The dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri have been served by individual members of the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP) for over a decade. These individual members are now taking the next step in expressing their communal charism by organizing into a local Chapter of the Society. As they do so, all the people and clergy of each diocese are asked to pray for this Chapter and join for the inaugural meeting’s Opening Eucharist. Members of the diocesan clergy in Kansas and West Missouri are invited to discern joining the Chapter in this gift of prayer, collegiality, and promotion of sacramental spirituality.
The SCP began … with the primary aim of promoting an inclusive priestly spirituality and catholic evangelism
The SCP began in England in 1994 as a religious society of women and men serving as bishops, priests, deacons, and consecrated religious throughout the Anglican Communion, with the primary aim of promoting an inclusive priestly spirituality and catholic evangelism. The North American Province, formed in 2009, includes members of both The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada, and, in addition to the clerical and religious orders listed above, allows postulants for Holy Orders to be admitted as provisional members. SCP members of the North American Province join Society members in the Provinces of Europe and Australia with shared devotional discipline, evangelistic fervor, and sacramental spirituality.
In addition to the pledge to provide mutual support and encouragement among the Church’s clergy generally, SCP members commit themselves to living the Society’s Rule of Life, which includes:
- centering their spiritual life on the Eucharist;
- saying the Daily Office;
- regularly consulting a spiritual director;
- making use of the sacrament of reconciliation;
- praying for their sisters and brothers in the SCP;
- offering confidential pastoral care to fellow members of the Society; and
- attending meetings of their local Chapter.
Having a local Chapter of the SCP for Kansas and West Missouri will be a gift to each of our dioceses. The clergy and people of each diocese can trust that there are devoted clerics praying each and every day for the mission of the Church in this place. Because SCP members regularly make use of the rite of reconciliation and practice pastoral care with one another, colleagues in ministry even outside of the Chapter can benefit from having confessors in their midst who model reconciliation among peers, similar to the hope shared that parishioners feel comfortable seeking the rite of reconciliation with their own priests. Additionally, having an inter-diocesan forum for the study and practice of sacramental spirituality will be a gift that continually infuses our several ministries with a reminder of God’s sacramental work in the world. And, as those committed to the catholic way of evangelism (i.e., preaching Good News to the poor through the sharing of resources and the struggle for justice while naming the loving, liberating, and life-giving Savior as the reason for the work), a local Chapter of the SCP can provide a locus for collaboratively engaging the work of evangelism throughout Kansas and West Missouri.
They find in Bishop Kemper the catholic piety and evangelistic fervor they hope to see renewed across these dioceses.
In formalizing their common commitments, the members joining the Chapter have elected to call themselves the Bishop Jackson Kemper Chapter of the SCP. They find in Bishop Kemper the catholic piety and evangelistic fervor they hope to see renewed across these dioceses. As this editorial eloquently describes, Bishop Kemper “believed firmly in the divine origin of the sacred ministry, the value of reverent worship, and the centrality of the sacraments” and “he hoped to reveal apostolic succession as a living reality, not just a theory of origins” in his missionary endeavors throughout this part of the world. It is this kind of catholicity that inspires the Society – not a liturgical aesthetic or scrupulous discipline, but a disposition of valuing the sacramental life of the Church.
Because a local Chapter is a gift to the dioceses, all are invited to join (in person or via livestream) the inaugural meeting’s Opening Eucharist with the Rite of Admission of New Members on Saturday, 27 August 2022, at 10 a.m. This public service will be held at St. Mary’s Church (located at 1307 Holmes in Kansas City) and livestreamed on the church’s YouTube channel.
For a taste of what the SCP is like, see this site for a description of the upcoming Annual Conference, themed Providence in Providence (RI): Grace, Freedom, Sacraments, and the Mission of God, and featuring these keynote speakers: the Rev. Adrienne R. Hymes, the Rt. Rev. Craig Loya, the Very Rev. Dr Andrew McGowan, and the Rev. Dr Jesse Zink.
If you would like to learn more about the Society of Catholic Priests in general, or are interested in joining the local Chapter, reach out to Fr. Isaac Petty at firstname.lastname@example.org or to any of the current SCP members listed below:
- The Rev. Charles Everson, SCP | West Missouri
- The Rev. Sean Kim, SCP | West Missouri
- The Rev. David Lynch, SCP | West Missouri
- The Rev. Chas Marks, SCP | West Missouri
- The Rev. Andrew O’Connor, SCP | Kansas
- The Very Rev. Isaac Petty, SCP | West Missouri