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About Us

Our Mission Statement

We are an independent Catholic Diocese, a communion of local Church communities and ministries.
We are committed to foundational Catholic teachings and beliefs.
We are moving forward with the work begun by the Spirit at Vatican II
toward being an inclusive and just Church.
We welcome Christians of all traditions and all people of good will
to join us in our service to others and our worship.

The Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England (ECDNE) is an independent Catholic Diocese. It differs from the traditional model of a diocese in that it is neither hierarchically structured nor juridically based, but exists rather as a communion of regional ministers, communities, and ministerial outreach programs operating on the basis of foundational Catholic beliefs and teaching.  ECDNE offers its members a communal source of spiritual support and validation in the apostolic tradition for ministering the sacraments in the name of Jesus.  Our ministers and communities are committed to inclusivity in their pastoral outreach and worship.  (For more information see below and also our frequently asked questions.

History and Background of ECDNE

The Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England has its roots in the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America (ECDA).  ECDA was founded on March 25, 1982.  It was established to maintain, propagate, practice and to perpetuate Catholic Religious worship, Catholic Sacraments, teaching and human services of the Christian Gospel and Ministry.  The incorporation documents for ECDA further read, "...and for carrying out this purpose to maintain a religious organization; said corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organization."

In November and December of 2012, Bishops from the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America met to discuss the best placement of its bishops in light of their specific calls and charisms.  This was precipitated by the imminent retirement of its Prime Bishop, The Most Rev. Peter Brennan, who had served as leader of the diocese for over thirty years.  After considerable discussion and consultation with other members of the diocese, it was mutually agreed that The Most Rev. James David, coadjutor Bishop of ECDA, would be released from his responsibilities in order to found an independent New England Diocese.  He would be assisted in this effort by those members of ECDA whose ministries (or historical affiliations) were in New England, and who desired to focus their energies more on regional than national outreach.

On January 1, 2013, the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of New England (ECDNE) was founded.  In addition to our bishop, our clergy members include seven ordained priests and one permanent deacon.  Affiliated with ECDNE are three intentional worship communities, a sacramental and retreat Ministry, and an outreach ministry.  All of our clergy are also able to serve as officiants in the Sacrament of Matrimony.  ECDNE is incorporated as a not for profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is recognized as a 501c3 entity by the IRS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Background and more information on different Catholic Churches