I was disappointed to see that a story which was front-page news for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and which mentioned Belleville, went completely without coverage in this newspaper. The new leader of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, a St. Louis native, was commissioned as the ECC’s new presiding bishop, the official head of the Communion, in the U.S. as well as the European communities.
The ECC is not a “temporary” church, nor do we “play church.” We share the same Catholic faith as the Roman and other Catholic churches do, and offer the same seven sacraments. We gather for a familiar Mass every week, with the Eucharist as its center point and usually the same readings as the Roman Catholic Mass uses. We provide a truly Catholic home for those who feel marginalized and/or oppressed in the Roman Catholic Church. Yet we are not divisive. We give a proper respect to Pope Francis (interestingly, our new Presiding Bishop is Bishop Francis) as do the other 20-odd churches acknowledged by Rome as “authentically Catholic,” with “full apostolic succession,” though he has no authority in them.
The ECC is distinctive but not divisive, and no less truly Catholic in its faith, its sacraments, its Mass. The Belleville mission church, All Saints Community, gathers for Mass at 9 a.m. every Sunday, on the lower level of Trinity United Church of Christ, 47 N. Douglas Ave. As with every Ecumenical Catholic Communion gathering, All are welcome.
Ginny Kiernan Dahlberg, Belleville