Welcome!

Ecumenical Catholicism is one of many expressions of the ancient, undivided and apostolic Catholic faith where the clergy marry, women are ordained, and the Sacraments are available to persons of all orientations!  

Charis is a vibrant new praying community of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. We gather for prayer every week on Sunday mornings. Please click here or use the Pray with Us tab to find out about this week’s plans. 

Our community is justice-focused, sacramentally inclusive of all, flexible in guidelines for the Mass and other prayers, and democratic in our leadership at all levels.

Wherever you are on your journey, know that you are wanted and welcome at Charis, the first Ecumenical Catholic Community in Minnesota.

The Mission Statement of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, of which we are a part, reads:

“We are People of God baptized in Christ and professing our faith in a living Catholic tradition. We are men and women, lay and ordained, joining together as a “communion of communities” in response to the messianic call of the Spirit to preach the Gospel of liberation and justice; to offer a refuge in Christ for those who suffer prejudice; to stand open to dialogue with others so called, and to conform our lives to the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our expression of Catholicism offers:

Worship That’s Both Familiar and Creative Centered in the Eucharist with creative inclusive prayer that keeps Mass fresh and with thoughtful reflections by lay and ordained leaders that connect the Gospel to our place and time.

Collaborative, Justice-focused Leadership Lay and ordained members in community, diocesan, and national structures that are democratically led.

A Place of Integrity to Call Home A praying community keeping pace with social change that recognizes the full dignity of all persons regardless of gender or orientation.

 

Charis is incorporated under the name the Ecumenical Catholic Communion Twin Cities, a name that predates the community choice of the current name. We are in the process of updating our state and federal paperwork. 

About

What are Ecumenical Catholic Churches?

We are independent Catholic faith communities in that we are not under the jurisdiction of the Pope nor are we subject to the canon law or the guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church.

We share common roots of the same Bishop, The Most Reverend Francis Krebs, also the Pastor of  Saints Clare and Francis Ecumenical Catholic Church, located in the city of Webster Grove, MO. Though we also share a common Catholic theology and liturgical tradition, we differ significantly in many of the disciplines and rules that govern the Roman Catholic Church. Take a look at the Distinctives for specific details.

How is the ECC “catholic?”
We uphold our catholic tradition with respect to the following principles:

  • The teachings and person of Jesus Christ
  • The New Testament
  • The Nicene Creed
  • The Sacramental & Liturgical tradition practiced
  • Apostolic Tradition and Succession affirmed

Our Communion unites authentic Catholic faith communities that stretch across the United States. We are a communion of communities which are ecumenical and catholic in that we celebrate a characteristically Catholic faith tradition that is not sectarian.

We share a common theology and liturgical tradition with the Catholic Church. Our deacons, priests and bishops participate in the same historic apostolic succession as do the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and other apostolic Churches. We share the same historical developments as Western Christianity.

We trace our modern roots to the emergence of the Old Catholic movement which began in 1870 as a response to the first Vatican Council’s pronouncement of Papal Infallibility and the primacy of papal jurisdiction.

For more detailed information, see Distinctives.

What does the word “ecumenical” mean?
We understand the word ecumenical, as it is expressed within our ecclesial community, in four ways:

  • We recognize that the body of Christ, the Universal Church, includes all baptized Christians regardless of denominational affiliation. All those who have followed the Lord Jesus in baptism are regarded as members of the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”
  • We are actively engaged in promoting Christian unity. Therefore, we seek to join together with all of our Christian brothers and sisters in the proclamation of the Gospel, in the celebration of the liturgy and the realization of the life of Christ.
  • We recognize the presence of the Spirit at work throughout the world in the faith experience of people of other religions. We recognize the divine presence in every human heart, believing that all people are the beloved of God. Therefore, we seek mutual understanding and respect with those of other religions through dialogue and we seek mutual cooperation in the endeavor for peace and justice in our world.
  • Webster defines it as universal.

Does the ECC support the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood and why?
Absolutely! In the ECC, women are encouraged to respond to a genuine vocation and to participate in all levels of ministry, lay or ordained. As St. Paul writes: “there is neither jew nor greek, slave nor free, male nor female, all are one in Christ Jesus.”

See our statements Co-equal Ministry and the Pastoral Letter on Women’s Ordination

What is the ECC’s understanding of same-gender sexual relationships?
We are an open and affirming communion recognizing the value and dignity of every person, in our God-given diversity. We promote the education and development of the People of God in their understanding of the diversity of sexual orientation among their brothers and sisters. All sexual relationships are to be guided by the Christian moral principals of love and fidelity. We uphold the ideal of committed relationships blessed by the sacred rites of the church. We believe that all questions of sexual morality are best addressed through pastoral care and counsel.

What is the ECC’s understanding of clerical celibacy?
Clerical celibacy was not a requirement until 1274. In fact, it was enforced for relatively practical reasons: first to ensure that clergy would not be hindered by following a call to ministry with respect to the responsibility of a family; and second, to prevent the threat of hereditary claims placed upon church property, by the children of clergy. Again, we follow the teachings of Jesus and allow individuals to respond to God’s call freely and, therefore, marriage and ordination are not mutually exclusive.

How is the ECC authentically Catholic if it is separate from the authority of the Pope?
We are practicing the original understanding of the Church which existed for the first 800 years of Christianity and still exists in the current Eastern Orthodox tradition. In this ancient understanding of Catholicism, each faith community was led by its bishop and pastoral councils. The people of each local faith community participated in the life of the Church by electing their bishops and taking an active role in the ministry of their faith tradition. The Pope was considered to be a spiritual leader, however, each community upheld the autonomy of its own life and governance. Approval from Rome was not required in the decision-making process of each local church.  Read about our Old Catholic Roots here.

Are the sacraments offered to people of denominations other than Catholic at Mass?
We do not withhold the sacraments from any person based solely on their denomination or faith tradition. For example, we recognize that Jesus is the host of the eucharistic celebration and therefore all are welcome to the table of the Lord!

Who is the governing authority within the ECC?
The People of the ECC are the governing authority! Our constitutional document was ratified by both clergy and lay persons present at our 2003 convocation. This constitution establishes a polity structure including a House of Laity, a House of Pastors and an Episcopal Council – all possessing roles of decision-making and leadership in governing the Communion.  Feel free to view our constitution here.

Pray With Us!

Sunday Eucharist

When you visualize John the Baptizer, what do you see? I’m asking myself that question today.

One of the fun tasks of my week is seeking out images for our social media, website, and email presence at Charis. This Sunday, we encounter John coming out of the desert, and hear the foreshadowing by Isaiah. Sounded easy.

However, unlike other weeks, I haven’t found much visual inspiration. Not for lack of options: There are all kinds of classic (also syrupy) depictions of the cousin of Jesus. None fit my image, interestingly enough. I love the image in the Cathedral of the Angels in the baptistry, but even that seemed a little too refined and sanitized to be this wild man emerging from the desert.

And so I was transported to my first visit to the St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville. There, near their enormous font, stands a sculpture by Doris Caesar.  I think it’s almost hideous. (My sculptor spouse, with more refined eyes than mine, saw many points of appreciation!).

I don’t like it because it makes me uncomfortable. This is a rangy, threatening, odd John. He is pointing the way into the font. He’s lean and sinewy, and his eyes are almost vacant — am I supposed to draw them in with my imagination?

Truth be told, this John is probably closer to my John than the Nava Tapestry in L.A. This John beckons, but he’s beckoning us into something wild. Or something perhaps even dangerous. Maybe an adventure. Perhaps all of that, and more.

Come by this Sunday for connection, conversation, and the meal that makes us whole. Fr. John Curran will preside. Mass at 10 .m. and 5 p.m.

Both gatherings of the beloved of the one who comes are held at 7117 Washington Ave. South.  Hope to see you! Friends, family, wayfarers welcome!

Trish
Pastoral Director

Charis
An Ecumenical Catholic Community
www.newcatholiccommunity.com
cháris Χάρις khar’ece

Our name means grace, good will, loving-kindness, favor; of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.