Frequently Asked Questions

What is Holy Family Inclusive Catholic Community?
We are an open and inclusive Roman Catholic faith community led by a woman ordained in apostolic succession with the Roman Catholic Church. We are a community where the gifts of all are welcome and where liturgy is alive!

Our spirituality, our relationship with God, is what is fundamental to our celebration of Catholic liturgy. When we celebrate Mass we use the framework of the Mass – the gathering of people in community, the prayers, the postures and the hymns – to help us express our spirituality. We encourage “…full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations called for by the very nature of liturgy…” as is stated in paragraph fourteen in the church document, “The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy.”

We believe that Scripture is alive and is still being written today with our own personal and family stories.

We follow the example of Jesus who welcomed all people to the table with his invitation, “Take this and eat.” We welcome all people to our communion table regardless of gender, religious denomination, marital status, ethnicity, economic status or sexual orientation.

Are you Roman Catholic?
Yes! We were baptized into the fullness of the Catholic faith. We belong. We are family. We are building a community where we can celebrate our authentic spirituality, what we have come to know to be true about our God and ourselves.

Many of us were raised with glow in the dark rosaries, with First Fridays, May Crownings, chapel veils, First Communions, spiritual bouquets, and selling Holy Childhood Seals. We remember the Mass in Latin and also remember how cool it was when the priest was allowed to pray the Mass in English and we finally knew what was going on. Those are beloved memories and experiences and we are so grateful for them! They are part of who we are and have helped shape our faith. But we have grown and have come to an adult faith, a faith that includes our life stories and experiences. We blend our stories with the Scripture stories of our spiritual ancestors and all who have gone before us. We join with them as we do our best to live the authentic lives that God gave to us in the first place.

How do you celebrate Mass at Holy Family? Does it look like a regular Mass?
Yes, because it is a regular Mass! We read the same Scripture, we sing the same hymns, we use the same postures and we follow the same order of Mass as every other Catholic parish in the world. However, just as there are a few differences in the way Mass are celebrated in parishes around the globe you will notice a few differences at Holy Family.

The biggest difference you will see is that the priest is a woman! She wears an alb and a stole and leads the prayers just like her male colleagues.

There is no opening procession at the beginning of Mass. We gather together and sing the opening hymn as Church, the people of God.

Many of our prayers are the same although we do not use the newest translation of the missal. For example, when Rev. Mary says “The Lord be with you,” the response is “And also with you.” Words such as “consubstantiation” and “oblation” which are in the new missal aren’t in our lexicon and require a bit of thought about their meaning. Prayer should flow and express what is in one’s heart; one shouldn’t have to ponder the meaning of a word while in the midst of prayer.

At communion time, all are invited to receive communion. Catholic and non-Catholic, divorced and remarried people (with or without an annulment), LGBT folks, people who have questions about the strength of their beliefs in fact everyone present in the building who wants to receive communion may do so. Let us know before Mass and we can provide gluten free hosts.

The best way to answer this question about how we celebrate Mass is to come and see for yourself! You are always welcome at Holy Family!

I haven’t been to Mass in quite a while. How will I know what to do?
If you haven’t been to Mass in many years things may look a little different. No worries! We provide a worship aid (the liturgical word for “program”) which tells you when to sit and stand and what responses to say. You can always follow what the other people are doing, too. But we hope “not knowing what to do” isn’t a hindrance for you to keep you from attending Mass. We will be so happy to see you at Mass no one will really care if you know what to do or not!
You say all are welcome to receive Communion, the Church says only Catholics may receive Communion. How can you do this?
Quoting the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from the inside cover of the missalette Today’s Missal:

Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray.

The Reformation happened 500 years ago. How much longer do we need to pray? If we truly want unity, let’s get busy and get it done. And if the hierarchy won’t or can’t, it falls on the rest of it to make it a reality.

We invite all to Communion at Holy Family regardless of gender, religious denomination, ethnicity, sexual orientation or marital status which includes those who are divorced and remarried without having received an annulment. We model Eucharist on the blessing of the bread and wine just as Jesus did at the Last Supper. Jesus put no stipulations on who was invited to eat and drink. He said to remember him when we broke bread. The remembering he was talking about was not to dredge up memories of him or to talk about what a good guy he was, but to remember what he did, what he taught, how he acted and to use him as an example of how to live our lives.

Do you take up a collection?
Yes. There are expenses with running a church. The wine and ingredients for bread, candles, altar cloths, hymn books, incense and charcoal for the incense are some of the costs borne by the community. At this time no ministers are paid a salary or stipend for their ministries. The education of our ministers is paid for by the ministers themselves.

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