Online Studies for Ministry         Community Catholic Church of Canada

St. Francis Seminary

Online Studies for Ministry

Lay Pastoral Chaplaincy - Frequently Asked Questions

1. I love my church. Must I leave that denomination?

No. The Community Catholic Church is pleased to extend communion to all Christians and Christian denominations. The Community Catholic Church recognizes the ministry of Pastoral Chaplains regardless of denomination. You may join our church but will be given the status of associate membership.

 

2. I am a baptized Christian, but I no longer attend a church. Am I a candidate for chaplaincy?

Pastoral Chaplaincy is a personal ministry, independent of denomination. Therefore, active participation in a denomination is not necessary for chaplains. However, they must be baptized and in agreement with the teachings and concepts of the Community Catholic Church, explained here. http://www.communitycatholicchurch.com/whatwebelieve.htm

 

3. What about same-sex weddings? I am against them.

The Community Catholic Church is committed to marriage equality. Many wedding businesses are not, which is why this program was instituted. If you are against marriage equality, you will not be accepted a candidate for Pastoral Chaplaincy, because you will not be in concord with our mission and mandate. We suggest you investigate wedding license businesses for your license.

 

3. How much will this cost me? I've checked other ordination businesses and they cost thousands of dollars.

The fee for the Lay Chaplaincy Program is $850, along with a tithe (10%) to the church of wedding income earned. Chaplains also pay an annual fee of $100 to the CCCC.

 

4. What if my spouse wishes to become a chaplain with me? Is there a price break?

Yes, there is. When a married couple takes the class together, the cost for both is $1500.

 

5. What makes chaplaincy with you different from those other wedding licensing businesses?

We are not a wedding business that registered as a church; we are a church. There will be oversight of our chaplains in the form of reports, there will be fellowship opportunities, there will be opportunities for spiritual growth as well as for service days. Weddings are, for us, not the focus of our work; they are a part of church ministry, as sacraments. They are also part of our commitment to justice and equality, hence the restriction of chaplaincy only to those who are in agreement with our belief that the benefits of  marriage must be available to all people legally able to wed.

 

6. What does chaplaincy offer me?

Pastoral Chaplains receive a non-sacramental ordination into the order of Pastoral Chaplains in the Community Catholic Church of Canada. Chaplains are able to celebrate weddings and minister to those in need in the name of Christ.  Many who join us as chaplains go on to pursue Holy Orders within our church and become deacons and later, priests.

 

7. How intensive is the training?

The training begins with a day of training followed by several opportunities to enhance and develop skills.  Training covers your role as Pastoral Chaplain, an overview of our church and its canons and beliefs, spirituality, service, and wedding ministry.

 

8. What if I do a hundred weddings a year? It would be cheaper to go with a license 'church' business and pay their annual fees.

That is probably the best course of action for anyone who regards marriage celebration as strictly a money-making opportunity. Our chaplains are true chaplains, with oversight by the church, monthly accountability, and recognition as genuine ministers.

 

We are a church. If you do three weddings, three thousand, or none...that is your choice and we have no expectation or demand that you do more or fewer weddings. We require only that you to uphold the rules of the Marriage Act and the policies and practices of our church which relate to Pastoral Chaplains. Your tithe is a thank-offering to the church that has recognized your ministry and authorized you to perform weddings. In any event, for officiants who do many weddings, the tithe caps at $1000 per chaplain, less than $100 a month, which is a reasonable support of the church, we feel.

 

9. What if I want to become ordained?

The sacrament of Holy Orders as a transitional or permanent deacon is available only to members of the Community Catholic Church. To become a deacon, candidates must go through an application process and participate in the six-month Diploma in Pastoral Ministry course offered by St Francis Seminary.  More information can be found here.


10.  What do I get as a Chaplain?

As a Pastoral Chaplain, you receive the training and ongoing support that is necessary to carry out your ministry in the larger community.  You receive an Ordination Certificate, an ID card, a wedding manual, and official documents appointing you as a Pastoral Chaplain in the Community Catholic Church of Canada.  You also become a part of a vibrant facebook group and have opportunity to meet monthly on Zoom with other chaplains.