New Church Is Key to Keeping the Faith; after Splitting with the Catholic Church, a Priest Finds a New Congregation

Article excerpt


The Rev. Rouville Fisher said he is at long last leading a church where he actually belongs.

"Finally, I'm home," the Palm Coast man said.

But it's been an unusual journey of faith that brought this former Roman Catholic to the newly founded Incarnation Old Catholic Mission, which serves parishioners in St. Johns and Flagler counties.

Fisher, 58, is a second-career priest who was ordained in 2002 after a career in insurance and teaching, raising a family and having his first marriage annulled by the Catholic Church.

Then in 2005, he fell in love with a female parishioner at Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Palm Coast and was removed from active ministry by the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine.

Fisher said he took the action in stride.

"I knew I was going to leave the church because I was really in love with her," Fisher said of Teresa Ann Cerreta.

With free time on his hands and still feeling God's call to minister, Fisher joined Rent-A-Priest, an organization that enabled him to perform baptisms, marriages and other sacraments for Catholics estranged from the church.

Considering Fisher's actions "schismatic," Bishop Victor Galeone excommunicated the priest in July 2006.

Fisher was cut off for "offering his priestly services outside and apart from the Diocese of St. …


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