INSTITUTION OF THE REV. SUSAN J. MCCONE
On Saturday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m. the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, presided at the institution of the Rev. Susan J. McCone as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, Connecticut. Mother McCone is the first woman called to be Rector of St. John’s since the church was founded more than 250 years ago. St. John’s began life as a worshipping community in 1754 in a little wood frame church originally located in Davies Hollow. This structure was relocated to Green Hill Road in 1815 and eventually replaced by the present stone church which was designed by renowned local architect, Ehrick Rossiter, and completed in 1918. St. John’s has been served by a full–time Rector since 1885 and Mother McCone will be the Thirteenth Rector to serve St. John’s Church.
Mother McCone’s path to the priesthood was far from typical. A 1971 magna *** laudegraduate of Smith College, Mother McCone majored in Government and wrote her honors thesis on the "Religious Roots of James Madison's Political Thought." She earned a J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1974, and practiced law at Sullivan and Cromwell as a securities litigator until she left in 1980 to form her own business, Jonal and Co., a fashion design and retail business in New York City. She closed the business in 1994 to attend seminary and seek holy orders.
Mother McCone went on to earn an M. Div degree from Yale Divinity School in 1999 where her studies were concentrated in theology and ethics, with a special focus on church–state relations. She received an Anglican Certificate from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in 2000. While at Yale, Mother McCone served as the first intern assistant to the Chaplain of the U. S. House of Representatives where she researched and wrote the first history of the Congressional Chaplaincy, established in 1789. Mother McCone was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Connecticut in 2003. She has served a number of Connecticut parishes including Christ Church, New Haven; St. John’s, Bristol, and Christ Church, Watertown. Her association with St. John’s, Washington, first began in the spring of 2003 when she served the parish as an Assisting Priest.
Looking to the future, Mother McCone hopes to lead her flock at St. John’s in deepening its spiritual life and expanding its active service to the wider community. Plans for a capital campaign to fund the much–needed restoration of the historic buildings that make up the campus of St. John’s Church are also underway.