Massachusetts announces nominees for bishop election

Posted Jan 15, 2014

[Diocese of Massachusetts press release] The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts announced Jan. 15 its slate of nominees for election as bishop.  They are:

  • The Rev. Holly Antolini, 61, rector, St. James’s Church, Cambridge, Mass.;
  • The Rev. Ronald Culmer, 49, rector, St. Clare’s Church, Pleasanton, Calif.;
  • The Rev. Alan Gates, 55, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio;
  • The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 54, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, Penn.; and
  • The Rev. Sam Rodman, 54, project manager for campaign initiatives, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

More information about each of the nominees is available at

A petition process for submitting additional names opens with and will close on Jan. 31.  Complete information about the petition process and the petition form are available at

The slate is the result of a seven-month discernment process conducted by a Discernment Committee comprising lay and clergy members from across the diocese and reporting to the diocesan Standing Committee. With the announcement of the slate, a Transition Committee, also comprising lay and clergy members from across the diocese, implements the next stages of the election process, also reporting to the Standing Committee.

The nominees will participate in a series of open meetings around the diocese March 14-19, giving the people of the diocese an opportunity to meet and learn more about the nominees.  Details will be announced.

The election will take place on Saturday, April 5 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston.  All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese’s parishes and missions) vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election.

Pending consent from a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan bishops and a majority of dioceses (via their Standing Committees), the consecration of the bishop-elect is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding.

The current bishop, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, became the 15th bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts in January 1995. In preparation for retirement, he plans to resign his office at the time of the new bishop’s consecration in September.

The Diocese of Massachusetts, among the Episcopal Church’s oldest and largest, in terms of baptized membership, comprises 183 parishes, missions, chapels and chaplaincies in eastern Massachusetts.