Mar 14, 2023

Pastor with Hays ties named to lead Salina congregation

Posted Mar 14, 2023 10:15 AM
<b>Shay Craig will become the first woman to be installed as the Dean of Christ Cathedral. </b>Photo courtesy Christ Cathedral
Shay Craig will become the first woman to be installed as the Dean of Christ Cathedral. Photo courtesy Christ Cathedral

Salina Post

SALINA — In her return to Salina's Christ Cathedral, the Very Reverend Shay Craig is making history.

On April 1, Craig will be the first woman to be installed as the Dean (head clergy) in the 117-year history of the second-largest congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas. She returns to Christ Cathedral, where she served from 2018-2020 before her appointment as vicar of St. Michael's and St. Andrew's Episcopal churches in Hays. Craig will become the 19th Dean of Christ Cathedral, which was founded in 1906, according to information from the cathedral.

The public installation is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 1 at the cathedral, 138 S. Eighth Street. A reception will immediately follow in the cathedral's parish hall. Reservations for the event are recommended. For additional information, contact the cathedral office at 785-827-4440.

The installation service will be comprised of liturgies. The first will be the installation of Craig as the cathedral's new Dean, as charged by the Right Reverend Mark Cowell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas. At that time, gifts symbolizing Craig’s duties of office will be presented. The second part of the service will be a Chrism Mass, an annual time of reaffirmation for all clergy in the diocese, many of whom will be present, the information from the cathedral noted.

Diocese dignitaries and visiting clergy from more than five states, as well as representatives of numerous Salina churches are expected to attend the service.

Joining Craig on the cathedral staff will be the Reverend Catherine Cox as curate, the Reverend Basil Price as assisting priest, music staff Rebecca Copley and Nancy Bauer, parish administrator Crissy Cook, and facilities manager Don Grunden.

About the Very Reverend Shay Craig, courtesy Christ Cathedral

A great-granddaughter of the Kansas prairie, Craig’s family established The Young Brothers Cattle Company and has owned Bluff Creek Ranch in Clark County for more than 100 years. She was born in Omaha and grew up in California, studying at a Quaker boarding school, the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Seabury/Bexley Seminary.

She worked in development and marketing, then as a full-time mom, before changing careers. Craig’s sister, Minka Sprague, served as an Episcopal priest and her aunt, Judy Craig, was a bishop in the United Methodist Church. Following seminary and before coming to Kansas, Shay Craig served as the development officer for the Diocese of Chicago, working with congregations across northern Illinois to increase their vitality and engagement.

A mother of four grown children, one of whom lives in Salina, Craig is married to John Houston, an assistant general counsel for the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration. They plan to live in rural Saline County with their three dogs and numerous cats.