Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is pleased to provide a “home” for married Roman Catholic priests and to eventually enable them to continue to serve sacramentally within the Roman Catholic Church.
Catholic Apostolic Church / Eastern Rite / International Ordinariate was canonically created in January, 1985 as the Personal Prelature of Pope John Paul II under the guidance of the Russian Emigre Archbishop Josef DeBrulle. At that time, we had to work with total confidentiality. We went public in 2013. It was later named the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, and, is most recently known as the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE). Very Reverend Father Michael Cuozzo, a married Roman Catholic priest, founded the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2011 and founded the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) on the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle, August 24, 2019.
The specific pastoral activity of the OFE, as was originally desired by Pope John Paul II, is to create an avenue for married Roman Catholic priests to return to service in Roman Catholic parishes.
The mission statement of the 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.
THE THREE BRANCHES OF OUR ORDER:
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is of priests who are married as well as celibate Roman Catholic priests and who were ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.
The second branch is the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) of Roman Catholic laypeople and wives of married Roman Catholic priests.
The third branch is the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE) comprised of married and celibate Catholic autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) bishops and priests who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and who were not ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.
OUR RULE OF LIFE:
• “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
• “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
• To live a life of commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully.
• To acclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the study of the Scriptures.
• To keep the Eucharist and the Gospel at the center of our lives.
• To acquire knowledge and inspiration of the Franciscan spirituality of our patron Saint Francis of Assisi.
• To infuse our daily life with compassion, service, community, simplicity, reverence for creation, dignity of human persons, peacemaking, prayer, and
support of family unity.
• To welcome celibate and married Roman Catholic priests and laity.
• To be respectful to the Pope, Patriarchs, Bishops, Abbot General, Minister General, and members of our Order.
A priest who has voiced interest in our order has asked this question: Why friaries?
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, and Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical friaries are places to minister to married and celibate 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 welcomes laity who support married and celibate priest. The friary is a place where we are called to live the Franciscan “Rule of Life” and to assist the Order to accomplish its mission, goals, apostolic works, and charism. The friary is where all are welcome to celebrate Eucharist and other sacraments.
Goals of the OFE are:
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.
The Mission of the OFE are:
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.
OFE Charism include:
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.
OFE Apostolic Works are:
Sanctification of families; Blessing of married Roman Catholic priests.
May God richly bless you!
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, DD, MDiv, STD, PhD
Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. | Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, Inc. | Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular | Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist | Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical | Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi | Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests | Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters