Father John A. Williamson has been appointed by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien to serve as pastor of Church of the Ascension, Halethorpe, effective Jan. 15.
The 35-year-old first-time pastor said he is looking forward to his assignment and feels his work at the Catholic Community of South Baltimore, where he has served for 18 months, has prepared him well. The Catholic Community of South Baltimore includes Holy Cross, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Mary, Star of the Sea.
“I think the unique situation of three parishes – as far as the workload goes – I’ve had the experience of doing that,” said Father Williamson, who served as associate pastor and was most recently appointed as temporary administrator of the faith community. “This is a unique assignment.”
Father Williamson said he has some familiarity with his new parish because he is a classmate of a former pastor, Father Adam Parker, and he had been there to hear confessions.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “There are a lot of young families there, a lot of energy, and they’re looking to start a youth group, and I have experience with that.”
Father Williamson grew up in the parish of St. Joseph, Fullerton, and he attended seminary at the Catholic University of America, graduating in 2000.
His first assignment was as an associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena, and then he was an associate pastor of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland, for four years before being assigned to the Catholic Community of South Baltimore.
As a new pastor, he said, “I just want to get there and learn from the people and take it all in – I’m just taking it all in.”