An Announcement on Archdeacon Transitions
June 26, 2020

Dear People of the Diocese of Maryland,

Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton announces the following three transitions in the leadership of the Diocese of Maryland’s diaconal support ministries, all effective September 1, 2020. The Venerable Jane O’Leary, Archdeacon for Deployment and Pastoral Care since 2017, will transition from that position in preparation for the canonical age requirement for all clergy to retire from their current positions. She will be succeeded in that position by the Venerable Ruth Elder, who currently serves as archdeacon for formation. Succeeding Ruth+ as archdeacon for formation will be the Reverend Frank Bailey, who will continue to serve on a limited basis as deacon at Trinity Church in Elkridge.

Bishop Sutton is also pleased to announce that Archdeacon O’Leary has accepted his invitation and that of the Reverend James Snodgrass, priest-in-charge of St. John’s Church, Havre de Grace, to serve as deacon there on special assignment, effective September 1, until her official retirement next year.  After 45 years working in non-profit human services for low-income populations, Jane+ retired in 2016 as executive director of the Bridges to Housing Stability program in Howard County.

“Jane+ has served excellently in many leadership capacities in The Episcopal Church since she was first ordained deacon 31 years ago in the Diocese of Connecticut,” Bishop Sutton recalls. “She came to us in 2003, serving continuously as deacon at the Church of the Guardian Angel, Baltimore while taking on increasingly demanding roles in our diocese. We are all very grateful for her ministry, and pray God’s blessings as she begins this next phase of living into her diaconal vocation.”

Before her ordination, Archdeacon Elder was a member of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Baltimore. After being ordained by Bishop Sutton in June 2015, she was assigned deacon at the Church of the Holy Nativity, Baltimore before being appointed archdeacon in May 2018. Since then the Ven. Elder has shared her diaconal gifts at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Baltimore and is currently serving as a deacon at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. In addition to her full-time work as a program advisor in the US Social Security Administration, Ruth+ has served faithfully in guiding postulants in the diocesan diaconal program to prepare them for ordination.

Before he was ordained by Bishop Sutton in September 2015, Deacon Bailey was a member of St. John’s Church in Ellicott City. In his career he has served as the chief executive officer for three national non-profit associations in the fields of government, mental health and volunteerism. In 2011 he retired from the AARP after 20 years serving there in various leadership capacities. For the past three years he has served as the deacon mentor for the diocesan Discerning Ordained Vocation (DOV) program.

“Ruth+ and Frank+ are both extremely capable individuals who will bring considerable pastoral and administrative gifts to their new roles in the Diocese of Maryland,” said Bishop Sutton. “I look forward to working with our two new archdeacons in the years ahead.”

Blessings and peace,