North American Old Catholic Church international meeting planned for Ogden

May 11 2012 - 3:36pm

OGDEN -- An international meeting of members and leaders of the North American Old Catholic Church will be held here Aug. 3-5.

The Most Rev. Michael Seneco, presiding bishop of the church, was in Ogden last weekend to make the arrangements for the conference. The church's headquarters are in Washington, D.C.

The meeting, called The General Episcopal Synod, will take place at Glory to God Old Catholic Church, 375 Harrison Blvd., Ogden.

About 100 representatives from across the United States and several countries will be in attendance, Seneco said. The community is invited to join them in any or all of the conference.

"We are excited," Seneco said. "The parish is very vibrant. When something is working very well, we like to have other parts of the church see it so they can take part of it back to their local communities."

The North American Old Catholic Church is a tradition with progressive Catholic values.

"Our Faith Tradition is rooted in the early days of Jesus and his teachings on peace, love, justice, and equality," reads a statement from the church.

The Old Catholic Church is a community of Christian churches. They originated from many that were German-speaking churches that split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 1870s because of the promulgation of the dogma of Papal Infallibility as promoted by the First Vatican Council of 1869-1870, states the church's information.

Glory to God Old Catholic Church is the first Old Catholic congregation to be established in Utah.

Previously a nondenominational church, it joined the Old Catholic congregation last year.

And Seneco expects the church to be joined by three other Salt Lake City-area congregations soon.

While he was in town last weekend, the bishop ordained priests who will be able to head these churches, which Seneco expects to open within about 18 months.

Should these three additional churches open, Utah will have more parishes of the Old Catholic Church than any other state in the country.

Currently, Washington D.C., Texas and Maryland each have two parishes and Florida has three. A total of 21 parishes of the church are in the United States at present.

Seneco said he's excited for the opportunity to develop churches in Utah, and he believes many Utahns will be interested in congregations like the ones his church offers.

"One of the great things about the way our congregation runs is everyone has a voice," he said, noting that the church has lay people on its board of directors.

Seneco expects viable changes to be suggested by lay members at the upcoming conference.

"Anybody can get up and give an opinion or make a motion from the floor," he said. "It's great to be at the conference and have a lay person get up and all of a sudden the light in everyone's head goes off. The Holy Spirit can move through anyone."

He said the priests who will form the new congregations in the area will meet with their congregations for directions before they open their church doors.

"Everyone gets a substantive voice on how the church cares for them," he said. "They get to have a say."

For more information about the event or the Ogden congregation, call the church at 801-690-1054 or visit the website,

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