Introducing Bp. Tony Rasch – the Coadjutor, Diocese of the Pacific and Southwest

The Right Reverend Anthony Frank Rasch was born August 18, 1939 in Los Angeles, California. Bishop Rasch is celibate and an Oblate of the Order of Saint Benedict. He was baptized and Confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church and did his undergraduate study at California State University, Los Angeles. At age nineteen he left the Roman Church and became an Episcopalian.
He experienced a Call to the Episcopal priesthood in 1961 and did his first two years of theological training in England during 1963-1964 at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, Yorkshire (a theological college operated by the monastic Community of the Resurrection). He did his third and final year of preparation in 1965 at the General Theological Seminary, New York city.
He was ordained deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on September 10, 1966 and a priest in the same diocese on March 11, 1967. He served first as Curate then as Associate Rector at St. Luke’s of the Mountains parish in La Crescenta, California. Beginning in March of 1969 he relocated to Orange County to first serve as Vicar and then as Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Placentia, California.
Following the unfortunate General Convention of 1976, Father Rasch made his decision to leave the Episcopal Church. He attended the Congress of St. Louis where he swore his allegiance to Bishop Albert Chambers and was one of the first nine priests to formally leave the Episcopal Church, officially tendering his resignation from the parish, the diocese and the national Church in December of 1977.
In March of 1978 he founded the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Orange, California, then within the Diocese of the Holy Trinity of the Anglican Catholic Church. Nine years later he resigned and moved to Los Angeles, and began assisting at two parishes of the Province of Christ the King, with the knowledge and consent of Bishop Mote of the Holy Trinity Diocese and Bishop Robert Morse of the Province of Christ the King. (After twenty years, he still provides an early morning Sunday Mass alternately for the two parishes).
In January of 1989 he accepted the Call to serve as Rector of Saint Mary the Virgin Church in Chatsworth, California. He subsequently moved his residence to Van Nuys, California. During his tenure at Saint Mary the Virgin, Bishop Arthur David Seeland named him Dean of the Deanery of Los Angeles, of the Diocese of the Pacific and Southwest.
On March 11, 2006 he celebrated his fortieth anniversary in the Priesthood.
In March of 2008, Bishop Seeland asked Father Rasch if he would allow his name to be placed before the College of Bishops for consideration as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese. At a meeting in Wichita, Kansas, on June 10, 2008, Bishop Henry Joseph King was elected by the College to succeed Bishop Arthur David Seeland (retiring for reasons of health) as Diocesan and
Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Pacific and Southwest and Father Rasch was elected as Bishop Coadjutor on the same day.
At a joint ceremony on Saturday, September 20, 2008, in Riverside, California, Arch-bishop Thomas Kleppinger enthroned Bishop Henry Joseph King as Diocesan and Ordinary of the Diocese of the Pacific and Southwest, and the Archbishop together with Bishop Leo Michael and Bishop Henry Joseph King (and a gracious Letter of Consent to Consecration, by Bishop Seeland) consecrated Bishop Anthony Frank Rasch as the first-ever Bishop Coadjutor of the diocese. The new bishop will continue to serve Saint Mary the Virgin Parish, Chatsworth.