Events of Interest
Pictured left to right:
Archbishop Edward J. Ford, T.O.R. ; Father Richard Kalbfleisch;
Father John Finney; Bishop I. Nicholas Plant; Mr. Sean Jackson.
New Clergy Received - January 3-4, 2015
On Saturday January 3rd at Saint Mary's Church in Max Meadows, Virginia two priests, Fathers Richard Kalbfleisch of Kentucky and Father John Finney of Virginia were received into the ministry of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church by His Eminence, Archbishop Edward J. Ford, T.O.R. the Metropolitan-Primate of the Church, assisted by the Bishop of the Diocese of the Southeast, The Most Reverend I. Nicholas Plant, D.D. in whose diocese the new priests will serve. The two new priests were accompanied during the weekend by their wives, Sandra and Eileen.
On Sunday January 4th during the celebration of a High Mass, the priests' Orders were regularized and they received their pastoral assignments. Father Kalbfleisch was assigned to serve as the pastor of the newly erected Church of the Holy Cross located in Frankfort, Kentucky and Father Finney will serve as curate to Bishop Plant at the Church of Saint Mary in Max Meadows, Virginia.
The gathering was blessed also to have the presence and assistance of Mr. Sean T. Jackson of New Jersey at the services. Mr. Jackson has made application to enter the Saint Francis of Assisi Theological Seminary where he will begin his studies, leading by the grace of the Holy Ghost, to eventual ordination to the Sacred Priesthood in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church upon completion of the required studies and spiritual formation necessary.
Throughout the entire weekend, Mrs. Ruthanne Plant, Mrs. Sandra Kalbfleisch, Mrs. Eileen Finney, and Mrs. Joy Dolger, assited by various members of the Saint Mary's Parish family provided sumptuous meals for all and accompanied the food for the body, with food for the spirit, by their company, humor and gracious friendliness and hospitality. Being the wife of a priest is in itself a vocation and sacred calling as true helpmates and stalwart supporters of their husbands. We are truly blessed to have such priests' wives in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church.
Mr. Michael Clinch, an ever present and zealous member of Saint Mary's parish family provided transportation for the Archbishop to and from the Charlotte, North Carolina airport, as well as regaling everyone with his inate sense of humor and multiplicity of jokes. Between Mike and Bishop Plant it was sometimes hard to remember that we were gathered together as clergymen and not as a convention of comedians and punsters. All however was in good taste and proportion and a great time was had by all.
left to right: Sandra Kalbfleisch, Father Kalbfleisch, Father Finney, Eileen Finney.
Father John Finney
Father Richard Kalbfleisch
Mr. Sean T. Jackson
The main altar at Saint Mary's Church
More photos from Saint Mary's Church can be found on our photos page. To view them click on the link below.
Saint Mary's Church, Max Meadows, Virginia
Through God's grace, St. Mary's Chapel in Max Meadows, VA., has been blessed with numerous donations of antique vestments, candlesticks, furniture, and assorted church necessities. First and foremost is the beautiful hand carved altar, made in 1895, whose altar stone contains a relic of a Saint. The Bishop's throne is a chair from Glastonbury Abbey in England and was also hand carved by the monk who used it, dating back to 1500 A.D.. The handmade needlepoint cushion was a gift made especially for that chair by the late Rev. Fr. J. F. Titus Oates, former Chaplain to HRH Queen Elizabeth and professor to Prince Charles at Oxford. The cushion depicts the traditional Glastonbury rose being plucked to give to the Queen, the first bloom at Christmas each year. Rev. Fr. Oates did the needlework patterned after a postage stamp in England depicting the tradition.
The altar desk is dated 1914, the crucifix on the altar was a gift of Fr. Oates when the church was first started by then Fr. I. Nicholas Plant. The beautiful gold plated sterling silver chalice that serves to hold and dispense the Precious Blood of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, was actually rescued by a parishioner from a secondhand store for $5.00. A brass cross (dated 1904) is centered on an antique table at the entry way, which holds Propers for Mass, prayer request cards, and extra Missalettes. Another cross, ornately hand carved in Pecan wood by a parishioner, was gifted to the Chapel. Next to that table, standing on a pedestal and facing outward in a full length glass window is a large statue of the Blessed Mother, with a bouquet of fresh flowers ever present at her feet, maintained by the dedicated Ladies Guild. Other statuary adorns various areas, including two large angels (hand painted in Spain) holding candles on either side of the altar. Nearby is an old wrought iron votive candle rack, which affords worshippers a place of prayer and meditation.
On the walls are Stations of the Cross, as well as artwork such as a pencil drawing of St. Michael defeating Satan, and St. Rita holding a crucifix. There are also two framed architect's drawings of the proposed building of St. Mary's Church. When our Lord is ready, Bishop and Mrs. Plant will donate a building site from a portion of their 37 acre farm.
The celebration of the traditional Tridentine Catholic Mass is beautifully augmented with music from the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal, which contains pieces from numerous centuries past; a treasure trove of beautiful hymns.
You will find both solid Biblical teachings and a warm welcome to Mass and the coffee hour afterward not only from Bishop I. Nicholas Plant, and his Curate, Rev. Fr. John Finney, but also from the friendly and dedicated parishoners of St. Mary's Chapel.
The inviting and open door to
Saint Mary's Church
Our Blessed Mother welcomes all to worship her Divine Son at Saint Mary's Church
The sign directs all to St Mary's Church for
Mass and Christian fellowship.
The Main Altar at
Blessed Sacrament Church
Blessed Sacrament Church, Sanford, Maine
Blessed Sacrament Church in Sanford, Maine was established several years ago when Archbishop Ford moved to Maine. The first location was in the private oratory dedicated to Saint Brigid of Ireland which was then located in the rectory. Some time later, after having established a friendship with Father John Clifton of the Prince of Peace Charismatic Episcopal Church in Sanford and by invitation from Father Clifton, the parish began to share the worship space with Prince of Peace Church.
Mr John McIntosh, a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Parish and the Archbishop's foster-son, repaired and completed restoration of the altar (it was open in front and missing the front panels) which was originally installed in an Episcopal Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts in the 1880's and later given to the Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts before being given to Archbshop Ford. Mr McIntosh closed it in and made the decorated panels you see there. He also made the tabernacle, gradines, reredos, statue pedestals, the small statue shrines between the candlesticks and even the candlesticks themselves.
Originally the altar was intended to be moveable so as to be used by Blessed Sacrament Church and then stored away in order not to interfere with Prince of Peace Church's worship which uses an altar facing the people. However both the parishioners and the clergy of Prince of Peace Church felt that the idea was not only unnecessary but also that an altar of such beauty would enhance the worship area for both churches and it was thus decided to install it permanently in the sanctuary. A later alteration made the altar again moveable so as to allow it to be moved forward for the Prince of Peace congregation to continue celebrating their Mass in the "versus populum" position, and then moved back into its normal position against the wall into the tradtional position for Blessed Sacrament Church's celebration of the traditional Tridentine Mass.
Blessed Sacrament and Prince of Peace churches are located in a very large converted space in the Midtown Mall in Sanford. The space had formerly been a gym and an oriental foods supermarket. In addition to the worship space there is a small meditation chapel, (also built by Mr McIntosh) and a large Fellowship/Parish Hall and nursery together with a spacious seven-classroom non-denominational Christian School serving approximately 75 students in grades K through 12. Archbishop Ford currently serves as the Executive Director of the school and teaches numerous subjects there including High School English, French, Latin, Spanish, Christian Studies, Constitutional Law, Philosophy, Ethics, Apologetics, and others.
The altar and shelves in the meditation chapel, the stained glass windows, the pulpit, lectern and baptismal font currently used at Blessed Sacrament Church in Sanford are all originally from the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Roslindale, Massachusetts where Archbishop Ford shared facilities when he was living in Boston and serving as rector of our St Michael's Church there.
The Interior of
Blessed Sacrament Church
The Main Altar at Christmas
Blessed Sacrament Church
The Meditation Chapel of the
The Christmas Creche
Blessed Sacrament Church
Archbishop Ford, assisted by Bishop Plant and Deacon Doughty during the Ordination sub conditione of
Father Sean Britt of Newnan, Georgia.
Following the Mass on Sunday August 16, 2015
Father Britt in the scapular and cord of the Third Order Secular of St Francis, together with Archbishop Ford, Bishop Plant and Father Finney.
New Priest Received - August 14-17, 2015
On Friday the 14th of August at the Church of St Mary in the Mountains located in Max Meadows, Virginia, Archbishop Edward J Ford, TOR, Primate of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church received Father Sean Britt of Newnan, Georgia into the ministry of this jurisdiction. Father Britt had served for several years as a priest of the African Orthodox Church, primarily in the New York City area before moving to Georgia.
The African Orthodox Church came into being in 1921 with the consecration of the late Archbishop George Alexander McGuire as the first Archbishop and later Patriarch of that body. It was organized by a large number of black Episcopalian priests and church leaders as a jurisdiction whereby black clergy and lay members of churches in tyhe United States, Canada, the West Indies, Central America and Africa would be able to practice and worship according to the Orthodox Catholic Faith under the jurisdiction of black bishops and hierarchs. This was at a time when segregation was still at its height in these countries and the aspirations of black clergy were being unfulfilled and black congregations were in many cases barely tolerated within the ranks of the church.
For over fifty years the North American Old Roman Catholic Church and the African Orthodox Church had maintained an intercommunion and close working relationship, assiting each other when needed and cooperating together in many ways. Unfortunately that close fraternal bond was severed in 1997 by actions taken within the African Orthodox Church that impeded the continuation of that relationship. As a result of additional issues plaguing the AOC, Father Britt turned to what was once a sister church, this jurisdiction, to seek a place within th ranks of our own clergy. On August 14th Father britt was received into the North American Old Roman Catholic Church by means of Ordination sub conditione. He will continue his studies in our own Saint Francis Theological Seminary and will also continue to reside in Newnan, Georgia for the next year or so, after which his current plans may include a move to the Delaware region.
Father Britt was also received as a novice into the Third Order Secular of St Francis and invested with the scapular and cord of the Order, during his visit to Max Meadows. Members of the Third Order Secular are lay men and lay women and also secular or diocesan priests and clergy who, desiring to follow in the foots of St Francis and to assist the Friars and Sisters of the Franciscan order, associate themselves into local fraternities where possible, and after a suitable preparation make promises to observe the Commandments of God, to engage in active service within the Church and to live according to the virtues of Simplicity, Charity and Humility, and to continue to grow in their prayer life and in the study of Scripture in imitation of their Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi.
Archbishop Ford and Deacon Doughty
Archbishop Ford and Deacon Doughty
Archbishop Ford and Father Britt
Archbishop Ford, Bishop Plant,
Father Britt and Deacon Doughty
Archbishop Ford, Bishop Plant
and Father Britt