Fr. Ryan Wright, Rector, [email protected], 239-992-4343
Father Wright, 44, is the youngest rector in the parish’s history. He is a native of Naples who has lived in Southwest Florida most of his life, most recently with responsibility for Church of the Epiphany in Cape Coral and St. John’s Episcopal Church on Pine Island. He is credited with growing those two diverse churches to their present state of health from previously precarious conditions.
A graduate of Stetson University in Deland, FL, and The General Theological Seminary in New York City, Father Wright came to Christ as a young adult and uses his experience as an “unchurched” youth “to break through people’s preconceived notions of what it means to be part of the church. Paramount in encountering the unchurched and churched alike is to speak truth with an absence of judgment,” he says. His pastoral experience ranges from programs for the bereaved and terminally ill to years in college ministry; he hopes to bring all that work to bear at St. Mary’s.
“I look forward to working with St. Mary’s to grow the parish in every way—spiritually, in pastoral care, in outreach to the larger community and in numbers,” he said.
St. Mary’s Senior Warden Robert Foltz described Father Wright as “a real people person, full of energy. He will be a great asset to the parish and to the community.”
In his previous parishes Father Wright has worked with parishioners to establish Walking the Mourners’ Path, an Education for Ministry (EFM) program, a healing service, a farmers’ market, aging-in-place seminars, new-members’ events, and educational events focused on how to pray, understanding the Eucharist, Christian ethics and the workplace, and film and theology. He also has a record for emphasizing financial stability and capital improvements in churches he has served.