Companions of Francis
About Us

Seven Sacraments

We offer the seven Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Matrimony, Anointing the Sick, & Holy Orders.

Open and Affirming

We offer the Sacraments regardless of race, nationality, gender, gender-identity, and sexuality.  We believe the Sacraments are for everyone.

Spiritual Life

We are Friars (male and female) who live a shared life of prayer, worship, and services of all people, especially the poor and oppressed.

Our Friars

We are a faith community, bound by our desire to serve. We are all Friars, spiritual siblings, and each individual is free to choose the honorific that fits their unique place in our faith family.

The Very Rev. Michelle "MJ" Johnston


Rev. MJ is priest and friar and a former Benedictine in the Episcopal Church.  After years of working with inmates in the Los Angeles County jail system, MJ began to feel called to the life of a clergy person.  She works to empower Queer, Questioning, and Transgender persons in her Coaching practice.   MJ currently ministers in Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA.

The Right Rev. S. Thomas Clark

Bishop Protector

Br. Thomas is the Bishop Protector of the Companions of Francis and Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Sacramental Church.  Bishop Thomas is also a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC) who works with inmates in a detention center.

Bishop Thomas Clark
Friar André Maria

Rev. Friar André Maria

Formation Director

Br. André Maria is a priest and the Provincial of the Companions of Francis.  Friar André works as an ecumenical and interfaith teacher, spiritual companion, spiritual director, and workshop leader both in the USA and abroad.

Rev. Sr. Damaris Martinez

Sr. Damaris is a priest and friar who believes her vocation comes from making contact with and drawing nearer to God.  As a psychotherapist and business owner, she supervises other therapists and finds purpose in growing with them in community.  Her vision of ministry is to empower women of color to deepen their connection to self in God.

Rev. Sr. Damaris Martinez
Fr. Dylan Littlefield

The Ven. Dylan Littlefield

Br. Dylan is a Deacon and the Episcopal Vicar for Bishop Thomas.  He also serves as Archdeacon for the Apostolic Sacramental Church.  Br. Dylan works with families involved in the juvenile and family court systems, works with people in Recovery through the Society of St. Maximilian Kolbe, and in his free time, trains border collies to herd livestock.

Fr. Nicolas Maria

Friar Nicolas Maria is a priest and friar in the Companions of Francis whose primary ministries are Spiritual Direction and Life Coaching. Fr. Nicolas is a Spiritual Fitness Coach and is the founder of ARBOLARE, an interfaith virtual community dedicated to spiritual formation and in his leisure time, he is an avid historian and bibliophile and loves spending time in nature.

Fr. Nicolas Maria (aka. Thomas Nikkle)
Rev. Virginia Stephenson

Rev. Virginia Stephenson

Rev. Virginia is a priest and a teacher, and is also an interfaith minister and mystic.  She loves to teach on union with God and having conversations with God as a friend, as a lover, as oneself.

Rev. Sr. Virginia is the pastor of the Spiritual Community of St. Mary Magdalene in Albuquerque, NM

How about you?

This space is reserved for you!  Do you feel called to be a Franciscan Friar?  Contact us about the process.

How about you?

How we walk with Jesus

We are an inclusive and affirming faith community, bringing the message of God's Love to all people without judgment. We experience beauty and amazement in all of creation and believe the world to be full of purpose and meaning. Our worship and prayer are infused with the presence of God, honoring the creativity and sanctity of God's presence in our diverse world. We engage a world in need with our spiritual gifts of service to put our faith into practice. We strive to continually bring Jesus' message of love, unity, and reconciliation to everyone by living the way of Jesus, with welcoming arms open to all.

What does Apostolic Sacramental mean?

Within the Sacramental Churches -- those churches who administer the seven sacraments instituted by the early Church -- the term Apostolic means the passing of the mantle of leadership by way of Holy Orders. The authority of the Apostles, via the Holy Spirit, is passed from one generation of leaders to the next by laying of the hands, or ordination, thereby ensuring an unbroken line of bishops from the Apostles to the present. The Apostolic Sacramental Church traces its lineage back to the Apostles through this unbroken line of succession.

Apostolic History

The Companions of Francis holds valid apostolic succession through the lines of several historical Churches.  We seek the via media (middle way) to understand Christianity through logic, reason, and theology. Like our brothers and sisters in other Sacramental Churches, we are progressive-minded in our pursuit of Christ's reconciling, healing, and unifying message of love.

Our motto is "Ubi Caritas et Amor," which means we minister at the intersection of charity and love. In addition, we identify as Catholic in that we participate in the Universal message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Companions of Francis is a autocephalous (self-governing) religious community of the Apostolic Sacramental Church and is not affiliated with any other Institutional Church.

The Companions of Francis has undertaken a project of validating and verifying our lines of Apostolic Succession.  The current document contains only the lines that appear to be valid after a great deal of research.  This is a living document that will be updated as our research continues.

  • 10th in line from Patriarch Sergei (Stragorodskij) Russian Orthodox
  • 16th in line from William Montgomery Brown  Anglican/Episcopal
  • 17th in line from Frederick Samuel Willoughby — Old Catholic (Utrecht)
  • 18th in line from Mar Abdul Masih II of Antioch — Syro-Malankara
  • 18th in line from Gerardus Gul — Old Catholic (Utrecht)

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