26 June 2017

 A Pastoral Letter from Presiding Bishop George R. Lucey, FCM, on Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s Refusal of Christian Burial to Persons in Same-gender Relationships

 + In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!

 Earlier this month, Thomas Paprocki, Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield, IL, issued a decree, ordering priests in his diocese to refuse communion and Christian burial to persons in same-gender relationships. Moreover, because such persons are deemed to be in “objectively immoral relationships,” Bishop Paprocki proclaimed them ineligible to serve in any capacity in liturgical ministry, barred them as sponsors for either Baptism or Confirmation, and forbad them the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

This un-Christian directive deeply saddens me. I would like to respond to it from both a personal and pastoral perspective.

First, the personal.

In the second year of my priesthood I was asked to celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for the partner of a man who had been in a loving and joyous same-gender relationship for over 20 years. His grieving widower shared with me that as a young adult, his partner had been in a Roman Catholic seminary for several years. But his growing awareness of his sexuality as well as his deep sense of integrity led him to leave the seminary and live openly as a gay man.

The widower told me that although his deceased partner loved the Church, he reached the point before his death where he could no longer abide the intolerance of his sexual identity he encountered at his local Roman Catholic parish. So, he requested that his partner ask me to conduct the final rites of the Church in the Mass of Christian Burial. The funeral home was packed with friends and family of the deceased, many of whom were Catholic. I was touched and honored to celebrate his life with them.

Now for the pastoral perspective.

In my remarks at the funeral, I reminded everyone that Catholic social teaching reminds us that every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. This dignity is intrinsic, following as it does from our being created in the image of God. For Catholics, the reflection of that dignity is seen in our participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

I know that the loved ones who gathered at that man’s funeral were comforted by the words of the liturgy and the peace that the rites of the Church brings to members of a grieving community. I am convinced that to deny these rites on any basis, let alone to be as discriminatory in their administration as Bishop Paprocki’s decree, is contrary to the example given us by Christ.

Christians around the world just celebrated three post-Easter Holy Days that ought to remind us of the fact that God’s love is unconditionally given to all. At Pentecost, we gratefully acknowledged that the Spirit of the Lord is a gift bestowed upon all humans; at Holy Trinity, we joyfully recalled that the divine perichoresis is a continuous movement of all-embracing love; and at Corpus Christi, we rejoiced in the fact that the Eucharist unites us with one another and with God in bonds of joy and love. The great truths celebrated in these three Holy Days are basics of our faith. What God ordains cannot and should not be set aside by ecclesial decrees.

Consequently, we in the American National Catholic Church (ANCC) reject completely the idea that Holy Mother Church, founded from the blood and water flowing from the side of Christ, would ever deny her children the comfort and succor of Christ’s presence in the sacramental life of the Church. Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield’s decree is, in essence, the antithesis of our experience of the Church and her teaching about the mercy and love of God, made manifest in Christ and his Church.

 Most Reverend George R. Lucey, FCM

 Presiding Bishop

The American National Catholic Church

__________________________________________________________________
 
May 7, 2017
 
A PASTORAL LETTER FROM ANCC PRESIDING BISHOP GEORGE M. LUCEY, FCM
 
FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER –
GOOD SHEPHERD (VOCATIONS) SUNDAY
 
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!
 
Traditionally, the fourth Sunday of Easter, “Good Shepherd Sunday,” is an occasion to remind the faithful of the importance of vocation. Accordingly, I invite all persons in the American National Catholic Church (ANCC) to pray that God might help them fulfill the vocation to which God calls them.
 
As Vatican Council-II reminded us, the fostering of vocations is a task of the entire Christian community, exercised above all by the cultivation of a fully Christian life.
Participation in the community’s fostering of vocations can lead some to think and pray about the possibility of ordained ministry. Therefore, the ANCC invites women and men to consider prayerfully if God is calling you to ordained service in the Church. God invites each of to “go out into the deep.” Doing so, as St. Peter and the Apostles discovered, always requires trust, courage, and commitment. Serving God as a priest or deacon in the ANCC especially calls forth these three virtues. Because we are a young and small jurisdiction, following Christ in ordained ministry often must be done without the institutional support of a larger ecclesial body.
 
Yet the rewards are immense. Precisely because we are small, persons called to ordained ministry have the blessed opportunities to plant parishes from the ground up by seeking out those who hunger, sometimes desperately, for a spiritual home that will welcome them just as they are. There is a spiritual excitement, a sense of holy adventure, which animates ministry in the ANCC, not dissimilar, surely, to the Holy Spirit-inspired exhilaration that the earliest Christians must have felt. We know from requests for information we receive every week that there is a great longing throughout the nation for more ANCC parishes.
 
As a small jurisdiction, we cannot hope to plant new parishes without dedicated people eager to honor the vocations, ordained or otherwise, to which God calls them. I ask you to pray about how you can use your gifts and talents to build up the jurisdiction, plant new parishes, and continue to witness to the central truth of the inclusive and extravagant love of God at the heart of the Church Catholic.

Most Reverend George Lucey, FCM

Presiding Bishop

For information about Vocations in the ANCC visit
www.anccvocations.org
 
__________________________________________________________________
 
KEARNY PARISH WELCOMES NEW PASTOR
 

The Most Reverend George M. Lucey, FCM, Presiding Bishop of the American National Catholic Church has appointed Father Paul Gulya to be Pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus ANCC parish in Kearny, NJ. Father Paul was one of the founding co-pastors of the parish in 2013 and most recently served as a supply priest for various parishes of the ANCC and also for other parishes in an ecumenical capacity. He also served as chairperson of the ANCC national convocation this past summer.

Father Paul was ordained to the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, CT in May, 1981. He is a 1981 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Emmitsburg, MD, from which he holds Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees.

Not hiding his enthusiasm, Father Paul states that “having co-founded and launched the Sacred Heart of Jesus ANCC parish, it brings me great joy to have seen its growth and to return as the Pastor and spiritual leader of this vibrant faith community. I am looking forward to helping this parish to continue on its pilgrimage to the fulfillment of ‘God’s Kingdom in our midst’ by ensuring that our hearts and our doors are always open to those who may feel excluded or disenfranchised from their faith. “

Sacred Heart of Jesus ANCC parish, which serves Hudson County and the greater-Kearny area, is a key parish of the American National Catholic Church.

The American National Catholic Church is an all-inclusive church of the Catholic tradition where all are welcome regardless of lifestyle or circumstance. The ANCC embraces and promulgates the spirit of progress and reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council. Additionally, Sacred Heart of Jesus ANCC parish recognizes the diversity of the community in which they live and worship and are actively seeking to integrate Spanish-language prayers into many of their liturgies.

Mass is offered every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at 380 Kearny Avenue, Kearny, NJ in worship space that Grace United Methodist Church generously shares with Sacred Heart of Jesus American National Catholic Church. All are welcome, without exception, to visit any Sunday. For more information visit their web site at www.SacredHeartANCC.org.
________________________________________________________________
 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

The Sacred Heart of Jesus ANCC parish community

now worships each Sunday with Mass at 12:30 p.m.
 
at
 

Grace United Methodist Church,

380 Kearny Avenue, Kearny, NJ 07032

—–

We thank the people of Grace United Methodist Church
for the warm welcome they offer us
in our journey as the parish
Sacred Heart of Jesus American National Catholic Church.

 

 
________________________________________________________________
 
The next issue of the The Call – the online magazine of the American National Catholic Church – is available.
 
To view the current and past issues of “The Call” go to www.anccthecall.org.
 
__________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

9699_440822819271059_107524765_n

 
American National Catholic Church Establishes

New Parish in Central Pennsylvania

 

 

The American National Catholic Church (ANCC) announces the establishment of a new parish, Holy Spirit American National Catholic Church, in central Pennsylvania. Pastored by Fr. Kerry Walters, the parish is located in the town of Lewisburg.

“Like our sister parishes in the ANCC, Holy Spirit aims to be a home for those who yearn for a progressive Catholicism,” said Fr. Walters. “I’m excited at the prospects of helping to build avibrant parish and collaborating ecumenically with the many denominations represented in central Pennsylvania.” Walters added that his rural parish is also well situated to evangelize at the three institutions of higher learning in the area: Bucknell University, Susquehanna University, and Lycoming College.

Bishop George R. Lucey, FCM, Presiding Bishop of the ANCC, welcomed the new parish. “The American National Catholic Church is overjoyed at the news of the decision of the ANCC faith community in Lewisburg to choose the Holy Spirit as the patron of our new parish,” he said. “The canonical erection of Holy Spirit American National Catholic parish is a great witness to the Lewisburg community of the power of God’s spirit in renewing the Church in every place and time.”

Fr. Walters is a professor of philosophy and peace and justice studies at Gettysburg College, where he has taught for nearly three decades. He is also the award-winning author of over thirty books on philosophy, theology, spirituality, and history. Before incardinating in the ANCC, Fr. Walters was an ordained deacon for eight years in the Episcopal Church.

The American National Catholic Church is an inclusive Catholic community independent of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to making the world a more caring place. Guided by a presiding bishop, the ANCC celebrates the same sacraments as the Roman Church and follows the spirit of reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council. Although sharing core theological
and liturgical practices with Roman Catholicism, the ANCC differs on several major points, such as married clergy, female priests, divorce and re-marriage, same-sex marriage, and lay leadership. The Church has parishes across the U.S. and a host of ministries to the alienated, under-served, and forgotten. For more information, visit www.TheANCC.org

.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

paulandvincent

Father Paul Gulya and Father Vincent McTighe have been chosen to establish new parish of the American National Catholic Church in Hudson County

 

National Catholics Launch Newest New Jersey Parish

 

(09/11/13) — The American National Catholic Church (ANCC) has announced the launch of its fourth parish in New Jersey. The parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus American National Catholic Church, will be led by Fr. Paul Gulya and Fr. Vincent McTighe, two former Roman Catholic priests who recently incardinated into the Church.

“Sacred Heart ANCC is a place where each person is accepted without exception, with no judgments regarding an individual’s past or present situation. Our church, which follows the Catholic tradition, welcomes those who desire more from their spiritual life or feel separated from a mainstream Catholic Church due to divorce and remarriage, sexual orientation, identity or any reason. Our inclusion extends to welcoming everyone without exception to communion, ordaining both female and male clergy, proclaiming as sacramental the marriage of any two consenting adults and ensuring that no one is separated from God’s love due to dogmatic limitations,” commented Fr. Paul Gulya.

“I am confident the people of Hudson County and surrounding communities will find a welcoming, inclusive Eucharistic home at Sacred Heart ANCC under the leadership of Frs. McTighe and Gulya,” stated Bishop George R. Lucey, FCM, Presiding Bishop of the ANCC. “Their firm commitment to the centrality of the Eucharist, will certainly provide for a wonderful community for all to experience the love of God.”

The first liturgy was held on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 12:30pm. The church is in residence at Christ Episcopal Church located at 100 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. North, Harrison, NJ. The parish has launched a website which can be found at www.SacredHeartANCC.org.

The American National Catholic Church is a Catholic community outside of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to making the world a more caring place. Guided by a presiding bishop, the church celebrates the same sacraments as the Roman Church and follows the spirit of reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council. The Church has parishes across the U.S. and a host of ministries to the alienated, underserved, and forgotten. For more information visit www.TheANCC.org.