Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan John L. Rabb said April 30 that he will retire Jan. 1.
Rabb, who has been bishop suffragan of Maryland for 12 years, made the announcement in his address to the clergy and lay members of the diocese during the 226th Diocesan Convention.
In accordance with the canons and constitutions of the Episcopal Church and the diocese, Rabb will submit his resignation to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the House of Bishops in the fall.
"I am responding to what God is calling me to in a new season of ministry," Rabb said told the convention. "I will be doing a combination of teaching, continued work in ministry development, preaching in a different venue, my Franciscan studies and writing. I love the Diocese of Maryland, all of you, each congregation and everything we have done. I have felt loved by this diocese, far more than I would have imagined. So, my very good friends, it is with love that I say thank you."
When he retires, Rabb, now 65, will have been ordained a priest 34 years. He served as bishop-in-charge from 2007 to 2008, following the retirement of diocesan Bishop Robert Ihloff.
As bishop suffragan Rabb has oversight over the ordination process, deacon formation and deployment, clergy deployment, and Christian formation. He shares visitations and confirmations with the current bishop diocesan, the Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton.
The Diocese of Maryland consists of 22,000 households in 116 congregations covering 10 counties and Baltimore City.