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MEDIA ADVISORY: First woman bishop for Episcopal Armed Forces and Federal Ministries to be consecrated Sept. 30

September 25, 2023
Office of Public Affairs

The Rev. Ann Ritonia will be consecrated as bishop suffragan for Episcopal Armed Forces and Federal Ministries during an 11 a.m. ET service Saturday, Sept. 30, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, in Washington, D.C. She will be the first woman to serve in that role in the ministry’s nearly 60-year history.

The service will be livestreamed on Episcopal Church channels; media wishing to attend in person should contact Public Affairs Officer Amanda Skofstad by Thursday, Sept. 28.

The Office of Armed Forces and Federal Ministries oversees and supports The Episcopal Church’s approximately 115 active-duty military chaplains, who provide spiritual and day-to-day support for those in the military, Veterans Affairs hospitals, and prisons.

Ritonia, a resigned Marine Corps major with more than a decade of parish ministry experience, was elected bishop suffragan March 12 by the House of Bishops. Prior to this position, she served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church and Parish Day School in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, where she continues to reside.

Ritonia holds a long and distinguished military career, in addition to serving parishes, dioceses, and veterans organizations in multiple leadership roles. She previously served Armed Forces and Federal Ministries as a member of the chaplain selection committee as well as on the annual training staff as a spiritual director, facilitator, and chaplain mentor.

“Our chaplains are trusted noncombatants who care for the spiritual nurture of all, regardless of their religious affiliation, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” Ritonia said. “These servant leaders bring light, compassion, and mercy into very challenging environments, including our veteran hospitals and federal prisons. They help those they serve see the face of God in others, which brings humanity and God’s love into desperate and sometimes violent situations. All our chaplains are on the frontlines of the Jesus Movement.”

Learn more about The Episcopal Church’s Office of Armed Forces and Federal Ministries.