An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Ewer, Ferdinand Cartwright

(May 22, 1826-Oct. 10, 1883). Priest and leading nineteenth-century Anglo-catholic. He was born on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1849, and joined the California gold rush. In California he worked as an engineer and a newspaper editor. Ewer was a self-proclaimed agnostic, but he returned to the Episcopal Church in the mid-1850s. He was ordained deacon on Apr. 5, 1857, and priest on Jan. 26, 1858. Ewer served briefly at Grace Church, San Francisco, and at St. Ann's Church in New York City. He was called to be rector of Christ Church, New York City, in 1862. Ewer believed that Christians could be catholic without being Roman Catholic. He advocated the reunion of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Episcopal communions in a series of sermons published in 1869. These ideas, along with the ritualist liturgical practices he introduced at Christ Church, led to his resignation from the parish in 1871. A number of supporters left with him and organized the Church of St. Ignatius, New York City, where Ewer served as rector for the rest of his life. He died during a preaching mission in Montreal, Canada.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.