HOUSTON, TX – Mark Stockstill has held a few titles in his lifetime: Radio host. Executive Director. Investment Advisor. Business Manager.
Now Stockstill can add another title to his CV: Deacon in the Catholic Church.
Stockstill, a former Episcopal priest, was ordained Aug. 22 to the diaconate for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Since 2013, Stockstill has been the business manager for the Ordinariate and its principal church, Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church.
Stockstill was ordained at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Houston by Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in the presence of Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
A native Texan, Stockstill felt drawn to church ministry since his undergraduate days at the University of North Texas, where he studied finance. After earning an MBA from the University of Dallas and a Master’s in Divinity from Nashotah House seminary in Wisconsin, he served as a priest at three Episcopal churches in smaller towns in the Fort Worth diocese. During that time, Stockstill also hosted a morning radio show in Comanche, Texas — announcing sports scores and bantering with his co-hosts and listeners during the week, in exchange for a chance to broadcast a Bible study on Sunday mornings.
But throughout his years of ministry, he felt a growing call to the Catholic Church. Though grateful for his Anglican past, he was increasingly captured by the stability of the Catholic Church and the authority that undergirds its teachings.
In 2009, Stockstill gave up his Episcopal priesthood to become an active lay Catholic. With his background in ministry and finance, he landed a job as executive director for an assisted living facility in Denton.
But in 2013, he received a call from a former Fort Worth colleague — Father Chuck Hough, IV, Rector of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Houston — who asked if Stockstill would consider moving to the Bayou City and using his gifts in service of the institution the Vatican had recently established for former Anglican clergy and groups to become Catholic.
Stockstill accepted the invitation to serve as business manager for the Ordinariate and its principal church in September 2013.
As a deacon, his main ministry will continue to be his work as the parish and the Ordinariate’s business manager — a job he calls a “diaconal role” that supports the clergy and the people of the Ordinariate.
“I hope that the Ordinariate keeps growing and building disciples,” Stockstill said. “We have so much to give.”
During the Mass of Ordination, Bishop Sheltz encouraged Stockstill to remember his diaconal vocation is to be a servant. “You are being called not to be served by others, but to serve others,” Bishop Sheltz said to Stockstill during his homily.
The bishop also told the new deacon to remain attentive to his family in the midst of active diaconal work. Stockstill has been married 21 years to his wife, Susan, a social worker who he credits with sustaining his journey towards the Catholic Church.
“I thank my wife for all the sacrifices she has made to allow me to follow my calling,” he said. “Finally, that calling has led us to my ordination in the one, holy and apostolic Church.”
Stockstill and Susan have one son and reside in Houston.