The American National Catholic Church joyfully welcomes our newest parish, St. Katharine Drexel ANCC, in Fargo, North Dakota.
The parish patron, St. Katharine, was the first U.S.-born citizen to be canonized. Born into a wealthy Pittsburg family, she gave up her economic and social privilege to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, an order devoted to ministering to African and Native Americans. St. Katharine, who died in 1955, was canonized in 2000.
The Rev. Mr. Donald Simon, a Minnesota native who’s lived in Fargo for over three decades, is deacon-in-charge of the new parish. He says that St. Katharine was chosen as the parish’s patron because “she is a model of what an American Catholic Christian should be. She was born into all of the advantages that living in this country has to offer, yet in her upbringing and adult life, she gave back to those who were disadvantaged and disenfranchised so to make their lives better. She used both her material and spiritual gifts to help those in need.”
“Our vision and hope,” notes Deacon Donald, “is to build a welcoming, inclusive, independent Catholic community that focuses on social justice issues” in the spirit of St. Katharine.
The Most Rev. George R. Lucey, FCM, Presiding Bishop of the ANCC, welcomes the addition of St. Katharine Drexel parish to the ANCC. “I’m overjoyed that the faith community in Fargo, ND has reorganized to continue the ministerial presence of the ANCC in the Fargo/ Moorhead area. They have chosen St. Katharine Drexel as their patron. Just as Mother Katharine dedicated herlife to the poor and the marginalized, the new parish community recommits itself to the care of those who are in most need. St. Katharine Drexel, Pray for us.”
ANCC parishes from across the nation gather every other year in convocation to renew our commitment to the Lord and one another. Given the state of the nation and the world, we especially wanted next year’s convocation to focus on issues of social, economic, environmental, and gender justice.
The 2018 national ANCC Convocation will be held August 16-18, 2018, at Maryland’s Claggett Center. The convocation theme is taken from Micah 6:8: “God has told you, O woman and man, what is good— and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Convocation workshops will encourage attendees to reflect on concrete ways that their parishes can embody Micah’s vision.
The Convocation keynote speaker is Sister Kate Kuenstler, an independent canon lawyer and advocate for the laity.
Throughout this holy season of Advent, the ANCC offers an online retreat that invites readers to enter ever more deeply into their hopeful anticipation of the birth of the Christ-child. Retreat reflections are written by both ordained and lay members of ANCC parishes across the nation. Join us as we journey toward Bethlehem!
Fr. Jason Lody, FCM
Father Jason Lody, FCM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua ANCC in Centreville, VA, was re-elected Minister General of the Franciscan Community of Mercy (FCM) at the order’s General Chapter in October.
Congratulations, Fr. Jason!
The FCM is an order dedicated to following in the footsteps of Christ as modeled by Saint Francis. Brothers and sisters support and encourage one another as they labor in the vineyard of the Lord serving all of God’s people. Members of the community are ordinary people who respond to an extraordinary vocation. They have answered a calling from God in their life and can be found in parishes and in soup kitchens, ministering to those with HIV/AIDS and those who have been hurt by institutional churches.
ANCC Presiding Bishop George R. Lucey, FCM, issued two statements in October and November in response to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, TX.
In the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, Bishop Lucey wrote:
This kind of murderous violence, repeated again and again in our culture, bewilders our
minds and horrifies our spirits. Along with the psalmist (13:1-2), our grief compels us to
lift our faces heavenwards and cry, “How long will you hide your face from me? How long
must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my
enemy be exalted over me?”
The entire letter may be read here.
- In writing of the tragedy at the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, Bishop Lucey stated:
The senseless gun violence that infects the United States calls for renewed self-examination
and prayer on the part of everyone. But as a people called to evangelize, to bring to the
world the Good News of Jesus Christ, Christians are also called to act, in Christ’s name, for
peace and justice.
His entire letter may be read here.