The Reverend R. Columba Salamony joined Saint Mark’s as Rector in July 2022. A Baltimore native, Columba was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Maryland at Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, on 18th June 2022. Having lived in cities in Maryland, Vermont, Scotland, and California, he greatly looks forward to seeing how his life unfolds in the rural Finger Lakes region and hopes you will join him on this exploration.
Columba came to the Episcopal Church in 2013 following a circuitous migration through Protestant denominations. Having found a home at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Emmorton, in Abingdon, MD, Columba eagerly joined the congregation’s formation programs and learned more about the Anglican-Episcopal tradition. In 2017, Saint Mary’s endorsed Columba’s discernment for a vocational call to ministry in the Episcopal Church and supported him generously throughout that process.
Columba is a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, where he earned a B.A. in Religious Studies, with a concentration in Sex, Gender, and Race. In 2018, he graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Master of Theology (MTh). His master's thesis, "Godgivenness: A Queer Christian's Exploration of God, Self, and Vocation through Spiritual Life Writing," sits at the intersection of theology, spiritual practice, and the arts. It incorporates his interests in liberation theology, queer theory, and practical theology with creative writing.
As part of his vocational formation to the priesthood, Columba attended the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, California, graduating with a Master of Divinity in May 2022. Despite studying and living through COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions, he quickly grew to love the beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. He greatly enjoyed exploring its natural beauty, restaurants and breweries, and cultural enchantments. During his time at CDSP, he served as Seminarian at Grace Church, Martinez, under the mentorship of the Rev. Dr. Deborah O. White. Columba is grateful beyond expression for the support and encouragement he received from Rev. Deb and the Grace congregation.
Columba passionately believes that all people can experience closeness with God. For Columba, this closeness comes through inquiry: What does God ask of me? Where in my life do I feel the Spirit the most? How does the life and Gospel of Jesus Christ challenge me to respect, love, and honor the Godgivenness of all of creation? In his own spiritual journey, he has acted as a spiritual companion to people of many backgrounds and identities as they develop their questions about God or God's call for their life.
In his time off, Columba likes to travel, knit, discover new music, and make new friends. One can often find him reading through his extensive "to read" shelf, exploring the Finger Lakes region, cooking, baking (carrot cake is his favorite!), or playing with his cats. He lives in the Village of Penn Yan, so look for him when you’re out and about and say hello! He looks forward to meeting you.