Thursday, August 21, 2014

"It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together" Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living out more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another... It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together.” Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, July 14, 2014

God's Message to us: 'You are the Beloved'

In my prayer time today, I was meditating on a passage in Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen.
"All I want to say to you is 'You are the Beloved.'
and all that I hope is that you can hear these words
as spoken to you with all the force and tenderness that love can hold.
My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being-
'You are the Beloved.'"
Herein lies our soul strength. God's love in the center point of our being filling us, 
holding us, renewing us and transforming us.
Therefore , nothing, no opposition,  no problem can shake our soul ,
no matter what our struggles, no matter what darkness appears on the horizon,
no matter what misunderstandings or challenges,
in all our troubles,
in all our gifts,
in all our hopes and dreams,
in all our relationships,

 God says: "you are the Beloved."
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jesus the Power of Parable by John Dominic Crossan/Outstanding Scholarship
Message in First Century:The Great Divine Cleanup of the world!
Jesus issued a paradigm shift!
"It's not coming soon, It is here already!"
God is waiting for you to do it with God in collaboration.
No wonder nothing is happening!
Collaborative Eschaton.
It will not happen unless you collaborate with God!"
You will not be able to do it without God and God will not do it without you!"

"The power of Parable is to provoke you into thinking!"
"The function of the Parable is to lure the people into argument!"
Luring, provoking audience into participation!

"Lessons in Living and Lessons in Giving" by Patty Zorn, ARCWP Candidate, Florida

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in
mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the God of hosts, if I will
not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out of blessing, that
there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
Many people make a decision to tithe to their local non-profit, church or ministry on a regular basis in support of the organization, allowing the organization to carry on its charitable work. It has been my own experience that each time we bless another, God turns around and blesses us; the cycle of giving continues. The following story is taken from “Positive Christianity.” I hope you enjoy it!
It is impossible to out give God. The horn of the infinite plenty shall be opened and pour you out such an overflowing abundance of good that you shall not have room enough to consume it.
It was 1985 in Rockford Illinois, 75 miles north of Chicago. Sigmund (name changed) was a struggling student studying to be a writer. He felt that he could progress faster if he had a typewriter. Sigmund asked several people to help him pray for a typewriter. Sigmund tithed on the little that he had, but did it in joy, and full faith in God.
All in the prayer group thanked God that he had a typewriter NOW.
Although Sigmund had often been writing at his desk when his landlady came to straighten up his apartment, the very next morning she suggested that he go to the basement and get the typewriter some folks who had once lived there had left. She told Sigmund that he could have the typewriter.
Sigmund phoned and gave the prayer group an account of what had happened.
He said, however, that the machine was not new and that he had taken it to have it cleaned and put in working order. The following day Sigmund picked up the typewriter and asked the prayer group to come by and see it. They went to his place. They were quite certain that it was not the first typewriter ever built, but it might have been the second ever manufactured.
Does it work? They asked him. Sigmund laughed, and said it does, in a matter of speaking.
During the next few weeks the machine needed fixing several more times and
Sigmund told the prayer group that he finally decided to leave it in the repair shop.
The prayer group said, ‘Why don’t we try the typewriter prayer again? Let’s apply what we learned from the other effort. But we know that a typewriter alone is not enough. What kind of machine do you want?’
Sigmund thought and answered, ‘It doesn’t have to be new, but it should be a late model of a standard make and also be in good working condition.’
The prayer group said, ‘All right, that’s our prayer, a late-model standard make in perfect working order.’
The prayer group went to work on it that night. It was three days later when Sigmund telephoned and said that he had been trying to reach the prayer group. Sigmund said, ‘A friend of mine who’s been drafted into the Army brought me a typewriter that is only three months old. I once lent him my car to drive his mother to Seattle and he said he didn’t know when he’d need the typewriter again, if ever, and he wanted me to have it.’
The prayer group asked, ‘What kind of condition is it in?’
‘Perfect!’ was Sigmund’s answer. Sigmund said, ‘That’s not all, you remember me telling you about my friends who live across the street?’
‘The ones for whom you mowed the lawn when the man had his broken ankle?’ The prayer group asked.’ The same.
When I came back from the store this afternoon, the wife called me over. They are going back east and they have more than they can haul in their car. They bought a typewriter a couple years ago when they tried out a mail order business at home, but now they’re going back to seek other employment, and so they gave me the typewriter. The wife said that she had been watching him writing in longhand at the window they wanted Sigmund to have it.” Sigmund said, “I couldn’t refuse so I brought it home.’
The prayer group wanted to know, ‘Is it in good condition too?’
Sigmund said, “It is in perfect condition.” Then Sigmund laughed.
He said, ‘I have three typewriters now. I went for the mail this morning and there was almost a new machine in front of my apartment door with a written note – this is a gift — I thought that perhaps the prayer group had sent it.’ The prayer group said they didn’t know anything about it.
Sigmund said, ‘Well we better turn this prayer off. I do not want to go into the typewriter business.’
Since those years Sigmund has used the tithing and prayer formula time and time again and is today a newspaper writer living in a major city on the East Coast.
He is a subscriber to our messages, and probably smiling as he’s reading this.
One last part to this story. Remember the old typewriter Sigmund left of the repair shop? It turns out it was quite rare. The repair shop sold it, and sent Sigmund a sizable check.
When you share with God it is like planting a seed. It opens up the windows of heaven for you, pouring out your chosen God good. Give first, plant the seed, and reap the harvest of overflowing God good.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pope lifts ban on 'left-wing' bishop/Oscar Romero, Patron Saint of the Poor and Oppressed

Pope Francis lifts the ban on the beatification of murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, imposed over his suspected Marxist views.

Read more:
Bridget Mary's Response:
It will be a great day for the church when they canonize Oscar Romero,  who stood with the poor and oppressed of El Salvador. He was murdered as he celebrated Mass. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Catholics Attend Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida

Dr. Michael Rigdon, Dr. Imogene Rigdon, Janet Blakeley, and Sally Brochu

"A Person of Prayer" from Joan Chittister, from Essential Writings

..."When, in prayer, we come to discover God’s universal love we suddenly realize 
that God does not take sides, that we have no priority on God alone. 
We finally understand that the God we seek is the God of the world and so, to seek that
 God, we must develop hearts as big as the world ourselves..

To develop a cosmic heart is a moment of profound transformation.
 We can never be the same again. 
We are beyond the boundaries we have created to separate the human race
 into my race and theirs...."
–from Joan Chittister: Essential Writings, selected by Mary Lou Kownacki
 and Mary Hembrow Snyder 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Married Priest Couple Carol Ann and Lee Breyer

On Aug. 16, 2014,  Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrated the 45th Wedding Anniversary of Married Priest Couple Carol Ann and Lee Breyer. They presided at a beautiful liturgy in honor of the feast of the Assumption of Mary, Mother of Jesus. After the liturgy we celebrated with a barbecue meal at St. Andrew UCC Hall. See Anniversary blessing below photos.
Lee and Carol Ann Breyer, a married priest couple preside at liturgy

Kevin and Judy Connelly, who also celebrated their wedding anniversary in Aug. brought up gifts

Gifting and gracious God,

Today, we give you thanks for many blessings ……..

We give you thanks for life,
for our parents who brought us into this world and taught us about life and love,
and for companions on life’s journey.

We give you thanks for creation,
Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire and Sister Water,
indeed for the beauty of our surroundings here in the Sunshine state.

Our hearts are filled with great happiness on this, the forty-fifth wedding anniversary of  Lee and Carol Ann Breyer.

And so we pray:

May your love continue to be like the earth –
rich, natural, deeply rooted, strong as hurricane force winds,
yet as soft as beach sand when patience and forgiveness are necessary.

May your love continue to be like fire –
passionate, intense, energetic,
a flame that never dies, but is as radiant as the morning sun and as warm as an embrace at evening sunset.

May your love continue to be like water –
moving, changing, never still, never stagnant,
as vast as the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and as fresh as a springtime rain.

May your love continue to be like the air –
the sharing of dreams, thoughts, emotions …..
refreshing and carefree, as found in a gentle breeze or the breath of a kiss.

Indeed, may your marriage continue to blend these four elements to create the perfect balance physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  May you hug each other often, laugh a lot, and enjoy each other more with each passing day.

+ May the Holy One bless and keep you

+ May you continue to have the strength of family and community to support you

+ May our Gifting God give you continued graces to respect each other’s likes and
   dislikes, opinions and beliefs, hopes and dreams

+ May your faith in each other continue to grow stronger and your love for each
   other eternal

+ May God grant you continued health, happiness, peace and joy in
   abundance during these “twilight” years

+ May your days be good and long upon the earth,
   and when life is done and the sun is setting,
   may you be found then as now,
   still hand in hand, and thanking God for each other!

+ May the Eternal One who blessed our ancestors in faith,
   Abraham and Sarah,
   Ruth and Noami,
   David and Jonathan,
   Miriam and Joseph (the parents of Jesus)
   Bless you on your forty-fifth anniversary and all couples this day.

Blessed be God ……………. the Creator of all.

May it be so, this day, ever and forever.  AMEN!
(Blessing written  by Jim Marsh)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Should the Vatican Apologize to Elizabeth Johnson and Reinstate Female Priests?
..."If women ontologically differ from men, then trying to force male voices and thoughts upon women commits one of these pesky “sins against nature” that the hierarchy abhors.  If women do not differ ontologically from men, then excluding women from the priesthood is unfounded.  Either women are different and hierarchical leaders owe Elizabeth Johnson not only an apology, they owe her their deep appreciation for letting these differences shine forth via her language of women…or women are not different and hierarchical leaders owe a deep apology and expression of gratitude as well as need to reinstate all the excommunicated female priests because they simply denuded a myth about men’s and women’s ontological differences.  There is a third scenario where the hierarchy both reinstates female priests and apologizes to Elizabeth Johnson which should occur if men’s and women’s difference serve to complement rather than impede clerical ministry. But right now, the hierarchy’s stance seems to just further undermine its credibility."

"Jesuit Fr. William Brennan, Penalized for Liturgy with Woman Priest, Dies"/National Catholic Reporter

Friday, August 15, 2014

"However Long the Night" by Sister Nancy Schreck OSF/Recommended for Prayerful Reflection
Bridget Mary's Response:
A deeply spiritual reflection on where religious life is today  "in the middle", struggling through a dark night of the soul! Sister Nancy provides nurturing food for thought not only for religious orders but for individuals and groups who struggle to live the Gospel during times of stress, loss, change and misunderstanding.  Right now the Leadership Conference of Women Religious faces a take-over of their organization by the Vatican. In this address, Sister Nancy invites us to go deeper to encounter the blessed embrace of Divine Love that meets us in darkness, and leads us toward the dawn.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mystical Ireland Trip

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 20OT, Aug. 17, 2014 by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Jesus was born into a Jewish culture
that despised the Canaanites and denigrated their beliefs.
At the beginning of today’s Gospel story,
he treats the Canaanite woman with disrespect,
calling her a dog.
A recent parallel for us would be rock star Ted Nugent’s
calling President Obama a “mongrel.”
A few scripture commentators go to great lengths
to try to gloss over this incident with the Canaanite woman,
saying that Jesus was not really being rude
by using a racist slur
but was somehow setting up a lesson for his disciples,
and that the unnamed woman was in on the act.
I don’t see anything in the Gospel to argue for that interpretation.
On the contrary, I see confirmation of our traditional understanding
that Jesus was fully human.
Just like us in all things.
Like us, he had to learn.
So this Gospel tells a story
of how Jesus gained a wider understanding
of faith and of tolerance
through conversation with the woman.
Because of his encounter with the Canaanite woman,
and because of her faith,
Jesus changes.
To Matthew’s community,
this story is a lesson that Jesus’ mission
goes beyond the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”
to encompass the outsiders in their culture.
The lesson is the same for us.
Who are the outsiders now?
• The pastor of a Church in Tampa
canceled Julion Evan’s funeral service
when he found out Julion was gay
and had married another man.
• Residents of Murietta, California, screamed in vicious protest and
refused asylum
to Central American children fleeing from oppression.
• Extremist militants in Iran filmed their atrocities
as they beheaded babies and raped women
because their victims were Yazidi,
a Kurdish-based ethnic minority
and a religious group the extremists call "devil worshippers."
• At Claver House Monday one of the guests
loudly accused another guest of being greedy,
pointing to the amount of food he put on his tray,
calling him names, belittling him mercilessly.
• Hundreds of West Toledoans
have been putting their houses on the market
and heading for the suburbs
because a black family bought a home nearby.
• School will be back in session next week,
where scores of children will be bullied
because they’re different—
what they wear, where they’re from,
what they look like, how they talk.
How do we treat the people in our lives who are different from us?
Today’s scriptures give us some pointers.
In Romans, Paul lifts up the “outsiders”—
those Gentiles who embrace the Way of Jesus.
Isaiah makes it clear that God embraces foreigners
because they meet the real requirement of love of God,
unlike the proud and haughty among the natives
who are more enamored of title and position and wealth
than they are of God.
At the same time that examples
of exclusion and persecution surround us,
so do the examples of inclusion and acceptance.
• A woman who wants to do something to combat racism
decides to invite a mixed group of women
to get to know each other at a supper at her home.
• A high school student, one of the “in” crowd,
notices a new student in class
and asks him to sit at his table for lunch.
• A factory supervisor hires a Hispanic
to work inside the factory instead of in the fields.
• A teen bakes a cake for the family
to welcome their new neighbor into the neighborhood.
• I notice that I lose patience with people when I’m tired,
so I try to get enough sleep.
None of us is perfect.
Folks today see a conflict between the idea of a perfect Jesus
and the faith statement that he is fully human and fully divine.
Perfection doesn’t fit with their experience of humanity.
Perfection isn’t required for their own participation in Divinity.
What is required for both divinity and humanity
is the conscious, continuous effort to love God and neighbor.
That effort requires reflection.
It requires openness to change.
So we are in the same position today as Jesus was.
We may not notice right away
the clamor of people calling for our attention,
but once we do notice them,
we need to listen.
We may not respond right away with grace and love,
but we need to keep our ears open anyway.
We may not have the energy or the resources,
but we need to do what we can.
We may not respond perfectly,
but we can learn.
Like Jesus.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Catholics To Celebrate Married Priest Couple's 45th Wedding Anniversary on Sat. Aug. 16th/Couple Will Preside

Ministry Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ- Call to Ordination Comes from Community

Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ

 Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P Professor of Theology, University of Nijmegen

In the early Church
one could be ordained
a priest or deacon
in an absolute manner
only if a local Community
supported him/her.

If local support
was withdrawn
their appointment
was null and void.

Only someone called by a particular Community
to be Pastor/Leader
authentically received Ordination.

was an appointment
as a Minister
to a Community
which called a fellow-Christian
and indicated him/her
as its Leader.

Hands laid on one
without being asked
by a particular Community
were null and void.

The source
of Power for Ordination
came from the Community,
not some external force.
(Courtesy of John Chuchman)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kathryn Shea:" Preschool suspensions can lead to lifetime of failure"/Article in Sarasota Herald Tribune

By KATHRYN SHEA, Guest Columnist
Published: Monday, August 11, 2014 at 1:00 a.m.

"A recent CNN report highlighted new data showing that thousands of three- and four-year-olds, including a disproportionate number of boys and black children, are being suspended or expelled from U.S. preschools at a disturbing rate.
More than 8,000 public preschoolers were suspended at least once, and some multiple times, during the 2011-12 school year, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. During that year, black students represented 18 percent of preschool enrollment and 48 percent of students suspended more than once. Boys represented 54 percent of the preschool population and 82 percent of preschool children suspended multiple times.
A child's early education, which includes preschool and elementary school, sets the foundation for future success. And for at-risk children with histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, this foundation reduces their likelihood of dropping out of school, having children as teenagers, or becoming entangled in the criminal justice system. Sadly, the CRDC data further support a rising trend in our nation to discipline young, bright children with a "zero tolerance" policy that is setting them up for failure...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
In this brilliant opinion article, Kathryn Shea has issued a clarion call  to help children who are at risk of failure because of poverty or abuse. All God's children are beloved and should be treated as such by all of us. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ by Edward Schillebeeckx OP/ Early Church, No link between Ministry and Presiding at Eucharist

Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P Professor of Theology, University of Nijmegen

In the New Testament,
did not develop
from and around
Eucharist or Liturgy,
but from the building up of
through Preaching.

were Pioneers,
those who inspired the Community
and served as models
for the whole Community.

For the New Testament
there was no special treatment
as to who should preside
at the Eucharist;
Nothing was so specified.

Even Paul
did not call Eucharist
an apostolic Tradition.

Eucharist was Jesus’ parting gift
to the whole Community.

Nowhere in the new Testament
was an explicit connection made
between Ministry of the Church
and presiding at Eucharist.

There are no biblical grounds anywhere
for a sacral and mystical foundation
to the ministry in the Eucharist.

Early Eucharist
was structured so that
anyone who is competent
to lead the Community
in one way or another
was presider at the Eucharist
without any special separate authorization.

And In House (Home) Churches
very often
the Host/Hostess
would preside at Liturgy/Eucharist
even though
Not a Community Leader.

simply were not a part of
Church Ministry

in the New Testament.

(Special thanks to John Chuchman for posting this scholarship)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Return Violence with Love" by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

"...We're a country that has been committed to war. It's going on in the Middle East right now. And where do their weapons come from? Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, all the countries in the Middle East that are so engaged in violence now — their weapons have all come from us because we make weapon production our No. 1 industry...
We seem committed to the idea that violence will bring peace, and Jesus is saying, "No, it won't. It never will; it never has." The only way we're going to transform our world is through the love that Jesus shows us: that you return love for violence, love for hate. That's how we can transform our world.
Jesus promises us that our world can be transformed into the reign of God where everyone will have a full human life, where there will be peace, joy, fullness of life. If we listen, try to change our ways of thinking, and then change our ways of action in our individual lives, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, our world, then the reign of God can break forth. And the peace of God will fill our hearts, fill our minds, our whole being, and gradually transform our world into the reign of God."
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is a founding member of Pax Christi USA. This column was excerpted from his homily at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Detroit. He will lead a retreat 

Letter of Support for LCWR by Thomas J. Orzechowski

Dear Women of God,
Know that you are not alone…ever.  Your voice while causing trouble and pain for you has made a difference in the church for many of your lay co-workers.  I know I am one of them.  Over forty years in church ministry.  Sometimes you as a group were the only ones who were giving voice on an organized, effective high profile professional level, too much of what I had come to know and value because of my own education (Jesuit graduate schooling in religious education and biblical studies).  Over the years I have often said to those I was privileged to work with that the human body has orifices that can be prostituted just as much as the ones we normally think of.  After that point was made I wanted them to know that I had often prostituted myself.  Sometimes over even small things.  Why?  Because I did not open my mouth and say what I ought to have said.   Many times I was silent and did not cry out or even utter a public word when the situation called for more than that.  To me, that is and was as much a prostituting of myself as any other act of prostitution.  For a few pieces of silver I remained mute.  Thank you for often being braver than I.  I do not want you to think that I did not at times speak out.  But whenever I did there was a price to pay and it was paid.  But we owe you a great debt for your bravery and your modeling for us what “faithfulness” is.    Faithfulness … a loyalty and dedication even when one is afraid, even when one pays a price and one suffers because of it.  Thank you for maintaining “apostolic succession” so effectively in your individual and corporate presence in and to the church.

Thomas J. Orzechowski
(I received a copy of this letter on the day it was mailed to LCWR. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP)