Two Churches

“There are two churches, one that is man-made with man-made laws. It is corrupt, false and misleading. It denies the will of the living God who reveals Himself to the heart of man. It makes slaves and bond-servants of those who choose to obey it.
There is another Church, the only one for me, for it is the Church of Jesus Christ, imbued with His Spirit, attentive to the Word and Will of God. That is the Church I recognize.” (Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh in a letter to the editor of the ‘Syrian World’ on June 12, 1933)

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Synopsis

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Synopsis

Mission Statement​: 

The mission statement of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical are 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.


We seek out laborers and advisors for our mission.
We voice our story. 
We await a college of bishops to rise to oversee our mission. 
We seek to openly serve the Roman Catholic Church and minister within Roman Catholic ecclesiastical jurisdictions.


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; and
Support efforts of members, other clergy, and laity in their efforts to restore married priesthood to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church.


Recognition of the primacy of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Inspiration from the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi;
Reverence for creation;
Dignity of human persons;
Support of family unity;
Simplicity; and
Welcoming married and celibate Roman Catholic priests and laity. 

Apostolic Works:

Sanctification of families; and
Blessing of married Roman Catholic priests.

Rule of Life:

When Jesus was asked, “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 all your 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) 
He also said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
We are to live a life of commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully.

We are to acclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the study of the Scriptures.

We are to keep the Eucharist and the Gospel at the center of our lives.  
We are to acquire knowledge and inspiration of the Franciscan spirituality of our patron Saint Francis of Assisi.
We are to infuse our daily life with compassion, service, community, simplicity, reverence for creation, dignity of human persons, peacemaking, prayer, and support of family unity.
We are to welcome celibate and married Roman Catholic priests and laity.
We are to be respectful to the Pope, Patriarchs, Bishops, Abbot General, Minister General, and members of our Order.​

The Three Branches of OFE:

The first branch consists of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist ​and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, which together are considered an order within an order (companion communities). Each Order has separate and distinct realms of emphasis. This branch is comprised of priests who are married, as well as celibate Roman Catholic priests who were ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop. Current OFE members and those who join at a later time will be members of both Orders.​​ Celibate Roman Catholic priests will function as brothers in each Order. 
Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist distinct and independent ecclesiastical ​realms are: According to the OFE Motto: Repair My Church; Restore Unity of Roman Catholic Married and Celibate Priesthood; Mission Emphasis: Minister to Married Roman Catholic Priests; and Mission Emphasis: Provide the People of God regular access to the Eucharist.
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical distinct and independent ecclesiastical realms are: According to the OFE Motto: Repair My Church; Non-profit Religious Corporation;  Ecumenical and Interreligious Outreach; Mission Emphasis: Minister to celibate, married Roman Catholic and Catholic priests, and laity; and Mission Emphasis: Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters.
The second branch is the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular of Roman Catholic laypeople and wives of married Roman Catholic priests.
The third branch is the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical​ comprised of married and celibate Catholic autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent self-governing) bishops and priests (men and women) who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and who were not ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.

Why members have friaries or abbeys?:

Community members of Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, and Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical set up home-based friaries or abbeys 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 welcomes laity who support married and celibate priests. The friary or abbey is a place where members are called to live out the Franciscan “Rule of Life” and to assist OFE to accomplish its mission, goals, apostolic works, and charism. The friary or abbey is where all are welcome to celebrate Eucharist and other sacraments.
Friaries or abbeys are self-governing, with friars and brothers supporting themselves and their ministries with secular, church-related, and/or church employment and adhere to the tentmaker tradition of the Apostle Paul, the “modern” term is bi-vocational priest.

Our Canonical History:

In January, 1985, the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate was canonically created as the Personal Papal Prelature of Pope John Paul II. ​The International Ordinariate was under the guidance of the Russian Emigre Archbishop Josef Debrulle. 
Note: Personal prelature is a canonical structure of the Catholic Church which comprises a prelate, clergy and laity who undertake specific pastoral activities. 
The stated purpose of that Prelature, although “under the radar,” (we had to work with total confidentiality) was to oversee the training, internship and subsequent oversight of married men (viri probati) for ordination to the priesthood and to make those married priests available to Roman Catholic bishops. ​We went public in 2013.

Name Change and Pastoral History:

The Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate​ was later named the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, and, is most recently known as Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical.   
The specific pastoral activity of the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate, the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, 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. (Married Roman Catholic priests are priests who married after ordination in the Roman Catholic Church). 

Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi:

The Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi is an international confraternity of prayer and ministry of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular, Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, and Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. It is comprised of priests, pastors, religious, and laity from all religious traditions who commit to prayer for the sanctification of families and of married Roman Catholic priests.

Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests Assisi:

The Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests is an organization that welcomes ordained and non-ordained women and men and organizations who advocate for married Roman Catholic priesthood, and who support the goals, mission, charism, and apostolic works of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc., with prayer, time, talent, wisdom, encouragement, and treasure.

Support Members Association:

Support Members Association are Christian lay person who volunteers and who support the goals, mission, charism, and apostolic works of the Order. They don’t live within the monastic community, nor take vows, but carries out the usual duties of one’s particular state in life, wherever one is, continuing whatever profession or occupation in life one has by caring for family, friends, and others.

OFE Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charter:

We establish Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters with monasteries, abbeys, churches, hermitages, congregations, missions, archdioceses, and dioceses to help them fulfill their respective missions. Each carter will operate independent, maintaining their current system of disciplines and teaching. They accept the authority of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical over all matter of Faith and Practices. The charter member may not legally or financially obligate the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical in anyway.

Ecumenical Friends ~ Religious Orders | Churches | Missions

Ecumenical and Interreligious Outreach
Promoting Christian Unity
We are shepherded by the example of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Servant of God Reverend Father Paul Wattson for promoting Christian unity.

“That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you.” (John 17:21)

What it means to be Ecumenical Friends: 
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; to have a biblical patience.
Note: The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical has no ecclesiastical or jurisdictional affiliations with the religious orders, churches or missions listed on its website. We were granted permission to include them as Ecumenical Friends.
If you would like to establish an Ecumenical Friends relationship with the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, please contact the Minister General and use the Contact Us page on our website.

“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

The Most Reverend +Ida Raming, RCWP (Roman Catholic Women Priests), OFE (hc), DTh was awarded an Honoris Causa membership in the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) on the 29th day of March, 2020, the Fifth Sunday of Lent. An Honoris Causa (Latin: “for the sake of honor”) membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church, church reform, and challenging the prohibition of women from the Roman Catholic priesthood. She resides in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Rottenburg, Germany, Europe.
Most Reverend Ida Reming was born in the northwestern part of Germany and studied philosophy, education, theology and German in Münster and in Freiburg/Breisgau.
Vatican Council II, (1962–65), 21st ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, announced by Pope John XXIII on January 25, 1959, as a means of spiritual renewal for the church and as an occasion for Christians separated from Rome to join in a search for Christian unity.
During Vatican Council II, in 1963, together with Dr. Iris Müller (1930-2011), a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, and Theologian, known as one of the “Grandmothers” of the Women Priests Movement, Bishop Ida Raming drew up a published petition to the Vatican Council II, challenging the exclusion of women from the Roman Catholic priesthood.
Bishop Ida received her doctorate in theology from the University of Münster in 1970, and her thesis was titled “The Exclusion of Women from Priesthood: Divine Law or Gender Discrimination?”
She has published numerous books and articles on the history and theology of women, especially on the position of women in the Roman Catholic Church. She states: ”Considering the continuing oppression of women by the Vatican regarding their baptismal right to ordination, especially the definitive decision of Pope John Paul II against the priesthood of women (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994), in my view the doors to women’s ordination were closed. Therefore, I did not expect any reforms through dialogue and action within the system. I decided, together with my friend and colleague Dr. Iris Müller, after a lifelong struggle for women’s ordination, that the best – and possibly at this juncture the only – way forward was to transgress canon law (c.1024 CIC), relying on the word of Holy Scripture: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).”
On June 29, 2002, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Ida Raming was one of the original seven women who were ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood. This took place on the Danube River. In June, 2006 she was ordained a Roman Catholic woman bishop in Stuttgart, Germany. She serves as a bishop with the Roman Catholic Women Priests- Europe.
(Photo: Episcopa [Bishop] Theodora, far left, Zeno Chapel, Roman Catholic Church of Santa Prassede, Rome)

Bringing Light to Darkness

Today’s serious health concerns have brought a level of uncertainty that many of us thought we would never see in our lifetime; probably none of us thought we would see a single virus become a global pandemic.
There circumstances create some level of worry for each of us, but it is important for all of us to remember that we are indeed in this together and we need to support each other and all those around us in any way we can.
We are people of faith, and let’s all rise to the occasion by focusing on what we can and should be doing, and not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by worry, unknowns, limited resources, etc. Let’s put our energy into looking out for one another, easing the fears of children, checking on the well-being of the elderly and isolated, sharing helpful ideas, and maintaining social ties with others through various electronic means.
Let’s not allow physical separation to translate into social and emotional isolation. Instead, let’s commit ourselves to the recommended health guidelines and put our best efforts into reaching out to others to support their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. Doing so will help us to look back on this time as one in which we used a dark period as an opportunity to bring light into the lives of others.

“Our faithfulness…”

“Our faithfulness will depend on our willingness to go where there is brokenness, loneliness, and human need.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen)

“Be a fool…”

“Be a fool for God.”  (Saint Francis of Assisi)

“God takes the soul.”

“Death takes the body. God takes the soul. Our mind holds the memories. Our hearts keep the love. Our faith lets us know we will meet again.” (Short Quotes World)

“…bring a folding chair.”

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair.” (Shirley Chisholm)

“In time of challenges…”

“In times of challenges, we dare to take care of the simple things.”  “Em tempos de desafios, ousamos cuidar das coisas simples da vida.” (Rose Bertoldo)

“…to regift.”

“God your gift of grace
is the one gift I received
I’m asked to regift” (Haiku Prayers)

“Give me patience, God”

“In between Your birth
and visit of the Magi
Give me patience, God” (Haiku Prayers)

“…path to success…”

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” (Tony Robbins)

“…doing the impossible.”

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

Prayer of Unity

Dear Lord,

Unite the Churches of Christ that have been splintered over the centuries for each year that passes the wedges grow deeper and deeper. As our faith grows, we must see not what separates us, but what joins us. Only then can we once again become true patrons of the faith. Through your word and divine mercy, we shall become united again. Amen.


“The only way you can change Canon Law is to break it.” (Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, OCR, OA, DD)


“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are Anger and Courage; Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” (Saint Augustine of Hippo)


“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  (Mother Teresa)


“A Saint is a Sinner who keeps trying.” (Saint Josemaria Escriva)


“What is it that stands higher than words? Action. What is it that stands higher than action? Silence.”  (Francis of Assisi)

“…simple joys are holy.”

“Do few things but do them well, simple joys are holy.​” (Saint Francis of Assisi)

“…you learn to love by loving.”

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” (Saint Francis de Sales)

“…find it with another.”

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (Thomas Merton)

“…feed just one.”

“If you can’t feed a hundred people [children], then feed just one.” (Mother Teresa)

Of Peacemakers

Admonition of our Holy Father Saint Francis: Of Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)They are truly peacemakers who amidst all they suffer in this world maintain peace in soul and body for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

An Exhortation of Our Holy Father Francis

O dearly beloved brothers and children ever-blessed. listen to me, listen to the voice of your Father: Great things have we promised, greater things have been promised us; Let us observe the former, and yearn for the later. Pleasure is brief; punishment is eternal. Short the suffering, eternal the glory. Many are called, few are chosen; everyone will be rewarded according to his merit. (Amen) (Cf. Thomas of Celano, The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul)


Francis of Assisi wrote, “Whoever may come to us, whether a friend or a foe, a thief or a robber, let him be kindly received.”​

Our Lady of Las Lajas

Our Lady of Las Lajas (Our Lady of the Rocks)
There are many amazing incidents involving apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary related throughout history, and nearly countless times where she has come to give her special assistance to men. One of the most astonishing events involves a little known apparition, Our Lady of Las Lajas, and a miracle that can still be witnessed today on a cliff face of Guaitara Canyon in Colombia, South America.
It was in the year 1754 when a woman named Maria Mueses de Quinones was traveling from her home in the village of Potosi to the neighboring village of Ipiales, which was about 6 miles away. The trail had turned down into the gorge formed by the Guaitara River when Maria was caught in a sudden squall. She did not like this shadowy and overgrown place, for she, like all the natives, believed the grotto known as Las Lajas (The Rocks) was inhabited by the devil. Despite her fears, Maria was soon forced by the violence of the storm to take refuge there anyway.
Making the Sign of the Cross and invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin, Maria peered fearfully into the darkness as she took her first few halting steps into the cave. Surrounded by the awful darkness she was just beginning to look about when she felt someone, or something, moving directly behind her. Afraid to turn around, she ignored the feeling until she felt a finger begin tapping her insistently on the shoulder. Certain it was the devil himself, Maria fled out into the raging storm.
Maria had a young daughter named Rosa, a child who had been a deaf-mute since birth. Sometime later, returning home from Ipiales, Maria was carrying Rosa on her back on the way to their village when she suddenly was suddenly overcome by exhaustion. Unable to go any further, she sat down and rested on a large stone near the dreadful grotto.
“Mommy, look at the mestiza who has detached herself from the rock with a little boy in her arms and two little mestizos at her side!”

“…bruised, hurting and dirty…”

Pope Francis said, “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” 

“Can I hold your hand?”

“My steps wobble, God I feel like a new born child Can I hold your hand?” (Haiku Prayer)

“…danger of starving.”

On the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Saturday, August 24, 2019, the Minister General of OFE established the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, for married and celibate Roman Catholic priests. The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) were fused together in a single entity (“an Order within an Order”). Present members and those who join will be members of both orders.​
The Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist is reflective of our present history, goals, mission, charism,  apostolic works, and Roman Catholic tradition. 
“We need to make our leaders understand that the Mass is more important than mandatory celibacy,” said FutureChurch cofounder, Fr. Louis J. Trivison. Quoting Catholic canon law and the second Vatican Council Trivison noted: “we have the right to receive in abundance…the spiritual goods of the Church, and it is our right and duty to make our views known on matters which concern the good of the Church.” OFE is working for the reinstatement of priests who left the active ministry to marry and reconsideration of opening ordination to “all Catholics called to it by God and the people of God,” including women and the married, rather than lose access to the Eucharist.
“While the Pope writes beautiful statements about what the Eucharist means for Catholics, most Catholics in the world have no regular access to Mass [the Eucharist] at all,” said FutureChurch Executive Director, Sr. Christine Schenk. “If, as the Pope says, the Church truly “draws her life from the Eucharist, then we are in danger of starving.”

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” (St. Francis of Assisi) 

“Lord, take me where… “

“Lord, take me where You want me to go, let me meet who You want me to meet, tell me what You want me to say, and keep me out of Your way.”  (The Prayer of Saint Mychal Judge)


You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” (Mother Teresa)

Save Me, O Lord!

Saint John Chrysostom uses the example of charcoal, in order to console sinful people. A lit charcoal will burn you. If, however, you throw this lit charcoal into the sea, which will prevail? The sea or the charcoal? The sea, of course. As soon as the charcoal hits the water, it is extinguished and disappears.
Sin is a charcoal that scorches and burns our insides. What excruciating pain! Don’t allow this condition to persist. Take hold of it during the life-saving moment of confession and throw it into the sea of God’s compassion. Your charcoal of sin will immediately be extinguished and disappear.
If you tell me that you have not only one charcoal but many sins that are burning you, I will respond that God’s mercy is not just a sea: it is an entire ocean. Actually, it is something infinitely larger. The sea and the oceans have a certain limit, boundary, and end. God’s compassion, however, is incalculable, limitless, and endless. (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

Seek What Is Above

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:1-4)

“Power of Planting a Seed…”

“We can’t force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”  (Good People News)

“More compassion and caring… “

God places us in the world as his fellow workers-agents of transfiguration. We work with God so that injustice is transfigured into justice, so there will be more compassion and caring, that there will be more laughter and joy, that there will be more togetherness in God’s world.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Love All…

Love All, Judge None

“You are not the judge of creation…”

Do not look for the faults of your friend. Do not repeat the short comings of your neighbors in you talk. You are not the judge of creation… Be the judge of your own sins, and chastise your own transgressions.” (Saint Ephrem the Syrian)

“God loves…”

“Satan loves to take what’s beautiful and ruin it. God loves to take what’s ruined and make it beautiful.” (Get Through The Week)

“Mercy is …”

“Mercy is the true face of love.”  (Pope Francis)