I was in St. Louis last week when my mobile phone rang and it was a St. Louis number I didn’t recognize. I assumed it was someone I knew. The person introduced himself as Frank Krebs. I immediately recognized the voice and his name as he was the Bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion in St. Louis. When I was in Webster Groves I attended mass there for a few months and then would occasionally visit. He called because he noticed that I had not been around.
There is a part of me that wanted to point out I moved in June 2018 but I was too shocked that first, he noticed and second, he called. I am a fairly faithful parishioner. I donate money. I attend Mass regularly. I even attend talks and other events. In my adult life, I have never had a Priest or minister of any kind call me. I’ve had them notice when I’ve been gone for a couple of weeks but never had one call or visit. I was shocked that the call I got was from a Bishop.
The Ecumenical Catholic Communion is not Roman Catholic. They allow married, female, and LGBT Priest. They allow lay people to preach and have changed the mass to use gender-neutral language. My open and accepting side preferred them. However, my traditional side missed the music, the incense, and the beauty of an old church. Ecumenical Catholics are the people I wanted to be my friends, but in the end, I couldn’t give up the beauty of a more traditional mass. I wonder what I would have done if the building and music had been different.
Alas, there is no Ecumenical Catholic Communion in Knoxville as there is no Soto Zen center. I have to admit I liked it that he called. I wonder how many people would return to mass if ministers called and appeared to care. It must be what it feels like to a student if the professor calls when they miss a class.