Holy Trinity Parish is a member of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. It is an independent Catholic church with traditional Vatican II worship and progressive beliefs.
Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA)
Please read and share far and wide. A Pastoral Letter from the CACINA College of Bishops on the mass shootings in the USA.
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Feast of St. Blaise; 3 February 2019; at Holy Trinity Parish. Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19, First Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13, Luke 4...
[08/07/18] Holy Trinity Parish is seeking nominations for Council Positions. The positions are Chair, Liturgy, Education, Outreach, Membership and Social. Nominations and self-nominations are due on September 9th. Please let Father Joe or Mother Martha know if you are interested.
We've moved! Please join us for Mass on Sundays at 11:30 am. Now located at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church - 432 Van Buren Street, Herndon VA.
Hope to see you there!
The College of Bishops of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA) would like to make clear our position that any attempt to take children and separate them from their parents is grievously wrong. The present situation that exists on our southern border should be immediately stopped and the children returned to their parents. These are not criminals, nor are their parents who have followed the laws and sought asylum.
From both a secular and religious perspective what is presently happening is wrong and damaging to children. Psychology has shown the enormous impact of lack of bonding and attachment on the later life of children. Bruce Perry, PhD and MD (2018) from the Child Trauma Academy states “many researchers and clinicians feel that the maternal-child attachment provides the framework for all subsequent relationships that the child will develop.” Breaking the bond between parent and child is not only cruel when it is forced, but will create many problems later for the child and for society.
From a political point of view it is egregious to use children as pawns to frighten away immigrants or for negotiation purposes so the President can get something he wants from Congress. Children are precious commodities, not bargaining chips.
From a religious standpoint, there could be nothing more abominable than to hurt children by taking them away from their only support and love. Jesus was very clear on his teachings about the value of children and the consequences for hurting them. He said, “Whoever receives this child in My name, receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives the One who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (Lk 9:48). In Matthew, Jesus says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of my father who is in heaven” (18:10) and a few verses later has this severe command, “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish” (8:14). Any time there are attempts to justify the present government’s actions biblically are a misuse of scripture and an abomination of Jesus’ intent. Thus, we the Bishops of CACINA feel that the immigration policies of the United States government are severely unjust, and in particular, the separation of children taking place on our southern border and the negligent treatment of these children. We implore the government to change these policies immediately for the sake of these children who are being so hurt, and the damage not be irreparable.
We urge our own people of CACINA to write their representatives, legislators, Congress and even the president to put the needs of children first, which is what a just society would do. At the same time, the Bishops continue to pray and to join with the many Christian groups across this country who oppose what is happening. We add our voice to theirs.
Most Rev. Ronald Stephens
Catholic Apostolic Church in North America
Lets get inspired by homilies at our Parish by the Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale. You can share it with your friends.
Previous homilies you can find on our web site at
Homily at Holy Trinity for June 17, 2018 the 11th Sunday in Ordimary Time
Lets get inspired by homilies at our Parish by the Franciscans of Fort Lauderdale. You can share it with your friends.
Previous homilies you can find on our web site at
Today's Homily at Holy Trinity for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Homily for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA)
For those who may feel a call to the Priesthood.
Priest of CACINA
Priestly Vocation in an
Independent Catholic Community by
The Most Reverend Anthony F. Santore
The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America P.O. Box 8631
Reston. Virginia 20195
Copyright © 2007
All Rights Reserved Worldwide www.cacina.org
The use of short quotations or copying of this document is permitted for personnel or group distribution by CACINA clergy without the consent of the copyright holder.
This booklet is not about the Independent Catholic movement. You can go to the Internet and find a lot of information about independent Catholics, some supportive—and even more, slanderous. As defined in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, “Independent Catholic Churches are, by and large, very small Churches, some of them consisting of one congregation, that claim valid Apostolic Succession of their bishops, though these are often dismissed in mainstream Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican circles as episcopi vagantes ("wandering bishops")”. Many of the independent catholic communities are just that, wandering bishops. Others are real communities made up of real people with a clergy dedicated to service and spreading the gospel. I believe that we in the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA) are one of those real communities. You can check us out on the web at www.cacina.org. Once there, you will see that we are not just a bunch of wandering bishops.
So if this booklet is not about the independent catholic movement what is it about? It’s about CACINA and what CACINA ask of her Priests. Although written in the first person, my intention was not necessarily to tell my own story, but to let others know and understand more about the church. In addition, I want to provide my brothers and sisters who feel they have a call to ordained ministry an understanding of what it means to be a priest in a community where there is no remuneration for your services other than the joy derived from knowing you are making a difference in the lives of all those you touch.
How I got Involved
Growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, there is most always a point in a young boy’s life when he wrestles with the idea of becoming a priest. As most Catholic boys do, I pondered this: but celibacy was out of the question. For years, my sister would say I believe my brother would have been a priest if only he were allowed to marry. I did marry, so at the time the alternative to the priesthood was to be a very active lay Catholic. After moving to Florida, I joined the Knights of Columbus, progressed through the council chairs to the position of chancellor, became a fourth degree Knight and was active in the Color Corp. I also was President of the Kennedy Columbian Club and was nominated Knight of the Year by my council for the state of Florida.
All this is to say I was an active conservative Catholic. I moved from Florida to Maryland where I remained active in the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Church. Then my Marriage crashed. I will not go in to details here, as I was as much to blame as my first wife. However, as a divorced Catholic, not much had changed in my life. I still received
the sacraments and remained in the Knights of Columbus. But when I remarried, I was considered an outsider, no longer entitled to receive the Eucharist. How can one be a Roman Catholic and be banned from receiving the Eucharist? The Eucharist, the center of my belief, was no longer available to me.
I searched for a new church. I went to several Protestant churches looking for the same sense of fulfillment I had formerly felt in the Roman Catholic Church. But I didn’t find the sacramental presence for which I longed. I might have entered a Lutheran or Episcopal community, but I stumbled on Holy Trinity, a parish of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA), and Father Raymond Kelly. Here at Holy Trinity, I found a Catholic Community that would accept this broken soul: a community where priests had the option to marry, divorced Catholics were allowed to remarry without undergoing an often-difficult annulment process and all were accepted regardless of race or lifestyle. Most of all, here was a community that believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and was willing to share that presence with anyone who approached the communion rail reverently.
After joining the community, I assumed the same active lay role I had in the Roman Church. I became the first head of the Parish Council, responsible for fund raising and church social activities. In 1995, while attending Ash Wednesday Services, I realized that Father Kelly could use more help and I offered to lend more support. I was thinking I could act as an altar Server. He was thinking priest. I reluctantly agreed to become a Deacon, but intended to go no further. In 1996, after Father Kelly was consecrated Bishop (and later Presiding Bishop of the Church), I was ordained a Deacon. I preached my first Homily on Fathers Day. After Mass, a parishioner (a Roman Catholic Priest who left the church to marry) pulled me aside and said, “If you do not become a priest you are doing yourself and this community an injustice.” I thought long and hard about what he said and finally gave in. I was ordained to the priesthood in November of 1996.
In 2001 not long after a bout with cancer (I was still undergoing chemotherapy), I attended the Synod. Upon arriving, I was told to meet with the College of Bishops. When I went into the meeting room, I was greeted as Bishop-elect. My first words were, “What the hell do we need another Bishop for?” but I reluctantly gave in. My early mentor Bishop Kelly has since retired and I now find myself leading the flock. I am not alone. I am supported by four Bishops: the Most Reverend’s Willard Shultz, Carl Purvenas- Smith, William Fite and Francisco Betancourt, who I believe are much more dedicated than am I.
I’ve told you a bit of my story. Each of the men mentioned here and the other CACINA priests could tell you his or her own story. They may have each arrived here on a different path, but we share in common our faith in God, our certainty that Christ would turn no one away from Him, no matter how broken, and our belief that He is still with us. His presence is real in the Eucharist and in the lives of all who believe in him.
OK, I explained how I got here, but you need to know what “here” is. Officially CACINA is an independent and autocephalous Catholic Church; a member of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church established by Our Lord Jesus Christ to bring the Gospel to all people.
CACINA's history as an independent Catholic Church begins with the establishment of Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira (The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil) on July 6th, 1945. The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil was established by the late Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa as a result of ecclesiastic and civil persecutions in Brazil in the 1930's and 1940's. The Catholic Apostolic Church was brought to the United States by the late Bishop Estefan Meyer Corradi-Scarella who had been consecrated a bishop for that purpose January 23, 1949, from which date CACINA dates its establishment. Today, CACINA has Catholic Apostolic jurisdiction in all of the United States and Canada, together with their respective Territories, Protectorates, and Possessions. CACINA is a completely independent and self governing body, neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant, but simply Catholic.
If that was hard to chew, try this: The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA) is the daughter church of the Catholic Apostolic Church in Brazil, founded by the Most Reverend Carlos Duarte-Costa, a Roman Catholic Bishop who left communion with Rome in 1945 because of matters of conscience related to social justice. Bishops in CACINA trace their apostolic succession primarily to Duarte-Costa, but they also have Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Episcopal lineages. Despite this rich tradition, CACINA maintains a thoroughly Catholic identity. We are not Roman, Orthodox, or Anglican; we are grateful the Lord has called us to be CACINA Catholics.
Most of our worship services conform to the Novus Ordo, the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, though visitors might experience rituals taken from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer as well as our own liturgical sources. We are followers of Jesus Christ. We serve God in our community. We welcome all people regardless of race, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, or economic status to our faith community and invite all to join us in worship, fellowship, and ministry.
As with many independent communities, we have had our difficulties. A number of people in leadership positions have left us over the years, usually over disputes concerning the authority of the community over any one particular person. But many dedicated people have stayed to work out contentious issues in an environment of Christian charity. It is because of these faithful servants that the Church has made its way through troubled waters. We remain together and have not fallen apart like many other communities such as ours. I intend no disrespect to those who have left this community; but the fact that the Church did not follow them shows that this Church is not about a Bishop or Priest. It is about the People of God. The loving, caring people in our respective parishes, missions and religious orders hold this church together. God bless them all.
For more information on CACINA, again I ask you to look at our website. There you will find the statement of beliefs and the constitution of the church. But if you really want to understand this community, pick a parish near you, come out and meet the people.
A CACINA Priest
This section specifically addresses what it takes to be a CACINA priest. When I was ordained to the priesthood Bishop Kelly said to me, “You are about to take a journey to the mountain, but it is not Tabor (site of the Transfiguration). No, the mountain you will be climbing is Calvary (Golgotha), and you will be beaten and scared when you get there. It was a sobering thought that almost made me want to run away. And there have been some tears along the way, but also some very joyous moments.
In the introduction, I said I was writing this to let my brothers and sisters know what it takes to follow Christ in this manner. What follows is a brief outline of our procedure for admitting candidates to study for ordination.
In order to start on this journey you most be accepted by the church community. CACINA has a Standing Committee made up of clergy and laity who will review your application, interview you and provide the Diocesan Bishop with a recommendation. The Bishop can reject the standing committee’s recommendation, but this is not likely. Once you have been accepted as a candidate for the priesthood, you will undergo a course of study based on your educational background that will require approximately two years to finish. Upon completion, you will undergo a comprehensive examination that will be evaluated by three members of the clergy. Upon their approval (and assuming that there are no other impediments), the Bishop will set your ordination date.
Sounds easy enough but here is what you are committing to:
One: you are giving up your free time. Once ordained a priest, you may find yourself on call all the time. You are the shepherd but also the servant of your community. This not only means Sunday Mass, it means taking care of the communities’ needs; Sick calls, family counseling, funerals and weddings.
Two: Although family is first and foremost, it does mean rearranging family schedules to serve the community. You and your spouse or partner have to be equally committed to the work of the Church. You cannot do this with out their support.
Three: You must have the financial stability to sustain yourself. A CACINA priest follows the Pauline “tentmaker” tradition, not making a living as a parish priest but to work in another field to pay his or her own way. Just as our parishes are self-sustaining so are our clergy. You must understand that there is a certain financial burden associated with this vocation.
Four: When you are ordained, you will swear obedience to the Diocesan Bishop and his successors. This is not to be taken lightly. When you take this vow, you are committing to the will of the Church. You are saying that you will be one of those people who stick with it and help guide the Church through troubled times.
Five: This is on a personal note. Be prepared to feel guilty from time to time. As a priest, I always find myself taking inventory. Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right thing? Is my faith strong enough? Am I worthy? I believe this is a good thing, but I do tell people I thought I was a good Christian—until I became a priest.
If you are still reading this and I haven’t scared you away, let’s talk about the rewards:
In Luke 6:38, Jesus tells his disciples, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Heady words Huh!! As a Priest in CACINA you will give your energy, your physical resources, your mind, emotions and will in service to God, and believe me, he will give you much in return.
The rewards of being a priest are marvelous. You will feel loved, appreciated, needed, trusted, and admired–all as a result of being an instrument God has used in the spiritual growth of His people.
Your people will pray for you and care deeply about you. I know that my parish family prays for me and I owe a debt of gratitude to God for that. I am honored to be a conduit for the grace of God, the love of Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit that is made real to people when we gather for prayer and celebration.
You will share the joy of parents over the birth of a child and the pain of children over the death of a mother or father. You will celebrate at a wedding and offer comfort at a funeral. These are the times when you go beyond your homily, and stand in the gap for God in the lives of His people.
The rewards of being a priest are many. Without question, there is no other position in the world that has a higher honor than to be called to the priesthood. However, it is a vocation of extreme contrasts. It can be sometimes wonderful and sometimes terrible in the same package. Despite the potential blessings of leading souls to Christ, being a priest is difficult. Being a priest of CACINA is more difficult because you have made yourself responsible for the spiritual lives of others while supporting your own material needs.
Your Obligation to the People of God
There is no room in CACINA for an individual who wants to wear a Roman collar on Sunday and do nothing on Monday. The Priesthood is a full-time profession. Ordination is a lifetime commitment to grow the Kingdom of God. As a priest of CACINA, you will be expected to become an active member in an existing community or more often than not, be asked to begin a mission of your own. As our parishes and communities are for the most part some distance from one another, you will have to be a self-starter. The following chaplaincy programs are examples of ministry currently performed by CACINA priests.
Hospital/Hospice Chaplaincy: The Hospital or Hospice Chaplain is an integral member of the healthcare team, he or she makes daily or regular rounds and is available to provide pastoral care for patients/residents, family and staff. The Chaplain also provides objective crisis intervention and spiritual support. There are some full-time and part-time employment opportunities as a hospital/hospice chaplain, but you must be have the education credentials to obtain these positions. On the other hand, there are many volunteer opportunities available.
Fire or Police Chaplaincy: Chaplains serving with fire and police departments often work alongside the fire fighters and police officers they minister to in situations that threaten their own safety. These chaplains also minister to victims and families of those in trauma situations. Today, more than ever, these people need spiritual guidance, counseling for themselves and their families, and assistance coping with stressful occupations. You will need to check with your local fire or police department but most will have or will be interested in developing a chaplain corps. To start this ministry and be accepted you will need written acknowledgement by a faith group/denomination (your Diocesan Bishop) that you are in good standing and meet the qualifications for clergy credentials within CACINA.
Prison Chaplaincy: A correctional chaplain’s main job is to provide for the free exercise of religion to all inmates. However, within such broad parameters the chaplain has numerous opportunities to share his or her faith through counseling, scripture studies, Mass and prayer services, and cogent mentoring relationships with inmates and prison staff alike, challenging them to live better lives and giving them the moral tools to do so. As with the Hospital/Hospice chaplain there are paid opportunities, but there are also many volunteer positions available through faith based non-denominational organizations.
While Chaplaincy Programs are necessary and rewarding ministries, bringing the word of God to those in need, answering Jesus’ command to minister to the sick and the imprisoned as well as ministering to police and fire fighters in their time of need, they do little to grow the CACINA community. Parishes are an essential to the growth of our National Church.
Parish Priest: The Parish Priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and guiding with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful.
Parish Building: While you can establish yourself as a chaplain with few startup costs, founding a parish requires a significant investment of time and money. If your diocesan organization does not have the funds to seed a new parish, the best way to do so is to start a wedding or other ministry and ask for a donation for services. There are several wedding websites where you can advertise your services inexpensively.
Assuming you have some funding, you will have to establish a place to meet and say Mass. Many school districts will allow a new church to rent a space free or for a small fee. Some Protestant churches will allow other smaller churches to nest. Nesting can be a problem because you will have the church during off periods, which means that on special holidays you may find yourself scrambling to find a worship space. Examples of CACINA parishes... (see our website at www.cacina.org )
If you have stuck with me over the last seven pages and are nodding your head yes I can do that you are the kind of person we are looking for. For more information on the formation process please contact Bishop Francisco Betancourt and 1-800-603-0644 extension 706 or email him at [email protected]
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