The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Cathedral's new dean to be installed Feb. 18

First Latina priest elected dean of Hartford’s historic downtown Episcopal Cathedral to be installed formally on Feb. 18

Ceremony for Dean Miguelina Howell includes local and international guests

Last November, the Rev. Miguelina Howell, an Episcopal priest born and raised in the Dominican Republic, was elected the 10th dean of Christ Church Cathedral after serving as its vicar for more than two years. Christ Church Cathedral, located on the corner of Church and Main Streets in Hartford is the seat of the bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, the oldest Episcopal diocese in North America. Dean Howell is the changing face of a changing cathedral in a changing city.

On February 18, 2016, starting at 6:30 p.m., the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell will be formally installed as Dean. Hartford’s Mayor, other city leaders, and many officials and guests from across The Episcopal Church including denominational officials in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic are anticipated to help mark this historic event: the Cathedral’s first woman and the first Hispanic woman to be elected a cathedral dean in The Episcopal Church.

Unique among the guests are those from the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney in the Scottish Episcopal Church. These attendees highlight the historic 232-year relationship between Connecticut and Scotland, when, in 1784, the Rev. Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was consecrated in Aberdeen as the first American Episcopal bishop.

“I am humbled and overjoyed by the opportunity to serve as dean of Christ Church Cathedral,” said Dean Howell, “and to participate in God's mission during times of evident adaptive changes, creativity and collaboration in the ever evolving landscape of the City of Hartford, the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and in the world. I look forward to strengthening existing partnerships and fostering new ones, working in collaboration with our bishops, lay, clergy and civic leaders in Connecticut and members of the cathedral's congregations.” 


The Cathedral’s long-standing history and commitment to serving the hungry and homeless of Hartford continues to reshape itself for the changing needs of the city’s poor. Today, it boasts one of the largest feeding programs in the greater Hartford area, serving thousands of people annually. The Cathedral’s “Church by the Pond” offers a Saturday worship service outdoors near the pond in Bushnell Park, followed by a meal and food distribution.

For the Greater Hartford community, the Cathedral continues to expand its footprint as a cultural venue for non-profits, recently joining the Hartford Stage and other downtown organizations in lively conversations and ongoing efforts to extend art onto the streets of Hartford.

For the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, the Cathedral serves its 167 parishes in helping to empower the 60,000 Episcopalians in Connecticut as we are sent in God’s mission.

“The role of a cathedral, rightly understood, is to help the people of God be more faithful to, and engaged with, what God is up to in our neighborhoods,” said the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, bishop diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. “Lina is uniquely qualified to help Christ Church Cathedral and the whole Episcopal Church in Connecticut participate in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation in the neighborhoods of Hartford, across the cities and towns in Connecticut, with Spanish speaking people in the Americas, and to the ends of the earth.  I thank God for Lina and for this new era in the life of Christ Church Cathedral and the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.”


Howell began her vocation in the Episcopal Church as a teenager, serving various youth ministries. After finishing her graduate studies and licensing as a clinical psychologist, she earned a theological degree from the Centro de Estudios Teologicos and was ordained a priest in 2003.

Howell has served as a member of the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop’s staff as Associate Program Officer for Young Adult Ministries and Leadership Recruitment at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City. She recently served on The Episcopal Church’s national Task Force for Restructuring the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church Executive Council, and is a member of The Episcopal Church Latino/Hispanic Ministries Council of Advice.

In the Dominican Republic, Howell served three congregations and as Executive Director of the Diocesan Camp and Conference Center. Before moving to Hartford, Howell served parishes in Orange and Paterson, New Jersey.

She and her husband Daniel live in West Hartford.