Vos estis lux mundi. (You are the light of the world.)
— Matthew 5:14

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Ministry

What is a vocation?

"Come to him... let yourselves be built... to be a holy priesthood"---1 Pet 2:2-10

The word vocation comes from the Latin word "vocare" which means "to call". Throughout history, God has called his people. As members of God's people, we believe he calls us too.

In Isaiah 43:1 we are told, "I have called you by name; you are mine."

We discover our vocation as we come to learn more about God, about ourselves and about life! As we come to know God through our prayer, the sacraments and our living of our Christian life, we come to hear his call. We learn to hear his voice and what he is inviting us to do.

We are each have a vocation – a God-given calling and charge – for our own lives. Each Christian is called, through the sacrament of Holy Baptism, into a life lived for the Christ, and is equipped at the Holy Eucharist with the assurance of Jesus Christ’s very presence with us today as we respond to our calling. But for all of us our shared vocation is to live as God desires us to live, to be holy.

How do I know what my vocation is?
As we come to know the Beloved & ourselves, discovering our gifts and talents, our likes and dislikes, the exploration leads us to be aware of particular desires in our heart. A desire for a family may point to a vocation to Marriage; A desire for service and ministry may point to a vocation to teaching, the arts, social work, working for justice in our society, or even the Priesthood.

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ."---Ephesians 4:11-13

Eucharist

What makes our clergy different?

All who join us as clergy are expected to have a servant ministry. In the Contemporary Catholic Church, we have no property, no church buildings. We worship with and support many other faith communities, learning from them and sharing our vision of the servant ministry of Christ that we feel called to do. Our clergy do not receive a salary for their ministry. Instead, the follow the example of St. Paul, who was by trade a tentmaker. He even exercised the trade while preaching the Gospel and to some extent supported himself by working at tentmaking.

Additionally, there are no artificial restrictions, such as gender, marital state, or socio-economic factors that restrict anyone's pursuit of answering the call to ordained ministry.

In the Contemporary Catholic Church, we have three aspects to ordained ministry: Deacon, Priest, and as a Bishop. Each of these "offices" have specific blessings and roles.

The Diaconate

"Service is love in action, deliberately and creatively applied and circulated."
Piero Ferrucci, What We May Be (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Thatcher, 1982)

The role of the Deacon is to serve in the community--in essence, being God's eyes, ears, voice, and hands in the world. Deacons in the CCC are trained and called to administer the sacrament of baptism and marriage, to handle the sacred vessels, and to help in the care of the sick and poor, and in the absence of a priest to administer "last rites".

Priesthood

"Every priest stands daily at his ministry"--Heb 10:10-17

The role of the Priest expands upon the office of the Deacon. A Priest is someone, male or female, who has been called by God to serve the Church in the person of the Christ. The ideal priest is someone who loves God, the Church and the People s/he serves. The priest's role is rooted in prayer, while joyfully and sacrifically living one's life for others.

In the CCC, priests are involved in the day-to-day lives of people. Our priests are bi-vocational, don't receive a salary for their work as priests, they are involved in ministries like teaching, or serving as a campus minister, or as a chaplain in a hospital, a military base, or a prison.

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Bishop

"Every high priest is taken from among men"--Heb 5:1-10

Historically the role of bishops was seen to be wieldering political power and upholdings the established church. In the Contemporary Catholic Church, the egoistic manipulations of the past are laid aside. Instead, the Bishop is solely involved with spiritual interests, teaching, and administration; the Bishop is truly a "servant of the servants of God." John 13:1-14

All bishops in the Contemporary Catholicc Church are consecrated to the office of bishop and maintain valid Apostolic Succession, a direct historical lineage dating back to the original Twelve Apostles.

We uphold and share the Apostolic Succession of both the Eastern and the Western Christian Church. The Episcopal Arms of our Archbishop, Sharon A. Hart are displayed above.

Clerical Suspensions

"They must set the Good Shepherd always before them as the pattern of their calling."--(The Bishops’ Charge, ASB Ordinal)

Above all else, the clergy are called to be servants of the people of God on behalf of the Servant of all. As pastors, spiritual guides and representatives of the Christian faith, they are in a position of trust in their relationships with those for whom they have pastoral care. It is this ministry of service that underpins and binds all.

Church officers have a particular duty of care for their clergy, and all as members of the body of Christ should be concerned to affirm and uphold those called by God and the church to ministry. To be sure, there are sound pragmatic reasons why the Church must now face the question of a professional code for its clergy . But these form only one part of the argument. Alongside them there is set a number of theological justifications rooted in Scripture and moral theology.

Both tabloid newspaper headlines and more serious academic studies bear witness to the dark side of the Church’s life which cannot be denied. On one hand, there are the perennial stories of vicars involved in sexual shenanigans with parishioners while on the other, investigation of clerical child abuse demonstrates that the Church must take its share of blame for a phenomenon that has been all too readily denied by society until recent years. Other studies published in the United States also bear witness to the ever-present dangers of sexual misconduct that are a constant threat to godly ministry. Consequently, no one should underestimate the risks inherent in ministerial – especially pastoral – practice. Compared to some other professions, clergy may still enjoy a high level of trust but this does not preclude the need for accountability and transparency.

Clergy Discipline Procedures are designed to protect three parties: the accused, the accuser and the Church. It is important to mention the last of these because it can easily be forgotten that professional ethics are not simply a matter for individuals. While they undoubtedly exist to guide and protect individuals they also serve to safeguard the profession. They are an expression of mutual accountability and responsibility. When one clergyman or woman acts unprofessionally, he or she threatens to bring the Church as a whole into disrepute – witness the ripple effect of scandals. As Eric Mount has commented: ‘Moral responsibility includes being responsible people within institutions.’ Or in Paul’s words, ‘We are members one of another.’ (Ephes.4: 25)

Rooted in the covenant love of God, the covenantal ministry of clergy mirrors that of Christ himself who gave himself freely for the sake of the world and ‘who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.’ (Phil.2: 6-7) The covenant model is, in the end, Christological or it is nothing.

The implication of this is that those who are called to ordained ministry must act out of a covenantal rather than a contractual motivation and mindset. They must be ‘willing to go the extra mile’ which means that they must be prepared to allow their ministry to be shaped by the needs of others rather than their own preconceptions of autonomy.

So as to protect the people of God, the Contemporary Catholic Church makes public a complete listing of all clergy who have either had their faculties removed or been suspended. Note this page does not include information with regard to clergy who are no longer with the CCC, but are no longer associated with this jurisdiction. For additional information, please review our Clerical Suspensions Page.