We are an open door Catholic community led by Rev. James Michael Calderone, Ed.D., affiliated with the American Catholic Church in the United States [ACCUS; http://accus.us]. The ACCUS and its affiliated worldwide jurisdictions are not under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church and are therefore not subject to the same rules and regulations.
The St. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pastoral Outreach Center provides opportunities for those raised in the Catholic tradition and those who would like to find out more about the open door Catholic experience who may not now identify with a particular religious community, to explore their heart and conscience. We share the journey, as each of us finds our own ways of living the sacred values that Jesus came to teach us.
Everyone can feel at home as we worship, study, serve, and meditate together.
The door is open to ·young and old, ·single or partnered, ·gay or straight; ·those with economic means and those who are economically distressed, ·those with disabilities, ·those with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, ·those who are familiar with the Catholic tradition and those who wish to explore it ·those who feel joy today and those who are in sorrow, ·those who mourn and those who celebrate.
We come to Jesus as a body that respects and appreciates the wondrous diversity of God's people. In this way we strengthen and support each other on our journey to holiness.
St. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pastoral Outreach Center
We take as our inspirational model the spirit of inclusion and justice which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified. He gave his life so that our nation might become "a more perfect union."
We see King here, in a moment of prayer, after being confronted with a white racist group in Detroit, Michigan, in 1963. In a moment of extreme difficulty, he turns to Jesus for comfort and sustenance.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. James Michael Calderone, Ed.D.
…has been one of the heart, the intellect, and the spirit. While raising a family, getting my doctorate, and working as a professor of social work at Misericordia University, I have had the opportunity to study, reflect, and journey toward Jesus Christ.
My journey has at times been frightening, joyful, and always rewarding. The life of Jesus and the presence of Jesus in my life, challenge me to grow. This challenges me to look outward to see how I can be of service to those around me.
Prayer is not always in the heart, but it can be on the heart—a habit of the heart. Prayer leads to action, and action for social justice inevitably brings one closer to Christ, and the charisms He so forcefully illustrated in His life.
Every journey is enhanced by those who accompany you. Without family, friends, colleagues, and spiritual directors I would have faltered long ago. I am able to keep addressing the challenges of modern life from a faith perspective because of the continual support of others who are on this path, and who honor it.
I am humbled by the experience of ordination into the priesthood of the American Catholic Church in the United States, and look forward to being of service in our region. I am sincerely,
Yours in Jesus Christ,
Administering the Sacraments
Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick—are the life of the American Catholic Church in the United States. Each sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace. When we participate in them worthily, each provides us with graces—with the life of God in our soul. In worship, we give to God that which we owe the Creator; in the sacraments, God gives us the graces necessary to live a holy life. None of us is perfect, but we can all strive for holiness by participating in the sacraments with a loving heart.
Rev. James Michael Calderone is an ordained priest, in the apostolic succession going back to St. Peter. Contact him regarding the sacraments which bring grace into our lives. If you are seeking an inclusive, loving environment in which to receive the sacraments, come visit with us, or contact
Rev. James M. Calderone at James.M.Calderone@gmail.com
The American Catholic Church in the United States affirms traditional Catholic beliefs of faith and love, spirituality, community and prayer. It celebrates the seven sacraments and adheres to the essential Catholic doctrine and practice as expressed and implied in the statements of Vatican Council II, and in the light of the best contemporary thought.
The American Catholic Church in the United Statesis inclusive. The American Catholic Church in the United States seeks to reach those who may have felt alienated by their prior church experiences. We believe that who a person is and how a person has chosen to live, does not separate them from the love and compassion of God; thus, The American Catholic Church rejects artificial barriers to the reception of the Sacraments based on marital status, sexuality or orientation. In particular, we place no artificial barriers in the way of the reception of Baptism, when a parent sincerely desires that their child be received into the Mystical Body of Christ. The American Catholic Church in the United States proclaims the unconditional love and compassion of God, which embraces every human person regardless of their state or condition in life. We acknowledge the primacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to speak in our day through the "sensus fidelium" ("sense of the faithful") of the Catholic Church, leading to a world of justice and peace.
The American Catholic Church of the United States is an organization established with Jesus the Christ as its head. We are a Church Body with Catholic Doctrine and the Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ to give grace. We hold to the Scriptures as the Word and Example to live by as given by The Great Teacher and Lord, Jesus the Christ. The motto of this institution is "Serve All With Love."
Henri Nouwen in Spiritual Formation Following the Movements of the Spirit writes that "True healing begins at the moment that we can face the reality of our losses and let go of the illusion of control." It is easy in our fast-paced culture to neglect really experiencing (without judgment) the many losses that we face in our lives; we may be told by well-meaning friends to "get on with things" as a way of softening the pain. Meaningful activity can indeed help us to move on; but allowing ourselves the freedom to "be where we are" with compassion invites us to tap into the presence of the Healing Spirit within.
As we know, loss comes in many ways: loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of esteem, loss of economic security, loss of employment, loss of our repuatation, and many other experiences, some too subtle to name. But as people of faith we know somewhere deep that loss is not the end of the story. Fr. Nouwen goes on to write: "...I do believe that the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Love, is given to us to reach out beyond our fears and embrace the reality of our losses...having the courage to let our wounds be known to ourselves and felt by ourselves...and so being led into an inner space where joy can be found."
In this Sunday's Gospel two important women in the early church, Martha and Mary, teach us that both activity and time to rest in God with our losses are essential in healing. As Nouwen puts it, "Mourning and dancing are part of the same movement of God's grace." Not that God causes our pain, but that the reality of human experience includes both the heartbreak of loss and the assurance that we do not face loss alone.
In the footsteps of Martha and Mary we will break bread and share wine, as we rest in God during our Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday at 11 AM in The Upper Room. We will remember all, and we will pray that we will not be judgmental of ourselves or others in times of loss, but instead that we will live through the reality of our pain, hopeful that by the grace of God it will lead to new life.