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His Grace
The Most Reverend Richard G. Roy, OSJD
Archbishop, Founder and Primate of
The National Catholic Church of America

166 Jay Street
Albany, New York 12210-1806 USA
(518) 434-8861
- A Message from the Primate -

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

Catholic Christians in our lifetime are being presented with an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity we are given is the chance to affirm the unconditional love of almighty God for people of all nations, cultures and economic conditions in a way not possible before the advent of our present technology and our deeper knowledge about the human condition. Whether our differences are ones of gender, age, sexual orientation, race or ability, the Holy Spirit calls us to celebrate our essential unity as brothers and sisters in Christ and children of a loving God. The challenge we face is to respond to the call of the Gospel to make this unity a reality in our churches, our workplaces, our families and our daily lives.

The National Catholic Church of America was established in order to bring together those who share this vision of being Church and who desire to preserve the richness of their Catholic spiritual heritage. One of a large number of independent Catholic jurisdictions, the NCCA is an apostolic ministry of those who are dedicated to this inclusive vision and who desire to bring the love of Christ and the healing power of sacramental grace and loving service to all.

This website presents the history and governing documents of our Church and its canonical religious communities. Those considering a call to Holy Orders or religious life with us are urged to familiarize themselves with the information contained in it concerning our structure, spirituality and approach to vocation formation.

By bringing our unique gifts into the service of the people of God, we help transform our society into a more faithful reflection of Godís inclusive love and offer a warm welcome to so many who have been driven from other churches, which often seemed more intent on judging than loving. I invite you to join with the clergy and laity of the NCCA in creating a community of faith that will fulfill a prophetic role for our society, and, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, renew the Church with the evangelical fervor of the first Christians.

The Most Reverend Richard G. Roy, OSJD
Primate - The National Catholic Church of America

Who We Are

The National Catholic Church of America (NCCA) is an apostolic, independent Catholic body, offering an affirming spiritual life through ministries that celebrate God's all-embracing love, revealed to us in the redemptive mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Vision

It is our desire to offer the people of God the opportunity to worship and grow together in a Christian community that preserves the richness of our Catholic heritage, while reflecting the cultural diversity of western civilization. We see the variety of cultural and ethnic heritage, the advances of science and technology and the affirmation of human rights and dignity as fertile ground for the message of Christ, who instructed his apostles to preach the gospel to the whole world. Some of the ways in which this vision finds expression in the NCCA are:

+ At our Masses, we invite all baptized Christians to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the source and symbol of our unity at the one table of the Lord.

+ We recognize the right of women to equality at all levels of society and the Church, including ordained ministry.

+ We reserve to couples the right to plan their families in a responsible way.

+ Through the Church we offer the opportunity for lay or ordained ministry, admitting men and women to religious life and to all levels of Holy Orders without regard to marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or physical disability.

+ We offer the Sacrament of Marriage for sufficiently prepared couples, regardless of gender, as well as second marriages for properly disposed divorced persons. The marriages may take place either in a church or at another suitable location.

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Our Catholic Heritage

We hold, as essential to Catholic Tradition, belief in the tenets of the faith as expressed in the Nicene and Apostles Creeds, the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, the efficacy of the seven sacraments of the Church, the sufficiency of Sacred Scripture interpreted by tradition, scholarship and reason, and the principal of Apostolic Succession as the means of transmitting the historic ministries of deacon, priest (presbyter) and bishop. We hold to the ancient principal of the collegiality of all bishops and recognize the special position of the Bishop of Rome as "first among equals" with all other bishops, holding primacy of honor, but not primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church.

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Unity in Diversity

Recognizing the difference between the essential teachings of the faith (dogma) and matters of Church discipline, and the historic development and application of Church teaching, we affirm women as full and equal partners in the life of the Church.

We affirm and celebrate the love which can exist between persons of the same gender and advocate justice and equality before the law for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. We acknowledge the racism which has plagued our society at every level and call all to repentance and conversion of heart, embracing all people as brothers and sisters of the same Creator. We deplore the political conditions and commercial values which have engendered economic and social injustice throughout the world, depriving the poor of hope for a better life.

While we spring from an American experience of our Catholic heritage, we extend the invitation to share in our vision to people all over the globe who are seeking a multi-cultural and compassionate expression of the Christian faith. Those whose love of Jesus Christ inspires them to share the gospel with others and to promote peace and justice within their societies are encouraged to unite with us in forming local worshipping communities and ministries of service as priests, religious and lay leaders.

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Our History

Like all branches of Catholic Christianity, we originate in the commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to his Apostles, which has been handed down to the present day through an unbroken chain of bishops, who are their successors. National or "Old" Catholic Churches have existed since at least 1724 when the first independent Archbishop of the See of Utrecht (Holland) was consecrated by a Roman Catholic bishop. Since then, many other jurisdictions, each sharing in valid apostolic lines, have been created, the most well known branch in the United States being the Polish National Catholic Church. The seeds of The National Catholic Church of America were planted with the founding of the Order of Saint John the Divine as an independent Catholic religious community on November 1, 1994. Consisting of both lay and clerical members, the Order began to engage in various ministries, including parish and retreat work, and the establishment of a non-residential seminary for it's members. We began to take on the characteristics of a church and, when our Founder received episcopal consecration on October 12, 1997, the next evolutionary step of establishing the broader structure of a church seemed appropriate. We therefore, formally established The National Catholic Church of America on January 1, 1998, with the purpose of sharing our vision of what it means to be church with those who desire to see God's love embrace everyone.

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Our Founder and Primate

The ministry of prime leadership for The National Catholic Church of America is exercised by our Founder, The Most Reverend Richard G. Roy, OSJD, who was elected Primate of the Church by the original clergy and laity and who also serves as Abbot of The Order Of Saint John the Divine. In addition to Old Catholic and Orthodox lines of Apostolic Succession, Archbishop Roy also received the Apostolic Lines of Carlos Duarte Costa, the late Roman Catholic Bishop of Botucatu, Brazil, who formed an independent Catholic church in the late 1940ís. Archbishop Roy has been active in AIDS ministry and serves as Pastor of Holy Trinity National Catholic Church in Albany, NY, where he makes his home with Brother Stephen K. Peterson, OSJD, his partner since 1975.

Mission Statement

The National Catholic Church of America (NCCA) is an autocephalous body of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which has existed since the time of the Apostles, charged with carrying out the mandate of Christ to bring the Good News of salvation to the whole world. The NCCA endeavors to reveal the inclusive love of God for all people and to unite into a worshipping community of love, justice and mercy all those who have been baptized into our Lord Jesus Christ.

In order to achieve these ends, the NCCA invites all the people of God to participate in the ongoing renewal of the Church and our society through ministries carried out in the name of Christ. As a community of all the baptized, the NCCA calls its members to answer the stirrings of the human heart caused by the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives. To some, this will mean fulfilling a vocation to Holy Orders within the ranks of deacons, priests or bishops; to others, a life of generous service through lay leadership in our society. The apostolic works pursued by the clergy and laity of the NCCA encompass both traditional and non-traditional ministries including, but not limited to, the establishment of missions and parishes, retreat direction, pastoral counseling, social justice ministry, education, youth ministry, street ministry, preaching, prayer and the care of those most in need of Godís healing love.

The NCCA offers the empowering and reconciling life of the sacraments to all the faithful as a precious gift of almighty Godís providence and the means of continuing the presence of Christ on earth. The NCCA strives to live the life of the gospel, affirming the responsibility we have for one another as children of the same Creator and to call society to a greater awareness of its Divine origin. Relying utterly on the grace of God to carry on our work, we give ourselves to the task of becoming Godís instruments of peace in the world and stewards of creation. We continue, in our own lives, the mission of Christ who has, by his life, death and resurrection, restored us to the fullness of grace and
who calls us to come and follow him.

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