Priest ordination on June 3 for Episcopal Diocese of Nevada

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Dan Lediard lights a candle in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Virginia City on Wednesday morning. Lediard will be ordained as an Episcopalian priest on June 3.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Dan Lediard lights a candle in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Virginia City on Wednesday morning. Lediard will be ordained as an Episcopalian priest on June 3.

A member of the Episcopal church all his life, Daniel Lediard had every intention of becoming a priest when he was ordained a deacon on Oct. 6.

Lediard's wife, Jody Lediard, is already an Episcopal priest. She was ordained six years ago.

When Dan is ordained into the priesthood June 3, he and Jody will become the second-ever husband-and- wife priests for the Episcopal church in Nevada.

"After almost 38 years of marriage, it's ironic - I get ordained and she leaves me for three years," he chided. "It's called, whatever you want to make it.

"I'm so profoundly proud of Jody."

Jody is the regional missioner for northeast Nevada. She is assigned to the Elko area, serving seven parishes and functions as priest in charge of St. Paul's in Elko two weeks a month.

The first husband-and-wife priests for the Episcopal Diocese were ordained in 1995 and 1997. The couple have since moved to another diocese, according to Barbara Lewis, diocesan secretary.

Dan, 60, said his training as a deacon prepared him for priesthood.

"I will be serving St. Paul's parish in Virginia City," he said.

The Lediards were married Aug. 30, 1969, in Salt Lake City, where Jody received a degree in nursing at St. Mark's Episcopal Hospital School of Nursing. They moved to Reno in 1970, and now live in the Virginia City Highlands.

"I went to the University of Nevada, Reno, and majored in marketing, but did not graduate," Dan said. He has his own insurance office in Reno, which has been open 32 years.

"Life has been good to me, partly because I behave myself," he said. "It may not have made me smarter, but I do have bruises," he said with a chuckle.

"Most agents are nice, compassionate people. If you're not, you're not going to survive."

Lediard said his passion for ministry is in being able to share in the joy of communion with others.

"It's sharing exquisite joy," he said. "My time will be split between the parish and doing prison work.

"I'm at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center twice a month. I have also been involved with AA for a long time. I was asked by Mary Stewart (psychologist with NNCC) to facilitate a 12-step alcohol and drug program in the prison.

"I'm also involved in individual counseling. I do pastor work at the request of those incarcerated."

Just being able to be involved in ministry and giving back what he can to people and the church is why Lediard enjoys ministry.

"That's where it's at," he said.

"I'm also involved with Kairos (a ministry addressing the spiritual needs of incarcerated men, women and children, their families and those who work in the prison environment). The irony - when I'm ordained, I can celebrate communion. The following weekend, it's Kairos in the Lovelock prison, and I will be celebrating communion.

"It's interesting the way these things happen. It's like, 'OK, God. I got your point already.'

"We're all called to God to explore and share our ministries."

While Jody is ministering in eastern Nevada, Dan takes Amtrak or a Greyhound bus to visit her on weekends.

"It puts me in touch with a form of Americana," he said. "With people who are basic people. Every trip I watch and occasionally become involved. Sometimes, people just want to talk."

The Lediards have three sons: Dan Jr., 35; Matthew, 30; and Mark, 29, and one grandchild, Matthew Jr.

Dan also served in Vietnam six years in the military police, Air Force Reserve, from 1966-72.

Jody thinks it's great Dan is about to be ordained.

"He's been functioning as a priest in his ministry a long time," she said. "It's a lot of learning. You continuously learn new things."

She also had a few words of advice.

"Get out of the way," she said with laughter. "He's gonna need to look out for the opposite sex. There are differences between males and females, and, true, he's a feminist at heart. He may be too easygoing.

"Love is the opposite of fear. If we continue to walk in love then we can stay away from the fear."

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.


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