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The Sacrament of Holy Orders

    The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the churches within the Catholic Faith Tradition refer to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as "the Sacrament of Apostolic Ministry."

     In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a person is incorporated into the priesthood of Christ at one of three levels: the episcopate, the priesthood, or the diaconate.  A person cannot demand ordination; the Church has the authority to determine eligibility for the Sacrament.

     In the Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA, all levels of the Sacrament of Holy Orders are open to men and women.  Celibacy is not a requirement for the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

     Jesus is always with us, as He promised, in the person of the bishop, the priest, and the deacon.  The purpose of this sacrament is the spiritual nourishment of God's people through the ministry of the seven sacraments; preaching the Word of God; teaching the Catholic Faith Tradition; and evangelization of anyone who seeks to find the will of God.

     The Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA sponsors a clergy preparation program under the auspices of Vilatte Theological Seminary.  Through the seminary program candidates are prepared for ministry by their study of Sacred Scripture and the doctrines of the Catholic Faith Traditions particularly of the first millennium. As the clergy candidates progress through their studies they are called to advance through the Minor Orders of Porter, Acolyte, Lector and Subdeacon.  Once proven through study and service, the Council of Bishops determines the appropriateness of calling a candidate to the Sacred Order of Deacon and eventually to the Sacred Priesthood.

     Within our Church congregations, pastors may recommend to the Diocesan Bishop dedicated laypersons who commit themselves to assist the pastor by serving the local congregation as clergy in the Minor Orders.

     Our Church also invites former Roman Catholic priests, seminarians,
and lay men and women with Religious Education backgrounds
who may be interested in ministry in this Church to visit our National Church website at www.ecc-usa.org or contact our Presiding Bishop at inquiry@ecc-usa.org.