Founder of the "Old Catholic Church" on Mead's Mountain
(Currently known as "The Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount")

The Old Catholic Church of England was established by Father Francis on top of Mead's Mountain in Woodstock, New York, during the 50's - 60's, when it was better known previously as The Old Catholic Church on the Mount, or simply "Father Francis' Church". At that time, before the Church became what it is today - A Western Orthodox Catholic Church - Father Francis practised a liberal interpretation of the Western Rite, drawing on several different Services to make up his own hour-long Service, more or less in the Old Catholic Tradition.

Since Father Francis' passing, the Church was transformed into what it is today:
The Western Orthodox Catholic Church, with world-wide Western Orthodox affiliations (including Milan, Ireland, and Serbia), under the head of Bishop John LoBue, Head of the Sinod of Bishops of the Orthodox Western Rite in the Eastern United States. It is now The Church Of The Transfiguration Of Christ On The Mount, and is a now full-fledged recognized Western Orthodox Catholic Church with Historical Landmark Status, whose current Metropolitan resides in Milan, Italy.

Picture (Above):
Father Francis.
Picture (Above):
Father Francis.

History of The Church of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount:

Before the Church was given that name, it was known as the "Old Catholic Church on the Mountain", or more simply, "Father Francis' Church".

Below are some pictures from that era, which was the 'Pre-Orthodox' Era of the Church on the Mount. The Old Catholic Faith was the Predecessor of Western Orthodoxy; the Old Catholic Church Of England was later transformed into the Western Orthodox Church that it is today.

Worthy Of Note:

Statement of Union of the Old Catholic Church of England and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

These Articles of Belief were originally issued by the Old Catholic Church of England in a pamphlet entitled: The Articles of Belief of the Old Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland of the Western Orthodox Church. They served as the basis for the Union of that body, from which the Old Catholic Church of America descends, with the Holy Orthodox Church of Beirut, Syria, in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Picture (Left): The Church during the 60's.
This church offered light and hope to many
hippies in the 60's and early 70's as well
as many others who came to worship there,
which at that time offered an alternative
form of The Old Catholic Mass, and which
is now a Woodstock Historical Landmark.
Currently, the Traditional Western Orthodox
Service is held every Sunday at 11:00 AM
by Father John Nelson.

Father Francis was quite a free spirit, and was revered and loved by many people during his stay at the church, a kind and gentle man with a compassionate spirit. Below are some pictures that show a little bit of this 'free spirit' in Francis' nature:

Picture (Left):
A wedding being performed by
Father Francis in the early 70's.
Michael Esposito (looking a little
like Jesus) is standing next to Francis.
The caption under the picture is:
"Archbishop Francis performs an
early morning wedding ceremony
for barefoot bride and groom on his
mountain top near Woodstock, NY."

Picture (Left):
Another wedding reception on
the church grounds in the 70's.
Father Francis is talking to one
of the guests, while a colorfully
dressed Zubin plays a tie die guitar
in the background. Peace Activist
Terry Buckner (cutoff in picture on
the right), who was herself a Devoté
of Father Francis & the Old Catholics,
was also a very kind, spiritual person;
she was probably listening to the music...

An Atricle written by Father Francis in the 70's:

Picture (Above): a photo of a Newspaper Article which appeared in the Churchman,
a Church Newspaper, which was written by Father Francis in December, 1970.
(To view this text in HTML format, or for easy printout, click on the Article, or click here.)

           WAVElinks would like to express it's appreciation to Father John and Bríd Nelson, Bishop John Lobue, Michael Esposito and Linda Evanston, Michael Young, John Berger, Day Yusco, and all the Members of the Woodstock Nation, and particularly the Church layity over the years for the presence of such a spiritual haven in our community, and for all the dedicated and continued watchful care that these people have given to the Church and Church Grounds over the years since Father Francis passed on to the next life in Heaven... It was because of this perseverance of the combined efforts of Bishop John, Father John Nelson, Michael Esposito, and members of the original Parish (when Father Francis resided there), and also Members of The Woodstock Nation (who were also a part of Father Francies layity at that time), that this Church still flourishes at the Top of the Town (on top of Mead's Mountain, Woodstock, NY).
           Great job - by everyone who has been involved! WAVElinks thanks you all for your spiritual perseverance and dedication to the just cause of "Preserving the Western Orthodox Tradition while Providing Spiritual Guidance and Welcome Refuge for the Free Spirit in Woodstock" established by Father Francis, and now carried by The Western Orthodox Rite Parish and also the Woodstock Nation.
           Our Golden Link Award goes out to All of you who are of the Preservers of the Tradition of Father Francis! (And especially, to all persons who contributed to the Church's current state of physical and spiritual Resurection).
Keep up the good work! We all need more of that!
                                            - RockRoovly@wavelinks.net

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