“Building Vital Relationships with God, Each Other and the World”

Partners in Ministry

Our churches have discovered afresh our unity in the gospel and our commitment to the mission to which God calls the church of Jesus Christ in every generation. Unity and mission are organically linked in the Body of Christ, the church. All baptized people are called to lives of faithful witness and service in the name of Jesus. Indeed, the baptized are nourished and sustained by Christ as encountered in Word and Sacrament. Our search for a fuller expression of visible unity is for the sake of living and sharing the gospel. Unity and mission are at the heart of the church's life, reflecting thereby an obedient response to the call of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The purpose of these affiliations and Concordats of Agreement are to achieve partnerships in ministry. Our churches have set this goal in response to our Lord's prayer that all may be one. Our growing unity is urgently required so that our churches will be empowered to engage more fully and more faithfully the mission of God in the world. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

The Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos is pleased to partner in ministry with organizations, religious communities, and jurisdictions in any of the following three (3) categories:

Full Communion Partners:

We accept “that where between two Churches not of the same denominational, jurisdictional, or confessional family, there is unrestricted communio in sacris, including mutual recognition and acceptance of ministries, the appropriate term to use is ‘full communion,’ and that where varying degrees of relation other than ‘full communion’ are established by agreement between two such churches the appropriate term is ‘intercommunion.’

We understand full communion to be a relation between distinct churches in which each recognizes the other as a catholic and apostolic church holding the essentials of the Christian faith. Within this new relation, churches become interdependent while remaining autonomous...Diversity is preserved, but this diversity is not static. Neither church seeks to remake the other in its own image, but each is open to the gifts of the other as it seeks to be faithful to Christ and his mission. They are together committed to a visible unity in the church's mission to proclaim the Word and administer the Sacraments.

The goal is not an absorptive union or the fusion of various churches, but the bringing about of an ecclesiastical community on the basis of unitas in necessaris (unity in necessary things) while maintaining and respecting those possessions of individual churches which do not belong to the essence of the faith.

Communion in the Church and communion between and among the churches is a dynamic reality, a reality in progress, a reality never perfectly achieved, a reality with which we struggle as we struggle in our personal communion with God and with one another. Though we cannot immediately realize the model of unity which tradition regards as essential, that there be one bishop in a single place, it is of capital importance to achieve the unity of bishops. If such unity cannot be personal, at least it can be collegial.

We do not know to what new, recovered, or continuing tasks of mission these Concordats will lead our churches, but we give thanks to God for leading us to this point. We entrust ourselves to that leading in the future, confident that our full communion will be a witness to the gift and goal already present in Christ, "so that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28). Entering full communion and thus removing limitations through mutual recognition of faith, sacraments, and ministries will bring new opportunities and levels of shared evangelism, witness, and service. It is the gift of Christ that we are sent as he has been sent (John 17:17-26), that our unity will be received and perceived as we participate together in the mission of the Son in obedience to the Father through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Intercommunion Partners:

The Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos ~ “Benedictines of Mary, Old Catholic Marianists” is at all times ready to express its solidarity with all who follow Christ. We aspire to fulfil the prayer of Christ in John 17:20-21 – “that all may be as one”.

Where significant common ground and agreement on fundamental principles exists with another church, the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos welcomes entering into an agreement of intercommunion. Such an agreement recognizes that there may be some differences of practice and emphasis between O.SS.T. and its intercommunion partners, but also recognizes that there is far more that unites us than divides us.

Affiliate Partners:

Partnership is at the center of what we do at O.SS.T.

Walking with Christians and people of faith from around the world can enhance the life, faith and witness of our Order. There are a variety of ways in which we can share our faith and experience with our affiliate partners.

"You are no longer strangers or foreigners, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of the household of God." —Ephesians 2:19 We do mission in partnership. God's mission invites us to join hands with our affiliate partners, and to walk together as companions with our sisters and brothers around the world.


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