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Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc.                                                                                Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.                                                                                      Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular                                                                        Order of Franciscans Culdee                                                                                            Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical                                                      Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi                            Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests                                                                  Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters​ 

The motto of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical is Repair My Church.

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Blog 

A Ministry of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical​ (OFE)

Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Bishop of OFE,  Abbot General of the OFE, the OFE Board, the Abbey Board, the OFC Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests,  and OFE Charters.
 

Holy Week

“In this Holy Week the Lord Jesus will renew the greatest gift we could possibly imagine: he will give us his life, his body and his blood, his love.” (Pope Francis)


An Invitation To Get Involved

An Invitation To Get Involve With The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical
 
Get Involved: To Feeding Hungry Children Campaign, To Start a Personal Fundraiser; To Help Spread the Word, To Sponsors; To Benefactors; To Volunteers; To Married Roman Catholic Priests; To Roman and Eastern Catholic Bishops; To Celibate Roman Catholic Priests; To Roman Catholic Laity; To Wives of Married Roman Catholic Priests; To Catholic Autocephalous Bishops and Priests;  To Religious Orders and Churches to be Ecumenical Friends with the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical; To Religious Communities and Churches to have an Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charter with Order of Franciscans Ecumenical; To all Priests and Friends (persons and/or organizations) to Become Members of the Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests; and To Join the International Confraternity of the Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi.
 
May God richly bless you and your involvement!
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Friar Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


An Invitation To Religious Orders and Churches

An Invitation to Religious Orders and Churches to be Ecumenical Friends with the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical
 
What does it mean to be “ecumenical friends?”
 
These are some of the things that reflect what that means: To pray regularly for the unity of the Church; to be rooted in a particular Christian tradition; to take an active part in the careful and honest appraisal of whatever needs to be done for the renewal of one’s own church; to be fascinated and curious about that which is different; to be willing to learn; to cultivate an historical consciousness; to be ready to celebrate vitality in the Body of Christ wherever it is found; to be willing to work together; to feel the scandal of our divisions; to be open to God’s will for the Church; to appreciate the important role of provisional regulations and church structures in our evolution from alienation to reconciliation; to have an appreciation for the hierarchy of truths in Christian doctrine; to try to understand others as they understand themselves; to be alert to the presence of God and the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of other Christians and members of other living faiths; and to have a biblical patience.
 
Blessings,
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Friar Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Welcome Home!

Welcome to the blog of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos (Theotokos in Greek means “God-bearer”). 
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical ​is pleased to provide a “home” for married Roman Catholic priests and to eventually enable them to continue to serve sacramentally within the Roman Catholic Church.
 
Note: Use of the term “ecumenical” is important to this particular Franciscan order. Whereas we are Eastern / Roman Catholic presbyters who support and promote married and celibate Roman Catholic priesthood, we have a thirty-four-year history of involvement and collaboration with a number of other communities as well, including: Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, and other Orthodox jurisdictions; Syro-Chaldean; Celtic; Anglican; and various Eastern Catholic traditions.  
                               

Catholic Apostolic Church / Eastern Rite / International Ordinariate was canonically created in January, 1985 as the Personal Prelature of Pope John Paul II under the guidance of the Russian Emigre Archbishop Josef DeBrulle.At that time, we had to work with total confidentiality.  We went public in 2013. It was later named the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, and, is most recently known as the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE). Its leadership is provided by Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE, who is now the Abbot General.

 
Note: A personal prelature is a canonical structure of the Roman Catholic Church which is comprised of a prelate, clergy, and laity who undertake specific pastoral activities.
 
The specific pastoral activity of the OFE, as was originally desired by Pope John Paul II, is to create an avenue for married Roman Catholic priests to return to service in Roman Catholic parishes.
 
May God richly bless you!
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE                                                                                                                                                        
Very Reverend Friar Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


“Gift of Women”

“Until we have truly incorporated the gift of women and the feminine dimension of our Christian faith, we will not be able to fully energise the life of the Church.” (Cf. https://overcomingsilence.com, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFMConv, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta)



Over Coming Silence

“Courageous women played an important role in Jesus’ public ministry, and witnessed his death, burial and resurrection. We urgently need to talk openly about women in decision making roles in the Roman Catholic Church. The words of a lay Catholic evangelist Kitty Cleveland, “It’s our time, ladies, in the Catholic Church, to be courageous. This is a time of great saints.”” (Cf. https://overcomingsilence.com, Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE)

(Photo Credits: Saint Mary Magdalene, Head Hands and Feet | Photo by Simon Webster)


A Hungry Child

“You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday.”  (Zimbabwean Proverb)
 
Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign is the ministry of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. Its mission statement is of funding the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign and to meet the needs of orphan children that we serve so that they may grow, learn, and have the opportunities of life that they deserve.
 
Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)
 
Members of the body of Christ we are called to assist those in need. We can’t disregard the plight of orphan children suffering hunger, thirst, nakedness, homelessness, or sickness.
 
The greatest motivation for helping others is because we are loved by a loving God who created us, provides for us, and gave everything.  A God who has asked us to love and take care of human beings just as he loves and takes care of us.
 
The Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. is seeking out others to partner with us, make a monetary gift, become a benefactor, volunteer, support an orphan child, become a sustaining member, tithe, make a bequest gift, donate in someone’s memory, make a tribute gift, and make a bequest gift.
 
All donations received are used for the sole purpose of supporting the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign. There is no compensation of any kind paid to the President/CEO or other Board members. 
 
Your individual contribution is a means of sharing in the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos campaign and its ongoing ministry. 
 
Your prayers and contributions are true blessings,
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Friar Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Letter to Pope Francis

Open Letter to Pope Francis on Behalf of Married Roman Catholic Priests
 
April 5, 2019
Memorial of St. Isidore, Bishop | Doctor of the Church
His Holiness Francis
Apostolic Palace 
00120 Vatican City State
 
Your Holiness Pope Francis,
 
Cordial greeting to you.
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is pleased to provide a “home” for married Roman Catholic priests and hopefully to eventually enable them to continue to serve sacramentally within the Roman Catholic Church.
 
As historically documented, we were canonically created in 1985 as the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate, later identified as the Federation of Jesus Abbeys and most recently as the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical. We were founded within the Personal Papal Prelature of Pope John Paul II of 1985. Our specific pastoral activity, as well as the desire of Pope John Paul II, was to create a way for married Roman Catholic priests to return home to continue to serve within Roman Catholic parishes.
 
One day St. Francis of Assisi prayed in the little church of Saint Damian outside the walls of Assisi. He felt the eyes of the Christ on the crucifix gazing at him and heard a voice saying three times, “Francis, go and repair my house, which you see is falling down.” This message is just as relevant today as it was in the time of Francis of Assisi.
 
You “were the only Roman Catholic cleric to praise the life of a former bishop [Jerónimo José Podestá] who had left the priesthood to marry ….You knelt at his deathbed and comforted him.” As Archbishop of Argentina, you noted that in the Eastern churches, priests can be married, and “they are very good priests…It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.” Obviously, you are very sensitive to the needs of the People of God for the Eucharistic food which only a priest can provide. There is refreshed anticipation that our Church will return to our earliest tradition embracing both married and celibate priests.
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is where we embrace priests who have left celibate promises/vows as Roman Catholic priests to marry. Sadly, they have become abandoned by the Church and disheartened, and we seek in the OFE to love and console them. We have within the Order married priests of proven seriousness and maturity who wish to return to sacramental ministry. We select married men who are called to priesthood to make them available to Roman and Eastern Catholic Bishops.
 
We can say is that the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is the only formal outcome of a 34 year study presented by the task force created by the Vatican in 1985. Holy Father, we will be remembering you in our prayers during the Divine Liturgy. We, too, ask to be remembered in your prayers.
 
In filial devotion,
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE 
Very Reverend Friar Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Roman Catholic Married Priesthood

Save My Church and Restore Married Priesthood / Optional Celibacy Back into the Roman Catholic Church
 
By Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE
 
The Church is suffering within its own ranks. On the grassroots level, we meet priests who live in grief and sometimes in poverty. We welcome Pope Francis acknowledging in Amoris Laetitia that “we could draw from the experience of the broad oriental tradition of a married clergy.”
 
The mission of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic (and Catholic) priests by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also supports efforts to restore married priesthood to the Roman Catholic Church. Canon Laws 212 §2 and §3 tell us that we have the duty to express our views about the Church’s “matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.” Men who have left the priesthood to marry are made to feel that they failed merely because they wanted the fulfillment of wives and families of their own. Sadly, they have become disheartened by the Church’s abandonment.
 
All of us have seen how many good priests have been dismissed because they chose to love a woman and have a family. Most of them have to find other work to support their families. Those who could not find work often have been pushed into poverty and suffered emotionally because of the treatment they have received from the Church. 
 
Countless people in the pews have let it be known that they want a priest – married or celibate, it matters little – who will be compassionate about their life issues. Many would welcome a move of the Church to allow married priests back into active priesthood. If the Church is willing to welcome married Episcopal priests into our Church, surely you should be open to accepting former and now married Roman Catholic priests.


Married Roman Catholic Priests

“I support married priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly, this will augment the vocation to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. As there is shortage for priesthood and since total celibacy in the Roman Catholic priesthood discourages priestly vocation in the present modern society and also the existing priests go through untold emotional and psychological and sexual pressures, it is better priests are married and render service to the people of God.” (Father J. Arokia Nathan)


Our Order’s Apostolic Works

The Apostolic Works of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

Sanctification of families;
Blessing of married Roman Catholic priests.


“For I was hungry and you gave me food.”

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.” (Matthew 25:35)

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Blessings and thank you,
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Mission Statement of the Abbey

The Mission Statement of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. 
 
The mission statement of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc, is of funding the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign and to meet the needs of orphan children that we serve so that they may grow, learn, and have the opportunities of life that they deserve.


Our Order’s Mission Statement

The Mission Statement of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
The mission statement of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic (and Catholic) priests and laity by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also supports efforts to restore married priesthood to the Roman Catholic Church.


Our Order’s Mission

The Mission of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
Welcome married Roman Catholic priests;
Provide the People of God the Eucharist;
Have married Roman Catholic priests available to Roman Catholic bishops;
Affirm the marriages and lives of married Roman Catholic priests;
Provide a home and support for married Roman Catholic priests through acceptance, communications, and ongoing activities of the Order; 
Welcome celibate Roman and Eastern Catholic priests in good standing in the Roman Catholic Church to serve as brothers; 
Support efforts of members, other clergy, and laity in their efforts to restore married priesthood to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church.



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Page approved by the Abbot General.