My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looking Forward to This Year's Weddings



Dear Blog Visitors:

As an independent married priest, commissioned by the Federation of Christian Ministries, I have a freedom of choices that are not available to diocesan priests. For example, I am often approached by Catholic couples who have opted for an outdoor wedding. Since diocesan priests are not allowed to officiate at weddings outside a church setting, I am delighted to be able to offer my services. In this regard, I am pleased to have a reciprocal arrangement with both diocesan priests and priests with Spiritus Christi Church (independent community). With this reciprocal arrangement, either parish priests will refer couples to me, or I will refer couples to them, depending upon the circumstances. On occasions when I have referred couples to diocean priests, it has usually been because of misunderstandings, whereby couples incorrectly assumed they could not have a diocesan wedding.

I always tell couples that my commissioning for ministry comes from the Federation of Christian Ministries (www.federationofchristianministries.org) and my ordination is judged to be valid. Since I am not a diocesan priest, any weddings for which I am an officiant are not considered to be sacramental by the powers-that be in the Roman Catholic Church, but are nevertheless recognized by municipalities in the United States. These weddings are nevertheless sacramental when couples and I desire them to be so, for the simple fact that a sacrament is defined as any important event in life at which Christ is present. Couples that contact me are primarily interested in a religious wedding, as opposed to a civil ceremony. Yet, at the same time, they have opted out of a traditional Catholic wedding in a diocesan setting.

In addition to officiating at weddings for Catholic couples, I always welcome the opportunity and challenges of officiating at weddings where couples are of different faith persuasions. For example, I have officiated at weddings where one party was Jewish and the other party was Catholic. I have also officiated at ecumenical weddings, where one party was Catholic and the other party was Protestant. In all of these weddings, what was most important was the love that existed between the bride and groom. In all cases, they were persons of faith, and it has been an honor and privilege for me to help these couples have their nuptials in the presence of God.

I look forward to a very inspring spring and summer with couples who have asked me to officiate at their weddings.

Peace to all,
Ray

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