About the Author

Chuck McCoart is an Episcopal priest who currently serves as the Rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  



McCoart family photo

My Family

After marrying in 1958, my parents settled in Springfield, Virginia, and it was there they raised their seven children. I am the second child and eldest boy. (That’s me on the far right of this photo above; making sure my younger sister stayed in place long enough to get this Easter Sunday picture taken!) My family still resides throughout Northern Virginia, and over most of my life as a parish priest, it has been nice to have them so close by. After God, my family is absolutely the second most important part of my life.


Chuck McCoart

My Vocation

I was ordained a Catholic priest in May 1990, and had the privilege of ministering in several large suburban Northern Virginia parishes. I also directed diocesan-level programs such as the Office of Youth Ministry and Catholic Charities. On the parish level, I have ministered in communities which range in population from 6,000 – 13,000 individuals. The blessings of parish work are always the same – loving and serving people. My diocesan work was another excellent opportunity to serve on a more macro level, directing ministries which impacted individuals in the 21 most northern counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In Appalachia, immediately following college, I also served in a parish with fewer than forty families.

If asked what area of ministry I enjoy most I would say that spending time in conversation with another person as they grapple with their relationship with God is where I find ministry the most satisfying. Sure, I can administrate, direct, preach, cheer with the best of them, but what really excites me is when I have the privilege of spending time with an individual as they discover who God is, and who they are in God. I also enjoy small group discussions which provide space for individuals to give voice to what they have discovered of God in their day-to-day lives.

In Spring of 2011, after a period of discernment and discussion with loved ones, I asked the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington for permission to take a leave of absence. After prayerful discernment. I became an Episcopalian in December 2011, and then was received as a priest in the Episcopal Church on February 9, 2013.  See “Reception Service”

In June of 20131 I was Called as the Rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. See “Good News to Share


Emmanuel Episcopal Church was planted at the corner of High Street and Russell Road 106 years ago. Those of us who now call Emmanuel our church home are grateful to those who have gone before us and left us such a vibrant legacy. We’re a diverse group. EEC is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds. We are young families with children, retirees, singles, and teenagers. Some are life-long Episcopalians, others grew up in different faith traditions, and still others grew up without any church background at all. What we have in common is a desire to grow in our knowledge and love of God and to enter into an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, and to deepen our love of neighbor through hospitality, outreach and service. Join us! You’ll be so glad you did.



My Dogs

In May 2007, I brought Brock home: an 8-week-old,  18 lbs German Shepherd puppy.  Brock was quite simply the perfect God-sent companion I never knew I needed.

After a long and beautiful life, Brock  died in April, 2016 (RIP Brock II)

In May, 2016 I brought Brock, III home.  I am meant to have a dog in my life! (I one time lasted three days; this time eight)

Sadly, March 13, 2017, Brock III passed away after a short but exuberant life. (Exercising muscles I’d prefer not to exercise)

I am indeed meant to have a dog in my life, and a few days later, Max entered my life. (My best response to loss)

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