Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever !
Our celebration of the Divine Liturgy takes place:
- Sunday at 3pm at St John the 23rd Roman Catholic Church
- 1220 University Ave, Fort Collins, and fulfills the requirement for Mass attendance. map
We are Byzantine or Eastern Rite Catholics and yes, we really are Catholics, faithful to the Magisterium, not Orthodox.
Catholicism is not intrinsically connected with any particular rite. It can be and is practiced in either rite, both Roman and Eastern. All Catholics are full-fledged Catholics.
The essence of being a Catholic consists in these three conditions: one must profess the same faith taught by our Lord, accept the seven Sacraments and recognize the Pope of Rome as the visible head of Christ’s Church on earth.
Catholicism: Different expressions of One Faith
The Christian Church began in Jerusalem and within 300 years the Church had grown to include people from many nations on earth. They were all members of the family of God, the Church.
Every great nation in the Church expresses the “one faith” in different ways and with different customs. For example, they may celebrate the Mass (Divine Liturgy) in different ways; they all meet Christ in the Seven Sacraments (Holy Mysteries) but they each receive them in different ways; feast days and time of fasting may be different, too. Each local Church that has its own special customs and ways of experiencing the “one faith” we call a Rite of the Church.
As missionaries traveled to different countries, they brought their rite with them and passed it on to the people they converted. These new Christians treasured their rite and passed it on to their descendents.
Whenever these people left their homelands to live in other countries, they brought their rites with them.
How the Church Spread
In the apostle’s journey to establish Christ’s Church, they went out from Jerusalem to four important centers: Antioch, Alexandria, Rome and Constantinople. From Rome the one faith spread to Western Europe and is therefore referred to as the Western Church, or the Roman or Latin Church. From Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople, the faith moved through the Middle East and into Eastern Europ. They are therefore referred to as the Eastern Churches.
From the great Syrian city of Antioch came the following rites: Armenian, Chaldean, Melabarese, Malakarese, Maronite, and Syrian. The Chaldean Church originally came from Iraq, but Chaldean missionaries soon brought the faith to Persia (Iran) and India. They set up churches in China some 800 years before the time of St. Francis Xavier.
From Alexandria in Egypt, missionaries brought the Gospel to Sudan and Ethiopia. The Churches include: Coptic and Ethiopian.
The Roman or Latin Church developed in the city of Rome. Missionaries of this rite traveled all through western Europe and converted the people of these countries to Christ. Most of the Catholic churches in America are this rite because most of the people who settled America came from these countries of Western Europe.
The Byzantine Church began in Byzantium or Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey). Originally the Byzantine Church was used in Greece and Turkey, around the great capital of the Byzantine Empire. Because the divine services were offered in Greek, the church soon spread to the Greek speaking colonies in Albania, Sicily, Southern Italy and the to Northern Europe. Church include: Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Greek, Melkite, Romanian, Russian, Ruthenian and Ukranian.