OUR PARISH VISION
We at St. Francis of Assisi have found our way, by diverse paths, to an all embracing valid, Catholic community. We are an intentional Catholic parish who has been called by the Holy Spirit to create a community where all are welcome into full participation in the life of the Catholic Church. Some of us have had to struggle to find a spiritual home where are Traditions are celebrated without having to deny the sanctity of our conscience or feel that we were wrong when we used our God given intelligence to engage our faith. We struggled with following our hearts and conscience away from a Church incapable of acknowledging that she is comprised of fallible human beings, and have found our courage to reclaim our Catholic faith for ourselves and proclaim that love, tolerance, and compassion are at the heart of the Church founded by Jesus Christ.
We confess with all Christians the Ancient Creeds and as a parish community of the American National Catholic Church joins other faith communities in wanting to spread the message of God’s extravagant love made Incarnate in Christ Jesus.
We at St. Francis are serious about making a difference in our world and to that end make all of the sacraments of the Church available to all who ask. Our theology is informed by our belief that the Holy Spirit is calling us to participate in the re-creation and renewal the Catholic Church. We trust that God has called us into existence to be a healing presence to those who feel that the Church has left them, and we welcome all to come home to a faith that lives and works in and through the People of God.
Our Catholic Traditions are firmly rooted in the reforms of the Apostolic Catholic Church and we lay claim of Apostolic Succession through Rome via Brazil.
Our parish is guided by the inspired work of Vatican Council II ever mindful of the Council’s call to have the Church be the living Body of Christ in our world.
Please join us in our efforts to discern the will of God in our individual and Church lives.
When people refer to Catholics today, they often mean Roman Catholics. But, there are many other types of Catholics. Some are associated with cultural groups like Byzantine Catholics or Polish National Catholics while others such as Old Catholics span all cultural groups.While some groups are in union with Rome, others have been independently governed by their own bishops, in the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox church, for well over 200 years.
The Mission of Saint Francis is a Catholic community outside the institutional church, dedicated to making the world a more compassionate place. Guided by its own Bishop we celebrate the same sacraments and follows the spirit of reform initiated in Vatican Council II. During much of the first eleven hundred years after Jesus, there was only one church that developed different traditions. Everything from the way the Mass and sacraments were celebrated to the date of Easter and celibacy were interpreted differently.
Even today, the Eastern and Western churches have many externals that are vastly different yet all celebrate the same sacraments and scriptures.The institutional church of today can be traced, in part, to ongoing disagreements over papal supremacy in the 12th century resulting in a schism with the Eastern church, reaction to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century and the proclamation of papal infallibility in the 19th century which created further schisms. All these events speak to the confusion of unity with uniformity.
We as National Catholics accept fully the deposit of the Catholic faith, and interpret it through the lens of the reforms of Vatican Council II. We believe that the holy spirit has called us into existence to be leaven in the bread of the Catholic Church. We see ourselves today where we think our other Catholic brothers and sisters would be if the reforms of Vatican Council II had proceeded. National Catholic is a term which best describes those who continue to search for a non-judgmental, sacramental experience different from that offered by the institutional church.
Because these searchers have not found the kind of experience they want within traditional, institutional Catholicism many drift to other Christian communities but still miss the sacraments in their lives. Recognizing the need to fill a void in the lives of many, the Mission of Saint Francis offers the sacraments in a non-judgmental Catholic experience. By celebrating the sacraments without question, we hope to bring unity without the stumbling block of uniformity.
Many who come to us are filled with a hurt or a longing not met in the institutional church. Here we hope they find an openness and acceptance that is a reflection of Christ’s love. Put simply, we follow Christ’s two commandments: to love God and to love one another as He loved us, wholly and completely.
If you have been rejected because of a previous marriage, you are welcome here. If now you can’t believe the religion taught you as a child but still want a sacramental relationship with God, here is your home. If there are barriers in your relationship with God, then we wish to be with you in loving compassion.