Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a home based ministry?
A: The fastest growing movement for Christians today are home churches. These are quite literally groups of believers that meet in each others' homes for prayer and fellowship. Christians met this way from the time of the Apostles until the Fourth Century, that is the 300's. The home church is the best model for Christians because we consider ourselves a family.
Home churches are part of the emergent movement within Christianity today. Although emergence is a political philosophical term it may also be applied to church communities. Emergence may be defined as people coming together and working together because this provides an economy of State; human society and civilization develop from there, it is an emergent complexity; it is not mandated from the top down, it is built up.
Q: Are you Roman Catholic?
A: We are catholics of Roman heritage. As St. Vincent of Lerins explains, “
we adhere faithfully to those things that have been held everywhere, always, and by all." What is truly Catholic can only be defined by this three-fold expression of faith.
Q: What is true catholic belief?
A: A leading theologian of the Church of Gaul in the 5th century, St. Vincent settled in the island monastery of Lerins off the southern coast of France in order that "avoiding the concourse and crowds of cities... I can follow without distraction the Psalmist's admonition, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Here he wrote his celebrated Commonitorium, a "Reminder," where he wrote down "those things which I have truthfully received from the holy Fathers ,"
which they "have handed down to us and committed to our keeping." Among these things is the celebrated definition of orthodoxy as quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus: that which has been believed in the Church "everywhere, always, by everyone." St. Vincent lived in an age of great historical uncertainty; barbarian tribes were a constant menace and although four hundred years of Christian tradition had already passed, the foundations of the faith had been only recently clarified by decisions made in the Ecumenical Councils--the Council of Nicea (325), the Council of Constantinople (381) and the Council of Ephesus (431). It is, therefore, not surprising that St. Vincent was so concerned to preserve the authority of Christian tradition. This is not to say that he was opposed to progress or doctrinal development; each age must face its own particular problems and develop a Christian response in answer to them. "But it must be progress in the proper sense of the word, and not a change in faith. Progress means that each thing grows within itself, whereas change implies that one thing is transformed into another .... The growth of religion in the soul should be like the growth of the body, which in the course of year develops and unfolds, yet remains the same as it was."
"In ancient times, our forefathers sowed the seeds of the wheat of faith in that field which is the Church. It would be quite unjust and improper if we, their descendents, gathered, instead of the genuine truth of wheat, the false tares of error. On the contrary, it is logically correct that the beginning and the end be in agreement, that we reap from the planting of the wheat of doctrine the harvest of the wheat of dogma. In this way, none of the characteristics of the seed is changed, although something evolved in the course of time from those first seeds and has now expanded under careful cultivation. What may be added is merely appearance, beauty, and distinction, but the proper nature of each kind remains."
His defense of the traditions of the Fathers and his condemnation of innovation and novelty in the Church are as appropriate today as they were in his time:
"The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary, nor grafts things superfluous; it neither gives up its own nor usurps what does not belong to it. But it devotes all its diligence to one aim: to treat tradition faithfully and wisely; to nurse and polish what from old times may have remained unshaped and unfinished; to consolidate and to strengthen what already was clear and plain; and to guard what already was confirmed and defined. After all, what have the councils brought forth in their decrees but that what before was believed plainly and simply might from now on be believed more diligently; that what before was preached rather unconcernedly might be preached from now on more eagerly."
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust. (I Tim. 6:20)
Q: Are you in “schism”?
A: Schism is defined as a formal division or separation from a church however,
we have never separated ourselves from the beliefs or practice of the Faith; we persevere in professing the faith of the primitive Church, as formulated in the Seven Ecumenical Councils and specified precisely by the unanimously accepted decisions of these Councils held in the undivided Church of the first thousand years. We accept the teachings of the Council of Trent in matters of faith and morals; and embrace the spirit of the Second Vatican Council in matters of worship, freedom and reform.
Q: Are you in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome?
A: We are in union with the Bishop of Rome in the measure expressed by St. Augustine: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things, charity.”
Q: Why should I participate in small faith-based communities?
A: The best answer for that comes from your personal experience. If you have ever attended a mega-church then you can understand that you are both nameless and faceless. In a small community you are known by name, people know you and your situation in life, they will love you and care for you and walk with you. We encourage and invite you to find a faith community, such as Emmaus Community, that brings you to an experience of the living Christ through human hearts
Q: How do I apply for admission to The Order of Saint Patrick Interfaith community?
Please send Abbot Christopher an email asserting your interest to be of service to Christ through any of the means afforded by our religious community: Holy Orders, Monastic Orders, Oblation, or a lay member.
Q: Who qualifies for the assisted living facility Emmaus House?
Generally speaking a resident would be referred to our facility by a Veteran's Administration Hospital in Southern Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, or El Paso, Texas. However, as Christ teaches us, our doors are open to all who seek entry.
"In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." We live to hear the words from our Master, upon passing from this life, "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the house I have prepared for you." Surely there can be no sweeter words to the ear than these.