December 2012, Santa Claus came for the Children.
We served 99 needy children around our neighborhood and beyond with a little Christmas Party.
December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception
A. D. 2012
Our new priest Fr. Edik Baroni, NOSF
Blessings for your service in the Lord!!
Enjoy the pictures from our St. Anthony Festival June 16th, 2012
Thank you, the many who came to our St. Anthony Festival!!
Please click on the web below to see pictures.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Married Priests Now Prelature Ordains Dr. William J. Manseau a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church
By Paul Stubenbort
June 11, 2011, the eve of Pentecost,
in the Cathedral of St. Anthony
in Detroit, Michigan, the Gateway to Freedom City.
Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Prelature
was the presiding consecrator
and was assisted by Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger,
RCWP, from Austria, Bishop Andrea Johnson, RCWP
and Archbishop Dr. Karl Rodig, ECCC of the Cathedral Abbey of St. Anthony
The momentous event occurred on Saturday, June 11, 2011, the eve of Pentecost, in the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Detroit, Michigan, the Gateway to Freedom City. Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the Prelature was the presiding consecrator and was assisted by Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, RCWP, from Austria, Bishop Andrea Johnson, RCWP and Archbishop Dr. Karl Rodig, ECCC, the Cathedral’s Archbishop.
Some twenty FCM members were in attendance and joined the ceremony when each laid on hands to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit upon William and to signify their assent to his consecration as bishop. Bishop Manseau intends to devote much of his episcopacy in efforts to extend nationally the reach and influence of the St. Barnabas Mission, an FCM community member.
In reflecting on this spiritual and emotional moment, William observed, “This is the culmination of a multi-year process of discernment and guidance. Upon the call of God and the International Society of the Apostles, Sts. Peter, Thomas and Mary Magdalene, an FCM member community, and after a lifetime of priestly service through the Federation of Christian Ministries and CORPUS, I felt comfortable and compelled to take this step.” He did this, he said, to be in solidarity with the bishops of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Association (RCWP), to make available the support of episcopacy, in particular, to married Catholic priests, Catholic women priests and other faithful and spiritual seekers. He recalled also that Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB had challenged the American Catholic Council participants to “take a leap” in faith on behalf of the renewal of the Church. In a serious and moving introduction to the ordination ceremony, William traced his experiences and epiphanies that led him to the altar where we gathered.
The Federation of Christian Ministries wishes to extend its congratulations to William, not only for this present blessing, but also a robust thank you for Bill’s lifetime of blood, sweat and tears in the vineyard of the Lord and for his efforts to return the Catholic Church to the vision each of us had in earlier days as we experienced or learned of Vatican Council II. Thank you, Bill."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Best wishes to Dr.
Bill Manseau in his new episcopal ministry! Bill and I have
collaborated as members of FCM's Circle. With Gerry Grudzen, Bill and
I dreamed a new dream together in the creation of Global Ministries
University, an online religious studies degrees program to equip
ministers with theological/pastoral courses which prepare them to
serve God's people.
Reflections of a Worker Bishop On My Ordination as a Bishop
By William J. Manseau, D.Min.
June 25, 2011
In the end it came unexpectedly. For years I have been
doing the work of a missionary bishop here in the United States and
beyond, since Vatican II, among the various Roman Catholic communities
and individuals which make up “the transformative church from below” (L.
Boff, Ecclesiogenesis:The Base Communities Reinvent the Church, 1986),
or yeast in the dough (Mt. 13:33), as found in the Federation of
Christian Ministries, CORPUS, the International Federation of Married
Catholic Priests, the Women’s Ordination Conference and more recently
the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement offering servant leadership in
a variety of ways. I have also tried to minister to the “church from
above” as represented by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops,
the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and the Vatican by
attendance at various meetings, nationally and internationally, and by
correspondence. In my mind, the work of a missionary bishop, as I see it
rooted in the New Testament communities and subsequent tradition, is to
promote, support and encourage the ministries of others as they seek to
bring leadership and be of service to disciples of Jesus, other
spiritual seekers and the world at large. So, I have known for some time
that I have the charism of a bishop. It has been affirmed by many over
the years. It just had not been sacramentalized by the Catholic
community of faith.
The Unexpected Opportunity
The American Catholic Council (ACC) gathering in Detroit, Michigan, the Gateway to Freedom City for African Slaves, on Pentecost weekend 2011 provided just such an opportunity, although I did not realize it until about one month before. In the midst of preparing to attend the Council I became aware that Peter Paul Brennan, Archbishop and President of the Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature initiated by married Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo from Zambia Africa and Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Roman Catholic Women Priests Bishop from Austria would themselves both be in attendance as well, as the three of us would be participating as delegates to the Second General Assembly of the London, England, based International Federation for a Renewed Catholic Ministry which was being held on the day that the Council was opening as an expression of international solidarity with the ACC. For some time both of them had been expressing encouragement for me to accept ordination as a Roman Catholic bishop as had members of our community, the International Society of the Apostles, Sts. Peter, Thomas and Mary Magdalene to help promote the ecclesial movement for reform and renewal by taking action on our beliefs. Suddenly, the moment was in front of me when they both concurred that we should proceed in Detroit.
The Year for Priests
The moment which presented itself had been building for a long time. The two most recent preparatory events were the Papal Year for Priests and the Dutch Dominicans’ Document entitled, “The Church and the Ministry.” In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI announced a Year for Priests, which according to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, would include “those priests who have been put to the side in pastoral ministry” for various reasons. It was to be a time for “a renewal of contact, fraternal help, and if it is possible, a reuniting with those priests who for various reasons have left behind their priestly ministry.” I responded in my capacity at the time as President of CORPUS to the Cardinal and to 408 Roman Catholic bishops in the United States and wrote that “we rejoiced that at long last a time has come when we priests who ‘for various reasons have left behind their priestly ministry’ may share with our brothers in the episcopate as brother priests in this ‘renewal of contact’ what is in our hearts. We hope to share the faith and love which has sustained us as pilgrims in this painful time.” I received three responses from the 408 bishops in the United States and nothing from the Vatican. Moreover, when I attended the fall 2009 meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore none seemed to have heard of what Cardinal Bertone had said was to include an outreach to us. I came to the conclusion that we and the millions of people of faith whom we represent as persons of conscience had been abandoned by the institutional authorities except on their terms. All else is rhetoric.
The Church and the Ministry
The Council of the Dutch Province of Dominicans published The Church and the Ministry in 2009 (Kerk Hardop, Netherlands) the results of a study which they had commissioned to determine whether it is possible that the church community, or the pastors which it has appointed, celebrate validly and licitly the Eucharist themselves. They undertook this research in response to the current pastoral situation in Holland in light of a new view of the Church flowing from Vatican Council II. Their answer was in the affirmative. They said: “We urge our faith communities to realize what is at stake in the present emergency situation and take and be allowed to take the extent of freedom which is theologically justified to choose their own leader or team of leaders from their own midst. On the basis of the priority of ‘the people of God’ over the hierarchy a diocesan bishop may be expected to confirm such a choice after due consultation by the laying on of hands. If a bishop should refuse such a confirmation or ‘ordination’ on the basis of arguments not involving the essence of the Eucharist, such as obligatory celibacy, parishes may be confident that they are able to celebrate a real and genuine Eucharist when they are together in prayer and share bread and wine. We urge parishes to act in this way with a great amount of self-confidence and courage. It is to be hoped that, stimulated also by a relatively new practice, bishops may in the future live up to their commitment to serve and eventually confirm the leaders of local communities in their office.” Powerful words indeed.
I submit that ‘a fortiori’ that it would seem that when a community lays its hands in prayer upon someone that they have designated and intended to be their pastoral leader then that person is sacramentally ordained or consecrated validly for that purpose and if they designate such a person to serve in an episcopal role then such is that person. If they designate such a person as a presbyter, then such is that person. If they designate such a person to be a deacon, then such is that person for them and their missions. It is for the wider church to recognize what they have done in the spirit of communion. But the history of the church, as we have it is a bit more complicated, for the church remembers through its scriptures and tradition that when the community has selected someone for leadership ministry that “They brought them to the Apostles who prayed for them and laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6: 6). Since the original Twelve did not have successors as such since they were unique in the Church, it became recognized that they were succeeded as teachers and guardians of the Apostolic Kerygma and unity (fraternitas) by those whom the faith communities ordained for that purpose as representatives and guardians of the faith of those communities. These episkopoi formed a college which spanned the individual communities and became part of the process of the transmittal of the faith of communities. (J.F. Puglisi, The Process of Admission to Ordained Ministry, Vol. 1, 1996). So, the understanding of the Church is that a bishop is necessary for the ordination of another bishop and preferably more than one in order to manifest the college into which the candidate is entering through the imposition of hands and prayer at the request of the Catholic community in its proximate expression. (“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” Mt. 18:20); (CJC, can. 1012, 1013, 1014).
More remotely, I was prepared for this moment by an adult lifetime of Christian charismatic spirituality and experience as a Roman Catholic. I was introduced to the Charismatic Renewal in 1963, two years after my ordination as a priest. This came about through my involvement with the Catholic Messengers of the Bible, a Roman Catholic outreach ministry which fostered personal and social transformation, lay-led house churches and ecumenism. Through that ministry I came in contact with the Koinonia Movement and then subsequently the Charismatic Renewal in North and South America in which I became an active participant and leader.
I was a witness to the power of the Word and the Spirit in the transformed lives of people without the necessity of institutionally ordained ministers although I clearly recognized their usefulness when they were “in the Spirit.” Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens was a prime example of such a minister. It was he who was responsible for the institutional Church’s acceptance of the movement as Kilian McDonnell, OSB has made clear. (Open the Windows, the Popes and Charismatic Renewal,” 1989). It was from Kilian McDonnell that I originally learned years before that the presidents of Eucharists in the early ages of the Church included the ordained, the survivors of martyrdom and wandering prophets.
Years later this background in Catholic Christian charismatic experience and spirituality enabled me to understand and support Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo’s spiritual journey when he married and initiated the world-wide Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature which I have written about in another place. He too had experienced and lived in the power of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which the theologian Edward Schillebeeckx repeatedly turns to in The Church with a Human Face (Crossroads, NY, 1987).
Detroit and Grace Abounds
As I arrived in Detroit on June 9, 2011 I felt conflicted as I travelled to the hotel and Cobo Hall Convention Center. Intellectually I was convinced that I was on solid ground for the reasons I have expressed above. Yet I was uneasy. Although the majority of individuals I had consulted as part of my discernment as to whether to proceed had been affirming and some enthusiastic, yet some of my closest advisors were less than enthusiastic and some were opposed. My principal communities were in agreement. Three bishops were assembling for my ordination. The paper work had been accomplished and most of the preparations made. All that remained was to identify a place where the ordination could take place without disrupting the American Catholic Council. The first order of business upon arrival at the hotel was to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Federation. I expected that we would have dinner together following the meeting, but was disappointed to learn that everyone else had other plans. I felt really alone.
As I started to leave the area I spotted Peter Paul Brennan, who was to be the principal consecrator coming towards me. I felt relief and we agreed to have dinner together and walked about in “Greek Town” where there were numerous restaurants. We settled on the first tavern we came across. As we ate we talked about my forthcoming ordination. I told Peter of my misgivings even though all the plans had been made. It was on the tip of my tongue to say, No, I cannot proceed, yet I did not. He said to me in a calm, peaceful manner that there is no need for you to be ordained as you will keep doing what you have been doing, i.e. serving like a bishop to promote and encourage the ministries of others. As he spoke I realized that I was calming down.
At this point I began to become aware that a Higher Power was at work. One of the communities for which I was going to be ordained is the St. Barnabas Mission. Barnabas is called an apostle in the New Testament. It was he who spoke up for St. Paul after his conversion and introduced him to the apostles. He was called a “son of encouragement” by the apostles (Acts, 4:36). A colleague of mine several days before in the pastoral counseling center where we work referred to me as “a real Barnabas” for a patient of mine who has attempted suicide a number of times during the course of therapy. He had no idea of my connection to the St. Barnabas Mission community, but for me it was an affirmation of the path I was to follow later that week in Detroit. Now Peter was ministering to me and I was beginning to feel a subtle peaceful confidence that things would work out. He was being a Barnabas to me. We reviewed the Roman Ordinal which we were to use and I told Peter that I could not make the promise of absolute obedience to the Bishop of Rome which it requested. So we modified the text to say that I would give my obedience in so far as the Pope reflected the Catholic Church’s core beliefs.
A Place Provided
We still did not have a place for the ordination. I was aware that in my mind was a recollection that Jesus on Thursday of Holy Week had planned to celebrate Passover with his disciples and instructed them to go into the city where they would be met by a man who would offer them a room for their celebration. The memory came and went, came and went bringing about in me a confidence that we would find a place. The next morning I enquired how we could rent a meeting room in the hotel for Saturday evening, the Feast of St. Barnabas and Pentecost Eve, and learned that if we could it would have to be done before noon. We rushed to make the arrangement on time and succeeded. With the meeting place secured Peter and I went to the Convention Center. To my utter amazement Peter encountered a colleague, Archbishop Dr. Karl Rodig, ECCC, who offered his beautiful church, St. Anthony’s Cathedral, there in Detroit, the Gateway to Freedom City, complete with music.
A Door to the Sacred
That evening, Peter, Dr. Carl Yusavitz and I returned to the hotel following the American Catholic Council’s opening session in search for something to eat. All of the concessions in the Food Court except for one were closed except for a Subway which had a few people waiting in line. We headed there. As I arrived ahead of the others and stood next to the last person in line the attendant said, “We are closed.” My companions stepped away. The man at the end of the line offered to take my order and I accepted. He turned to me as we waited for our food and asked if I knew Frank Ashcroft, a married priest. Of course, I did, I said, as I had once given Frank a private retreat. The man responded, “He married me.” It was then that I noticed his ACC convention name badge, Joseph Martos. I had often seen the name Joseph Martos over the years as a well known sacramental theologian (Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church, 2001) and wondered if he might be the same Joseph Martos that I had known many years before at our Catholic Messengers of the Bible Store Front Center in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston where I had held charismatic Bible Services and Healing Prayer services and he was a graduate student in theology at Boston College. As we walked to a table he said, “Yes,” he was the same and I was the radical young priest at the store front center in Roxbury. I asked about his writing and he said that he based his theologizing on experience, such as he had experienced at the Catholic Messengers center in Roxbury. I was astonished as I listened to him for the very next night we were going to act on that experience theologically and sacramentally in my ordination to the Catholic episcopacy. I felt that God had placed us together to give me a sense of confidence in what we were about to do which would go beyond the bounds of what would be canonically acceptable but would be profoundly valid and fruitful. Again, I felt the presence of a Higher Power guiding our steps in a form of ‘prevenient grace’ which was making a path where there was no path (Isaiah, 42:16).
The next night, following the invigorating and encouraging addresses of the ACC’s keynoters, some twenty of us taxied to St. Anthony’s Cathedral for the ordination. As I lay on the Cathedral floor during the Litany of the Saints I recalled my prostration on the floor of Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston, Massachusetts, on a snowy morning during the Litany of the Saints for my ordination as a priest fifty years before and I renewed my commitment to serve the people of God as a servant of Jesus Christ. Two men, Peter Paul Brennan, Roman Catholic Archbishop and President of the Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature, USA; and Dr. Karl Rodig, Archbishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ and Pastor of St. Anthony’s Cathedral; and two women, Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Roman Catholic Woman Priest Bishop in Austria and Andrea Johnson, Roman Catholic Woman Priest Bishop imposed hands on me and then prayed the words of my consecration as a Roman Catholic bishop surrounded by the other members of our community of faith representing the spectrum of the Roman Catholic reform and renewal movement.
The next day as I left the Cobo Hall convention center I visited on the River Walk the symbolic sculpture of a group of African slaves, men, women and children who had completed their escape from the slavery states via the Underground Railroad and were looking across the Detroit River towards Canada, a land of freedom. I then proceeded along the sidewalk where I came across a waste receptacle with a pair of crutches sticking out of it. I stood amazed at the sight as I realized I was looking at a symbol of what had just transpired in Detroit, the Gateway to Freedom City: the American Catholic Council with its call to take responsibility for our own faith lives and accept the freedom from paralysis which the Spirit brings as we accept the Word in faith and my own ordination to serve as a spiritual catalyst and encourager in the power of the Spirit. With great joy I stopped ACC keynoter Matthew Fox (Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality, 2000), who was walking towards me, and asked that he pose for a photo with the waste receptacle with its crutches as someone who has done much to help us live free from paralysis and he readily agreed.
And so, we have arrived at a time requiring and made possible by the continuing conversions of realistic knowing, responsible choosing and genuine loving so well articulated by Bernard Lonergan, S.J. (Method in Theology, 1972). Our intellectual conversions have required realistic knowing. Our moral conversions have required responsible choosing. Our religious conversions have required genuine loving. All of these set us free from our paralysis and opens the doors to freedom and the work of renewal and reform in God’s Church come what may.