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An Inter-Faith Lay Monastic* Spiritual Order





St. Bonaventure, one of the first followers of St. Francis, described a huge spiritual order, much larger than all other existing orders. He called it the Seraphic Order. Seraphs are angels of the highest order whose hearts burn with the fire of Divine Love. The Seraphic Order, according to St. Bonaventure, unites all mystics of all times, traditions and places whose hearts burn with the fiery Love of God! In that Spirit we have established the Seraphic Order of the Flowering Heart, to be an inter-faith monastic spiritual order that is open to married, single, ordained and lay members.


The Seraphic Order of the Flowering Heart is a vehicle for legal & spiritual ministerial ordination, as well as for fellowship and community connectedness for people who are mystics centered in Christ with hearts which have flowered and burn with the love of God. These mystics often find themselves "outside of the box" relative to established religious and spiritual groups which could ordain them to the ministry or provide them with the support of spiritual community.


*This is a "lay monastic order": It is "lay order" because we welcome all people (the "laity") and not only ordained celibates. It is a "monastic order" in the sense that, with the proper understanding, "monk" (from the Greek word "monos") means "One/single/whole", someone on the path of Oneness, whose heart is "single" in devotion to God or who is One in Union with God, not necessarily single or celibate in the human sense.


You might consider joining us if:

1. You are a contemplative mystic and your Heart has Flowered!

2. You want be ordained and/or be in a spiritual order with other kindred spirits.

3. You feel you are of the Spiritual Lineage of Christ, either as your indweller (antaryamin) or in your lineage or manifest through you as Christ Consciousness, the anointing of the Holy Spirit or simply in your flowering heart which radiates the Unconditional Love of Christ!

4. You are a way-shower, probably on the Bodhisattva path, whether you realize that now or not.

5. The Lord Jesus is bringing us together for this purpose. 


The Order of the Flowering Heart is not a governing, hierarchical body which would seek to rule over you or your ministry, nor will it compromise your membership in other spiritual orders and organizations. This Order is strictly for the purpose of conferring ordinations and initiations, providing teachings and tools to assist your transformation and your mission, and connecting us in an esoteric monastic community with others of like-heart.


Some of you are already fully "formed" and mature in your ministries. Some will need additional "formation" & training to help you fulfill your calling (dharma). We will provide that. When you first enter the Order you are a postulant, later a novice, then after your formation is complete, you become a fully professed member of the Order. Our ordinations are in the Power of the Holy Spirit flowing from Jesus through Apostolic Succession down through the centuries to the present time, and through me, a successor to the Apostles, to you.


Help us to envision and give birth to this new Order together. Share your insights and ideas with us.


Your Servant in Christ,




Most Rev. Dr. Michael Milner, PhD, ThD, DMin

Bishop & Abbot, Seraphic Order of the Flowering Heart



Ordination to Universal Ministry

(adapted from an article by Dr. Thomas Hickey, Ph.D.)


Universal ministry in core spirituality involves bringing the message of the ageless wisdom to others through the timeless teaching found in the universal spirituality at the core of all religions and wisdom traditions. In order to do this effectively, universal ministers must be grounded in these principles as they find expression in the various teachings and traditions. They must also strive to put these teachings into practice themselves, admitting their shortcomings and weaknesses when they fail, as all who are not yet perfect at least occasionally do.


The purpose of ministry is to serve the spiritual needs of others. This includes mentoring in core spirituality, as well as performing traditional rites of passage. The essence of ministry is to serve others spiritually. Universal ministers serve universally, recognizing that the Eternal Way is one; yet, every individual's path along this Way is unique.




The fundamental requirement for ministry is a spiritual calling, or "vocation," as is often said. The call to serve others by ministering to their spiritual needs is an inner calling. It is a personal vocation such that only those called can know to what service they are called. Formation for ministry involves, first, discrimination regarding this calling and, secondly, preparing oneself to meet the challenges this calling presents.




A spiritual calling alone is generally not a sufficient basis for ministry. Adequate preparation is also necessary. This preparation is ordinarily accomplished through a formation process. An essential aspect of this formation is ascertaining competence. Those who wish to undertake a universal ministry are so ordained. In addition to universal ministry, ordination to sacramental orders (deacon, priest, bishop) in the apostolic lineage of the Jesus tradition is also available for those who are called to it.




Candidates for universal ministry should demonstrate that they are of good character, have a spiritual calling, and be willing to undertake the necessary formation. Ministerial candidates should be prepared to show that they are psychologically stable, emotionally mature, and intellectually astute. They should also be reasonably well educated, but they need not be learned, love and the desire to serve being superior to learning.

Since ministry is a spiritual calling, ministerial candidates should be established on a spiritual path of their own choosing, but one which leads to genuine transcendence. They should be willing to serve others selflessly, and they should also be acquainted with the subjects and disciplines relevant to their proposed ministry.




Since ministry is based on calling, each person's needs will be determined by their unique calling. Therefore, the formation process is necessarily individual, and previously acquired qualifications need not be repeated. However, all candidates must demonstrate competence in core spirituality.


Apostolic Succession (optional)


“Sacramental” Churches” churches have a highly developed “Mystical” or “Spiritual” Theology and a long tradition of “Contemplative Prayer” (Christian Meditation) and Contemplative Spiritual Orders (monasticism). Their history is full of mystics, saints and sages.


These churches focus on 7 “Sacraments” as channels of Grace (Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, Anointing of the Sick with Oil, Holy Matrimony & Ordination to Holy Orders). The Holy Orders of Bishop, Priest & Deacon (ordained leaders of Sacramental churches)) derive their authority from something called “Apostolic Succession”, an empowerment of the Holy Spirit transmitted by Jesus (a form of Christian Deeksha) to the original Apostles and through them by the laying on of hands to the first bishops, then through the bishops to their successors in an unbroken line down to the present day. The lineage of a bishop in the traditional Apostolic Succession can be traced on paper back to the original Apostles and through them to Christ. Bishops confer the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to believers to equip them for Christian service through the Sacrament of Confirmation, a form of deeksha or initiation (called “Chrismation” in Eastern Orthodox churches). 


Old Catholic Lines


A.H. Matthew Lines (4)


I. Frederick Samuel Willoughby Line

(Matthew, Willoughby, Wedgewood, Cooper, Hampton, Spruit)

II.  W. H. F. Brothers Line (via R. A. Sicard)**

III. C. H. Carfora Line (via R. A. Sicard)**

IV. J. M. Kowalski (Polish Mariavite) Line (via R. A. Sicard)**



Roman Catholic Lines 


I. Brazilian Roman Catholic Line:


Carlos Duarte Costa Line, Roman Catholic Bishop (1924-1945), first of Botucatu , Brazil and later Titular Bishop of Maura

(via R. A. Sicard)**


II  Mexican Roman Catholic Lines (2): 


1. Eduardo Sanchez y Camacho Line, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1880-1896, founding Bishop of the Mexican National Catholic Church (MNCC)

(Sanchez y Camacho (allegedly consecrated), Donkin, Herford & Heard, Newman, Maxey, Wadle, Spruit)



Anglican Lines


I. Samuel Seabury Line

II. J. Moore - William White Line



Syrian “Jacobite” (Patriarchate of Antioch)


Joseph Rene Villate Line

(Villate, Lloyd, Lines, Boyle, Wadle, Spruit)



Greek Orthodox


Joachim Souris & Walter Myron Propheta Line (via R. A. Sicard)**



Russian Orthodox (Patriarchate of Moscow)


Abdullah (Aftimios) Ofiesh Line



Coptic Orthodox (Patriarchate of Alexandria)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) 

& Richard, Duc de Palatine (Ronald Powell) Line



Church of the East (Catholic Patriarchate of Assyria)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Albanian Orthodox (Metropolitan-Archbishops of Albania)


Peter A. Zurawetsky Line



Melkite Uniate (Greek Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch)


Antoine Joseph Aneed Line



Chaldean Uniate (Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon of Baghdad)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Catholic Uniate (Armenian Catholicate-Patrichate of Cilicia)


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



Order For Corporate Reunion


Mar Georgius I (Hugh George de Wilmott Newman) Line



* Except where noted above (as "via R. A. Sicard"), all of the above lines were passed on by Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit, principal consecrator for Timothy Barker (April 23, 1989), who was principal consecrator for Michael Milner (July 28, 1991) assisted by Brian Turkington, Joseph Souza and Lewis Boynton. 


** Additional lines (noted by a double asterisk** above) were conferred upon Michael Milner  through subconditione consecration by R. Augustin Sicard with Owen Augustin, Philip Lisuzzo, Heron A. Sam, Daniel Gincig & Michael Owen, September 17, 1995