As a former parish council member of a recently founded Catholic mission, I'm somewhat familiar with the process of establishing a Catholic mission/church within the parameters of canon law.

What is the process for establishing an Antiochian Orthodox mission?

(A) What are the requirements?

(B) How many members are needed?

(C) How is a priest assigned to the mission?

  • 2
    Steps: 1) Get approval by an Antiochian Orthodox bishop; 2) Do whatever he tells you to do. That pretty much sums it up ;)
    – Dan
    Oct 3, 2013 at 14:14
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    Or... just start meeting (Vespers, not Divine Liturgy). I presume you are not ordained in any way (because if you are, you should certainly start by asking the bishop), so ask a priest to stop by and instruct some of the folks on occasion (be sure he doesn't have a parish nearby, in which case you probably don't need a mission, you just need to attend his parish). Once a few of you are chrismated, the priest will most likely tell the bishop about you. The rest will take care of itself.
    – Dan
    Oct 3, 2013 at 14:22
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    For us (Eastern Orthodox), the local ministry is the responsibility of the bishop. He ordains elders/priests to administer the sacraments on his behalf, but the authority and responsibility ultimately remains with him.
    – Dan
    Oct 3, 2013 at 21:45
  • 1
    In my opinion the conversation in comments above shows why this is a good question - probing fundamental unspoken assumptions about the way things work in Orthodox vs Catholic contexts.
    – James T
    Oct 4, 2013 at 13:51
  • 1
    – user5286
    Oct 21, 2013 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Firstly, you will need your Bishop's approval. However, before that (sorry if that is ironic), you will need to make sure that you have enough people in the area who would like to be in a mission. Enough people? Hmm... Here is a link that has some info. Quoting from it (member David):

Here is how most OCA missions have been established in our diocese for the last twenty years or so.

  1. Secure a core group to explore starting a mission (usually 2-5 families/individuals) that are Orthodox
  2. Contact your bishop, letting him know of your desire to start a mission in your area.
  3. If the bishop approves, he will give you permission to start holding reader's services. Perhaps one or more of the starting members will be tonsured a reader if a member in good standing at their last parish.
  4. Once you have secured a place to meet and have had reader's services for a month or two, the local dean and/or bishop will arrange to have supply priests hold a liturgy at the mission at least once a month. At this point the mission usually receives it's name.
  5. After showing enough growth that demonstrates that the community has the potential to evangelise their local area and support a priest and his family either a priest will be assigned to the mission or one of the mission families will go to seminary.

Really, though, this type of question should be asked of a Priest (or Bishop :)), not of online strangers... :)

  • The last sentence ought to be heeded by all readers considering this (as I've commented on the question as well). Great answer +1
    – Dan
    Oct 4, 2013 at 6:33

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