The College of Bishops of the
North American Old Roman Catholic Church
The College of Bishops of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church is composed of all bishops in good canonical standing within the Church. The Primate, the Metropolitans, the Bishops-Ordinary, the Auxiliary Bishops, the Missionary Bishops and the Bishops Co-adjutor enjoy both voice and vote in all meetings of the College. Retired Bishops and those bishops who are inactive and who hold no office within the Church are entitled to a voice but not a vote in all meetings of the College of Bishops of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. The College of Bishops is charged with the duty of overseeing and protecting the Church's faith, worship, ministry and government and has the special duty of electing a Metropolitan-Primate whenever the Primatial See becomes vacant.
The Bishops-Ordinary, the Metropolitans and the Metropolitan-Primate constitute the Sacred Consistory according to the Constitution and Canons of the Church and exercise ecclesastical jurisdiction according to the prescriptions of the Constitution and Codex of Canon Law of the Church.
Edward J. Ford, T.O.R., S.T.D.
Ordinary of the Diocese of New England
Archbishop Ford, a solemnly professed Franciscan Friar of the Third Order Regular, was born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts. He was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in Boston and served as Pastor of several parishes and established a number of missions throughout the New England and Hampton Roads areas. Through the many years of his ministry, he has worked in the fields of education, child guidance, community service, insurance and accounting. During those years he was also blessed to have been able to serve as an unofficial foster-father to several boys whose mothers asked him to assist them and to guide them as they grew up into young men with families of their own. He remains a constant and regular figure in their and in their children's lives. He now counts eight young men as his foster-sons, and through them he has twenty-five foster-grandchildren and eighten foster great-grandchildren. He was first elected as an Auxiliary Bishop in 1978 and later was elevated to the Office of Ordinary of New England, and subsequently was elected as the Metropolitan-Primate of the Church. He has re-organized and re-vitalized St Francis Seminary, co-ordinated the revision and publication of the Church's current Constitution and Codex of Canon Law, as well as missalettes and service booklets for the official liturgical services and rituals of our Church. He has authored numerous articles, booklets, pamphlets and devotional materials currently in use throughout the Church and also was the principal compiler of the Church's catechism: Our Catholic Faith and Practice. He currently lives in Springvale, Maine; is Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Old Roman Catholic Church in Sanford, Maine; and is also the Director of the Prince of Peace Christian School, a private Christian School serving students in grades K through 12, which is also located in Sanford, Maine. In addition to serving as the Director, Archbishop Ford also teaches English, French, Latin, Spanish, Christian Studies, Philosophy, Ethics, Apologetics and Constitutional Law to the High Schoolers there.
Irvin N. Plant, D.D.
Ordinary of the Diocese of the Southeast
Bishop Plant, the first and current Ordinary of the Diocese of the Southeast, born and educated in New Jersey entered the US Navy in 1957. While at Boot Camp, during a chapel service, the chaplain addressed the congregation and asked that those who would give their lives to Christ stand. Fifteen of the nearly five-hundred did so, one of them being Nick Plant. Despite that initial fervor, Nick would not become a regular church goer until his marriage in 1963 to his wife of 55 years, Ruthanne. The Lord however remembered Nick's first commitment to Him those many years back in Boot Camp and began to call Nick to a fuller role in His own service. Through many twists and turns, struggles and disillusionments, the Holy Spirit led him into a deeper knowledge of the Christian Faith preparing him, even without his knowledge, for a life of service to the Lord. A life of saving people from many physical perils: search and rescue operations in hurricanes, entering burning buildings as a firefighter, serving and protecting people as a police officer, and 20 years of military service protecting the nation and its citizens, was soon to turn into a life of saving souls for Christ. Through the study of the Scriptures Nick became a Catholic, and with the assistance of a trusted friend and Anglican priest, began his studies for the priesthood. Having completed the required reading and studies necessary, and possessing a letter of recommendation from Bishop Robert Mercer of Canada, Nick was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood by Bishop Bruce Chamberlain in 1994. Father Nick Plant has pastored several churches in New Jersey and in Virginia. He entered the North American Old Roman Catholic Church in 2005, and in October of 2011 he was consecrated as the first Bishop of the Diocese of the Southeast. Bishop Plant and his wife have two children: Susan, a restaurant manager in Asbury Park, NJ and Michael a retired police Sargent . They also have 4 grandchildren: Hunter who is serving in the US Air Force, Natalie a graduate of Rutgers, Nicholas a graduate of Rutgers school of Engerning, and Chaselyn who just graduated from Matawan/Aberdeen High School.
Beldon E. Gannon, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of New England
Regional Vicar of New York
Bishop Beldon E. Gannon, Auxiliary Bishop of New England and Regional Vicar for New York was born and raised in Suffern and Sloatsburg, New York and was educated in the Ramapo School System. At the age of fourteen Beldon entered Our Lady of the Little Portion Monastery, a Franciscan monastery, located on Long Island, New York where he finished his education under the late Father Joseph Crookston, O.S.F., the founder of the monastery. During his time at the monastery, Beldon lived the life of a Friar, though not yet under vows, while testing his vocation there. At the age of eighteen Beldon requested a temporary leave to further discern the direction in which he believed God was calling him, and during that time he met the woman who was to be his soul-mate, Ellen Francis, whom he married in 1954. A year later his first son was born followed shortly thereafter by another son and two daughters. For the next twenty-two years Beldon would be employed as the Assistant Administrator of the Ramapo Nursing Center in Suffern. Throughout all these years, Beldon still felt the call of God to serve as a priest. The road to the priesthood being closed to him in the Roman Catholic Church due to his married state, Beldon searched to find a truly Catholic Church wherein he might be considered for the priesthood while yet being married. It was not long after, that he found and entered the Old Roman Catholic Church. After numerous conferences, interviews and with much prayer, he undertook the required studies that he still needed to be considered for ordination. Beldon was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in Boston by Archbishop Edward J. Ford, T.O.R. and was assigned to establish and develop a parish in the Monroe, New York area. St. Joseph's Parish was soon established and canonically erected under the canonical authority of Archbishop Ford and as an extra-territorial parish of the Diocese of New England. Over the next few years Father Gannon worked to establish numerous missions, outposts and ministries of the Old Roman Catholic Church throughout the Rockland and Orange Counties of New York State and also several other apostolic works of the Old Roman Catholic Church in nearby New Jersey. In 1985 Father Gannon was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Ford in New England with the title of Titular Bishop of Usada, while being allowed to retain his office as Pastor of St. Joseph's Parish. He was consecrated at St. Joseph's Church in Monroe, NY, which would also serve as the site of Archbishop Ford's Enthronement as Metropolitan-Primate of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church seven years later in 1992. Bishop Gannon, though in semi-retired status remains active in the life of the Old Roman Catholic Church assisting Archbishop Ford as needed and requested.