53.6 F
Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeBeliefsWhere We Worship: Home church offers alternative way to be Catholic

Where We Worship: Home church offers alternative way to be Catholic


Related stories

Now Hiring: Freelance Reporters

Now Hiring: Freelance Reporters SpokaneFāVS.com, an online publication covering religion...

Ask A Mormon: Can you be baptized after death?

Mormons believe that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). He loves all of his children, regardless of when or where they were born. We also believe that baptism, and the covenants we make at baptism, are stepping stones on the path to salvation and exaltation.

Ask A Mormon: Do Mormons believe they will become gods?

Latter-day Saints believe that every life — our spirits, our souls, the essence of who we are — is eternal.

Ask A Mormon: Do Mormons stockpile goods?

Are Mormons Preppers? Why and where and for how long do they stockpile goods? Why is this, is there an eschatological reason?

Tripping to Peace at Salt Lake: Individual States or All New Kingdom?

We must, if we are to survive, see that our existence is vitally connected with the equally important existence of the other.

Our Sponsors

Rev. Tom Altepeter
Rev. Tom Altepeter

This isn’t your typical Catholic church.

There’s no incense. No gothic-style building. The congregation doesn’t believe the pope is infallible. And, the priest, the Rev. Tom Altepeter, is married.

St. Clare Ecumenical Catholic Community has been worshiping in homes throughout Spokane since June. So far about 20 people attend the services, which take place every other week.

Altepeter, founder of the church, said St. Clare’s is a place for “dissatisfied Catholics.”

“We’re trying to provide people with a spiritually enriching faith community within the Catholic tradition,” he said. “In the Roman Catholic Church, so many individuals aren’t being fed where they’re at. This is an alternative that they might be comfortable with.”

He said St. Clare’s is “a different way to be Catholic,” though he noted St. Clare’s doesn’t want to compete with the Roman Catholic Church, adding that anyone who is content in their church, should stay.

In terms of dogma, he said the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, to which St. Clare's belongs, has the same essential beliefs as the Roman Catholic Church. Both denominations follow the teachings of Jesus, the Nicene Creed and honor sacramental and liturgical traditions.

Where the two differ greatly, he explained, is in discipline.

“We re-examined the discipline pieces. We ordain men and women we welcome open gays and lesbians,” Altepeter said.

Priests, he added, are not required to be celibate.

He said that the church has a bottom-up approach, which means everyone has a say. Bishops are elected and clergy are called by the local ECC communities.

It’s a little different in Altepeter’s case, since he brought the ECC to Spokane. He recently moved to Spokane from Wisconsin, where he was leading an ECC church. Prior to the priesthood he worked as a psychologist.

Altepeter said St. Clare’s has two main goals — spiritual enrichment and service toward others.

For meeting locations, contact Altepeter at (509) 361-0463 or [email protected].

Where we Worship is a new SpokaneFAVS feature that profiles different houses of worship in the Spokane area. To have your organization featured email [email protected].

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

Our Sponsors

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x