During a recent UTO grant site trip to Spain, UTO Staff Officer, the Rev. Cn. Heather Melton, heard on several occasions how The Spanish Episcopal Church might not exist had it not been for the assistance of a bishop from Northern Indiana in the 1950’s. Heather was intrigued both by the historical facts and the ongoing goodwill of Spain towards Northern Indiana and decided to do a little research.
With the assistance of the archives of Northern Indiana, an article written by Bishop Reginald Mallett was discovered. It’s quite a story. In 1890, Archbishop of Armagh (Ireland) consecrated the first Bishop of The Spanish Episcopal Church and assisted in providing both guidance and protection. By the 1950’s, after two World Wars and a Spanish Civil War, the church was persecuted and at risk of disappearing under the Franco regime.
Bishop Mallett, and his wife, made an inaugural trip in 1954, under the guise of taking a vacation. Their fact-finding mission only intensified their desire to help the Spanish Church. In April of 1955, behind locked doors and with “a congregation of over two hundred who had come by twos and threes at an early hour in the morning” the second Bishop of Spain was consecrated, the Rev. Santos Molina, by Bishop Mallett, the Bishop of Europe and the Bishop of Meath. What a fascinating story. To most thoroughly enjoy this, please access the June 1956 issue of Northern Indiana’s monthly newsletter, the Beacon, here: https://archive.org/details/beacon1026epis/page/n171.
To honor this wonderful ministry of Bishop Mallett, and to continue to support The Spanish Episcopal Church, The United Thank Offering has partnered with The Diocese of Northern Indiana to arrange a pilgrimage to Spain. With the help of Corazon Travel, a UTO Pilgrims on the Camino adventure will be offered October 5-14, 2019. This will celebrate Bishop Mallett’s brave action while at the same time raising awareness and funds for an Anglican Center in the city of Santiago de Compostella (where all Christians are welcome to receive communion). For more details on this pilgrimage please refer to https://unitedthankoffering.com/camino or contact Michelle Walker (Missioner for Administration and Communication at the Diocese of Northern Indiana and Associate Staff Officer for The United Thank Offering) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Rev. Cn. Michelle I. Walker
UTO Associate Staff Officer & Missioner for Administration and Communication for the Diocese of Northern Indiana