On December 3rd, 2016, Fra. Michael Robert McDonald, Prior of the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue will be formally received into and receive ordination into the Royal Priesthood as a presbyter of the Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar, Sovereign Catholicate of the Inland Seas.
“Frater Bob” has headed the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue in Southern Indiana for over 2 years, ministering locally to both congregants and friends of the Esoteric Christian community.
Upon Frater Bob’s ordination the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue will be consecrated as the Priory of the Rose Cross and serve a community which continues to desire corporate worship in the Western Apostolic Sacramental tradition.
Frater Bob has lived in the esoteric traditions of the East and West for over two decades, and sees ordination to the Priesthood as the final step in a process that began in earnest nearly 5 years ago.
In addressing the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue he had this to say,
“I founded the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue over 2 years ago. In an interview that I recently gave to ‘The World Beyond’ Radio show with host Joe Weigant, I spoke of the origins of the Gnostic Church DV and stated that it was created out of a need. In fulfilling this need the direction of the church has crystallized over time. We are in all aspects, a Sacramental, Western, Esoteric body devoted to the Divine Current, the one who is known as God among other titles. Those of us that are connected to the Gnostic Church DV have walked various paths, the individual expression of our church is critical and is a cornerstone of our philosophical foundation.
I am an initiated Shaivite, and part of our expression has been the eastern mysteries. It is important that the East and West have voices. In this we follow the example of Fr. Bede Griffiths, O.S.B. We are universal and while we have our strong connection to the East, it is to the West that we have generated our desire for corporate worship. We have accepted our Dharma and approached our spiritual path in ways that are consistent with the true esoteric expressions of the western world.
We are Gnostics and as such we search and strive to attain self-realization through an intuitive understanding of the divine essence, the Current that binds all reality. It is through the mystery of the Sacraments that we allow ourselves to experience the divine theater. Up until now we have been comfortable being independent, an island in a sea of esoteric pilgrims.
Yet personally, I have had a desire to dive deeper into what it means to create a sacramental experience. I am a Frater, serving the esoteric Gnostic community here in Southern Indiana, but I have a vocation, a calling to go further. As such I have sought ordination into the apostolic lineage of the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. I desire to bring another element of practice and offering to the Gnostic Church of Dharma and Virtue. I want to be able to offer pastoral care to the entire spectrum of those who wish to associate with my small church.
It was with great fortune that through meeting Bishop James LeClaire (Tau Charles II), I was introduced to Tau Mikael III Basilides, Metropolitan Catholicos of the Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar.
I found in the Church of Damcar a true compliment to my own philosophy and a church that is moving in the same direction philosophically as the Gnostic Church DV.
Most churches that are either Gnostic or adhere to a Gnostic Charism contain the universal, esoteric elements of the Gnostic experience.
Yet it was the good will and humor of Tau Mikael III that impressed me. Here is a man who ministers to his church with the same humility and pastoral care that I hope to express to those who participate with me in the Gnostic Church DV.
Due to the Universal nature of the Gnostic way, I decided to align myself with the Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar and seek ordination into the apostolic lineage.”
Fra. Bob, We look forward to walking together with you for a long time on this journey, and welcome you with fraternal affection!
- Tau Mikael III Basilides