Who we are:
St. Francis of Assisi is a parish of ICCONA (The Inspired Christian Catholic and Orthodox church of North America in the diocese of St. Francis. We are truly Catholic because we follow Sacred Tradition as our "one deposit of Faith."
Most people refer to the word "Catholic," and immediately infer that we are Roman Catholic. Although we share the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic" Faith, which makes us "Catholic" we are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. However, we do share the same core beliefs with the Roman Catholic Church, the conservative Old Catholic Rites, conservative Episcopal Rites, the Rites of the Orthodox community, the Anglo Catholic churches, and others who adhere to the principles of the Faith as handed down to us from the Holy Apostles and the Early Church Fathers. We boldly proclaim these principles of faith and morals believed "everywhere, always, and by all.
But, there are many other types of Catholics. Some are associated with cultural groups like the Philippine National Catholic Church, the Polish National Catholic Church, while others such as Old Catholics span all cultures. While some groups are in union with Rome, others have their own Bishops as in the various traditions of Orthodox Churches. the independently governed Catholic Churches have a history of separate identities dating back for well over 200 years.
ICCONA strongly asserts that division in the Body of Christ causes our Lord to grieve. He prayed that we might all be one; further, there is no disputed issue among these various expressions of the faith that is important enough to justify separation. The clergy of The Inspired Christian Catholic and Orthodox church of North America all hold valid lines of Apostolic succession, revere the Sacred Scriptures as the Word of God, celebrate the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and uphold historic standards of faith and morals.
ICCONA is an Inspired Christian Catholic and Apostolic community outside the institutional Roman church, dedicated to making the world a more compassionate place. Guided by the Holy Spirit, with its own Archbishop and Conference of Bishops, we celebrate the same Seven Sacraments and follow the spirit of reform initiated in the Second Vatican Council. During much of the first eleven hundred years after Jesus, there was only one church that developed different traditions. During its first millennium, the Early Church addressed the way the Mass and Sacraments were celebrated, the setting of the moveable annual date of Easter in the liturgical cycle, and the differing interpretations of preistly celibacy in the Western Church.
We embrace the ancient liturgy that was prepared for the English speaking congregations in communion with the original Archiepiscopal Sea of Utrecht. The celebration of the Mass is central to our Catholicity, and the Eucharist is at the very heart of this daily celebration.
We believe that there is only one church: even though it has many parts, it is not divided regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ, the savior of all humanity.
In conclusion, the last quotation from Sacred Scriptures in the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World is as follows: "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Eph. 3:20-21)
Our beloved, Blessed John Paul II, proclaimed that all churches possessing the Apostolic Succession and having a valid Eucharist are 'true particular churches'. The statement has been endorsed as well by Pope Benedict.