January 3, 2014
The last official act of Bishop Paul Marshall as bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem was to name five priests of the diocese honorary canons for life:
The Rev. John Francis, rector of Christ Church in Reading.
The Rev. Maureen Hipple, rector of Christ Church in Towanda.
The Rev. Laura Howell, rector of Trinity Church in Bethlehem.
The Rev. Karl Kern, rector of St. Alban's Church in Sinking Spring.
The Rev. James Turrell, professor of divinity, associate dean for academic affairs, and sub-dean of the chapel, University of the South School of Theology in Sewanee, TN.
Bishop Paul wrote in his letter of appointment, December 28, 2013, to Father Francis: "Over the years you have led Christ Church into the path of mnistry Christ has given, touching all manner of God's people, particularly children. You serve us all as vice-presidenty of Council and advisor to the bishop. Your overwelmingly positive attitude is an icon for me that I will always cherish. Not even the Prince of Wales has your sense of humor."
To Mother Hipple: "Over the years you have been a faithful pastor in a very challenging parish and have done more than well in loving and raising the hopes of your people (not to mention a little fundraising). You are the anchor priest in Region 8. Just as important to me, you have been a loyal supporter of your bishop in prayer and words of support."
To Mother Howell: "Over the years you have been faithful pastor and creative leader to the people of Trinity Church, and have made a lasting impression on me of what a priest looks like when she takes seriously the vow to care for rich and poor alike. Although not everyone has understood, your seeking the ministry of Fool has been a major support to the episcopate."
To Father Kern: "Very few priests have switched vocations and then gone on to build a congregation to the point where it must expand its facilities and done so with style and grace. Your colleagues and I hold you in great respect for your faithfulness and boundless energy. The entire diocese is now in your debt for your service as Secretary of Convention."
To Father Turrell: "Over the years of my episcopate you have on many occasions advised me on matters pastoral and liturgical. Much more importantly, you have served our wounded church by training seminarians both to know and to think. For all of this, we are in your debt."
To each: "I am therefore happy that my last official act is to appoint you and some of your peers an Honorary Canon (for life) in the Diocese, both in recognition of what you have done and as an example and encouragement to others."