of new ministry, clergy funerals and various other events. Normally the instructions regarding vestments are included on invitations. Most clergy in the Diocese of Southern Ohio vest in alb and stole for diocesan events.

  • If you are a priest from another diocese who lives in the Diocese of Southern Ohio and wishes to occasionally serve as supply clergy for one of our congregations, you must first take the following steps to become Licensed to Officiate in the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Fill out the Application for License to Officiate with attached biographical materials (CV, etc)
    • Email Ann Sabo, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, at  asabo@diosohio.org to schedule a meeting with the bishop

    Meeting with the Bishop

    The day of your meeting, please bring a copy of your:

    • Certification of ordination
    • Letter of good standing from the bishop in your Diocese of Canonical Residence

    Next Steps

    Following your meeting with the bishop, a background check will be initiated by our office. When that report is received, you will receive notification that you have been Licensed to Officiate in the Diocese of Southern Ohio until the next Diocesan Convention (each year in November). Your license is renewable from convention to convention, e.g. November to November. If you wish to serve as supply clergy on Sundays, you may then be added to our Clergy Supply List.

    Questions? Contact Ann Sabo (Executive Assistant to the Bishop) at: asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311

  • Transferring into the Diocese of Southern Ohio

    For priests who seek to become canonically resident in the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Request that the Ecclesiastical Authority of your diocese of canonical residence send your Letters Dimissory to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Southern Ohio (Bishop Breidenthal) at the following address: The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal Diocese of Southern Ohio 412 Sycamore Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
    • When the Letters Dimissory is received by Bishop Breidenthal, a signed Acceptance of Letters Dimissory is sent back to the diocese of origin and a copy of that document is placed into the priest’s file here at the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
    • Church Pension Group is then notified of the Change in Canonical Residence by the diocesan Ordination Officer (Ann Sabo).

    Transferring out of the Diocese of Southern Ohio

    For priests who seek to transfer out of the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • Send a written request for your Letters Dimissory to Bishop Breidenthal; please include the name and address of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese where you wish to transfer.
    • Upon receipt of your written request to transfer, the bishop’s office will send a signed copy of the Letters Dimissory to the Ecclesiastical Authority of your new diocese.
    • When the Letters Dimissory is received, the Ecclesiastical Authority of that diocese will send a signed Acceptance of Letters Dimissory to the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Ordination Officer of that diocese will then notify Church Pension Group of the Change in Canonical Residence.

    Questions? Contact Ann Sabo (Executive Assistant to the Bishop) at: asabo@diosohio.org or 513.421.0311

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  • Guidelines for Solemnizing a Second Marriage

    Under our Canons, no Member of the Clergy may solemnize the marriage “of any person who has been the husband or wife of any other person then living” except with “the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese wherein the Member of the Clergy is canonically resident.”

    Diocesan Policies

    In fulfillment of these canonical requirements, the following provisions and procedures apply to all re-marriages within the Diocese of Southern Ohio:

    • A period of one year shall have elapsed following the final decree of divorce or dissolution.
    • The written request should be received at least sixty days prior to the wedding. It is not necessary to specify a scheduled date in the request.
    • Once the wedding (if permitted) has taken place, it will be the officiant’s responsibility to inform the bishop when and where it took place using this form.

    Submitting a Second Marriage Request

    All requests must include a copy of the signed Declaration of Intention, a copy of the final decree(s), and a Letter of Endorsement from the officiating priest. The Letter of Endorsement should offer a thorough response to the following: 

    • State the relationship of the parties to the Church (at least one of the parties should be a baptized member of the Episcopal Church) and the community of faith.
    • Describe the circumstances and reasons for the breakdown of the previous marriage for each individual as well as the priest’s pastoral assessment of the proposed marriage.
    • Provide information regarding the “continuing concern” called for in Canon 1.19 for “the well-being of the former spouse, and of any children of the prior marriage.

    Please note that the Bishop does not grant consent for third marriages except in highly unusual circumstances. In the case of a third marriage request, additional information may be required.

    Notes on the Canons

    Canon 1.18

    All provisions shall apply, including the required signing of the Declaration of Intention. 

    Canon 1.19

    Pertains to the Bishop of the canonical residence of the priest, not the couple. As of January 1, 2001, consents under this canon may also be given by the Bishop where a priest is licensed to officiate if the marriage is to be in that Diocese. 

    Marriages which are to take place in a Diocese in which the priest is neither licensed nor canonically resident must be affirmed by the Bishop of that Diocese following the consent given by the Bishop of the Diocese where the priest is canonically resident.

    All marriages solemnized under Title I, Canon 19, Section 3 must be reported to the Bishop following the marriage liturgy. Use this form.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. I am canonically resident in the Diocese of Iowa, but am licensed and function in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. One of my parishioners asked me to solemnize her second marriage in Columbus next year. Whose permission do I need? Consent for a marriage to be performed in Southern Ohio should be sought from the Bishop of Southern Ohio.
    2. Do I need to be licensed by the State of Ohio too? Yes. An application for the license required to perform marriages in the State of Ohio is available on the Secretary of State website.
    3. I am canonicaly resident in Southern Ohio but am licensed and functioning in the Diocese of Nevada. I was just asked to officiate for a second marriage in Arizona. Whose permission do I ask? Consent should be sought from the Bishop of Southern Ohio and affirmed by the Bishop of Arizona.
    4. I’m a deacon. Am I alowed to solemnize a second marriage in the Diocese of Southern Ohio?No. Because the Blessing of the Marriage is at the heart of this liturgy, deacons are not authorized to solemnize marriages in this diocese.

    Please email the required Diocesan Checklist documents to asabo@diosohio.org or mail printed copies to her attention at: Diocese of Southern Ohio c/o Ann Sabo 412 Sycamore Street Cincinnati, OH 4520

    Print document

  • Transition Ministry office in the Diocese of Southern Ohio

    • The Rev. Canon Jason Leo, Canon for Transitions and Congregational Vitality
    • Sherri Martin, Assistant Transitions Officer

    Opportunities in the Diocese of Southern Ohio are posted on our Job Opportunities page.

    How can I have a deacon assigned to my congregation?

    Newly ordained deacons are placed by the bishop in consultation with the Canon for Formation. Deacons are given the opportunity every year to request a change and, of course, the bishop may make changes as he sees fit. If you are interested in having a deacon serve in your congregation, contact the bishop’s office at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311

    How can I get a resident?

    Newly ordained people in the diocese are assigned to a two-year residendency that begins July 1 following their graduation and ordination.

    Resident placements are made by the bishop, taking into consideration the Mission Strategy and needs of the diocese, the skills, gifts and needs of the intern, the needs of congregations and the ability of the congregations to provide financial and supervisory commitments to the resident.