Within the Catholic Religion, there are different denominations such as the Old Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church or Latin Rite, the Orthodox Catholic Church and others.
Our denomination specifically, was founded by His Grace Most Reverend, Archbishop ARNOLD HARRIS MATHEW, Metropolitan Archbishop of the United Kingdom and Ireland, in 1910, after his separation from the Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht. The Church was established in the United States of America in 1916, by Archbishop Prince de Landas Berghes et de Rache, who consecrated to the Episcopacy Henry Carmel Carfora, who was later elected as the first Archbishop of America. For several decades our Church continued to grow and expand to other countries under the leadership of archbishops Resch, Brown, and Bostwick.
Unfortunately, the reasons why Archbishop Harris broke away from the Union of Utrecht, (see the Declaration of independence and autonomy) continue to persist today.
On 13 January of 2012, with the intention of preserving and perpetuating the Old Catholic Church of Archbishop Mathew, our branch was reestablished in in the United States and Africa, and in 2010 in the United Kingdom, all within his apostolic succession.
The Old Catholic Church or TOCC and all its affiliated communities, are totally autonomous, independent and autocephalous, subordinate to any other jurisdiction or Prelature outside of TOCC.
As a member of the Universal Church founded by Jesus Christ, TOCC has jurisdiction anywhere that individuals or communities of faith are established and affiliated with TOCC globally. The jurisdiction of TOCC may be coincidental with the jurisdictions of other denominations, churches or communities of faith.
When there is such jurisdiction, TOCC claims right of jurisdiction only on persons or communities associated with our faith.
TOCC is a tax-exempt organization under the federal Act on the Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3) in the United States and classified as a public charity or a private foundation, our church also has the legal registrations or licenses in compliance with the respective governments of the counties where we are established. Our denomination exists with the purpose to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to all people, while living our profession of faith, preserving the vision and intent of our founder and conferring the sacraments of the church according to the Catholic faith for the sanctification of God's people in our spiritual care.
Every day, more people leave the Catholic faith as they feel marginalized, discriminated against, judged and insignificant, from a church that excludes them for being imperfect or because they have made mistakes.
We provide a legitimate and valid Catholic alternative, our motto is, "The perfect Church, for imperfect people", following the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and imitating the primitive Church from Apostolic times, where the very same disciples of Jesus, were called to serve God, as He created them, fathers to their children, husbands to their wives and heads of families worth of emulating by their communities, celebrating the Eucharist around the table in the intimacy of their homes and congregations.
Our Church is a perfect fit for the Catholic who wish to regain or maintain their faith, without having to leave the catholic religion, or resorting to other religions where they have to change their spiritual essence. In our Church, we adhere more to the word of God and the Gospel of Christ, which calls us to His love and mercy, and where He waits to be reconciled with all; not based in institutional laws that judged and marginalize people for being human and imperfect, diminishing any sign of hope for a new beginning, denying an opportunity for learning, reconciliation and salvation.
Our Church is ideal for those who have been away from the beauty of Catholicism or have been prevented to participate fully in the life and the sacraments of the Church.
TOCC, is governed by the College of Bishops, which is presided by the Archbishop Primate. Having valid apostolic succession, practicing our faith, liturgy and sacred tradition (legitimacy) and being duly registered according to the respective laws with our name and identity as The Old Catholic Church, in all the countries and places where we are (legality), we can offer the seven sacraments to persons who wish to receive them.
Regardless of where you are in life, or where you are in your spiritual journey, we offer you the support of our communities and ministers for your spiritual and personal growth, we invite you to explore our pages and learn more about us.
Most Reverend Andrew Angarita, CJ. MDiv, D.D.
Archbishop Primate. USA
and Archdiocese of St Willibrord
Right Reverend +Jesús E. Lázaro, MDiv, D.D.
Chancellor and Bishop Metropolitan Province of America. USA
and Diocese de la Santa Fe, Colombia
+Juan Carlos Mogollon Fernandez
Bishop, Diocese of St. Andrew Apostle
Mrs. Gina Angarita, MBA.
Most Reverend ++ Geoffrey S. Robinson, CJ, D.D. Phd, Dmin
Chancellor and Archbishop Primate of the OCCUK and the Northern Diocese, UK
Most Reverend ++John A. W. Lycett, CJ, D.D. PhD, DMin
Archbishop, Abbot of the Order of Companions of Jesus (Benedictines) United Kingdom
Rev’d Canon Michael A Raper CJ(csb) MSC
Industrial Chaplaincy / Joint Safeguarding Officer, UK
Reverend Mother Clare CJ (csf) DCSR Secretary to The College of Bishops, UK
Sister Ruth CJ (csf) BA
Provincial Treasurer / Joint Safeguarding Officer, UK
Most Reverend ++Samy Lobombo, D.D.
Archishop Archdiocese of Mbandake Ecuador, Republic Democratic of Congo, Africa.
Our church has Dioceses, Episcopal Regions, and Missions in the United Kingdom, the Republics of Colombia, Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Indonesia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, France, India, Spain, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States.
The Old Catholic Church, has evolved to a local and regional model of administration with self-governing dioceses closely following St. Ignatius of Antioch's concepts of the Church as a communion of communities each laboring together to proclaim the message of the Gospel.
Our faith as Old Catholics is the same of the Catholic (Universal) Church as taught by the Church from apostolic times to the present day. Our Apostolic Succession is through the Roman Catholic Church to the Apostles, participating in the full valid sacramental ministry of the Church.
The Rule of Faith of Old Catholics is faithful adherence to Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition. All members of our church must subscribe to Theology, Doctrine and Liturgy of the Catholic Church.
The matter of papal infallibility defined by Vatican Council I in 1870, is a non-issue for Old Catholics, since we are independent of Papal jurisdiction. All Old Catholic communities accord the Holy Father that respect due him as Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Patriarch of the West.
We differ from most Churches in that our priests are unpaid, but have to make their own provision for receiving stipend. They emulate the Apostles and early believers to receive payment for the good works they do. Priests minister within their diocesan geographical areas.
Because our communities are small, we are able to successfully implement the Ignatian model of the Church mentioned earlier. This concept views the faithful with their clergy and bishop as a team, a community or family in loving concern for each other and each working together to live the Scriptural commands in their daily lives as Christians bringing the love of Christ to others. Old Catholics adhere to the teaching from apostolic times that the Church in General Council is infallible.
By developing new methods and ideas with an emphasis on family, community, and Catholicism, which expresses a warmth and interest in the total person, Old Catholic communities are able to address the needs of today's society with care and love.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is a calling to service in the Lord, a way to live out the love relationship with God that feeds our spirit and allow us in return to serve humanity with the same love, changing the world together.
If you hear the call, God will show you the way and provide you the path to follow. A vocation to serve the Lord is not a career path, or a decision you make based on talents or natural attributes you may have, it is a way of life of selfless service, of commitment, knowing that you were chosen to do His work, and the life you have is not yours but His. A life you can live in this world but not belonging to it.
After a period of discernment and prayer, contact us via email to schedule a telephonic interview and to obtain an application and:
• Complete the application, attach all education credentials and or certificates, and a recent photo.
• A person who seeks ordination must be at least 21 years of age. There is no maximum age.
• An undergraduate degree is preferable but not mandatory.
• All applicants must agree to and pay for a background check.
• A written letter of request for reception as a candidate for Holy Orders.
• A letter of affirmation from the petitioner's wife, if married.
• The Chancellor will conduct a telephonic interview.
• After the interview a background check will be completed.
• Upon completion of the background check, a second interview will be done by the respective Bishop or his delegate, and upon approval of the application, a mentor/spiritual director will be assigned.
• Candidates accepted into the Seminary Program will follow a study plan of formation leading to ordination and a religious degree will be awarded. (Bachelor or Master in Theology Studies)
• The seminarian will complete study work at his own pace. (Usually 3 to 6 years depending on the education level)
• As part of the formation process all seminarians are expected to attend the yearly Synod where practical tests will be administered and practical instruction will be received.
• You may also be required to undergo a psychological examination, at your own expense before ordination, if during the application, interview or formation process, indication comes to light about your emotional and psychological state that potentially would affect your ability to serve in the capacity of a Deacon or Priest.
Following Catholic Tradition you will first be ordained a Deacon. After a period and further formation, you will be ordained a Priest.
Single or married, our clergy are not employed by the Church nor do we receive any remuneration for our services in the form of a paycheck. In the footsteps of the apostles, everyone earns a living in secular employment. But if you can support yourself financially by meeting the objectives of the church, you are certainly welcome to do so.
The decision for ordination will be made only by the Bishop with the recommendation of the Seminary Council.
Ordinations to the Diaconate and Priesthood shall take place in a setting of public worship, preferably at the candidate's home parish or ministry, or at the yearly Synod.
We welcome men who aspire to be a religious brother, deacon, or priest, in active ministry in a parish, or in a more contemplative role, in a healing ministry, in education, pastoral counseling, youth work, senior residences, law enforcement or hospital chaplaincy, and even as a worker priests on the job. There are many possibilities and types of ministry and we can assist you finding your call during the formation process.
It is our commitment to provide the right environment for growth and development, and our Seminary has a very experienced and caring faculty, as well as a very dedicated staff that will make your formation experience very pleasant and rewarding. If you are already in Holy Orders and are seeking incardination, you need to complete the application process, and take our History and Orientation Courses for The Old Catholic Church. If you are under spiritual authority of another Bishop, you need a release from that Bishop.
Priesthood is a fellowship of those called and dedicated to the Lord and His service. We welcome you to pray and let His Spirit guide you.