Dear Cathedral Family,
Upon the recommendation of our dean search committee,* last evening the vestry of Christ Church Cathedral unanimously elected the Rev. Owen C. Thompson as our next dean. The appointment was also affirmed by Bishop Ken Price of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Owen will begin his ministry at Christ Church Cathedral in early September. This announcement concludes the hard work and dedication of the search committee, who operated under extremely challenging circumstances as they looked to identify our fourth cathedral dean. We remain grateful for the committee’s dedication and faithful service to our cathedral and its future.
Owen grew up in The Episcopal Church and was ordained to the priesthood here at Christ Church Cathedral in 2003. He has spent the last eighteen years in parish ministry in the Dioceses of Long Island and New York. He currently serves as Rector of Nyack’s Grace Episcopal Church, the parish he has led since 2013.
Owen received his Master’s of Divinity degree from The General Theological Seminary (New York, NY), holds a Masters in Educational Communication and Technology from New York University’s School of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hobart College.
Owen is the son of late Russelle Cross Thompson, a professional operatic soprano and “an amazing mother,” and the late Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson Jr., who retired as Bishop of Southern Ohio before his death. Owen has adopted his father’s motto for ministry as his own: "To reconcile. To heal. To liberate. To serve.”
“What a joy, honor, and privilege to have been called to be your new dean," says Owen. "After my father’s funeral in 2006, I never thought that I would have a reason to come back to Cincinnati. Yet, as it is said, 'The Lord works in mysterious ways.'
"I want to give God thanks for the opportunity to return into the warm embrace of this special, God-filled, spirit-filled place that supported and prayed for me during my years at General Theological Seminary, that comforted me when my parents died, and whose members inspired and continue to inspire me throughout my journey as a priest.
"This truly is a homecoming for me, and I am looking forward with great excitement as together, we write the next chapter in the life and ministry of Christ Church Cathedral. As I say often to my current congregation, 'The world needs the Church to be the Church, the healing, liberating, reconciling, transforming, resurrecting body of Christ in the world.' As we continue to emerge out from under the shadow of the pandemic, I believe that some wonderful days filled with possibility and new life lie ahead for the cathedral, as we can do all things through, with, and in Christ who strengthens us!"
Owen is married to Jonna Morales-Thompson, a holistic nutritionist and his wife of 21 years, Together they have two sons, Ridley and Carter, and two rescue dogs, Gabby and Leia.
With the devoted leadership of our new Dean Owen Thompson and the gracious support of his family, the cathedral community anticipates a powerful journey of faith as we strive to realize social justice, bringing hope to those thirsting for Christ’s love and healing to a city hungry for reconciliation.
Please join me in welcoming Owen with joyful hearts and open arms come September.
*Your dean search committee is Drew Abbott, Patrick Daffin (co-chair), Anne Jaroszewicz, Kelsey Linder, Jane Page-Steiner, Karen Taylor, Melissa Vath, Olden Warren (co-chair)