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Founded within the Prelature of Pope John Paul II
Catholic Apostolic Church | Eastern Rite | International Ordinariate
Established 1985
 

Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order, 

An International Ordinariate 

Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos

Province of Saint Mary Theotokos

 

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical

Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, Minister General
History of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Click Here
The General Constitutions of OFE Click Here
 

Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order,

An International Ordinariate

Because of the fruit of this endeavor we would like​ the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist to be recognized as a clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right.
 

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Blog 

 
Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Principal Bishop of OFE, Bishop Protector of OFE,  Provincial of OFE, Minister General of OFE, the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc. Board of Directors and Council, the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. Board of Directors, the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests, Support Members Association, and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Ecclesiastical Affiliations Charters.
 

Married Priesthood

Married Priesthood
By Reverend Father Paul Ochieng-Ogada, DMB
(Cf. United In Spirit: OFE Newsletter, October 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 2)
 
Saint Peter was married, Saint Paul celibate, and the early church flourished. Both married and celibate priests were common until 12th century when celibacy became mandatory, both married priesthood are gifts to the church.
 
In 2006, an international study I published with the Society of Jesus, Ak Hern of Kenly Foundation found wide-spread support among Catholic laity for married priests: in Spain 80%, USA 82%, Italy 67%, Poland 60%. The same study found significant support (68-80%) for ordaining women.
 
The Catholic church is the only Christian denomination in the United States that has a shortage of clergy. We already have married priests and women deacons in the Catholic church. Eastern rites of Catholicism permit priests to marry. In the US, there are over 300 married priests. It’s felt that God is calling our original tradition. It’s time the church granted women equality for pastoral service. In fact, many married priests and their wives minister as couples. History fully supports a married priesthood. For the first 1200 years of the church existence, priests, bishops, and 39 Popes were married. Celibacy existed in the first century among hermits and monks, but it was considered an optional alternative lifestyle. In 1993 Pope John Paul II publicly said that celibacy is not essential to the priesthood. Married priests and their wives were the first pastors, the first bishops, first missionaries. They carried the message of Jesus across cultures and protected it. Life was met
by joyful expectations, Jesus said he would return, and the first Christians believed that it would be soon. Led by married priests, they met at each other’s homes to celebrate the Mass. Strangers were invited to share bread and wine, no one was excluded from receiving Communion, they soon became friends, joined the church and brought others to hear the good news of Jesus. Presently, in the US there are over 250 former Lutheran and Episcopal ministers serving as married priests after converting to Catholicism. Presently the Armenian Church has at least four women deacons. Pope Paul VI and John Paul II signed documents recognizing the apostolic succession and validity of Armenian Catholic sacraments. The steadily worsening priest shortage and some of the worst sexual conduct of present priest requires us to look at other options for preserving Eucharistic heritage.
 
The laity have a canonical right and obligation to speak about optional celibacy and women’s roles. Authority is vested in us through our baptism and confirmation; we have the duty to explore different ways to ensure the church remains healthy. Canon 212 tells us we have the right and obligation to make our views known on matters which concern the good of the church. We need to return to the early church custom of having women deacons. We look forward at Holy Apostles Monastery to our full reinstatement when the man-made law of celibacy is rescinded. God is calling us back to original tradition, open your hearts and eyes to God’s voice.


Plight of African Children

Plight of African Kenyan Children & God’s Call to Us

By Reverend Father Paul Ochieng-Ogada, DMB  

Dear Readers, Holy Apostles Monastery is in historic times, and God has been speaking to me about the books of Esther and Jeremiah.  Oftentimes, we cannot see the forest for the trees, meaning that sometimes we are so focused on what is immediately in front of us that we cannot perceive the absolute wonder of what the Spirit of the Lord is saying.
 
You have been raised up for such a time as this; you have a job to do for Jesus, a divine opportunity.  Like Joseph, who was in the spirit because he was on his way to the palace, your own time for “divine favor” has come. Joseph’s purpose was not for Pharaoh; it was for God’s people.  Esther’s assignment was to preserve God’s people, not the king. The kingdoms and nations of this world will be the kingdom of our God.  Things are about to shift – a time of transition.  When you understand who you are, you begin to see and understand the purpose that you serve.  You are put into position in order to carry out a plan.
 
Prayer is key and vital to your plan.  Do not forsake the ministry of prayer; do not take lightly the corporate gathering.  God has commissioned you to bring forth his plan; you are pregnant with purpose.  God has a plan for you to break out and break through.  Don’t be afraid; look into the future with confidence.  Prayer helps us to determine the direction we need to go and to lead us into the ministries that are essential in our roles to serve God through serving those in need, near and far.
 
The drumbeat, poems, songs, drama, and sporting activities have masked the underlying structural challenges innocent Kenyan children face in their daily lives.  Kenya is arguably the richest nation in East Africa, but spoiled by wicked political leadership. This beautiful country is endowed with a vast array of natural resources, such as gold, platinum, beautiful wild animals, lakes, and beautiful blue skies, yet it is a country where children have become an endangered species who, instead of being viewed as the future, are now tottering on the brink of being the disposable.  It is with a tinge of sadness that I realize that Kenya leads in infant mortality rate.  A disturbingly high number of Kenyan children have poor access to health care which, in many cases, has resulted in children succumbing to diseases that are easily prevented or treated in other continents, such as America and Europe.   Kenyan children are more likely to be born with HIV/AIDS related diseases and have for many years succumbed to diseases of poverty, such as kwashiorkor, marasmus, and rickets.  It is a common occurrence for Kenyan children not to even afford a decent meal, unlike their counterparts in other continents.  Holy Apostles Monastery missionaries see the highest number of children with little or no access to a sound educational infrastructure and information technology, both at school and at home.
 
This situation is so dire that, out of our own poverty, the love of Christ Jesus compels us to help them through the help of others, that is, through your help. While it is natural that we want to care for those close around us, it is important that we recognize that Kenyan children do not have even a fraction of the assistance available to children in wealthier nations.  It is my prayer that you will find in your heart the desire to help those who may be far away, but who are in the very greatest need.  It is a true reflection of the ministry that we are called to through Christ Jesus. 
 
Your prayers and contributions are true blessings,
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Repair My Church

The motto of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical is repair my church.
In 1206, Jesus came to Saint Francis of Assisi and speaking through the icon Cross of San Damiano, told him: “Francis, Francis, go and repair my house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins.”
 
Today, we are faced with a Church “falling into ruins.” Like Saint Francis of Assisi, I believe Pope Francis also received the divine call to repair, heal, revitalize, recharge, and renew the universal Church, the pilgrim People of God.
 
The Gospel of Matthew reassures us: “I shall be with you until the end of time”. (Matthew 28:20).


He Is Risen

“Accept the risen Jesus into your life. Even if you have been far away, take a small step towards him. He awaits you with open arms.” (Pope Francis)



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 of the Eucharist And 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 Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, 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 Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Welcome Home!

Welcome to the website of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE), the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, and the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos (Theotokos in Greek means “God-bearer, ”but is usually referred to as “Mother of God,” and is a title for the Virgin Mary). The OFE 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.
 
Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate was canonically created in January, 1985 as the Personal Prelature of Pope (Saint) John Paul II. ​The International Ordinariate as a Personal Papal Prelature was under the guidance of the Russian Emigre Archbishop Josef DeBrulle. 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. It was later named the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, and, is most recently known as the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) or OFE.
 
Very Reverend Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE, a married Roman Catholic priest, founded the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2011, and the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) on the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle, August 24, 2019.
 
The specific pastoral activity of the OFE, as was originally desired by Pope John (Saint) 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. ​
May God richly bless you!
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE                                                                                                                                                        
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, 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 Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, 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 Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, 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 of the Eucharist (OFE) and 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)

If you love our work then tell the world! You have an opportunity to help us (the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.) make even more of a difference in our community. GreatNonprofits-a review site like TripAdvisor-is honoring highly reviewed nonprofits with their 2019 Top-Rated Awards. Won’t you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a review of your experience with us? All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go to https://greatnonprofits.org/org/abbey-of-saint-mary-theotokos-inc to get started!
 
Blessings and thank you,
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, 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 of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
The mission statement of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) 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.


Our Order’s Mission

The Mission of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and 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.


Our Order’s Charism

The Charism (gift) of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

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;
Compassion;
Peacemaking;
Service; 
Community;
Simplicity;
Welcoming married and celibate Roman Catholic priests and laity.


Our Order’s Goals

The Goals of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

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.


Oneness

“So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
 
“We will achieve the oneness of hope, oneness of faith, and oneness of love that alone will convince the world that Jesus Christ is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of all.”  (Father Paul Wattson, SA, Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement)


Canonization of Fr. Paul of Graymoor

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Paul of Graymoor
 
God of unity and peace, in Christ your Son, you reveal your compassion for sinners and love for the poor which inspired Fr. Paul of Graymoor to pioneer the mission of Church Unity and spend himself in the care of our outcast brothers and sisters. Grant, we pray, that the example of this apostle of unity and charity will inspire us to advance the reconciliation of all things in Christ, without counting the cost. With confidence we ask that Father Paul be raised to the honors of the altar, and through His intercession, grant the favor we now ask (mention your petition), if it be in conformity with Your will. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.
 
(Father Paul Wattson, SA, (1863-1940), Servant of God, Apostle of Christian Unity and Charity, Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Garrison, NY, USA)


Saint Athanasius (Church Father)

The great Athanasius, in his sermon to the newly baptized, said, “You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table.  So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine.  But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And again: “Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are.  But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine – and thus His Body is confected.” (Sermon to the Newly Baptized, [Ref. Unknown], (c. 373 A.D.)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p.18)


The Three Branches of OFE

The Three Branches of OFE
 
A friend who has expressed interest in our order has asked this question: What are the differences between the three branches of your Order? 
 
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; 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; Nonprofit Religious Corporation; Ecumenical and Interreligious Outreach; Mission Emphasis: Minister to celibate, married Roman Catholic and Catholic priests, and laity; Mission Emphasis: Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters.
 
The second branch is the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) of Roman Catholic laypeople and wives of married Roman Catholic priests.
 
The third branch is the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE) comprised of married and celibate Catholic autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) 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.


OFE Rule of Life

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical
Rule of Life
 
A rule is the most straightforward description of a religious way of life. The Rule of 1223  A.D. was written by Saint Francis of Assisi, approved by Pope Honorius III. The Friars, Brothers, and Laity of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical commit to the General Rule, a modern interpretation of the 1223 A.D. Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi is this:
 
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.


Forgiveness Prayer

Loving Father, hear my prayer as I am now experiencing deep hurts,
anger, resentments and bitterness in my heart.
Thank you for the grace you have given me to humbly acknowledge my pain.
Touch all the areas of woundedness in my heart and fill it with your love and peace.
Change my aching and broken heart with a new heart coming from your Sacred Heart.
Because it is only through this that I will receive the grace to forgive even if it is
the hardest thing for me to do.
Let me give all this pain and deep hurts to you as an offering of love
and give me the grace to see all the blessings that have come
from this experience of pain and suffering.
Grant me the virtue of humility to acknowledge my own mistakes
and failures and desire to ask for forgiveness in the future.
Only by your grace, your strength and your love can true forgiveness
and reconciliation happen.
But I believe that nothing is impossible with you so long as the desire to forgive
is there in my heart and people will continue to persevere in prayer for me.
Bless me and plant in my heart this desire to forgive and lead me on
with patience and perseverance in my healing journey
I believe that in time, true forgiveness will happen.
All these I pray in Jesus’ name through Mary and all the angels and saints.
Amen.


Why friaries or abbeys?

 Why friaries or abbeys?

A priest who has voiced interest in our Order has asked this question: Why 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.


Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen.


Saint Cyril of Alexandria (Church Father)

“Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): ‘This is My Body,’ and ‘This is My Blood,’ in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ.” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, [26, 27], (c. 428)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 21)


Act of Love (Prayer)

O my God, I love Thee above all things with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon for all whom I have injured. Amen.


Act of Hope (Prayer)

My God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.


Act of Faith (Prayer)

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.


Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)

Hail, holy Queen, mother of Mercy.
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping
in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile, show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet virgin Mary. Amen.


Saint Ambrose of Milan (Church Father)

“You perhaps say: ‘My bread is usual.’  But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ.  So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions?  By those of the Lord Jesus.  For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest.  When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ.  Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament.” (The Sacraments (De Sacramentis), Book 4, Ch. 4:14.)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), pp. 17-18)


Act of Contrition (Prayer)

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His name. My God have mercy. Amen.


Saint Leo I (Church Father)

“When the Lord says: ‘Unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and shall have drunk His blood, you shall not have life in you,’ you ought to so communicate at the Sacred Table that you have no doubt whatever of the truth of the Body and the Blood of Christ.  For that which is taken in the mouth is what is believed in faith; and in doing those respond, ‘Amen,’ who argue against that which is received.” (Sermons, [91, 3], c. 461)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 25)


Abbot Father Sean Anderson, CFC

“We [Celtic Franciscan Companions] seek to become the hands, feet, and heart of Christ within creation and towards all whom we meet along the way.” 


Saint Basil the Great (Church Father)

“What is the mark of a Christian?  That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for ‘he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.’  What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ?  That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again.” (The Morals, [Ch. 22])
 
To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: ‘He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.’  Who can doubt that to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly?  We ourselves communicate four times each week, on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and on other days if there is a commemoration of any saint.” (Letter to a Patrician Lady of Caesaria, [93], (c. 372)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 19)


Saint Pio of Pietrelcino

“Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.”
 
“Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love, it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.”
 
“Always humble yourself lovingly before God and man, because God speaks to those who are truly humble of heart, and enriches them with His gifts.”
 
Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.”
 
“Walk the way of the Lord in simplicity; do not torment your spirit. Speak the truth, always the truth.”



ORDER OF FRANCISCANS OF THE EUCHARIST | ORDER OF FRANCISCANS ECUMENICAL

Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order, An International Ordinariate
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD, Minister General
Post Office Box 77775
Corona, CA 92877-0125 USA
 

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