Don Simon to be Ordained Deacon

Don Simon

It is with great joy and thanksgiving that we announce the upcoming ordination of Don Simon to the Sacred Order of Deacons. The ordination will take place on Saturday, June 3, at First Congregational Church in Fargo, North Dakota. The Most Reverend George Lucey, FCM, ANCC Presiding Bishop, will officiate.

A Minnesota native who’s lived in Fargo for over three decades, Don has worked for the State of North Dakota for the past 20 years as a K12 Technology Specialist. He and his wife Claudia have been married for 37 years and have two grown children and two grandchildren.

As part of his diaconal formation, Don has taken coursework at Notre Dame University’s STEP program. Additionally, he volunteers at Dorothy Day House of Hospitality and GAP, a food distribution program for impoverished families, both located in Fargo. He also represents his parish at the Fargo-Moorhead Homeless Coalition

A member for four years of St. Odilia ANCC, where he will also serve as deacon, Don says that “the call to serve the people of God is strong in my heart and soul. In my ministry as deacon, I hope to serve my parish family and the American National Catholic Church in teaching and spreading the Good News of our Lord through service to the community and to all of God’s people.”

The Call heartily congratulates Don on his upcoming ordination to the diaconal ministry of serving as a living icon of Christ the Servant! May God continue what God has begun in him!

Deacon John Bye-Torre, FCM, to be Ordained Priest

Deacon John

It is with great joy and thanksgiving that we announce the upcoming ordination of Deacon John Bye-Torre to the Sacred Order of Presbyters. The ordination will take place at St. Stephen’s ANCC, located in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, 22 April. The Most Reverend George Lucey, FCM, ANCC Presiding Bishop, will officiate.

Ordained to the Diaconate in February 2015, Deacon John is the founder of St. Stephen’s ANCC in Seattle, WA and a professed friar in the Franciscan Community of Mercy. A Licensed Mental Health Counselor with earned graduate degrees in counseling and administration, Deacon John works in private practice.

In addition to his regular parish duties, Deacon John offers free counseling to military personnel and their families, volunteers at a senior center kitchen, and leads a spiritual healing group for former Roman Catholics.

Deacon John reports that since his 2015 ordination, he’s been, “guided and influenced by St Timothy (2 Tim 2:15), ‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.’” His hope as a priest “is to be a good servant, and I pray that when I do meet my God, he will say to me, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

He also expresses gratitude to the leadership of the ANCC for guidance during his formation. “These great men and women have changed my heart and provided me with the room to grow on my own, in my own way, towards a deeper, more meaningful life.”

The Call heartily congratulates Deacon John on his upcoming ordination to the priesthood! May God continue what God has begun in him!

Pastoral Letter on Presidential Executive Orders

In response to the current presidential administration’s issuance of troublesome executive orders, ANCC Presiding Bishop George Lucey, FCM, published a pastoral letter of concern and counsel.

“Mr. Trump has taken steps to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, erect a border wall between Mexico and the U.S., recommence construction of environmentally risky pipelines, punish sanctuary cities, and pump billions of dollars into the military. He has displayed a disregard for truth in favor of ‘alternative facts,’ indulged in open and undisguised hectoring of the media, intelligence officials, and anyone who criticizes him, disregarded ethical standards by refusing to divest himself of his financial holdings, and advocated the resumption of torture and the renewal of black sites.”

Bishop Lucey’s entire letter may be read here.

The ANCC Cornerstone Campaign Continues!

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)