FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Celtic Christian Church Establishes New Internet Presence
Independent Old Catholic, Celtic Rite Church Grows Beyond the Poconos
August 27, 2007 -- In 1997 Father Joseph A. Grenier, a pastor to a small group of people who prayed and celebrated Eucharist with him and his family in their home in the Poconos, was consecrated a bishop with Old Catholic and Independent Catholic Apostolic Succession. Both the Old Catholic and Independent Catholic Churches trace their apostolic succession into the Roman Catholic Church through the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht, and the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil and Bishop Duarte Costa. Bishop Grenier was consecrated to begin a Celtic Rite Church in communion with other Celtic Rite Church bodies in the United States. He has since encouraged the formation of several Celtic Christian Cell Communities around the US, and has entered into concordats of inter-communion with several other Old Catholic and Independent Catholic Church bodies and is currently working on many more in an effort to unite these Churches so that members can worship with one another around the country.
The Celtic Christian Church has two more bishops who have joined from other denominations, eleven priests, two deacons, and a new seminarian. One of the priests was already ordained when he incardinated with Bishop Grenier, and the other ten priests, as well as the deacons, were ordained by the bishops within the Celtic Christian Church over the past 10 years. The seminarians are trained in various seminary programs around the country, and must complete an extensive theological program within the Celtic Christian Church, including Celtic Christian studies, and Clinical Pastoral Education to be ready to serve as chaplains. Several of the priests have also been trained in Spiritual Direction either here in Pennsylvania at Oasis Ministries in Camp Hill, PA, or Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction or in similar programs around the country.
The Celtic Christian Church owns no property. Groups meet in each other's homes, or in space rented from other Churches to pray, celebrate the Eucharist, and share a meal and fellowship. Their faith is Catholic, but not Roman Catholic and is not in union with the papacy, although as Catholics they honor the role of the pope as the historic and traditional bishop who is "first among equals." The Church celebrates the traditional seven sacraments of the Western Church, and holds firm to the belief of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Communities are centered on the Eucharist, prayer, and service to others.
Although the Celtic Christian Church has had an internet presence for the past ten years, their new website is intended to inform more individuals of their Faith, and welcome those who are seeking a Family of Faith, and who prefer a smaller communal setting in which to worship and pray.
Bishop Grenier and his wife have worked for 24 years in Good Tidings Ministry which assists women who have been involved with Roman Catholic priests or who have the children of Roman Catholic priests. Bishop Grenier, born in 1931 in North Dartmouth, MA, was ordained in the Vatican, Italy in 1958 and served as a Roman Catholic priest for 22 years in Canada, Rome, and the United States before marrying in 1980. Since then he has served as a priest and bishop in the Old Catholic tradition.