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 College of  Bishops:

Bishop Rouville M. Fisher, III, OFE
Bishop-Elect Charalambos Ocen
Bishop Francis Joseph Patrick, SJ 
Bishop Anthony A.M. Pearson, COFE
Archbishop Andrew Sagayam, OFE

News Briefs Page

Valerie J. Stroud, OFES (hc), BA, DipRS
 
Valarie J. Stroud was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) on the 4th day of October, 2018, the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi. An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. She lives in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool in the UK.
 
Valerie Stroud has served the reform movement for 25 years in the UK and internationally. She is the Webmaster and Communications Manager for We Are Church International, a network of national groups committed to reform of the Roman Catholic Church. She is also the Chairman of The People of God Trust /Catholics for a Changing Church in the UK and Hon. Treasurer for the International Federation for a Renewed Catholic Ministry. Her degree studies with the Open University in the 1990’s enabled her to develop her understanding of how power works in groups and societies, including the Church. For her Diploma she studied World Religions and how they adapt to change and the modern world.
 
Rev. Father Anthony A.M. Pearson, COFE, STD, DD, MTh, MA, MEd, BA, ThG
 
Most Reverend Anthony A.M. Pearson, COFE, STD, DD, MTh, MA, MEd, BA, ThG
 
Abbot General Michael Cuozzo, OFE, on September 8, 2018, established the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE), for Catholic autocephalous bishops and priests who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”
 
On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary, Reverend Father Anthony A.M. Pearson, became its first professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE). Father Pearson’s religious name is Brother Anthony of the Divine Mercy.  The name of his priory will be Saint Maria Faustina of the Divine Mercy Priory, COFE.
 
Most Reverend Rouville M. Fisher, III, ordained Father Pearson to the diaconate, presbyterate, and as bishop to serve the jurisdictional Diocese of Saint Maria Faustina of the Divine Mercy of the Independent Catholic Church of North America (ICCONA), Braunfels, Texas, USA.
 
Bishop Anthony A.M. Pearson has been in Christian ministry for 40 years serving as a pastor, educator, author, counselor, and consultant. He also worked in law enforcement, the military, and as a public educator/counselor. After 20 years as an ordained protestant, evangelical, Baptist minister, serving churches from Massachusetts to Texas; he embraced the Catholic faith after spiritual visions and revelations he received while on pilgrimage to the Holy Lands in 1991. Returning to higher education in 1994, he completed numerous graduate degrees and received an honorary doctorate. Through these experiences he gained new insights and understandings; and began the journey of preparation which led to his seeking Holy Orders through Independent Catholic Church of North America (ICCONA), and his studying as a seminarian at Saint
Michael’s Seminary.
 
Bishop Pearson is the past president and dean of Saint Michael’s Old Catholic Seminary, former bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maria Faustina of the Divine Mercy, and retired rector of Saint Maria Faustina Parish, Braunfels, Texas, USA.
 
He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Texas. He is married to Marsha Lee Emery, and is father to five sons and grandfather to eleven grandchildren.
Bishop Pearson and his wife Marsha are attending the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), or Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum (OICA) instruction at Saint Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Parish in Canyon Lake, Texas, USA. RCIA or OICA is a process developed by the Catholic Church for prospective converts to Catholicism.
 
He has been a member of the College of Bishops for the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc.
 
Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE)
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical is pleased to announce that we have established the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE). 
 
On the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 2018, the Abbot General of OFE established the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE), for Catholic autocephalous bishops and priests who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and were not ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.  
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) will maintain its distinct identity as an Eastern Catholic Franciscan Religious Order, Western Rite, explicitly universal, international, and Catholic. Present members and those who join COFE are called to assist the Order to accomplish its goals, mission, charism, Apostolic works, and to live out the OFE Franciscan “Rule of Life.”
 
At the Vatican on 16 June 2000, Pope John Paul II ratified and ordered the publication of “Dominus Iesus (English: The Lord Jesus). This Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was signed and published by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) in August of the same year. In this Declaration, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the validity of Orders and Sacraments of autocephalous or Old Catholic denominations:
 
“The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Roman Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.” (IV. Unicity and Unity of the Church, 17)
 
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
 
Novitiate of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES)
 
On the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist, August 29, 2018, the Reverend Friar Terence M. McDonough+, OFE, Founder and Abbot of Our Lady of Knock Abbey established a Novitiate program of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) at his parish. He is the Pastor at The Friends of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
 
The OFE has a charter with Our Lady of Knock Abbey. The Reverend Friar Terence M. McDonough became a member of OFE on March 9, 2017.
 
College of Bishops
 
On the Memorial of The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 22, 2018, the Abbot General of OFE established the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical College of Bishops.
 
Present members of the College of Bishops are Most Reverend Rouville M. Fisher, III, OFE, Bishop-Elect Charalambos Ocen, Most Reverend Francis Joseph Patrick, Most Reverend Anthony A.M. Pearson, COFE, and ​Archbishop Andrew Sagayam, OFE.
 
Most Reverend Phillip Francis Straling, OFE (hc), DD
 
Most Reverend Phillip Francis Straling, DD
 
Most Reverend Phillip Francis Straling was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) on the 14th day of July 2018, the Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino.  An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church, the Dioceses of San Diego, San Bernardino, and Reno. He is Bishop Emeritus in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA. 
 
On July 14, 1978, San Bernardino native Phillip Francis Straling, was appointed as the Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California, USA. He was ordained bishop on November 6, 1978. The new diocese comprises of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Diocese of San Bernardino used to be part of the Diocese of San Diego, San Diego, California, USA. He served as bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino from 1978–1995.
 
In 1995, Pope John Paul II divided the state of Nevada into two dioceses – the Diocese of Las Vegas in the south and the reconstituted Diocese of Reno in the north – and called Bishop Straling to assume leadership of the Diocese of Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA. He was installed as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Reno on June 29, 1995 and served there until his retirement in 2005. He holds the title of Bishop Emeritus in the Diocese of Reno.
 
On June 29, 1988, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE celebrated his 30th anniversary of his priesthood ordination. He was ordained by Bishop Phillip Francis Straling.  
 
Bishop-Elect Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen+, OFE (hc), DipTh
 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bishop-Elect Reverend Father Charalombos Ocen+, DipTh

On Sunday, June 17, 2018, the OFE formed its fifth ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with Saints Cyrillos and Methodios Greek Orthodox Church, which is in Katakwi, Uganda, East Africa. Bishop-Elect Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen is the founder and pastor of the church. He is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa and the Holy Metropolis of Kampala and all Uganda.  December 27, 2016, Father Ocen was elected a member on the Board of Directors to the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.  For the last three years he has been an Advisory Board member for the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical. There is a thirty year history of involvement and collaboration between the OFE and Orthodox jurisdictions.                                                                                 
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.
 
Acquisition International Announce the Winners of the 2018 Business Excellence Awards
 
 

                             Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos was awarded                               Best Non-Profit Charity Corporation – California

 
Press Release: United Kingdom, 2018 – Acquisition International Magazine have announced the winners of the 2018 Business Excellence Awards.
 
In these times of financial and economic upheaval, the business environment can be more uncertain than ever. From global issues of an increasingly erratic climate, to political instability and data security questions, enterprises are facing challenges, new and old. With our programme, we provide an overview of the very best of the best, who have worked hard to achieve phenomenal success for their clients.
 
Discussing the awards, Laura Hunter, Coordinator comments on the success of their deserving winners: “These awards rewards and recognise the hard work undertaken by businesses of all sizes from across the corporate landscape. Congratulations and best of luck for the future to all of my winners, I am extremely proud of your success.”
 
Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.
 
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc., Board of Directors
 
On April 16, 2018, upon a motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Reverend Paul Ochieng-Ogada+, DMB, Reverend Friar Andrew Sagayam+, OFE, and Brother Leonard Ndegwa, DMB, were elected voting members on the Board of Directors to the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc.
 
The present members of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc., Board of Directors are Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, President, and Patricia Cuozzo, OFES, Secretary and Treasurer.
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.
 
 
In February, 2018, Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos was awarded “Best Non-Profit Charity Corporation – California,” by Acquisition International, AI Global Media Ltd., United Kingdom.  Acquisition awards are based solely on merit, meaning that there are no commercial requirements, no awards guaranteed by payment, and no barriers to entry. The only factors that will determine success are the work that is done and the results achieved.  The nomination came in January, and was subject to a lengthy and in-depth assessment process designed to enable Acquisition International to give recognition to those organizations considered remarkable. 
 
The Board of Directors of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. express gratitude to Laura Hunter, Assistant Awards Manager – AI Global Media Ltd., as well as to the in-house research team for compiling the Abbey’s case file, the judging panel, and all involved.
Deborah Rose-Milavec, OFES (hc)
 
Deborah Rose-Milavec was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) on the 6th day of February, 2018, the Memorial of Saint Paul Milki and companions, Martyrs. An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. She resides in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
 
Deborah Rose-Milavec is the Executive Director of FutureChurch. They are a national coalition of parish-centered Catholics seeking changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. FutureChurch works for just, open and collaborative structures for Catholic worship, organization and governance; a return to the Church’s early tradition of both married and celibate priests; a return to the Church’s earliest tradition, modeled on the inclusive practice of Jesus recognizing both female and male leaders of faith communities, and regular access to the Eucharist, the center of Catholic life and worship, for all Catholics.
 
Deborah has worked among some of the most vulnerable in our society. She has directed programs and campaigns related to domestic violence, at-risk youth, humanitarian aid, war and peace, and the environment. She holds a master’s degree in theology and, most recently, she served as program director and vice president of Catherine of Siena Virtual College, an online school dedicated to teaching women and men about gender inequity in church and society, with a special outreach to Africa, China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Latin America.
 
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc., Board of Directors
 
On the Feast of Saint John Neumann, Bishop, January 5, 2018, the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc., was incorporated as a non-profit religious corporation. The sole purpose of this corporation (Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc.) is to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic priests and laity. This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). 
 
The present members of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc., Board of Directors are Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, President, and Patricia Cuozzo, OFES, Secretary and Treasurer.
 
On April 16, 2018, upon a motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Reverend Paul Ochieng-Ogada+, DMB, Reverend Friar Andrew Sagayam+, OFE, and Brother Leonard Ndegwa, DMB, were elected voting members on the Board of Directors to the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc.
 
Rene Reid, OFES (hc)
 
Rene Reid was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) on the 8th day of December, 2017, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. She resides in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA. Rene, is a celebrated international speaker and author. Formerly a Catholic nun of the order of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, she holds a Master’s degree in theology and has dedicated much of her life to the field of education. Reid is, also, a consultant for the network marketing industry. After spending a month in 2013 on a pilgrimage walking the Camino de Santiage across Spain, she founded Catholic Church Reform Int’l. (CCRI). CCRI is a global network of committed Catholic organizations and individuals seeking a deeply-rooted reform of our Church through a united voice and collaborative action. People of all faiths are welcomed to join in this movement.
 
Rene Reid is a member of the Advisory Board of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos since 2014. 
    Alphonsa Andrew, OFES, BA
 
Alphonsa Andrew became a professed secular Franciscan of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular on November 13, 2017, memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Her religious name is Sister Alphonsa. 
Saint Alphonsa was an Indian religious sister and educator. She was the first woman of Indian origin to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, and the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church based in India. Her feast day is observed on the July 28th.
 
Sister Alphonsa, OFES is the wife of Reverend Father Andrew Sagayam, OFE. 
 
Mr. James Stubenrauch, OFES (hc)
 
Mr. James Stubenrauch was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) on October 4, 2017. An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Stubenrauch resides in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, USA. 
 
Reverend Father W.W. Augustus Dilkushan Fernando+, OFE
 
On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, memorial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Religious, Reverend Father W.W. Augustus Dilkushan Fernando, became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical. Father Fernando’s religious name is Brother Dilkushan which has a meaning of happy heart. 
Reverend Fernando was ordained to the diaconate and presbyterate by Right Reverend Dr. Vianney Fernando to serve a missionary religious congregation of Sylvestro Benedictine (OSB) in Sri Lanka. The name of his priory will be Our Lady of Lanka Priory, OFE.
 
The Very Reverend Father Archdeacon John F. Demeis, OFES
 
The June Newsletter of Our Lady of Grace Society printed a story about our own Very Reverend Father Archdeacon John F. Demeis, OFES. On April 27, 2017, he was awarded the Staten Island Council of Churches Service Award. He was honored and recognized for his contributions to his church by the Staten Island Council of Churches at their annual awards dinner in Staten Island, New York, USA. 
 
Archdeacon Demeis, of the Italian-Greek (Eastern) Catholic Church (a Byzantine Greek Catholic Rite) was received as our first Eastern Catholic laity of the OFES on February 19, 2016.
 
 

                    L to R: Rev. Deacon Tom Stadnik, Rev. Deacon Paul Kosinski, Archdeacon John F. Demeis,                        and Patrick Foley, President, Staten Island Council of Churches 

Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests
 
On the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon, August 10, 2017, OFE established the Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests (TACP) for ordained and non-ordained men and women who advocate for married Roman Catholic priesthood, support the goals, mission, charism, and apostolic works of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., with prayer, time, talent, wisdom, encouragement, and treasure. It received its first member of the TACP on the same day. 
 
Most Reverend +Francis Joseph Patrick
 
On July 4, 2017, the Abbot General of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical received a statement from Roman Catholic Bishop +Francis Joseph Patrick.  Bishop Francis read a prepared statement at Good Shepherd Chapel at Holy Apostles Monastery in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, stating that he has accepted appointment as bishop and shepherd of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Holy Apostles Monastery, and Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Members of Holy Apostles Monastery had gathered at the Good Shepherd Chapel for the celebration of the Eucharist before the prepared statement was read. How blessed and honored we are to have Bishop +Francis Joseph Patrick, as our shepherd.  
                                                                  
Abbot Billy T. Sullivan+, OFC Advisor, OSM, BA, MS
 
On June 18, 2017, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), Abbot Billy T. Sullivan, OSM, accepted appointment as a spiritual guide on the Advisory Board of the Order of Franciscans Culdee.
 
Abbot Billy was ordained to the diaconate and presbyeriate in the Celtic Catholic Church USA.  He is the Abbot of the Order of Saint Michael (OSM) within the Celtic Catholic Church USA. The OSM is dedicated to both the spiritual formation and the spiritual protection of its members and the Church. The Order’s Rule of Life are: worship, prayer, silence and contemplation, fasting and abstinence, study, work, and charity.
 
Abbot Billy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in general psychology, and a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling. He has a strong background in Celtic Studies, primarily through the Gaelic Traditionalist group known as Clannada na Gadelica (CnG). Abbot Billy has served on CnG’s Board of Educators.
 
Reverend Father Rouville M. Fisher, III, OFE, BS, MDiv, DD
 
Reverend Father Rouville M. Fisher, III became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on April 20, 2017. Father Rouville’s religious name is Brother John Paul, in honor of Pope John Paul II. The name of his priory will be Incarnation Priory, OFE.
 
Father Rouville is an emeritus archbishop with the Independent Catholic Church of North America, which shares the same core beliefs with the Roman Catholic Church, Episcopal Church, the Orthodox Catholic Churches, and others who adhere to the principles of the Faith as handed down to us from the holy apostles and the early church fathers.  
Prior Brother William Seuffert, HDM, BA, MDiv, STL
 
Prior Brother William Seuffert, HDM, was awarded a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL), Master of Divinity (MDiv), and Certificate Pastoral Care and Domestic Violence from Sanctus Theological Institute on March 24, 2017.  Prior Brother Seuffert, who founded the Hermitage of Saint Tekakwitha, also founded the Hermits of Divine Mercy. They are a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order of monks and nuns. The hermitage is under the administration of Hermits of Divine Mercy.
 
The OFE has a charter with this hermitage.
 
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE is the Guardian of the Hermites of Divine Mercy.
 
Reverend Father Terence M. McDonough+, OFE, OFC
 
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, memorial of Saint Frances of Rome, Religious, the OFE formed its fourth ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with Our Lady of Knock Abbey, which is in Massachusetts, USA. Reverend Father Terence M. McDonough+, OFE, is the founder and Abbot of Our Lady of Knock Abbey. Reverend Terence was ordained to the diaconate and presbyterate by Most Reverend Aloysius John Wycislo to serve a missionary religious congregation in the Latin Church, the Society of the Divine Word of Illinois, USA. Reverend Terence M. McDonough became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on March 9, 2017. His religious name is Brother Arnold. 
Hermitage of Saint Tekakwitha
 
On Epiphany of the Lord, Sunday, January 8, 2017, OFE established its third
ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with the Hermitage of Saint Tekakwitha in Virginia, USA.  Prior Brother William Seuffert, HDM, who founded the Hermitage of Saint Tekakwitha, also founded the Hermits of Divine Mercy. They are a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order of monks and nuns. The hermitage is under the administration of Hermits of Divine Mercy.
 
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.
 
On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, 2016, the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., was incorporated as a non-profit charity corporation. A month later it received the Internal Revenue Service determination letter, and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. is now a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charity, and donations to the Abbey are tax deductible.
 
The present members of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., Board of Directors are Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, President, and Patricia Cuozzo, OFES, Secretary and Treasurer.
 
On December 27, 2016, upon a motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen, Reverend Don Bosco+, SJ, DMB, and Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi, OP, were elected voting members on the Board of Directors to the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. Furthermore, The Right Reverend Dom +Alistair Bate, OSBA, The Right Reverend +Todd Smith, and Reverend Mother Bonnie Devlin+, TOR, were elected non-voting members on the Advisory Board as a spiritual guide to the Order of Franciscans Culdee.
 
Reverend Mother Bonnie Devlin+, OFC Advisor, TOR, PhD, MDiv.
 
On December 1, 2016, Reverend Mother Bonnie Devlin+, TOR, PhD, MDiv., accepted appointment as a spiritual guide on the Advisory Board of the Order of Franciscans Culdee.
 
Reverend Mother Devlin was ordained to the diaconate and presbyeriate in the Celtic Christian Church. She is the Vicar General, Dean of Saint Ita’s School of Theology of the Celtic Catholic Church USA, and is a retired Congregational pastor of 25 years and was lead pastor of several churches.
 
Reverend Mother Devlin holds two Masters of Education degrees from Rutgers University, a Ph.D. in Aesthetics (focus on Sacred Ritual/Arts) from New York University in New York, and an MDiv. from Harvard Divinity School.
 
The Right Reverend +Todd Smith, OFC Advisor, BS, MS, DD
 
On November 30, 2016, the Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostles, The Right Reverend +Todd Smith, BS, MS, DD, accepted a position as a spiritual guide on the Order of Franciscans Culdee’s Advisory Board.
 
Bishop Todd’s diaconate and presbyteriate ordinations were by an Orthodox Celtic bishop in Apostolic Succession. He is the Head Bishop of the Orthodox Catholic Church World Wide.
 
Right Reverend Dom +Alistrai, OSBA, (csr), OFC Advisor
 
November 18, 2016, OFE welcomed the Right Reverend Dom +Alistair Bate, OSBA, (csr), its first Celtic Bishop, to the Order of Franciscans Culdee Advisory Board as a spiritual guide. Bishop Alistair is the Presiding Bishop of the Holy Celtic Church and Abbot-Founder of the Holy Cross Benedictines of Adoration (OSBA), an autocephalous and idiorrhythmic monastic congregation in Switzerland.
 
Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Holy Apostles Monastery
 
Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Holy Apostles Monastery was granted pontifical status by the Holy See (the office of the Bishop of Rome). The community assembled at the Good Shepherd Chapel on October 28, 2016, for the celebration of the Eucharist.  OFE has an ecclesiastical affiliation with the Monastery.
 
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, STD, PhD
 
On Thursday, October 27, 2016, the Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help of Holy Apostles Monastery, gathered at the Good Shepherd Chapel for renewal of vows, as well as for the celebration of having Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo as its first Abbot General for both Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual and Holy Apostles Monastery. The Center for Children at its Monastery was dedicated and named Father Michael Cuozzo Foundation Center for Love and Hope. OFE has a charter with the Holy Apostles Monastery.
Holy Apostles Monastery
 
Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help gathered at Good Shepherd Chapel to celebrated the dedication of Holy Apostles Monastery new location, on October 26, 2016. OFE has an ecclesiastical affiliation with the Monastery.
 
Most Reverend +Andrew Sagayam, OFE, MA, BPh, BTh
 
Most Reverend Andrew Sagayam agreed to be an Advisory Board member to the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., on October 24, 2016, the optional memorial of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop. Bishop Andrew Sagayam is the Archbishop Primate of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Saint Thomas the Apostle, USA, and India. The OFE has a charter with the Archdiocese. The Bishop became a member of OFE on June 2, 2016.
 
Father Donald Kelpinski+, OFE, MDiv, MEd
 
On October 16, 2016, celebration of the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Father Donald accepted a position on the Advisory Board to the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. Father Donald joined the OFE on August 20, 2015, and is the Prior of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Priory, California, USA.
 
Order of Franciscans Culdee
 
On the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2016, the Abbot General of OFE established the Order of Franciscans Culdee (OFC), for married and celibate Roman Catholic priests. The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical and the Order of Franciscans Culdee were fused together in a single entity (“an Order within an Order”) with distinct and independent ecclesiastical functions. Present members and those who join will be members of both orders.
 
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos,  Inc.
 
On September 14, 2016, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., became a non-profit charity corporation.  A month later it received the Internal Revenue Service determination letter, and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charity, and donations to the Abbey are tax deductible.
 
Reverend Father Matthew Zifoti+, OFE, BSc (Hons), DipTh, DipRS, DipPhil
 
Reverend Father Matthew Zifoti became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on September 19, 2016. Father Zifoti’s religious name is Brother Paul. Saint Moses the Black Priory, OFE will be the name of his priory.  Saint Moses the Black was an ascetic an monk, priest in Egypt in the fourth century AD, a notable Desert Father, and the Patron Saint of Africa.
 
Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi, OP, BA, DipEd
 

Kindergarten run by catholic nuns (Photo by: Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi, OP
kindergarten classroom
September 2016
 
Dominican Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi has accepted the position of Administrative Assistant at Holy Apostles Monastery in Kenya, East Africa, on September 17, 2016. Sister Emmaculate has been the business manager and accountant of the monastery, with which the OFE has an ecclesiastical affiliation (charter). Sister Emmaculate is a professed Dominican nun with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Paul in Spain.
Brother Athanasius+, OFE, BA
 
Brother Athanasius has accepted the appointment of Vicar for Missions of the OFE on September 9, 2016. He is the Prior of Saint Anthony of Padua OFE Priory, Zimbabwe, East Africa, and a Franciscan Friar and brother with our Order since July 18, 2015.
 
Mr. Auguste Ahadjitse, OFES, BA, MCP
 
Mr. Auguste Ahadjites became a professed secular Franciscan of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular on August 31, 2016. His religious name is Brother Pio. Saint Pio of Pietrelcina was a friar of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFMCap), priest, stigmatist, and mystic, now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church.
 

Brother Pio, OFES, is a parishioner at Saint Josephine Bakhita Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana, East Africa.  Saint Josephine Bakhita was a Sudanese-born former slave and knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery.  In Italy, in response to God’s grace, she became a Canossian Religious Sister in Italy, living and working there for 45 years where everyone still refers to her “Mother Moretta” (our “Black Mother”). In 2000 she was declared a saint.

Reverend Father Paul Ochieng-Ogada+, DMB, OFE (hc), MA, BS, Dip Th
 
Reverend Father Paul Ochieng-Ogada, DMB, was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on August 31, 2016.  An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished ministerial service. Father Paul is the Superior General of Holy Apostles Monastery in Kenya, East Africa. He resides in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa.
 
The OFE has a charter with this monastery.
 
Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi
 
On the Memorial of Saint Benedict, July 11, 2016, OFE established the Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi. The Union is an international confraternity of prayer and ministry. It is comprised of priests, brothers, sisters, and laity who commit to prayer for the sanctification of families and of married Roman Catholic priests are welcome as members.
 
The Right Reverend Mar +Michael Melchizedek, BA, MDiv, DD (hc), PhD 
 
On July 21, 2016, Right Reverend Mar +Michael Melchizedek has accepted a position as a member of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Advisory Board. He is the Apostolic Vicar in the Eastern Apostolic Church.  It is an Eastern jurisdiction that follows both Orthodox and Catholic traditions.
 
Mar +Melchizedek had served in both Western and Eastern traditions. He was originally ordained in a Catholic Order, teaching as seminary professor at Saint Elias School of Orthodox Theology and as a bishop of an Eastern Eparchy, Nebraska Ukrainian Orthodox Exarchate.
 
Mar +Melchizedek was Abbot Father Michael’s professor, mentor, and friend.  Abbot Father Michael was awarded Doctor of Divinity (DD) and Doctor of Sacred (STD) degrees from Saint Elias School of Orthodox Theology, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, and is honored that Mar +Melchizedek has agreed to serve on our Advisory Board.
 
Deacon Paul Ochieng-Ogada, DMB, MA, BS, DipTh
 
13077040_10153654013683651_4026159681886268963_n
 
Presbyteriate Ordination Roman Catholic Diocese of Same, Tanzania, East Africa
 
Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Deacon Paul Ochieng–Ogada was ordained to the presbyteriate on May 26, 2016 by Rt. Reverend Rogatus Kimaryo, CSSp, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Same, Tanzania, East Africa. Father Paul has been the Superior of General Holy Apostles Monastery in Kenya, East Africa. The OFE has a charter with this monastery.
 
Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen
 
Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2016, OFE welcomed its first Orthodox Priest to the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., Advisory Board. He is Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa and the Holy Metropolis of Kampala and all Uganda.
 
Most Reverend +Andrew Sagayam, OFE, MA, BPh, BTh 
 
Reverend Andrew Sagayam was ordained to the diaconate and presbyerate by Most Reverend Joseph Roy of the Roman Catholic diocese of Mysore, India. He became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on June 2, 2016, on the Memorial of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs. His religious name is Brother Andrew.    
 
Archbishop Andrew Sagayam is also under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Holy Catholic Church International (HCCI), Florida, USA, after a conditional consecration to the episcopacy with a valid apostolic line succession by Patriarch Paul and cardinals of HCCI. Archbishop Andrew is now the Archbishop Primate of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Saint Thomas the Apostle, USA, and India. 
 
The OFE has formed its second ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with the Archdiocese.
 
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo
 
On May 2, 2016, Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Abbot Father Michael was offered an opportunity to pastor an Italian-Greek (Eastern) Catholic Mission, a Byzantine Greek Catholic Rite that is in union with the Bishop of Rome. Though geography prevents acceptance of this position, it was an honor to be invited, as well as a welcome reflection of acceptance of married priesthood.
 
Mr. Vincenzo Maria Rosario Chianese, OFE Advisor, BTh, STD
 
IMG_1644
 
Mr. Vincenzo Maria Rosario Chianese
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., Advisory Board
Marian Missionaries of the Holy Spirit
 
On May 1, 2016, Emeritus Catholic Theologian Mr. Vincenzo Maria Rosario Chianese has accepted a position as a member of Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Advisory Board. He is the founder of the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Naples, Italy.
 
Mr. Chianese also serves as an advisor with the Catholic Church Reform International. Its mission is to embrace our baptismal rights and responsibilities by: speaking out with a united voice, thereby actualizing transformative change in the Catholic Church; working toward the creation of a church community based on the Gospel values of inclusivity, justice, and love.
 
Brother Paul Ochieng-Ogada, DMB, MA, BS, DipTh
 
Br Paul 6
 
Diaconate Ordination Diocese of Lodwar, Kenya, East Africa
Brother Paul Ochieng–Ogada, DMB
 
Brother Paul Ochieng–Ogada, DMB, of the Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was ordained to the diaconate on March 26, 2016 by Most Reverend Dominic Kimengich of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lodwar, Kenya, East Africa. Deacon Paul has been the Interim-Superior General of Holy Apostles Monastery in Kenya, East Africa. The OFE has an ecclesiastical affiliation with this monastery. 
 
Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen+, OFE Advisor, DipTh
 
fr.ocen-c
 
Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., Advisory Board
Saints Cyrillos and Methodios Greek Orthodox Church
 
Reverend Father Charalambos Ocen has accepted a position as a member of Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Advisory Board. He is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa and the Holy Metropolis of Kampala and all Uganda.  Father Charalambos is the pastor of the Saints Cyrillos and Methodios Greek Orthodox Parish. There is a thirty year history of involvement and collaboration between the OFE and Orthodox jurisdictions, and we congratulate Father Charalambos Ocen.
 
Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi, OP, BA, DipEd
 
 

Kindergarten run by catholic nuns (Photo by: Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi, OP
kindergarten classroom
September 2016
 
Dominican Sister Emmaculate Achieng Ondiegi has accepted the position of business manager and accountant of the Holy Apostles Monastery in Kenya, East Africa. The OFE has an ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with this monastery. Sister Emmaculate is a professed Dominican nun with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Paul in Spain. 
 
Petition
 
In late April, 2016, OFE sent a petition directed at Pope Francis to Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) with a request to approve it for posting on their website. It asks that, especially during this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, married Roman Catholic priests be reinstated as official ministerial Catholic priests. It was appended and approved. It was posted on May 16, 2016.
 
Reverend Antony Mariathas+, OFE, BTh
 

Reverend Father Antony Mariathas became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on April 09, 2016. He was a religious priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), the same order of which former OFE Advisory Board member Rev. Father Frank Wagner (now deceased) was a member. The OMI are a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded after the French Revolution by St. Eugene De Mazenod to work among the poor.  

Rev. Mariathas’ religious name is Brother Antony Mariathas, and Saint Joseph Solace of the Afflicted Priory, OFE will be the name of his priory.   
 
Reverend Aneesh (Devasia) Puthenpurackal+, OFE, LTh
 
IMG_0918
 
Reverend Father Aneesh (Devasia) Puthenpurackal
 
Reverend Father Aneesh (Davasia) Puthenpurackal became a professed Franciscan Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on March 27, 2016. His religious name is Brother Sebastian. Saint Alphonsa will be the name of his priory. Saint Alphonsa (19 August 1910 – 28 July 1946) was a Syro-Malabar Catholic Franciscan nun who is now honored as a saint. Sister Alphonsa became the first native Indian to be canonized. She is the first woman of Indian origin to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, the second saint to be canonized in India and the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church of the Saint Thomas Christian community. Father Aneesh Puthenpurackal is a member of the Syro-Malabar Eastern Catholic Diocese of the Chaldean Tradition and rector of its seminary. 
 
Very Reverend Father Archdeacon John F. Demeis, OFES
 
Archdeacon John
 
Archimandrite Rt. Rev. Dr. Januarius Izzo,
Very Rev. Fr. Archdeacon John F. Demeis
 
The Very Reverend Father Archdeacon John F. Demeis who became a member of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular on February 19, 2016. His religious name is Brother Thomas. Archdeacon John Demeis is an  archivist of the Our Lady of Grace Mission and Society, of Italian-Greek (Eastern) Catholic Church (a Byzantine Greek Catholic Rite) New York, USA.  
 
Doctor Richard P. Baldi, OFES
 
Doctor Richard P. Baldi became a professed member of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular on February 12, 2016. He was a Franciscan Brother in the Holy Name Province from 1964 until 1970. Dr. Baldi is a member of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Maryland, USA. 
 
Reverend Father Noel Clarke+, OFE
 
Reverend Father Noel became a professed Franciscan Friar and Brother of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical on January 19, 2016. His religious name is Brother Martin.  Saint Brigit will be the name of his priory. Saint Brigit of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (c. 451-525) is one of Ireland’s patron saints.
 
The OFE and OFES Mourn the Death of Rev. Fr. Frank Wagner, OMI, MEd, Th
 
  WAGNERFR-FRANK-683x1024
 
Reverend Father Frank Wagner, OMI, ThM, a member of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Advisory Board from 2013 until 2016, died Sunday, January 17, 2016, in Arleta, California, USA. Oblate Father Wagner was also a member of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests Leadership Team. Please keep him and surviving family members and friends in your prayers.
 
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular
 
On the Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, November 13, 2015, OFE established the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) for wives of married Roman Catholic priests and for Roman Catholic laity in good standing. It received its first professed secular Franciscan of the OFES on the same day. 
 
Holy Apostles Monastery
 
On Sunday, November 29, 2015, First Sunday of Advent,  OFE formed its first ecclesiastical affiliation (charter) with the Holy Apostles Monastery, in Kenya, East Africa. The monastery is under the administration of Divine Mercy Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 
 
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, is Holy Apostles Monastery Abbot and  Founder. 
 
Website
 
On the Nativity of the Lord, December 25, 2015, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical and Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos launched its new website, forming an international Franciscan religious order.
 
An Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis On Behalf of Married Roman Catholic Priests
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 AD                                                                              Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary                                                                  His Holiness Francis                                                                                          Apostolic Palace                                                                                                      00120 Vatican City State

Your Holiness Francis,
 
Cordial greetings 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 / 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.
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Rule of Life is: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40) “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
 
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 30 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 Cuozzo, OFE
Bishop +Francis Joseph Patrick, SJ
 
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos. Inc.
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc. (OFE)
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) 
Order of Franciscans Culdee (OFC)
Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical  (COFE) 
Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi
Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests 
                                                   
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical
 
On the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2011, Father Michael Cuozzo established the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE). 
 
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos 
 
On August 12, 2011, celebration of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Father Michael Cuozzo established the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos. 
 
Copyright © 2015 – 2018 Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc. | Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. All rights reserved.