August 30, 2020

This is information from a letter of Archbishop Vigneron to all members of the Archdiocese:

You may have heard recently that a priest of the Archdiocese, Fr. Matthew Hood, learned that he was invalidly baptized. Because he was invalidly baptized, he was also invalidly ordained. This news also impacts many who have interacted with Fr. Hood during these last three years, during which time his ability to celebrate valid sacraments has been greatly limited.

More information is at about the effect on each sacrament presided over by Fr. Hood. You can also find information about what to do if you or your child was invalidly baptized by Deacon Mark Springer during his ministry at St. Anastasia in Troy from 1986-1999. (His name is being used so that the church can find anyone affected and rectify these pastoral situations. Our parish is ready to assist anyone in need.)

The parishes where Fr. Hood has been assigned – Divine Child in Dearborn and St. Lawrence in Utica – will be working with the Archdiocese to contact those who sought out the sacraments with Fr. Hood, so that each individual’s circumstance may be examined and rectified.

As is always the case with Christ, there is hope amid this darkness. The Church, following the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, recognizes that God has bound Himself to the sacraments, but He is not bound by the sacraments. This means that while we can have certainty that God always works through the sacraments when they are properly conferred by the minister, God is not bound by the sacraments in that He can and does extend His grace in a sovereign way. We can be assured that all those who approached Father Hood, in good faith, to receive the sacraments did not walk away empty-handed. We know that Our Lord, in his unending love for us, supplied some measure of grace. God is drawn to hearts that are open to Him in love.

Fr. Jeff