The Rev. Melanie Barbarito was ordained a Transitional Deacon in 1996 in the Diocese of Rochester where she attended Bexley Hall, an Episcopal Seminary formerly a part of Colgate Rochester Divinity School. She was ordained Priest on the Feast of the Epiphany 1997 at the Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served as Curate for five years. She then moved to the Diocese of Missouri where she was Vicar of St. Francis’ Episcopal Church. At the time, the people of St. Francis’ were meeting in a remote Catholic Retreat Center. During Mother Barbarito’s 7 ½ year tenure, the congregation moved to several temporary locations in the City of Eureka, Missouri, before settling in the local Masonic Lodge. One of her goals, in addition to growing that mission church, was to equip the members of the congregation to take leadership to sustain the parish in the wake of the Great Recession. Subsequent to her departure and under that lay leadership, St. Francis’ was able to build a church in the heart of Eureka.
In 2009 she was called as Assistant Priest for Evangelism and Engagement to All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas. She was the first woman priest to serve in that parish’s 65-year history and the first woman priest to be canonically resident in the Diocese of Fort Worth, which had suffered a split under the former bishop. In the summer of 2020, she felt called to Interim Ministry and, learning about Calvary Church, she answered Bishop Hughes’ call to serve here.
Mother Melanie loves to preach and teach about the Good News of Jesus Christ, which, according to our Baptismal Promises, we promise to proclaim by word and example. She believes that if we are telling or showing others about Jesus, it ought to sound like GOOD NEWS!
One of her favorite quotes is from James A. Michener’s novel, The Source: “A man who laughs is more to be cherished than one who weeps; a woman who sings, than one who wails. And God is very close to the child who dances for reasons he cannot explain.”