Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will serve as the chief consecrator April 28 as the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio will celebrate the ordination and consecration of its ninth diocesan bishop.
The consecration of Bishop-elect Thomas E. Breidenthal will take place at the Mershon Auditorium on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. More than 20 bishops from around the country also are expected to participate in the service.
Breidenthal, 56, was elected November 11 at the diocese’s annual convention. The Diocese of Southern Ohio represents more than 25,000 people in 40 counties.
Breidenthal is the former dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University.
He will succeed Bishop Herbert Thompson Jr., who was consecrated in 1988 and served the diocese for 17 years. Thompson retired at the end of 2005 and died unexpectedly August 16 while traveling in Italy. Southern Ohio’s Bishop Suffragan Kenneth Price Jr. has served as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese for the past 16 months.
Breidenthal is married to Margaret Ann Garner Breidenthal, and they have two daughters, Magdalene, a college student studying in France, and Lucy, a high school senior.
Nearly 2,500 people are expected to attend the consecration service. There will be a 250-voice choir composed of volunteers from throughout the diocese. Other musical selections will reflect the diversity of the diocese, including Appalachian folk songs and African American spirituals.
Deacons of the diocese will carry purified water from the Ohio River and its six major tributaries, that the bishops will then bless and asperge the audience, symbolizing the waters of baptism and reflecting the diocesan motto, "Peace like a river." The offering for the day will be donated to Episcopal Relief and Development for clean-water initiatives around the world.
The service will be streamed live on the Internet beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST. A link to the webcast will be available from the diocesan website on the day of the service.