unity in diversity ~ our crazy quilt church
Mission Statement / Being Church Together
We are people of God, baptized in Christ and professing our faith in a living Catholic tradition. We are people of faith, lay and ordained, joining together as a communion of communities in response to our baptismal call to preach the Gospel of liberation and justice; to offer a refuge in Christ for those who suffer prejudice; to stand open to dialogue with others so called and to conform our lives to the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The mission of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC) and particularly our our regional church (identified as the Region, paralleling the term Diocese used in other territories) is an “incarnational” ministry of discipleship and evangelization. Within this context, our members recognize and celebrate the diversity of gifts the Spirit gives for the building up of the church and honor the roles of the orders of ministry within the church, and the dynamics of ecclesial interaction and relationships among them:
The Laity – the “People of God,” into which all are joined by Baptism, are called by God as the foundational membership of the church. The Laity are drawn to various ministering roles and their active participation is supported through the gifts of the Holy Spirit among which are wisdom, knowledge, understanding, stewardship, fortitude, counsel and leadership. The people are commissioned to the ministry of justice, peace, and compassion, and to each other through their various roles.
The Deacons who, out of an intimate relationship with their local community, interpret the world to the church, and share concretely in the Bishop’s prophetic and interpretive ministry.
The Presbyters / Priests, who counsel, support, encourage, nurture and inspire the People through the ministry of Word and Sacrament; and who together with the Bishop constitute the Presbyteral Circle.
The Bishop – the “attentive” or “watchful one” and the “bridge builder,” who safeguards the church’s unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity and gives voice to our sacred communal call.
(Art. II of the RMR-ECC Constitution)
A Church Where Everyone Has A Voice
The Rocky Mountain Region of the ECC (RMR_ECC) is part of a larger whole – a nationwide Synodal Church. The communities are joined together by shared beliefs, acceptance of the ECC constitution, and operating collegially as part of the National ECC Synod. This means that each community sends delegates, both ordained and lay to participate in the governance of the whole church with the Regional Bishop. Lay, ordained, and consecrated see and treat each other as equals in governance. Each have assigned areas of responsibility, to proceed and act, while maintaining collaboration, communications, and transparency. Responsibility is treated as how each group can best serve the other.... Decisions are made in collaboration and are largely consensus based. This sharing of leadership at all levels makes us a Synodal Church. (Art. III, Sect. 1 of the RMR_ECC Constitution)
Our local organization has three parts: the communities of the Rocky Mountain Region, our elected Regional Bishop, and a Regional Council. Representatives lay and ordained serve on the Council's Board of Directors and with our local bishop coordinate our common life, making decisions using a consensus model reflecting the prayerful discernments of our respective communities.
The Regional Council
Bishop Kae Madden
Anne Grant, Christine Casillas
representing Church of the Holy Family
Christy Chady, Mthr. Alice Bradley representing Church of the Beloved
Jack Wolfe, Chuck Howard
representing Light of Christ
Tom Moos, Mthr. Rosean Amaral (Secretary)
representing Mary of Magdala
Greg Yonker (Treasurer), Fr. Don Sutton
representing St. Paul Catholic Community
Fr. Michael Nicosia
(Vicar of Ecumenical Engagement;
ex-officio member of the board)
Clergy in Good Standing*
Mother Rosean Amaral
Mother Alice Bradley
Mother Sheila Dierks
Father Jim DeMuth
Deacon Bonnie Pino Fraser
Deacon Buddy Fricke
Reverend Kathleen Gorman
Father Teri Harroun
Father Scott Jenkins
Father Stan Manickam
Father Michael J. Nicosia
Father Frank Quintana
Reverend Jane Reina
Deacon Brent Rollings
Father Len Schreiner
Father Don Sutton
Deacon Mike Weil
* for up-to-date verification contact Mother Rosean at email@example.com
Our Local Bishop
Elected By The People
The Right Reverend Kae Madden was elected in May 2021 to be the first bishop to serve the five communities of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC). She is the co-founder (2004) and pastor (2006) of Church of the Beloved Ecumenical Catholic Community in Northglenn. The Colorado ECC communities celebrate inclusivity and radical hospitality grounded in Catholic tradition. Grateful for our membership in the Colorado Council of Churches, she looks forward to interacting in purposeful ways.
Bishop Madden’s personal mission is to serve God and to call forth, create and build authenticity, harmony and synergy with individuals, groups and communities. Prior to ordained ministry, she was involved in programs of service in a variety of programs including Catholic Charities through church-based community organizing and SHARE Colorado which distributed monthly food packages through statewide neighborhood host sites staffed entirely by volunteers. Little did she know that her professional experience in visioning, “startups,” facilitation, team building and volunteer management would serve her well as a pastor and now with initiatives on a regional level as a bishop.
Bishop Madden earned her Master of Arts degree with a focus on Adult Christian Community Development and her Bachelor of Arts from Regis University, Denver CO. Her degrees include components on Adult Education, Grief, the Spirituality of Family, and Organizational Development.
A farm girl from Nebraska, Bishop Madden is married and in ministry with her husband Greg. They are blessed with an ever-expanding family of kids and grandkids and friends. She enjoys creating oil pastel mandalas, walks, and relaxing with mindless fiction. In honor of her grandmother who was visually impaired, she founded and sustained a twenty-year personal ministry, The Word Proclaimed, bringing the daily lectionary readings, the Word of God, and a brief reflection, to the busy, isolated and blind through convenient, monthly recordings.
A member community of
THE ECUMENICAL CATHOLIC COMMUNION
How do we live Ecumenically?
By welcoming ALL, by practicing Eucharistic hospitality, and by giving everyone a voice.
Each member shapes and influences the whole; everyone has gifts to share and every gift is welcome.
How do we live into our Catholic identity?
Ecclesiastically, in worship, ritual and sacraments, by listening to the Word and sharing Eucharist, by being empowered to be the Body of Christ in the world, by following the liturgical year, by using symbols, signs and traditional prayers, and by being faithful to the apostolic tradition. Non-ecclesiastically, we are “all-embracing and inclusive.”
How do we live into communion?
We're part of a covenanted “communion of communities.” Each uniquely shaped, autonomous community shapes the larger communion. We are in deep intimate relationship with each other and our world.
Three Legged Stool
The Ecumenical Catholic Communion has a synodal model of governance. The Holy Synod (an assembly of the clergy and laity that guides the church) gathers bi-annually to determine how we are church together and chart our course. It is chaired by the Presiding Bishop in collaboration with the House of Laity, the House of Pastors, and the Council of Bishops.
The House of Laity (HOL) is comprised of lay members of each faith community of the Communion. Their number of delegates is proportional to their number of active members.
The House of Pastors (HOP) is comprised of all pastors and a second designated ministerial representative from each participating faith community.
The Council of Bishops (COB) is comprised of all bishops within the communion. Elected bishops are voting members, but the other bishops in good standing are a valued part of their conversations and their consensus-based deliberations.
While the Synod is not in session, the Leadership Council carries on the business of the Communion through regular meetings and the work of various ad hoc committees and working groups. The Council is comprised of the Office of Presiding Bishop and the chairs of both the HOL and HOP.
Check out this pdf summarizing the ECC Synod2022 held in St. Louis MO.
Colorado is Blessed
Both our Presiding Bishop Paul "Pablo" Burson and the President of the House of Pastors, Fr. Teri Harroun, call Colorado home.
Our Birth Story
National and Regional Time Line
1985 St Matthew founded
1996 Peter Elder Hickman ordained Bishop
1998 Church of the Holy Family founded
2003 ECC Formally Established, with Bishop Hickman as Presiding Bishop
- 2004 Church of the Beloved founded
2005 Light of Christ founded
2014 Francis Krebs elected as 2nd Presiding Bishop
2007 St. Augustine, reorganized as Pax Christi 2011
2011 brought the expansion of the ECC to Europe
2012 Mary of Magdala joined the ECC
2018 Pax Christi closed
2018 St. Paul Catholic Community joined the ECC
2020 the ECC communities in Poland formed their own independent jurisdiction, the Reformed Catholic Church in Poland
2021 Bishop Kae Madden elected as 1st bishop of the Rocky Mountain Region
2022 the ECC communities of Belgium and the Netherlands joined the Reformed Catholic Church in Poland
2022 Paul "Pablo" Burson elected as 3rd Presiding Bishop of the ECC
As part of the ECC, it is important to not only know our individual community story but also our story in the bigger context of the full Communion of the ECC.
Peter Elder Hickman, is the founding Bishop of the ECC, was Presiding Bishop until 2015, and has been key to the evolution of the communion. Originally ordained for the American Baptists, Bishop Peter was drawn to the liturgical elements of the Roman tradition but had difficulties with some elements of the structure and disciplines of Catholicism. He found a compromise between Roman Catholic sacramental practice and the authority of Rome in an Old Catholic Church community in East Los Angeles. After being ordained a priest in the Old/Independent Catholic Church, Peter saw the potential to start a new community and founded St. Matthew Church in Orange County at the end of 1985. In 1995, the St. Matthew's community decided to seek episcopal ordination for their pastor. To this end, Peter was put forward as a candidate for the episcopacy to the bishops of the Ecumenical Communion of Catholic and Apostolic Churches, and in May 1996 was ordained a bishop by three independent Old Catholic bishops.
The ECC was formally established as a national ecclesial organization on September 19, 2003. One of the founding members of the national organization was the Church of the Holy Family in Aurora CO (now in Denver); the community was founded in 1998 by Fr. Scott Jenkins. With the support of Holy Family, Church of the Beloved was founded in 2004 in Northglenn CO, initially pastored by Fr. Paul Burson (currently by Bishop Kae Madden). In 2005 Light of Christ Ecumenical Catholic Community of Longmont CO became a member (Fr. Teri Harroun currently serves as their pastor). In 2007 St. Augustine was formed; a segment of the community reorganized as Pax Christi in 2011 and elected Fr. Stan Manickam as pastor; under the subsequent pastorship of Fr. Michael Nicosia the church closed in 2018. Mary of Magdala joined the Communion in 2012 with Fr. Jim DeMuth as its pastoral administrator.
A significant milestone for any jurisdiction of the Independent Catholic Movement is the succession of a charismatic founding bishop. In 2014 the ECC was blessed to elect Bishop Peter's successor, Francis Krebs, as the Communion's 2nd Presiding Bishop.
In 2018 St. Paul Catholic Community of Faith, founded in 2001, joined the Communion with their pastor Fr. Don Sutton. Their shared life with their Lutheran faith partners was the inspiration for the 2019 “Considerations for Collaboration in Mission and Sharing in Worship between Congregations of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Congregations of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion in this Territory.”
In 2020, Mary of Magdala joined St Paul’s Episcopal and Trinity Lutheran in covenant to form the 301 Faith Partners. Mary of Magdala is also unique in that it has two women co-pastors, Rev. Jane Reina and Mother Rosean Amaral.
After several years of discernment, Mother Kae Madden was elected as 1st bishop of the Rocky Mountain Region in 2021. We are currently planning our first regional synod which will be held on April 22, 2023.
In 2022 the ECC Synod elected Fr. Paul “Pablo” Burson as our 3rd Presiding Bishop, transferring the Office of Presiding Bishop from Missouri to Colorado.