Celebrate Love Launches

On this special day, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I would like to announce the launch of a new ministry for the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart. This new ministry is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the love that it holds for all people including the LGBTQIAPP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous).

In a world where love is in short supply and often hard to find we should celebrate it when it blooms and support it when it grows, regardless of the form or expression between consenting adults. These forms and expressions of love include a myriad of what have often been called “alternative lifestyles” but in fact are simply varied expressions of love blooming within our lives.

Some of these varied expressions of love include relationships of people who may be (LGBTQIAPP) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, and polyamorous. All too often the mainline institutional churches have abandoned these groups of people because their relationships were perceived outside of what is “Biblically acceptable” a distinction determined by the more conservative and limited interpretation of scripture by these same exclusionary churches. All too often the mainline institutional churches have fixated upon the act of sex instead of the relationship of love. The church has had a long a unhealthy fascination with human sexuality only to condemn it at every turn. It’s far past the time that the church get out of our sex lives and get into our love lives.

Sexuality is a God given gift and should be celebrated, respected, and enjoyed accordingly. It is time for the church to renounce its obsession on the physical act of sex between consenting adults and instead reaffirm human sexuality in all of its beauty and diversity by promoting healthy sexual relationships between consenting adults. Chastity and not sex needs to be the focus of the church and its clergy.

Chastity is an affirmation of the Resurrection of the body, and therefore leads us into responsible, nurturing physical relationships founded on Love. Chastity is love which comes from the body, the mind, and the spirit in harmony, without compulsion, possessiveness, or selfishness. It is love, sex, and physicalness made obedient to God. Chastity should not be confused with celibacy as is sometimes the case.

Chastity is a part of our calling and life-style, but is also a gift of grace. It uniquely frees the hearts of men and women so they can become more fervent in love for God and all humanity. It is the confirmation of our responsibility for the whole world. It is the most perfect manifestation of the love between Christ and his Bride. Through chastity we are freed to find a truly loving relationship with ourselves, our families, friends, and spouses, the world we share, and God himself. Chastity is our taste of the Kingdom of God.

In short, the conversation in the churches of today should be on love and not on sex and to that end we celebrate love when it blooms and support it when it grows, regardless of the form or expression between consenting adults and for this reason we launch Celebrate Love.

It is the belief of this ministry that love is an outward and visible sign to the community of the invisible God living in our midst – the living God who bears fruit in the lives of people who love one another. They are an ever-present sign of His Love in the world. There is special grace and ministry within every committed relationship that God has joined together. While the fruit they bear is more than genetically linked offspring, though certainly the bearing of children is a blessing and also evidence of the shared love. Moreover, the harvest of their fruit should show a strengthened understanding of the sacrificial nature of love that we are all called to. It is in this relationship, one to another, that we begin to truly grasp God’s love for us, His commitment to us and our own call to “love one another as He has loved us.” It is through the diversity of loving relationships between consenting adults that we begin to see the diversity of God’s love for the whole of creation.

It is fitting that this ministry to the marginalized and abandoned, the LGBTQIAPP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous) of the church should launch on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On this day we are called to take a long look at the heart of Jesus and then to take a long look at our own hearts. In Christ we see a heart beating for the love of the entirety of creation, for all his children, regardless. In our own hearts do we see the same thing? Do we celebrate love in the world around us? Do we recognize it for what it is and for what it can become? Or in instances of “alternative relationships” do we fixate on the genitalia and the sex act instead of the heart and the love act?

Celebrate Love is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and also to the LGBTQIAPP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous) people of faith who have been abandoned, thrown away, marginalized, and or abused by the church and her ministers. We stand with open and welcoming arms to welcome you back home to the heart of Christ. Not all Christian churches are full of hate, intolerance, and judgementalness – we certainly are not. We welcome you, and not just some of you but every one of you!

Come, celebrate love with us and let us celebrate your love too!

For more information please visit Celebrate Love on Facebook.

Pax et Amor,
+Brian E. Brown, OSH

St. Willibrord Press Opening Soon!

This newest venue of St. Willibrord Press is dedicated to Bishop Karl Pruter of blessed memory and his patron saint, St. Willibrord.

Be watching as St. Willibrord Press online will be opening soon. We are excited about exploring this new platform for our small publishing house and hope you are as well.

Until St. Willibrord Press opens completely you may visit our bookstore on Ebay, Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts where we offer books on theology, Celtic Christianity, Old Catholicism, prayer, mysticism, church history, various liturgies, et cetera. We also carry vestments, altar items, incense, candles, music, icons, art, glass jewelry, lampwork, handblown glass art and much more!

Happy bidding and may God bless you + Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts Reopens

We’ve reopened our Ebay store, Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts. For years now Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts has been a supplier of books new, used, and antique, as well as all things catholica. It’s also offered a venue for us to sell books we publish ourselves through St. Willibrord Press. As time goes by we’ll add more selections but we’ve reopened with a great selection from Bp. Karl Pruter as well as a couple from our small press. Enjoy, bid high and visit often! You never know what you may find!


Second Ministry in Second Life

Shepherd's Heart Abbey, St Maur (242, 100, 253)We’ve embarked upon a new ministry in a largely undiscovered mission field, in a land on the fringes of society, and unexplored by many other Christian ministries. You can’t get here by plane, train, automobile, nor boat. This is a land so exotic and primitive that you can lose yourself and in the losing of yourself, quite possibly discover a whole new you.

We’re building churches, creating community, offering counsel, creating safe spaces, preaching the word, building schools, offering prayer, and reaching out in fellowship. Our ministry is reaching new heights and probing new depths of human spirituality and is being sought after more and more.

Where in the world is this new mission field you ask? Well, not in this world, but in a virtual world called Second Life (SL).

From Wikipedia:

Second Life (SL) is a virtual world developed by Linden Lab that launched on June 23, 2003 and is accessible via the Internet. A free client program called the Second Life Viewer[1] enables its users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world (which residents refer to as “the grid”). Second Life is for people aged 18 and over, while Teen Second Life is for people aged 13 to 17.

Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based around simple geometric shapes that allows a resident to build virtual objects. This can be used in combination with the Linden Scripting Language which can be used to add functionality to objects. More complex three-dimensional sculpted prims (colloquially known as sculpties), textures for clothing or other objects, and animations and gestures can be created using external software. The Second Life Terms of Service ensure that users retain copyright for any content they create, and the server and client provide simple digital rights management functions.

I became a member of Second Life some years ago when it first began. I had heard a report on National Public Radio (NPR) about this new virtual world created by Linden Labs and was intrigued. I joined but in the early days it was rough going. The technology and programming just didn’t work well together or at least my old computer didn’t work well with the new platform and its resource demands. Just this last fall I head a new report about Second Life again on NPR and decided to revisit the place. I found a whole new world.

Always thinking about the Gospel Message and how to spread the Good News I immediately started thinking about a Second Life missions field and began doing research and learning everything I could. I visited many church structures in SL and even sat in on a couple of prayer services and daily offices. I was hooked and started making plans for Shepherd’s Heart “Second Ministry.”

Abbot DeSantis aka Abbot BrianIn SL you create a virtual avatar that represents you and your personality. Needless to say I created that of a monk: Abbot DeSantis. I look like a monk, gesture like a monk, do the work of a monk, and in SL live like a monk. In this new world you can be anything you want to be and look like anything you want to look like. In my heart of hearts I am a Celtic catholic monk in the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart and so that’s who I chose to be in SL.

We’re still in the preliminary stages but we have some virtual land and have built a “mother house,” a beautiful chapel, and some Celtic monk’s cells. We also have a “Garden of the Stations” where we have stations of the cross set up for people to pray at. We have offered compline a few times and are working on a steady schedule of service times, including but not limited to Sunday worship service.

This is a whole new world for us and we’re just beginning to explore it and find our way around it. Won’t you visit the “Second Ministry” of Shepherd’s Heart and join us in the quest? When you arrive simply do a search for “Shepherd’s Heart Abbey” and teleport in. If you will befriend me I can help you if I’m in world. My avatar name, as already mentioned, is Abbot DeSantis. We also currently have three different groups in SL, the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion, the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, and one just dedicated to Christian ministry in Second Life called Second Ministry. I invite you to join the groups as you like.

See you in Second Life!

Abbot-Bishop Brian E. Brown, OSH in Real Life
“Abbot DeSantis” in Second Life

Radio Free Catholic: The Mystic Path

Bp. Karl Pruter
Bp. Karl Pruter
“Even the definition of mysticism is audacious and exciting. Mysticism is a disciplined way of life that seeks to bring man into union with God. Meister Ekhart, a 14th century mystic, phrased it eloquently when he said that God became man in order that man might become God.” And thus begins Bp. Karl Pruter’s exploration of mysticism. In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be sharing the air with Bp. Karl Pruter, of blessed memory. We will be listening to and discussing a four part lecture series Bp. Pruter put together on mysticism just prior to his death November 18, 2007. As always, call-ins are welcomed! (347) 633-9741

The show airs every Wednesday evening at 10 pm Central Time and our topics usually vary. Our four part lecture series on Mysticism with Bp. Karl Pruter will be begin on Wednesday night February 24 and continue on the evenings of March 3, 10, & 17.

Please visit our webpage on BlogTalkRadio for more information:


Thank you for listening!

Radio Free Catholic: Unity – Myth or Possibility?

We would like to announce the new broadcast of Radio Free Catholic on Blogtalk Radio.

Pull up a chair, sit down, lean back, relax, and listen. Join us for discussions on the autocephalous sacramental movement and what it means to be a free catholic. Engage your mind with lively discussions in theology. Feed your soul with times of prayer. Celebrate your spiritual side through an exploration of mysticism. Lighten your heart with good conversation and find a friend here at Radio Free Catholic! Radio Free Catholic is an outreach ministry of the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion. We are a communion of individual Christians from the autocephalous sacramental movement, sometimes referred to as Old Catholics or Independent Catholics. We have come together with at least one unifying motive, a love for Christ, His Church, and the Sacraments. Good listening!

Fr. Robert-Christopher of the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart will co-host the show with Abbot-Bishop Brian Brown. Our first new show will broadcast Monday night (01/25/2010) at 10 pm central time. Here are the particulars:

Radio Free Catholic on Blogtalk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/radiofreecatholic

The topic is: Unity – Myth or Possibility?

“In this show Abbot Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be interviewing various members of the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion and autocephalous sacramental community at large, asking the question that continues to haunt the movement as a whole and the EFCC directly, is unity a dreamy myth or an illusive possibility?”

The time is 10pm central time and the call in number is (347) 633-9741

Every one is invited to call in, listen in, and or participate as you wish. There will be a chat room available at the website above for those who are shy about calling in. We hope to have a good show and if not, at least we’ll have a lot of fun doing it!

Feast of St. Martin of Tours November 11

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” -Sermon on the Mount

Blessings and Apostolic Benediction!

I would like to invite all of our friends who feel so called to join us in prayer on November the 11th, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, praying for the peace of the world. As is our tradition, we will be offering the Litany For Peace every hour on the hour. Our local observance will take place at the Cathedral of the Shepherd’s Heart. We’ll begin with Holy Eucharist at 9:00am and close with Holy Eucharist at 4:00pm. All are invited to attend.

Cathedral of the Shepherd’s Heart
Branson Mill Craft Village
3300 North Gretna Road
Branson, MO 65616

You can call 417-598-0852 for more information.

Pax Christi,
+Brian E. Brown, OSH
Diocese of the Shepherd’s Heart
Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion

Litany For Peace
By Bishop Karl Pruter

Lord, Heavenly Father help us to become peacemakers, that we may be called, “The Children of God”

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, help us purge ourselves of those attributes which make not for peace but which set the stage for war.

Lord hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as Thou seest us, or even, as others see us, and save us from all unwillingness to know our infirmities.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

From all hasty utterances of impatience; from the retort of irritation and the taunt of sarcasm; from all infirmity of temper in provoking or being provoked; from love of unkind gossip, and from all idle words that may do hurt, save us, O Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Grant us, O Lord, the strength to obey Thy commandments, that we defraud our brother in nothing. May we never commit adultery or do anything to disturb our neighbor’s home or family.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant that we covet nothing that is our neighbors, neither his house, nor his auto, his bank account, his job, nor anything that is our neighbors.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to maintain peace within our own households, with our neighbors in our communities, within our own nations, and in the world.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father we pray not only for the absence of war, but more especially for Thy peace, which passeth all understanding.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant us Christ’s wish that we may become One with Him, and with Thee; that in union with Thee, we may desire only what Thou dost desire, and thus come to know Thy perfect peace.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace, this day and for evermore. Amen.

Help Wanted: Priests Needed

priests wantedWe are looking for a few good women and men to answer their call to an ordained ministry for the Holy, Catholic, Church of God within the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, Christ Catholic Church. The fields are ripe and the laborers few.

The mainstream churches are in transition and turmoil. Both the Roman Catholic and the Episcopal Church are experiencing a shortage of priests perhaps like never before and their church numbers are declining. The Church Universal is slowly becoming irrelevant in the lives of people across the world at an alarming rate.

We are in need of renewal, we are in need of compassion, we are in need of passion, we are in need of true shepherds willing to serve His sheep. We are in need of open minds and loving hearts. We are in need of these vocations now.

The “autocephalous (self-governing) sacramental movement,” of which the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart is a part, stands in the gap. We stand ready to minister to the needs of His people without the rigidity, institutionalism, and judgmentalism found in the mainstream churches. We only need your commitment and help to do so.

Have you already been ordained in a sacramental church but now find yourself without support from that church? No problem, we can help! Are you a former Roman Catholic priest who has fallen in love and been married and now find yourself kicked out and thrown away? No problem, we can help! Has your sexuality been the cause of you holding back on ministry or worse yet has it been a reason you have been refused ordination? No problem, we can help! Do you lack the education and money to obtain the education necessary for ordination? No problem, we can help! Do you have a family, job, and responsibilities that prevent you from being able to pull up stakes and jump through institutional hoops for ordination? No problem, we can help! We really can!

Think about your calling. Do you have a call to truly serve God’s people? Do you yearn to minister to their needs being there for them during the good times as well as the dark times? Do you have a burning desire to preach the Gospel or celebrate the Holy Eucharist and other Holy Sacraments of the Church? Do you find yourself praying seemingly without ceasing for friends, family, loved ones, and the world at large? Do you lose yourself in Scripture and find yourself drawn to the writings of the matriarchs, patriarchs, apostles, and prophets? Do you have an over powering passion to devote your life to Christ, picking up your own cross and following Him? Do you simply want to give with no thought of recompense for yourself? If the answer to these questions is yes then read on.

In the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart we require compassion fueled by love. We require an open mind and a willing heart to think “out side of the box.” We thrive on diversity, ingenuity, and creativity. In the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart we are much more of a family and much less of an institution.

While we can offer you emotional, spiritual, and educational support we can not offer financial support of any kind. We provide ecclesiastical endorsement through the establishment of the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, education through our seminary Whithorn School of Theology, and support to our ministers through our fellowship, prayers, and experience but all of the clergy within the Shepherd’s Heart must look to provide their own incomes by other means. We do not offer stipends, salaries, or other fiduciary benefits. All of us are “worker clergy” supporting ourselves with secular jobs, retirement, or whatever is necessary to and for our state of living.

If you have always felt called to an ordained ministry but for one reason or another find yourself not ministering in the way or place you feel called to do so, won’t you please contact us and let’s explore your vocation together.

For more information please read our “Vocations” page on the main website and if you feel so called, contact us and let’s begin discernment together.

If you wish to make application to join the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart you may do so by downloading the application and following the enclosed instructions. Thank you again for your interest in our community, the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart!

We look forward to hearing from you and may God bless you in your calling now and always!