Reception and Ministry within the Synodal Catholic Diocese of the Southeast
"Do not ordain anyone hastily..."
- 1 Timothy 5:22
"You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests."
- St. John Chrysostom (349-407 A.D.)
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
The life of the Christian takes on real experience in the community of faith, the parish – faith is made “flesh and blood” through worship, education and the life of service. Every Christian is an image or “icon” of Christ to the world and to other Christians. So too, the bishop, priest and deacon are icons of Christ to the Church – each in a different way – just as spouses are icons of Christ to each other and parents are icons of Christ to their children. The reality is that the Church is filled with living symbols of Christ.
Baptism is the great sacrament that transforms each Christian into this iconic presence. Ordained people are changed by the Sacrament of Holy Orders into a new role for the Church – to stand as an image of Christ for the assembly of faith. This sacramental role is meant to gather and lead. It is especially recognized in the great Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which both the laity and the ordained exercise their proper roles and ministries. In our household of faith, we understand the ministry of deacon to be particularly of service to those outside the church, marginalized by society, the sick, poor, elderly, etc. We understand the ministry of the presbyter (priest) to be particularly one of care among the members of the faith community, focused upon the celebration of the Sacraments and spiritual guidance. The Body of Christ gathered around the Table to be nourished by the Body of Christ upon the Table.
If you would like to initiate a conversation about being a community of faith within or ministering as a deacon or priest within the Synodal Catholic Diocese of the Southeast, please, contact Bishop Steven.