Contributions to the Cornerstone Campaign Invited!

As we begin our eighth year of ministry, it is remarkable to see just how much has happened in the American National Catholic Church (ANCC). This contemporary expression of Catholicism that began as a simple idea has grown into an expanding number of parishes, devoted seminarians who long to serve the people of God, authentic ministries that touch the lives of countless souls, and a welcome and opening voice that the world so desperately needs. Perhaps most astonishing is how much has been done with virtually no resources.

We have been blessed. We have had clergy who not only do not collect a salary, but they pay out of pocket for the planting of parishes. We have had donors who have paid for the development of our website and some of our media outreach efforts. Above all we have had the prayers of so many individuals that provide value beyond measure.mrbfcm-300x300

The Church has been sustained by these prayers. They are prayers from a young, gay girl in the South who clings to her faith but feels unwelcome at the churches in her community. They are the prayers of a middle-aged divorced man who found a chance to start anew with a relationship that has brought so much fulfillment to his life, only to be told he is not welcome to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. They are the prayers of a priest who recalls with mixed emotions the amazing joy he felt the first time he baptized a baby, but knows in his heart that God called him to marriage as well. These people find the ANCC, they are inspired, they discover new hope, and they need us. They need us but we are young and limited.

That’s why we need you.

We humbly invite you to help. We have never solicited contributions before. The People of God have always been so generous that things just seemed to happen. But we find ourselves with need for assistance in funding the formation of new priests, the founding of new parishes, and the expansion of our media outreach efforts. People are asking, and we are unable to meet the demand.

Perhaps you can help us.

We are looking for individuals who will support us as sustaining contributors to what we call The Cornerstone Campaign. The inspiration for the name comes from Psalm 118, where we hear that “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” There are so many who have felt rejected from the Church, and we hope they will reclaim their place of honor among God’s children by becoming a cornerstone. We hope that you might consider giving us $1 each day to bring the message of Christ’s radical, welcoming love to all people. We recognize these contributors with a special ANCC lapel pin, a gift of appreciation from Presiding Bishop George Lucey. We hope you can look upon it and know you are a part of something larger, and that you are helping to spread the Gospel to all people.

It’s easy to help. Simply click on this link.

Near or far, you can help. Through your generous contribution and the support of your prayers, the ANCC has become what it is because of you, and it needs your continuing support to achieve its full potential.

 

Fr. Matthew Bailey, FCM, ANCC Vicar General

St. Joseph of Arimathea ANCC (New Haven, CT)

 

Rome Doesn’t Speak for All Catholics on Women’s Ordination

whoamitojudgeAt the request of Presiding Bishop George Lucey, the ANCC Office of Communications released a press statement on 3 November in response to Pope Francis’ public statement that the ordination of Roman Catholic women to the priesthood isn’t likely in the foreseeable future. The ANCC has always strongly endorsed the right of women who are called by God to seek Holy Orders.

The text of the press release:

Rome doesn’t speak for all Catholics on the Ordination of Women On November 1, All Saints Day, Pope Francis once again stated that the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on the ordination of women is likely to endure. He approvingly cited John Paul II’s insistence that the question of admitting women to Holy Orders is closed. Jesus’s apostles, the pope said, were all men; therefore, all priests must be men.

The American National Catholic Church (ANCC) has always supported the ordination of women who feel called to Holy Orders. Just as Rome doesn’t own the word “Catholic,” neither does Rome speak for all Catholics, especially when it comes to questions about ordaining women, same-sex marriage, and polity, or church authority.

The New Testament attests to the fact that some of Jesus’s closest followers were women. Mary Magdalene has traditionally been called the “apostle to the apostles,” even by the Roman Church, because she was the first person to see the risen Christ and bring word to others. The letters of St. Paul and other ancient documents record the central role women played in the early Church. And experience in any number of Christian denominations with women priests and pastors testifies to the fact that they are wonderful shepherds of congregations.

The ANCC deeply regrets that the Vatican has once again iterated its traditional refusal to see that it is faith, dedication, and willingness to serve God in others, rather than gender, which are the prime qualities of priests and pastors. The ANCC also reaffirms its commitment to making sure that all persons called by God to a life of service can answer that call.

Pastoral Letter on 2016 Election

images-4Presiding Bishop George Lucey, FCM, issued a pastoral letter shortly before the recent presidential election. In it, he expressed hope for a post-election season in which “to heal the wounds of racism, violence, poverty, and environmental degradation that afflict us, both as individuals and as a nation, wounds that were re-opened and made worse over the past few months.” The entire letter may be read here.

Ordination of Pat Kane

pat-kane2It is with great joy that we announce the ordination of Pat Kane to the Sacred Order of Deacon. The ordination will take place at St. Francis of Assisi ANCC, located in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, on Saturday, 17 December, at 6:00 pm. The Most Reverend George Lucey, FCM, will officiate. The Call heartily welcomes Pat to his ordained service to God!

Pat is the most recent regular columnist for The Call. Check out his Deacon’s Corner article in this issue.

 

Our Christmas Gifts to You, Dear Readers

christmas-giftsNormally in the “Review” section of The Call, we discuss books and films that we trust will be of interest to our readers. But this time, in the spirit of Advent and Christmas, we’d like to present you with gifts. Each of the four members of the magazine’s editorial board – Maureen, Dan, Mother Phyllis, and Father Kerry – have lovingly selected an item to share with you in the hope that it brings you additional moments of joy during this season of rejoicing!

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you, and to everyone you hold dear!

 

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Maureen’s gift: an interview with Ken Canedo about his song “Born This Day” 

 

 

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Dan’s gift: Stevie Wonder & Andra Day’s “Someday at Christmas”

 

 

 

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Mother Phyllis’ gift: the Christmas section from Handel’s “Messiah” (Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus)

 

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Father Kerry’s gift: Dylan Thomas reading his “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” (recorded by Thomas in 1952)