Bishop Philip Ruiz Belzunce, M.Sp., D.D., Ph.D., IMFT
Rocky River, Ohio
Bishop Ordinary, Good Shepherd Companions, An Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate
Bishop Philip Ruiz Belzunce, M.Sp., D.D., Ph.D., IMFT
It was on November of 2014, during the national meeting with the Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM), that Dr. Philip Belzunce felt a call from the Holy Spirit to come full circle with his community of relations to celebrate and affirm his original calling to the Catholic priesthood. Following his seminary training in the Philippines and completing a Masters in Spirituality in 1970, he was ordained as a Redemptorist on May 1, 1972. His transformational journey as a priest started in earnest after studying in Rome and was given the assignment of being the National Director of the Better World Movement in the Philippines. He felt quite privileged that Archbishop Milingo was one of his classmates and appreciated that the Better World Movement integrated the humanness and spirituality formulated by the Vatican II Council.
On February 8, 2015 he was incardinated as Married Catholic Priest into the Ecumenical Catholic Prelature of S.S. Peter and Paul, Married Priests Now! and its related communities, nationally and internationally, and, in particular the Good Shepherd Companions, an Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate, by Bishops Robert and Virginia Graf. On June 17, 2017, Rev. Dr. Philip Ruiz Belzunce was consecrated a married Catholic Bishop in the Apostolic lineage of the Catholic Church through the consecration of Emmanuel Milingo by Pope Paul the Sixth and passed on to Archbishop William Manseau, D. Min. and Co-consecrating Bishops Bernard C Callahan, M.S.P.C.c., Joaquin Perez, D.D., Mary Eileen Collingwood, M.Th., and Joseph Francis Catrambone, D.D., M.Div., through Pope Francis’ inspiration for healing relationships in humanity in the service of transformation of the human journey in life and relations.
In the same year, he was elected president by the Board of Directors of the Good Shepherd Companions, an Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate, a community inspired initiative to implement the vision and goals of Vatican Council II by building bridges of faith, hope and love. He is also a board member of The Married Priest Now! which is active in many parts of the world including the United States, Latin America, Africa, Italy, Austria and India. He was also elected Bishop Ordinary of the Good Shepherd Companions, an Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate.
"I see my service as Bishop Ordinary as a form of "intervention", because this service is bigger than my service alone. Because we are not born on this earth in a vacuum, no one goes through life always and absolutely alone. In order to survive, we need others, whether we connect through persons, family, society, religion, or culture. It is my world view that everything is connected to everything else and that all reality, all living beings and things are interconnected. I believe that an experience, an event, is not an isolated occurrence, affecting only the immediate surroundings, but has reverberations elsewhere. And replications of these patterns can affect almost everything and be felt everywhere, like throwing a pebble into the lake where the ripples spread all over the waters.
Another world view that my wife and I share is that we are more than just a collection of parts, for each part/piece of us contains our whole. Our personal story contains a multitude of interactions transmitted to us by religion, culture, school, family, society, community, and world events, all affecting how we view life, our values, prejudices, biases, and beliefs about God, our world, and ourselves. We know that an event in the past can be threaded through the tapestry of our present world experience. These many replications of patterns of interactions become our very own "dance," encoded in the many replications of familial, religious and cultural interaction. These may now be our daily, unquestioned reality, taken as "truth" defining how we live our lives, how we make meaning of what we see, hear and do, and how we relate to one another. In my view, I see an opening to the Roman Catholic Church's reexamining of the unquestioned reality regarding the only reality is celibate canonical priests as the only truth!
I believe in Married Priests Now! being able to affect and influence this only view of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to celibate canonical priesthood. Together we can continue to create an environment of inclusivity that has the power to greatly influence love, creativity, and wisdom than the current myopic way of looking at the world. Such that in expanding our world view from university to include diversity, we can allow possibilities and transformations in perception and understanding. We can heal ourselves from the stuckness of frozen patterns of how we relate to ourselves and others. The more we can influence the world in the process of embracing the diverse parts of the Church, the less oppressive we become to one another, to women, to people with different orientation, to our planet earth, and to humanity in general. We joyously become inclusive vs. discriminatory and we become one of the sources of love, creativity and wisdom that allows the spirit to be free!”
Over 30 years, my wife and I, along with many several conscious transformational change people, appreciate the diversity of humanity and believe that conscious transformative leadership includes cultural competency, a holistic perspective, relational skills of compassion and reflection and professional behaviors wherein men and women of diverse religions, cultures, race, age, and sexual orientation are met with presence, light and love, and honor our relations in interdependent connectedness. We derive great satisfaction in serving with a Higher Purpose and facilitating individuals, couples, families, groups and communities through transitions in their life journey and their transformations for growth, healing and well-being and how to reconnect with their Body-Energy-Emotion-Heart-Mind-Soul-System-Spirit (BEEHMSSSTM) in their evolutionary and transformational Life Journey.
It is in this spirit of open-minded wisdom and compassionate inclusivity that is the core of my episcopacy. It is the Spirit of God, Life force and Divine Presence that can "intervene" in the goodness of humanity and heal the divisions that we replicate. I am filled with gratitude for the Christ-Spirit in my life and how that Presence is using me as an instrument of His Love and Light in the world. Further blessing me with a life partner, with whom to live and work according to His Purpose for my life and our life together on this earth.
Contact: 440-333-4105 email@example.com
Bishop William J. Manseau, D.Min,
Bishop William J. Manseau, D.Min
Rev. Dr. William J. Manseau is among the over 100,000 Roman Catholic priests who have married since the Second Vatican Council’s call for renewal and reform of the Church. Ordained a priest by Richard Cardinal Cushing in 1961 in Boston he married in 1969 and obtained subsequently two doctorates in ministry in social transformation and psychology and clinical studies to equip him to work on behalf of the Church’s reform and renewal. He and his wife, Mary Doherty, in 1969 joined in the leadership of the pioneering Society of Priests for a Free Ministry and its successors including the Federation of Christian Ministries, of which he is a past President and Director at Large, and CORPUS, a National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood while raising a family of two sons and a daughter and serving the wider community in a variety of roles.
He has served as Board Member, Treasurer and President of CORPUS and Director of its Resigned Priests Pensions Advocacy Program which enabled many resigned priests to obtain their earned retirement benefits. From 2007 until 2013 he developed a partnership between the St. Barnabas Mission and the Federation of Christian Ministries which has enabled over 40 members of FCM to receive religious body endorsement for their specialized ministries employment. FCM now continues this program as a Convention of Churches, of which St. Barnabas Mission is a member. Dr. Manseau is a licensed pastoral psychotherapist and founder and director of the Emmaus Institute, Inc. based in Nashua, NH a position he has held for 30 years.
In 2011, the year of his 50th anniversary of ordination as a priest, he accepted ordination as a community based Catholic bishop in the international Roman Catholic reform movement at the hands of principal consecrator Peter Paul Brennan and three other Catholic bishops two of whom were Catholic women bishops, members of Roman Catholic Women Priests, on the eve of Pentecost and the Feast of St. Barnabas in the city of Detroit.
Archbishop Brennan was consecrated by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the retired Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia and famous charismatic healer and exorcist in Africa and Italy, who had been ordained a bishop by Pope Paul VI. Archbishop Milingo, who married in 2001, is the founder of the Married Priests Now Catholic Prelature of Sts. Peter and Paul in which William Manseau serves as a trustee and which Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan now serves as International President. The Prelature authorized his episcopal ordination. Dr. Manseau serves on the executive committee of the International Federation for a Renewed Catholic Ministry (www.renewedcatholicministry.org) which represents ministry reform associations in 7 countries and is based in London, England.
On January 1, 2013 he was appointed President of the St. Barnabas Mission, an ecumenical Catholic community inspired initiative to implement the vision and goals of Vatican Council II by building bridges of faith, hope and love. The St. Barnabas Mission is active in the United States, Latin America, Austria and India. He also became the Bishop Ordinary of the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America which is affiliated with the St. Barnabas Mission. He also serves as Vicar Apostolic for the International Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of the Good Shepherd which seeks to serve the reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches through the collaboration of their presbyteral ministries. The Vicariate was founded by the International Society of the Apostles Sts. Peter, Thomas and Mary Magdalene which seeks to support married priests.
The year 2013 saw the consolidation of many of these ministries with the St. Barnabas Mission serving as their hub and these other initiatives as spokes to form a wheel which can be added as the St. Barnabas Mission grows. In 2013 four more bishops were ordained to develop a path making team model of a renewed Catholic ministry. Trusting in God’s Spirit to bring God’s healing and loving work to fulfillment, the St. Barnabas Mission invites and encourages all the baptized and especially those in ordained ministries to join their energies together as partnerships in their community to bring the Gospel’s transforming “light and salt” for our world in the vision of Vatican II.
In 2015 St. Barnabas Mission and the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America were joined together and changed the name to "Good Shepherd Companions, an Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate.
Dr. Manseau has served as Secretary for the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and is a past President of the Massachusetts Association of Pastoral Counselors, the New Hampshire Pastoral Psychotherapists Association and the Greater Nashua, NH Interfaith Council.
Contact: 978-851-5547 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Christine Mayr Lumetzberger, Dipl. Paed., Pettenbach Austria
Bishop Christine Mayr Lumetzberger
Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, a native of Linz and a resident of Pettenbach, Austria, is a cofounder of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement and a retired special needs teacher. She is a former member of the Benedictines of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the wife of Dr. Michael Mayr, a retired physicist, and the step mother of four. After a number of years doing volunteer pastoral work in her parish and in a hospital setting following her service as a Benedictine sister and marrying a man who had been divorced, she became involved with the movement for the ordination of women as Roman Catholic priests in Europe. This led to her authoring and implementing an original program of study entitled, “Sacramental Orders for Women in the Roman-Catholic Church”. This is an on the job training program requiring prior theological training. It consists of ten program units conducted over three semesters. On June 29, 2002 along with six other women Christine was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on the Danube River on the border between Germany and Austria by a married Catholic bishop. In 2003 she was ordained as a Roman Catholic bishop in a secret liturgy documented in a locked safety deposit box to protect the identity of the ordaining bishop and has maintained a priestly and episcopal ministry since then in Europe, Canada and the United States and beyond. Bishop Christine is the Vice President of the International Federation for a Renewed Catholic Ministry and a member the Federation of Christian Ministries. She is a member of the Synod of Bishops in ECDA, St. Barnabas Mission and the International Society of the Apostles, Sts. Peter, Thomas and Mary Magdalene.
Contact (Austria): +43 664 1544426 email@example.com
Rev. Dagmar Braun-Celeste, Kelley's Island, Ohio
Rev. Dagmar Braun-Celeste
Rev. Dagmar Braun-Celeste, one of the original women ordained on the Danube River in 2002, has been active in social justice issues for most of her adult life. Dagmar served the state of OHIO as First Lady, and is now Executive Director of Tyrian Network, 501C3, an organization dedicated to empowering creativity, healing and peace. Dagmar has master degrees in Theology and Addiction Recovery Counseling.
Contact: 216513-5825 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Gail M. Weisman, M.Div, M.A., Cleveland Ohio
Rev. Gail M. Weisman, M.Div, M.A.
Rev. Gail M. Weisman is a native of Cleveland, OH and the first woman to earn a Master of Divinity degree from St. Mary Seminary, Wickliffe, OH in 2005. She also holds a Masters of Art degree in Art Therapy. She earned a Certificate as a Pastoral Minister from the Diocese of Cleveland while working in the M.Div. Program. She served as Director of Faith Formation for a rural parish in the Diocese of Cleveland following the completion of her M.Div. degree. She is a Registered Art Therapist and a Licensed Social Worker. Gail is employed in the Department of Children & Family Services’s Multi-Systemic Therapy Unit meeting therapy needs for high-risk families in Cleveland, OH. For the past 20 years, Gail has served families in the inner-city providing therapeutic services with a focus on healing and resolving trauma experiences.
Gail is the mother of three daughters and grandmother of seven. She became a member of the St. Barnabas Mission in 2012 and was ordained as a Roman Catholic Deacon on February 10, 2013 and a priest on May 18, 2013 for service in the St. Barnabas Mission and the ECDA. Rev. Weisman is a member of the Good Shepherd Companions, Cleveland, OH, serves on the CSC Leadership Council, and has a pastoral charge under the title of the Regina Coeli mission parish, Cleveland. She is a member of the Federation of Christian Ministries.
Contact : 216-941-9789 email@example.com
Bishop Bernard Callahan, Landsdown, Pennsylvania
Bishop Bernard Callahan
Bishop Bernard Callahan had a successful engineering career before his call to ministry. His service in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia inspired him to begin lay ministry in underserved urban areas which led him eventually seek ministry and eventual ordination into independent Catholicism. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2003, and ordained a bishop in 2013. He is an executive board member of the National Council of Churches in Christ and has been deeply involved in ecumenism for many years. He has a parish in Trainer and is looking to expand Catholic ministry into Philadelphia. He works for a non-profit as an addictions counselor.
Rev. Michael Aparo, Wethersfield, Connecticut
Rev. Michael Aparo, M.S.W., D. Min.
Rev. Michael Aparo was ordained Roman Catholic Deacon for the Archdiocese of Hartford,1974 and served as Deacon at St. Peter's Church, Hartford, CT 1974-1984. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Paul Diederich of the Western Orthodox Church, Sept. 15, 1991 at South Church, Hartford, and incardinated as a priest in the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America, December, 2013. He holds a B.A. Magna Cum Laude: Don Bosco College, Newton New Jersey, 1960; He taught high school Latin, English, Italian, Religion and Geometry 1960-1963 in Rosemead, CA and 1964-65 at the former St. Anthony High School, Bristol, CT. He did graduate Philosophy studies at Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, Italy, 1964; earned a MSW: UConn School of Social Work, West Hartford, CT,1970; He did theology studies at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT, 1971-73 and Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell, CT, 1980-84.
He married Antoinette [“Ann”] Perry in 1984, and they have two grown daughters. He was a Social Worker for Catholic Charities, and the State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He has served as a Volunteer Chaplain at Cedarcrest Hospital in Newington, CT, and a Volunteer at Connecticut Valley Hospital and at the Village at South Farms [assisted living facility], in Middletown, CT. He has served as President of the Interfaith Clergy Association, Newington CT.
Contact: 860-604-4512 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Thomas E. Cusack, M.A., Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
Rev. Thomas E. Cusack, M.A., Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
Fr. Thomas E. Cusack was ordained as a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Iowa. He married following three years of presbyteral ministry at St. Patrick’s parish in Ottumwa, Iowa to pursue a secular ministry, as a priest in a necktie. He and his wife Ginny have two children, both married, and five grandchildren. Tom has spent most of his post ecclesiastical work within the insurance industry in various positions first in sales and then training, writing and management training. In 1991 he entered sales full time and continues that in semi-retirement since 2007. He holds the equivalent of a graduate degree in theology and a master’s degree in American History. Tom has a particular interest in the practice of meditation disciplines. A longtime member of the Federation of Christian Ministries, in 2006 he accepted the position of FCM Treasurer which he held for six years. He currently serves as Chair of the FCM Committee for Denominational Concerns and as Co-Chair of the FCM Roman Catholic Faith Community Council. He has a strong interest in the development of small faith communities and their implementation of Vatican II principles. He was the driving force behind FCM’s redetermination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a Convention of Churches. This determination supports FCM’s providing support for such small faith communities. Tom serves on the GSC Board of Consultors.
Robert Graf, D.Min., Springfield, Virginia
Robert Graf, D.Min.
Robert Graf was ordained to the Redemptorist priesthood in 1974 by Terence Cardinal Cooke; and a bishop by Archbishops William Manseau and Peter Brennan, and Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzburger. He currently live in a retirement community in Northern Virginia. He served as an assistant pastor in Lancaster PA, Odenton MD and Brooklyn NY until his marriage December 26, 1983 to Virginia Lynch. She died of cancer in 2017. They have 2 adult children, adopted from Central America as infants. With his wife and others he founded a Couples ministry in St. Vincent’s Parish Baltimore MD. He taught Latin and Spanish at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville VA. He initiated the Spanish music ministry in his Catholic parish in Charles Town WV from 2005-2007. With Virginia, they began a House Church in their home in 2012 that includes people from various denominations looking for more than the institutional churches provide.” It continues monthly, sometimes by zoom and sometimes in a central location. He is criminal justice committee chairperson of the West Virginia NAACP. Robert earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore MD in 1984, and a Masters in Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland in 1988. He says “I hope the Holy Spirit can use me to help married couples grow in their love and to help bring love as a unifying force among Christian churches and with other world religions.”
Contact: 304-728-2829 email@example.com
Rev. Madeleine Redmond
Reverend Madeleine Redmond is a priest in the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America. She was ordained on May 26, 2018 at Trindle Spring Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Currently she serves as Ecumenical Pastoral Associate for St. Luke's Episcopal Church.Reverend Madeleine known as Pastor Maddie provides pastoral care to the home-bound, sick and dying in the St. Luke's parish, and to others in the community. Her ministry reaches out to all of God's people. Please see revmaddie.net to view her blog.
Rev. Dr. Joel Brence, Lakewood, Ohio
Joel Brence M.D., Dipl. theol. (Tubingen), Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
Rev. Dr. Joel Brence is a retired psychiatrist, native of Lorain and resident of Lakewood, Ohio. He and his wife Ursula and their two sons spent most of his career in Aspen, Colorado, where he had his psychiatric practice and lectured extensively on topics dealing with the intersection of psychology, religion and art. He has also lectured at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and for the American Institute of Medical Education at various locations in Greece. He has given a number of homilies at the Aspen Chapel and participated regularly in the dialogical homilies at the Cistercian Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, which was his family’s spiritual home during their Aspen years. After his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s ten years ago, they spent four years in Slovenia.
He did his undergraduate work at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio, majoring in philosophy, and received his diploma in Catholic theology from the University of Tubingen, Germany, where his teachers included Hans Kung, Joseph Ratzinger (on the Catholic faculty), and Ernst Kaesemann and Juergen Moltmann (on the Lutheran faculty).
He has served as chairman of the department of psychiatry at St. Joseph Holo-Psychiatric Care Center 1983 to 1987 and is presently on the board of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation, where arts and the imagination fuel the mind and offer a practical alternative in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
His ministry is primarily focused on two things: 1) the spiritual needs of caregivers (of which he has been one for the last ten years); 2) the “ecumenical imperative,” as expressed in the dying wish of Pope John XXIII “ut unum sint…” (“that they may be one…”). This has been a concern of his since his student years at Tubingen, where he was able to study at both the Lutheran and Catholic departments of theology, writing his thesis on a Jewish religious thinker (Martin Buber’s Idea of Revelation). It also came to expression at his ordination, which included the active participation of clergy from other denominations, including Lutheran, Episcopalian. Presbyterian, and Disciples of Christ.
Rev. Brian Ashmankas, MA
Brian was ordained a deacon and priest in the Good Shepherd Companions by Bp. William Manseau on June 20, 2021. If you’d like to view the ordination mass you can find it here: https://vimeo.com/567221059
Since summer of 2020, Brian has facilitated two virtual “peripheral spiritual communities” called the Community of the Hyphenated and Friends of Moose (and sometimes MooseMob or MooseChurch). These are geographically, generationally, and credally diverse communities for those who find themselves on the peripheries of organized religion where participants gather to discuss a variety of spiritual topics and accompany each other on their journeys in an egalitarian and inclusive format. Brian has also been an active member of the Charis Community of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion and following his ordination was asked to serve as associate pastor for the virtual component of that community that has found Charis during the pandemic.
Brian lives with his fiancé, Samantha, in Leicester, a town just outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. Brian works as the director of operations for a faith-based nonprofit called Net of Compassion that provides for, accompanies, and seeks to transform the lives of people experiencing homelessness in the City of Worcester. Sam is a social worker. Together they hope to create and live in a community committed to nonviolence and sustainability.
He grew up in the same area in Millbury, Massachusetts and attended public schools. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from UMass Dartmouth and Boston College respectively. He was elected to local office in 2010 at age 23 and served on the chief executive body of his hometown (Board of Selectmen) for 6 years. Meanwhile he worked on several political campaigns, including leading a statewide effort to prevent casinos from coming to Massachusetts, and was contemplating a run for higher office when God came knocking with a call to priesthood. He entered seminary in 2015 and spent four and a half years at two different seminaries before discerning that his priesthood call was necessarily paired with a call to marriage. He earned his master’s degree in theology in 2020 and became a candidate for Good Shepherd Companions shortly thereafter.
He envisions gathering the various ecumenical, independent, and “disobedient” Roman Catholic groups to form a new church out of the shell of the old – preserving the deep tradition, wide diversity, and high sacramentality of Catholicism while overcoming the imperialism, chauvinism, and clericalism that has attached itself to the Church over time.
Brian enjoys gathering with friends and family around good food and drink, board and table top games of all sorts (the nerdier the better!) writing, and exploring his world on foot.
Rev. Kim Nuzzo
Ordained a priest in Good Shepherd Companions on July 31, 2021, at Hildegard Haus in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, Kim Nuzzo is a Certified, Level III Drug and Alcohol Therapist in the State of Colorado where he has worked in the treatment field for over thirty years, with men, women and families. He has been involved in the peace and social justice movements in one form or another since the 1960s when he served two years of alternative service as a conscientious objector. With his wife, Valerie Nuzzo, he performs as a resident actor in their theater company, Zephyr Stage, in Fruita, Colorado which produces original works and his poetry has been published in a wide variety of publications.
Bishop Mary Monaco
Bishop Mary resides in the Pacific Northwest. She was ordained a priest on October 20, 2001, and consecrated a bishop on the feast of St Mary Magdalene, July 22, 2006. Mary is a former Franciscan woman religious, a retired CPA, and a retired International Maritime Logistics Coordinator. Currently, her two primary ministries are as a volunteer 1) in Hospice Care as a Hospice Advisory Board member, and as a Certified End-of-Life Specialist doing Hospice Vigiling and 2) for the Superior Court as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian-ad-Litem representing children in Dependency cases.