May 25, 2024


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A priest travels the path less taken | News

PLATTSBURGH – It truly is been fairly a journey from Catholic priest to Episcopal priest for the the Rev. Thomas Higman.

“It’s a journey of openness,” Higman, affiliate pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church in Plattsburgh, explained.

“It’s a journey of humility. It is really not easy for any man or woman.

“It’s a journey of discovery that God has designs that are outside of our wildest desires and can by no means quit listening to where the Lord is main simply because he will take you to spots that you never ever dreamed probable but are wherever you are supposed to be, wherever you are meant to be.”


Higman was raised Catholic and attended St. James Church in Carthage.

Escalating up, he was concerned in the Boy Scouts of America and youth teams.

He was a typical teenager and attended both junior and senior prom.

The networker volunteered at a regional nursing household, then afterwards worked there as a receptionist and assistant routines director.

While Higman balanced his scientific studies and component-time operate, he viewed as the vocation to priesthood to be specially intriguing.

“But just before all of that it was just a calling from God to provide his people today,” he mentioned.

“That’s the floor of all of this is that connect with from God is continue to extremely energetic in my existence. To be ready to pursue that get in touch with, but in a new way, in a diverse way, was the guiding power in my determination.”

Higman graduated from Carthage Superior University in the Course of 2004 and in the slide entered St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa.

“It was appealing,” he explained.

“I was coming out of the North Nation, out of a quite little community and moving to the City of Philadelphia.

“Obviously moving from a pretty rural modest, group like Carthage, which is smaller than Plattsburgh of system, and all of a unexpected relocating to the Metropolis of Brotherly Appreciate.”

Higman felt like a small fish in a large urban pond.

The working experience of the seminary by itself was diverse than other faculty activities.

“We lived correct there,” he stated.

“We are suitable there. We took all of our lessons suitable there, and the day was marked with situations of prayer. And of system, it was all adult men. The seminary was all gentlemen. The atmosphere was unique.”

NORTH State Certain

Higman spent eight a long time learning at St. Charles Seminary, exactly where he he received a BA in philosophy and a master’s of Divinity Degree.

“I was ordained a deacon in 2011 and in the long run ordained a Catholic priest in 2012,” he explained.

“In 2012, I acquired my to start with assignment, and I was stationed in Malone as the parochial vicar there.”

For two a long time, he was at St. André Bessette Church.

Then, he served two decades at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake.

His last assignment was administrator at St. Edmund’s Church in Ellenburg and St. Bernard’s Church in Lyon Mountain.


Throughout his time in Ellenburg and Lyon Mountain, Higman started to struggle with his rural environs.

“Happily serving as a priest, but at the end of the working day likely house to an empty household truly began to function at me and to function on me,” he stated.

“I’m genuinely, by nature, described by anyone as a people today human being. I operate nicely with men and women. I adore doing work with family members.”

Higman’s fond memories surfaced of his have childhood, his family members, the example of his mom and dad.

“That I maintain in the highest regard,” he reported.

“And realizing not that I had built a mistake by any extend of the creativity, I feel that is crucial to recall is that I do not contemplate any of this time that’s led up to the present now to be a error.

“But that it is really all been a aspect of God’s plan unfolding for my lifestyle all through this total time.”


The earlier a few many years, Higman has worked full-time at St. Joseph’s Habit, Treatment method and Restoration Heart in Saranac Lake.

His leave of absence from active priestly ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg commenced in November 2017.

Higman had a conversation with the Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg.

“I shared with him the struggles I was getting and the need I had to consider a step absent from lively ministry to discern further more what it is that the Lord was executing in my lifestyle,” he said.

Bishop LaValley granted him a six-months leave of absence during which time he begun performing at St. Joseph’s.

“While thinking of what life looks like and wherever God was primary and bringing my daily life at the time,” he explained.

“I get to the conclusion of the 6 months, and I tell the Bishop that I had made a decision to go on in this fashion and that at this time I really don’t want to return to priestly ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.”

Marriage VOWS

Higman married his wife, Lynn, on Feb. 2, 2020 (02/02/2020).

They had achieved when he was an active priest and grew to become friends whilst collaborating on youth ministries, systems, retreat do the job.

They remained close friends after he left the priesthood and stayed in make contact with.

“She and I found out there could be much more to our relationship, so like any regular few seeking to build a balanced romantic relationship we commenced getting all those measures,” he explained.

Higman proposed on Easter Sunday 2019 in Ocean Town, N.J.

Contacting REVISITED

Performing and married, Higman expressed the want to go on to be a faithful particular person, to go on in some way serving God and the Church.

Encouraging mates requested, have you considered a different denomination?

Have you deemed serving in a church that would enable you to be married, and permitted you to have a family members and would let you to be a priest at the identical time?

“I usually snicker and say that if I experienced scripted this tale 10 years previous, I possibly would not have penned it this way,” he stated.

“I am of the company perception that this was not my story to start with.”

In 2019, Higman started an inquiry with the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and spoke with a priest there and ultimately, the Rt. Rev. William Like, Bishop of Albany.

“About the possibilities of what this would appear like, if this was even probable,” Higman mentioned.

“They informed me it was, but I imagine they rightly permitted me ample time to check out my religion practice in the Episcopal Church ahead of they recognized me as a priest in the Episcopal Church.”

That journey started in 2019 and Tuesday, Higman was gained as a priest in the Episcopal Church for the Diocese of Albany.

“They have an allowance if you are ordained in one more religion tradition, they observe a approach that they can get the ordination that I have already received and realize it as legitimate,” Higman reported.

“As a result, it could allow for me to perform as a priest in the Diocese of Albany.”


Bishop Love assigned him to Trinity Episcopal Church to be mentored by the Very Rev. David Ousley.

“He allowed me to get proper included in the everyday living of parish,” Higman said.

“He invited me to take part in the parish vestry meetings. He allowed me as an intern to preach. So, he and I alternated Sundays in the year of Advent as I sort of received my feet damp yet again.”

During his and Ousley’s weekly conversations, they talked about the probability of asking Bishop Love to acquire Higman’s orders quicker than his 6-thirty day period assignment to Trinity from Oct 2020 to Easter 2021.

“He explained it was based on my preaching, the way they noticed me interacting with the people today of Trinity, and their practically speedy warm embrace of myself and my household that he advised to the Bishop that we do this early,” he claimed.

On Tuesday, Bishop Enjoy bestowed the title of associate priest on Higman.


Higman’s moms and dads have normally been an anchor of realism for him.

“They questioned likely all of the questions that a great guardian would check with to just make guaranteed I was looking at all sides of this and thoroughly consider my choices,” he stated.

“A extensive time in the past my mother and father reported to me, ‘We just want you to be delighted.’ I consider that to be true.

“Their want in wanting for their kids to be delighted was their greatest target in lifetime and they would constantly want to assistance and facilitate that by helping their sons.”

He and his brother, Michael, have been specified the liberty to choose the study course of their life.

“They stuck to that all through all of this,” Higman explained.

“They under no circumstances wavered in that. Their guidance would generally be lent to what would definitely make us happy in this life.”


COVID-19 buffered his entry into Trinity’s parish.

Higman did not have the rewards of fellowships, social hrs and other situations where by he could shake hands soon after church.

“All of that is modified, now of course, but nonetheless the faith is nonetheless powerful and their heat embrace, with out even remaining able to see a smile guiding the mask often, they have understood it is really there,” he reported.

“And, they have embraced that and I simply cannot thank them adequate for their warm embrace of me and my spouse and children and Father Dave Ousley’s warm embrace as effectively.”

Electronic mail Robin Caudell:

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