1300 Stratford Road, Stratford, CT 06615
P: 203-377-9901   E: info@stjosephsofstratford.org

Who We Are

What is the National Catholic Church?

It is a Catholic and Apostolic Church, preserving the faith of the Apostles and having apostolic succession with an unbroken line of bishops from the Apostles of Jesus Christ, to the present day bishops and priests.

Our church is made up of members with many ethnic backgrounds. Although our Church has its roots in the 19th century Polish immigration, today the church is made up of members with many ethnic backgrounds. Mass, the sermon and services are celebrated in English.

We are s Sacramental Church, meaning that the Church acknowledges and celebrates Seven Sacraments: Baptism and Confirmation, The Word of God, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Matrimony.

How does the church worship?

The main mode of worship is Holy Mass (Eucharist) celebrated in the language of the people. Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Testament offered by the priest, in which bread and wine are consecrated as the mystical Body and Blood Christ. Mass is the perpetual commemoration of Christ’s Sacrifice upon the Cross, offered once and for all. Contemporary services, vespers, Stations of the Cross, lamentations, devotions and litanies are also a part the liturgical practice of the Church during the appropriate seasons.

The Eucharist – How is it administered?

Holy Communion is given under two forms: the Consecrated Bread and Wine, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is given by Intinction, which means the Sacred Host is dipped in the Consecrated Wine and placed on the tongue.

How do I receive the Sacrament of Penance?

There are two forms of penance are administered in our Church. General confession is given during the Penitential Rite of each Mass. You are expected to have made an examination of conscience prior to Mass. At the appropriate time, you confess your sins silently to God and the priest will offer an absolution.

Private confession is given to anyone requesting it and to young people from the time of their penance until they are 16 years of age. Advent and Lenten Penitential Services are held during the respective seasons.

I am previously divorced. Can I receive Holy Communion?

No one is denied the freedom to worship. Those who believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist are welcome to receive Holy Communion.

Can a divorced person remarry in the National Catholic Church?

Each Diocese has a commission, which studies each request for marriage by persons who have been divorced. Under certain conditions marriages may be annulled or dissolved and permission granted for Sacramental marriage. Each case is treated on an individual basis. The Church tries to be as understanding and helpful as possible.

Birth Control – what does our Church say about it?

The position of the Church regarding birth control: It is personal matter between husband and wife.

What are the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the National Catholic Church?

Although our Church possesses the apostolic succession from the first apostles, there is a difference of belief from the Roman Catholic Church regarding leadership. We are a non-Papal Church. The head of the Church – the Prime Bishop – is elected by the Church’s members and clergy. In other words, we follow a democratic process where the members have a voice and vote.

Can priests in the National Catholic Church marry?

Our priests can marry. The Bible indicates that some of the Apostles were married, including St. Peter. We believe our priests should be able to live the Sacrament of Marriage, raise a family and so to experience family life first hand.

Our Church Symbol

The symbol of the National Catholic Church summarizes the substance of Christianity.

The Book – represents the revealed Word of God.
The Sun – is the sign of religious freedom and fervor.
The Cross – is the mark of suffering and consecration for others.
The Palm – is the symbol of peace.

Our Parish