Office of Presiding Bishop
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
10 West Lockwood
St. Louis, MO 63119
April, 2023

Dear Beloved,

Since our 2022 Synod I have been receiving a baptism by fire and an outpouring of support and love.  What a gift it has been to travel around the country to visit communities and meet so many good and Spirit filled fellow companions following the Way of Jesus.

My journeys have taken me to......

New York City, Rochester, NY;
Orange, Anaheim, Victorville CA;
St. Louis, MO,
back to Orange, Anaheim and Long Beach CA,
Northglenn, CO,
Red Rocks CO, and
Ft. Collins, CO. 
Holy Week

It was such a gift being able to participate in the ECC Diocese of California Clergy Spiritual Retreat and the Chrism Masses with Laity, Clergy and Bishops at Holy Trinity, St. Matthew's and Mary of Magdala Communions.  Much fellowship, prayer, song, and oil was shared by all.
Chrism Mass at Holy Trinity
Chrism Mass at St. Matthew's
Easter Sunday Morning
Father Michael Nicosia calling the early morning Easter people to prayer...
Bishop Pablo's Easter Message

Easter Morning Worship
Red Rocks, Colorado
ECDMA Gathering
Ecumenical Diocese of MidAmerica,
"Gathering To Walk Together"
St. Louis, Missouri
March 17-19, 2023
Rocky Mountain Diocese Synod
75 people from the Rocky Mountain Diocese gathered together on April 22 for their First Regional Synod.  The day was extremely well organized in which participants were invited in the context of prayer, fellowship and liturgy to discuss meaningful topics of concern for all parishes.  These topics included liturgy, social outreach, music, publicity, ecumenism, education of youth and adults, fellowship and finances. 
Chrism Mass celebration at Synod

Meetings with Vicars, the newly formed Leadership Council, Mary Magdalene Society Committee, Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the Council of Bishops and many individuals have helped me realize how connected we can be even by zoom.  

In various meetings, with challenging discussions concerning future directions, I have come to a renewed belief that deep compassionate listening to each other as well as to Hagia Sophia can lead to closer connections and make the way for healing, reconciliation, and new pathways.  Sometimes it has looked like transformation for the better was right around the corner…and at other times, down the block or two.  
Muchas Gracias!

I would like to thank those who opened their homes and hearts to me during my travels. Muchas Gracias!  Mothers Marta & Jetty, Bishop Peter & Mirella, Matthew & Dianna, Fr. Ben & Mary Lou, and Bishop Francis & Art. 
Mothers Marta and Jetty
Mirella and Dianna Hickman, Bishop Pablo and Matthew Hickman
Mary Lou and Father Ben
Your brother in the vineyard,
Truth and Reconciliation Committee
The work and mission of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission has been such a blessing to our communion. Those who participated in the workshop and walk during the past synod were able to enter into the education and work that this commission is calling us all to live. I hope members/representatives from all our communities will seriously consider the following invitation.  
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The Truth & Reconciliation Commission has something special to offer.

Don’t you want to come and see what it is?

Are you interested in Truth?

Are you interested in Justice?

Are you ready to end White Supremacy?

Are you ready to end Christian Nationalism?

If so, please join us at our June meeting on Zoom to learn more about this commission. June 3, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time.
Simply complete the Google form and we'll send you the Zoom link the day before.

If you are interested in the work of the commission, but cannot attend the June 3 meeting, complete the Google form and check off the appropriate box. We'll contact you at a later date.

You can find more information about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission on our page on the ECC Website.

Mary Magdalene Society
2023 Scholarships and Awards

The purpose of The Mary Magdalene Society (MMS) is to financially support aspiring and current priests and encourage the development of youth in their spiritual journeys. 

The MMS Advisory Committee is pleased to announce its priest scholarships and youth awards for 2023 in the total amount of $8,000. These funds come from a combination of current donations and interest earned from the MMS Endowment, which is invested with the St. Louis Community Foundation. Criteria is established in advance for both the priest scholarships and youth awards. Applications are reviewed by a team of independent evaluators (Rev. Denise Roberts-Graham and Rev. Rich Klaich). Their recommendations are then made to the MMS Advisory Committee for their review and approval.
Here are the recipients, amount of scholarship and grant, and its purpose:

Priest Scholarships

·       Rev. Gianni Passaarella: $1,300 (For augmenting his salary and other expenses)

·       Deacon Tammy Fuqua: $1,200 (To continue her Theological Studies)

·       Richard Rosato: $1,000 (To continue work on his Masters Degree in Theological Studies)

·       Rev. Trish Vanni: $1,000 (For payment of student loans associated with her Theological Studies)

·       Christy Cady: $500 (For educational and other requirements involved in ECC ordination)

Youth Awards

·       “God is Great Program for Generation Z” ($1,500 to Maria Budgett)

·       “Intergenerational Youth Camp” ($1,500 to Rev. Trish Vanni)

These scholarships and awards are only made possible thanks to the financial generosity of the many donors to the MMS. Contributions are always encouraged. The fundraising goal for 2023 is $12,000 and includes expenses related to administrative and fundraising expenses.

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There are several ways you can make a donation:

1.  Set up a monthly donation through your own on-line bill pay program

2.  Mail a check to MMS, c/o ECC, 10 West Lockwood, Webster Groves, MO  63119. (please note on the "memo" line that it is for MMS.)

3.  Use ECC’s paypal account to make a donation, noting it is for MMS:

If you have questions, please feel free to contact
Carolyn Sue Cecil (
Mary Vonderheide ( 
at the ECC Central Ministry. 

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For any questions about the scholarship and awards,
or to also inquire about making contributions,
please contact any of the MMS Advisory Committee Members: 

Betty Adams (
Meredeth Lee (
Sheila Leander (
Rev. Carol Blow (
Lourdes Talamantes (
Christine Garst (
Rev. Henry Pruski (
Presiding Bishop Pablo (

MMS Dinner in St. Louis

Long time and dear friends of Bishop Frank, Jeff and Joanna Wilkinson, hosted a dinner (Jeff being an amazing gourmet cook in his free time!) for MMS at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis on March 19.  As it happened, members of ECDMA (Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of Mid America) were in St. Louis for a meeting that weekend so they, as well as members of Sts Clare and Frances and other local friends, attended this lovely meal.

Joanna’s parents, Dr. Beck and wife Mary, Joanna’s sister Mollie and her husband, brother Brendan and his fiancé, as well as Jeff and Joanna’s 3 young sons all warmly and graciously welcomed and tended to all guests.  It was wonderful meal and a delightful evening.
Bishop Frank and Joanna Wilkinson with two of her young sons who delighted everyone in their polite and gentlemanly grace in serving the guests.

Paula Hayford and her brother, Jim Heindl enjoyed the conversation.
Enjoying the wonderful gourmet meal, Bishop Pablo, Rev. Suzanne Schloemann, Carolyn Sue Cecil and Rev. Dewayne Messenger.
Friends from Sts. Clare and Francis in St. Louis enjoying the meal and fellowship.

After eating, Bishop Frank shared with the group information about MMS as well as the wonderful work they are doing to support clergy and youth groups. He invited those present to consider making a donation or a pledge.  The $4,000 collected and pledged was so gratefully received!

Bishop Frank encouraged all present to take this idea of hosting a meal back to their own communion to see how the support of MMS’s aid to our clergy and youth groups can continue and grow.

If your communion decides to host such a meal, please feel free to contact Carolyn Sue Cecil ( for donation and pledge cards, as well as (free) blue cloth bags to give out at your gathering.
Rev. Dewayne Messenger,
Raul Rosario, Bishop Pablo and Therese Gabriel
Bishop Frank and Paula Hayford
Paula Hayford, Rev. Dewayne Messenger, Carolyn Sue Cecil
Rev. Suzanne Schloemann and
Bishop Frank
Therese Gabriel, Rev. Maggie Gann and Mike MacDonough
Rev. Dewayne Messenger and
Raul Rosario