Dean and Rector of The Cathedral Church of St. Mark
The Very Reverend Ray Waldon is from originally from Louisiana. He has been married to Lisa Waldon for over 34 years. They have two married children.
Prior to ordination, The Very Rev. Waldon was a journalist and an award-winning broadcaster. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Journalism. He attended the LSU School of Law and graduated from Virginia Seminary with an M.Div. in 1995.
Dean Waldon was the Associate Dean and taught Anglicanism, Theology, and Liturgy in the Bishop’s Lay School in Western Louisiana. He has mentored many priests and deacons during his career and been the spiritual director for several bishops.
Dean Waldon currently serves on the Diocese of Utah’s Diocesan Council, recently hosted the annual Diocesan Convention (serving on the planning committee), and was one of the keynote workshop presenters on church development (all of his parishes have grown in membership and stewardship).
He has served in many roles in his church ministry including: Standing Committee, Chair of College and High School Ministries, two blue ribbon panels, National convention, and he has served as an examining chaplain for theology and liturgy. Dean Waldon served as the spiritual director for VOCARE, Jump-start, Happening, Cursillo, Kairos, and many other ECUSA ministries. Dean Waldon has been the chair of the Commission on Liturgy in two dioceses. He has developed two diocesan customaries, two bishop’s customaries, and been responsible for many diocese liturgical events including diocesan conventions. He has organized diocesan or national events services at Kanuga, Camp Beckwith, Camp Hardtner, Camp Gravatt, and many other places. He was the first non-native priest given permission to do a marriage service by the tribe in the Lakota language in Florida. As a Board of Director member or trustee, Dean Waldon has served on the Birdell Medical Trust, Camp Beckwith Trustee Board, President’s Council of York Place, The Dorothy Martin Foundation, Operation Santa Claus, and many others.
Dean Waldon has served on the Judiciary Court; been a member of the Bishop’s Clergy Response Team; and has served as a facilitator for various bishops during times of church conflict. As a layperson, he served as warden and served the diocese as a member of the COM, parish delegation, and the Diocese Discernment Committee.
He is a parish and vestry consultant having conducted spiritual retreats, founded two Daughters of the King Chapters, a Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Francis, an Order of St. Luke, and assisted in the revitalization of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. He is a frequent speaker on stewardship and Episcopal polity. His theological articles have been published or broadcasted. His articles have ranged ethical treatises on “Assisted Suicide” to “Chemical Castration of Pedophiles”. His views have appeared on many national TV and radio outlets. He has also appeared as a religious commentator on religion with KNOE-TV where he tackled topics on abortion, gambling, justice, racism, and politics. Dean Waldon was has been an expert witness in juvenile sex offender cases and given visiting credentials to a treatment center for juvenile sex offenders where he lead a confirmation class. Dean Waldon served as an ethics member of a county school board that wrote a state-mandated sex education curriculum.
Highlights of his career would include serving rotations as a hospital chaplain. He completed extra Masters’ classes in the consortium program in African Religion at Howard University under renowned authority, The Rev. Dr. Elias Farajaje-Jones. This ultimately led to his Master’s Independent
Study project in World Religion -”Cults, Sects, and the New Age Movement” under Dr. Richard Jones of Virginia Seminary.
In his career, Dean Waldon led a 40-year-old mission in danger of closing to parish status in less than two years. He was asked by the Bishop of Washington, D.C. and the vestry of St. Paul’s to facilitate the visit of Suffragan Bishop Jane Dixon. When interviewed by the press about the event, in which many protestors were present, he said [as it relates to the first female clergy to celebrate at the parish]: “You want to know about the people and who they came to see? Those present came to see and meet Jesus. He did not disappoint them.” From that point forward, he has been a church resource in working with priests and parishes experiencing stress or conflict.
He wrote and received a UTO grant for $17,000 to build a handicap challenged children’s playground. Under his leadership, a chapel was built at a parish retreat house. He obtained grants to bring children of color and handicapped children to a parish school. Dean Waldon has preached at Trinity Wall Street in New York, St. Paul’s in Washington D.C., St. Matthew’s in Newport, St. Mark’s in Jacksonville, and several Cathedrals including St. Mark’s in Shreveport and Trinity in Columbia, S.C.
The Dean is currently completing a book, plays golf, and recently completed biographies on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams. He is currently studying philosophy and Jewish history under the tutelage of two University of Utah professors.
He has had a hymn composed in his honor, sponsored his Administrative Assistant who became the Program Officer for Native American/Indigenous Ministries for the national church and an ECUSA representative to the UN. The medal Father Waldon wears as a Benedictine Oblate comes from Monte Casino. He and Lisa take frequent overseas pilgrimages. They have walked in Martin Luther’s steps in Germany, prayed in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, explored Trier and its sacred relics, and attended Ascension Day services at St. Paul’s in London and Pentecost Sunday at the Vatican, and have led a parish pilgrimage to Israel.
A PRAYER WRITTEN BY THE VERY REVEREND RAY WALDON
Holy and merciful God, send your Holy Spirit into my life – to remind me. Remind me that I need Your wisdom. Remind me that I need Your wise counsel. Remind me that You are always with me. Remind me to share my life with You. Oh God, when I want things to go my way, remind me that Your way is always better. When I forget those who are less fortunate than I, remind me to love them just as You would love them. When I walk too fast past someone who needs a kind word, remind me to slow down and speak to him with a smile. When I am faced with hatred for enemies of my land, remind me that they are Your children, too. When I shut out the ugliness of this world, remind me to see it clearly so that I can bring about change. When I keep you out of my life, remind me that my life is because of You. When I seek vengeance on those who have hurt me, remind me of the forgiving words Your Son taught. When I want things in a hurry in this busy world, remind me to slow down and be patient. When I hurt others in my path, remind me to seek forgiveness from them and from You. And, my beloved God, remind me most of all – that You love me, in spite of the fact that I sometimes forget to be all that You expect. AMEN.