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Roman Catholic Franciscans Religious Order

Welcome to the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical and 

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist Ministries

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical and

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist Blog 

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

Over Coming Silence

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

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


A Hungry Child

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


Letter to Pope Francis

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


Roman Catholic Married Priesthood

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


Married Roman Catholic Priests

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


Our Order’s Apostolic Works

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

Sanctification of families;
Blessing of married Roman Catholic priests.


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

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

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, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Mission Statement of the Abbey

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


Our Order’s Mission Statement

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


Our Order’s Mission

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


Our Order’s Charism

The Charism (gift) of 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 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)



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