St. Francis Seminary
Community Catholic Church of Canada
Welcome to St. Francis Online Seminary
Established in 1960, St. Francis Seminary offers formation and studies for candidates seeking holy orders in the Community Catholic Church of Canada.
Discerning Your Call to Ministry
The call to ministry can be a challenging road for many. For some, university costs are prohibitive. Some have come to the understanding of their vocation later in life and feel it may be too late. For others, their faith community will not offer ordination because of their gender or sexual orientation.
Many wonderful, gifted people who have felt a call to serve Christ as Priest or Deacon have experienced the denial of their ministry and have settled for other helper roles in the church and community. We can help.
The Community Catholic Church of Canada offers a spiritual home to those who, like the disciples, have heard Christ's invitation to follow him.
We affirm those who feel that call to a sacramental life, who understand the grace and love of God available through Worship, Word and in the Bread and Wine. We support those who wish to minister among the people of God in a parish setting and those who feel the pull to assist and serve their community through Life Celebrations and visiting.
St. Francis Seminary offers a place of study and a caring community within the Church. We are affirming and inclusive, welcoming all who seek a connection with Loving Creator.
Please note - St. Francis is not a residential seminary. It is a formation program specifically set up according to the canons and policies for those seeking ordination in the Community Catholic Church. It is therefore an in-house program of study for ministry in our independent church. While many candidates come to us with religious study degrees and M.Divs, every candidate participates in the in-house formation and training program set out by the Community Catholic Church of Canada policies and guidelines.
Most of our clergy have come to us later in life, when family and work responsibilities often make residential seminary attendance challenging. To accommodate candidates, we offer classes via distance with relatively few sessions onsite.
All holy orders candidates must apply and go through an interview process. If accepted into the program, we require a police check, personal references, and baptism and confirmation papers. While courses are available to all, only those who live in the Province of Ontario can receive a license to perform marriages.
While courses are held over Zoom, several mandatory onsite sessions are involved with seminary training.
St. Francis Seminary offers training for those discerning a vocation to Holy Orders as a Permanent or Transitional Deacon in the Community Catholic Church of Canada. Some will go on to discern their vocation as Priest in the church.
For those who do not feel a call to ordained sacramental ministry, the CCCC has two religious orders for those who wish to train as Pastoral Chaplain in the church. These orders offer baptized lay people the opportunity to officiate at weddings in the Province of Ontario and carry out volunteer ministries in their communities. The advanced level of training authorizes chaplains to baptize after a five-month course that enhances understanding of pastoral care, sacraments and spirituality.
These orders are open to all regardless of gender, orientation, or stage of life. Each candidate undergoes a time of evaluation with the Candidate's committee and readiness for ordination.
Pastoral Chaplain Course
This training session offers qualified candidates intensive training on the many facets of performing weddings according to the CCCC and the requirements of the Marriage Act of the Province of Ontario.
Upon completion, candidates are admitted to the Order of Pastoral Chaplain, and authorized and commissioned to perform weddings on behalf of the CCCC.
There are ongoing training sessions and a vibrant online community that offers support and affirmation every step of the way.
Lay Pastoral Minister Course
Prequisite: Admission to the Order of Pastoral Chaplain
For some chaplains, there is a call to be more active in ministry, prompting a desire for further study on pastoral care and spirituality.
This five-month course of study examines personal spirituality, self-care, issues of pastoral care, sacraments in the church, and training in the sacrament of Baptism.
As a sacramental church in the catholic tradition, the CCCC regards the discernment and call to holy orders as a sacred walk with Christ.
This program is a preparation for those who wish to serve in our progressive and inclusive church.
The course is a practical exploration of the diaconate: a life of service as one who offers support in the community and also is a vital part of the worship and mission of the church.
This seven-month course readies the candidate for their role in our "simply catholic" church.
The path to the Priesthood is one of great joy and self-reflection. For our church, the ordination to the priesthood is not the destination but the beginning of a life of service, humility and prayer. It is transformative!
The course of training is more academic than the diaconal course. We study church history, the bible, homiletics, sacraments, liturgy and worship... It is an ambitious agenda that covers 12-months.
Along the way there are check-ins and supportive discussions.
Clergy in the CCCC must be self-supporting. It is truly a labour of love. One we embrace, even as Divine Love embraces us.