|The End of Church Structures
One of Rev Mario’s favourite axioms was that "The Church is dead". By this he meant that the age where formal structures and organisations dictating the thinking and spiritual development of people had passed. From 1968 he was predicting the departure of congregations from the orthodox church structures. By 1995 he had seen much of this prediction come to pass. The priest was no longer called to trauma situations, or to help people in life crises. Instead, the counsellor, the therapist, the psychologist, the social worker, and many other professionals were sought to give counsel. Mario, together with his co-worker Colin Read, decided that if people would no longer come to the priest, then they would send the priest to the people. Together, they envisaged a "Free" priesthood where an individual working in an occupation, interacting with other souls, could be ordained. The power of this initiation would combine with their professional expertise.
"...in this particular period you will find the awakening of consciousness among the people seeking and searching many spiritual dimensions. How many people have I met who say, “What you are saying I have been looking for, for so long”. Yet in spite of the injustices, even on religious levels, I think the world is much more religious now than ever before. In spite of the fact that people do not go to church. In spite of it all there lies a deep motivating force within the souls of today. People, like the souls under the altar, are saying, “How long dear Lord?” People are spiritually conscious because they are conscious of their spirituality, where previously they went to church but weren’t conscious of their spirituality. So today there is a much greater brewing of spirituality than there has ever been before in history."
Rev Mario Schoenmaker 1982
The Transmission of the Priesthood
In the Western Esoteric Spiritual Tradition, the priest is a mediator between humanity and the divine. The candidates for the priesthood must have a “priest nature”. That is, they are willing to be available to be a servant of Christ and work silently on behalf of the Christ impulse to uplift and transform other souls. In the Free Priesthood the power given to the priest at ordination is added to their vocation, so that their work becomes imbued with new energies.
In September 1996, nineteen people were ordained into this inaugural new expression of the priesthood (The Free Priesthood). Their occupations covered a wide variety of human-interactive fields including medicine, counselling, business, music, law, and a range of therapeutic expressions.
One does not become a Free Priest through self-realisation or self-initiation, but by a transmission of the lineage of Rev Mario Schoenmaker through the laying on of hands. Ordination is into the Order of Melchizedek.
The Free Priest Movement continues to this day to be transmitted. From every walk of life new souls take up the challenge, and are ordained each year.
If you feel called to this special vocation and would like to learn more, you can communicate with us through the form below.