Friar AJ, OCCA Bishop in Gering, Nebraska
Anthony James Severns, I prefer AJ over Anthony or Tony. I was ordained to the priesthood May 6th 1986.
I earned my certificate of Spiritual Direction in October of 1998.
My ministry had consisted of working with the marginalized, and the LGBTQ communities from house churches to churches with 80+ families.
I have also worked prison ministry, faith based recovery support, and Spiritual Direction. The Jurisdiction I began my ministry in; The Congregation of the Most Holy Creator, is an Orthodox Franciscan Missionary Monastic Jurisdiction.
We live by a Monastic rule based on principles of the church and the rules of St. Francis of Assisi. Because we are missionary in focus we only take a modified vow of chastity and may marry, we typically go out in small groups of two or three to form our ministries as a team. Our concept of church does differ from many peoples as we see church where all of creation is welcome and on a come as you are basis, but most importantly; church should be a hospice or hospital where people can come to be loved for who they are as they are. We believe that through that human love it will open their hearts to allow them to be filled with and acknowledge the Divine Love that surrounds them.
I continue to work here in the community with several social justice organizations. I work on the board of Monument Family Connections which is a group that works with the homeless to try and reduce the homeless population in our region.
My education was done at St. John and the Theotokos Seminary of the Congregation of the Most Holy Creator:
BA- Christian Social Justice, and Canon Law
Certificate of Spiritual Direction
Doctorates: Franciscan Spirituality, Christian Social Justice, and Christian Mystical Tradition and Heresies from the Patriarchs to the Middle Ages.
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