Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Fourth Sunday of Lent A, Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Still another transfiguration this week,
the third of four in this Lenten season.
Two weeks ago the disciples gained insight
into Jesus’ closeness to God
through the law and the prophets.
Last week Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well
both gained insight through their theological discussion.
This week the man-born-blind gains both eyesight and insight.
The Greek word for this man is “anthropos,”
the generic word for a human being
without telling gender, ethnicity, or historical context.
The man-born-blind—the one-who-saw—is everyone.
It’s us.
So when we hear this Gospel,
we are challenged to figure out the part we have been playing
the part we want to play.
We may be bound by our unshakeable convictions.
We may be the ones who wonder what God is up to.
We may choose to let authorities give us the answers.
No matter what our role has been,
we are invited to be anthropos,
people who realize we have been blind
BUT who are now ready to see.
Last month Pope Francis said
that Christians don’t live outside the world;
we live in the world.
Francis said that Christians have to know
how to recognize the signs of evil, selfishness, and sin
in their own life
and in what surrounds them.
Part of the transformation for the man-born-blind
is recognizing the politics of the Pharisees
who blind themselves to the truth
so they can keep their power and wealth and control
over the people.
We don’t have to look far to see
how this story speaks to the signs of our times.
The big picture for us is that America is being transformed.
Programs that support the principles of Catholic Social Teaching
are threatened by that budget sent to Congress this month.
It ignores the rights and dignity of the human person.
It is blind to the preferential option for the poor.
It is blind to the command to feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
shelter the homeless, and welcome the stranger.
It is deaf to the call for peace and justice.
It would cut 62 agencies and programs
to fund expansion of our military,
already 1,000 times more lethal
than all the other militaries in the world together.
Here in Toledo we would see drastic cuts
to programs to shelter the homeless, like Family House;
Meals on Wheels for seniors and people with disabilities;
weatherization assistance;
low-income home energy assistance;
UStogether and its support for refugee families;
school breakfasts and lunches;
PBS and NPR.
And there’s more than the budget
to threaten our Christian values.
Already we see Muslims vilified
and immigrants and refugees turned away.
Environmental protections are being wiped out,
allowing unrestrained dumping of pollutants.
The proposed health insurance proposal
would make health care unaffordable or unavailable
to millions of people.
Truth and civility and respect have been replaced
with unfounded accusations, insults, and crude language.
In short, our country is abandoning its commitment
to the common good.
One good thing is
that it’s not only our country that’s being transformed.
We—each of us individually, and all of us together—are changing.
How blind we have been!
We were stumbling along in the dark.
Like the man-born-blind,
we didn’t see the damage that could be done.
We thought it couldn’t happen here.
Now, thanks to Donald Trump, our eyes are opened.
We are being transformed.
The transfiguration is everywhere we look.
Across the country
ordinary citizens are showing up at their senators’ offices.
We’re asking for town hall meetings.
We’re making phone calls and sending emails
about the issues we care about.
We’re writing postcards to Congress and letters to the editor.
We are following the political news
on TV and radio and in the paper.
We’re talking about it, and we’re taking action.
This is the “faithful citizenship” that the U.S. Bishops called us to
10 years ago when they said
that responsible citizenship is a virtue;
when they said participation in political life
is a moral obligation
rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus;
when they said that all of us
must actively participate in promoting the common good.
So we continue to work for the change
that will transform each and every one of us
to be able to read the signs of our times
and put our faith into action.
We’re halfway through Lent, symbolized in the pink around us.
Light is dawning.
With the man-born-blind,
with all who follow Jesus,
we are called to live as children of the light.
Public Domain

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

STOP THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT NOW House Votes Tomorrow, Call Today: 1-888-738-3058, From NETWORK Catholic Social Justice - Sister Simone Campbell

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a dangerous and irresponsible plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid. Even though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that these reckless policies would result in 24 million Americans losing health insurance by the year 2026, Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump are rushing to pass it through the House tomorrow. We need you to call your Representative today and tell them to vote NO on the AHCA.

Our faith teaches that access to healthcare is an essential human right that is necessary to protect the life and dignity of every person. The AHCA takes healthcare away from people experiencing hardship in order to pay for huge tax giveaways to the wealthiest and corporations. See how the AHCA fails most of our 10 Commandments of Healthcare Reform to learn more.

Our calls have the power to stop this from destructive legislation from passing – all Democrats and several Republicans in Congress have said they would not vote for such a devastating loss of coverage. Even last-minute changes being proposed by Speaker Ryan won’t change the core of this bill; it widens the gap in access to healthcare and hurts all people – especially the most vulnerable – in our nation. Now, we need to make sure Congress remembers that faith calls us to care for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers, not take their healthcare away.

he House Vote Is Planned for Tomorrow


“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY/TOWN]. As a member of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, I’m calling you to urge Representative [NAME] to vote NO on the American Health Care Act. 24 million people will lose access to healthcare if this terrible bill is passed and my faith teaches that this is wrong. I hope the Representative agrees and will keep the people in mind tomorrow and vote NO.”

We can stop this bill in the House of Representatives if enough opposition is heard. Please forward this message to your friends and family so that they can make their calls as well.

In solidarity,

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS

Executive Director

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Media Release: ARCWP to Celebratee Ordination of Elena Garcia as a Deacon and Baptism of Grandson Brohdi Lucas Courtney in Sarasota, Florida

From the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)
For immediate release: March 23, 2017
Media contacts:
Janice Sevre-Duszynska,
Bridget Mary Meehan,

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Celebrates Worldwide Day of Prayer with Ordination of Woman Deacon in Florida on March 25, 2017

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) joins Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) in celebrating the World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination by ordaining Elena Garcia a deacon at 4 PM at St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Sarasota, Florida. Elena will then baptize her grandson, Brohdi Lucas Courtney, as her first act of loving diaconal ministry. All are welcome!

We give thanks for each other in our Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement who, since 2002, are living God's call in a renewed priestly ministry that welcomes the people of God to celebrate sacraments in inclusive faith communities. We have grown from seven brave women ordained on the Danube in 2002, to approximately 240 internationally in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

“With Mary, of the Magnificat,” Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan writes, “we pray that justice will triumph over oppression everywhere and that our institutional church will no longer discriminate against women by prohibiting ordination. On this World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination, we join in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who advocate for women priests and work for equality in the Roman Catholic Church. We rejoice that for fifteen years, women priests have been leading the way toward justice and equality in the Roman Catholic Church.”

"Five Daily Prayer Affirmation for Letting God's Light Shine in You" by Bridget Mary Meehan

Holy One, (use your favorite name for God)

1.  I affirm your infinite love dwelling in my soul.
2.  I affirm your holy wisdom guiding me this day.
3.  I affirm your healing presence always at work in my life.
4.  I affirm your strength within me in very struggle
5.  I affirm your compassion flowing through me in loving service of _____ name person(s)

Music by Sister Kathy Sherman CSJ

Pope Francis Tells Priests to Have Exorcists on Call/Makes Distinction between Possession and Mental Illness

..."The use of exorcism in what is perceived as demon possession has long been criticized by the mental health community, which cautions that ignoring mental illness can be detrimental to the patient. The Vatican upgraded its rules on exorcism in 1999, making it mandatory to consult mental health care experts when dealing with a person exhibiting signs of what had been traditionally assumed to be devil possession.
Vatican exorcist Father Cipriano de Meo argues that it is fairly easy for a seasoned exorcist to spot the difference.  He says that a skilled exorcist will notice that during a prayer session with the potentially possessed, the ‘adversary’ or devil that is present will let the exorcist know he’s there. 
“A possessed person has various general attitudes towards an exorcist, who is seen by the Adversary as an enemy ready to fight him,” he told Catholic news service ACI. “There's no lack of frightening facial expressions, threatening words or gestures and other things, but especially blasphemies against God and Our Lady.”
The Catholic Church teaching makes the distinction. “Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church,” according to the Catholic Catechism teaching on the topic. “Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.”
Still, the exorcism rite is hardly like it is depicted in pop culture. The Catholic Church Book of Rites says that the exorcist must first go to confession to clear his own soul, thereby not offering any competition in the way of an unclean soul for the devil during the ritual. Then, wearing a purple stole over a simple tunic, he sprinkles himself and the possessed person with holy water and recites a list of prayers including the Litany of the Saints and others before reciting the final devil-be-gone prayer that starts with, “I cast you out, unclean spirit, along with every Satanic power of the enemy, every specter from hell, and all your fell companions…”
The rite can be repeated as often as is necessary and the Church advises supplemental prayer to keep the devil away for good. "

Monday, March 20, 2017

"The Youth Group that Launched a Movement at Standing Rock" NY Times, Comment from Silvia Brandon Perez ARCWP

"One of the last groups I "hosted" at the casino hotel was a bunch of these wonderful youngsters.  People from the camp had been taking showers in my bathroom and I was lying in bed with a fever.  One of them knocked on the door to ask whether they could stay in the room (he had previously showered) until their ride came.  We shared stories and then they asked if they could pray.  I was also asked whether I would lead the prayer because I was the elder.  

I felt honored and yet insignificant in the sense that I could feel their amazing sense of community, solidarity, love, even though they lived in many different places... I prayed to the Creator, the Great Spirit, by whatever name we choose, and gave thanks for all the daily blessings and for their presence as a force for good and for change.... and they ended by praying and chanting, all of us holding hands in a circle around the bed, in a common native prayer in a language I don't speak in this incarnation but I didn't need to know the exact meaning, because the meaning, which you could smell, taste, touch and very much feel, was of pure overwhelming love.  And love needs no words.  Wopila, I will never forget you.  May the Creator continue to bless your acts and the lives of each one of you and those you touch with your love.

Uno de los últimos grupos a los que le di mi "acogida" en el hotel y casino fue un grupo de estos jovencitos maravillosos.  La gente del campamento había estado duchándose en mi baño y yo estaba en cama con fiebre.  Uno de ellos que se había duchado tocó a la puerta y me pidió permiso para quedarse con el grupo en el cuarto mientras les llegaba el transporte.  Compartimos historias y luego me preguntaron si podían rezar juntos.  También me pidieron que dirigiera o comenzara la oración ya que yo era la anciana.

Me sentí a la vez honrada e insignificante en el sentido de que yo podía sentir su sentido impresionante de comunidad, solidaridad, amor, a pesar de que vivían y venían de muchos sitios diferentes... Le oré al Creador, al Gran Espíritu, por el nombre que decidamos llamarle, y le di gracias por todas las bendiciones diarias y por su presencia como fuerza para el bien y para el cambio... y al final terminaron orando y cantando, todos nosotros tomados de las manos en un círculo alrededor de la cama, en una oración nativa en un lenguaje que no hablo en esta encarnación pero yo no necesitaba saber el significado exacto, porque el significado, que se podía oler, probar, tocar y de hecho palpar completamente, era de un amor puro y sobrecogedor.  Y al amor no necesita de palabras.  Wópila, nunca los olvidaré.  Que el Creador siga bendiciendo los actos y las vidas de cada uno de ustedes y de los que ustedes tocan con su amor."

It isn't enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn't enough to believe in it, one must work for it. - Eleanor Roosevelt                                                                   

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Ningún soldado esta obligado a cumplir una ley en contra de la ley de Dios, pues una ley inmoral nadie tiene por qué cumplirla. - Arzobispo Oscar Romero 

"Christina in the Name of Christ" Christina Moreira defends her pastoral work as the only presbyter in Spain. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests calls for equality, Article in El Progresso, Spain

Article about Christina Moreira ARCWP in Spanish Newspaper, El Progresso, Read links above and below and our ARCWP response.

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests commends Christina Moreira for her courageous public witness as a priest and her celebrations of Eucharist in Spain. In response to Archbishop Julian Barrio Barrio of Santiago de Compostela, our ordinations and sacramental celebrations are valid. All are welcome at our Eucharistic liturgies. We are leading the Church in living Gospel equality now and welcome an open dialogue with the Archbishop and Pope Francis on the full equality of women in the Church, including ordination.
Even a pope considered "progressive" in his social vision as Pope Francis has expressed his opposition to introducing changes in the subject. "On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last word is clear and was said by St. Paul II," he said in November after meeting the head of the Lutheran Church of Sweden. Neither the shortage of priests makes a dent in a rule carved in stone, an infallible part of the Catholic tradition and inheritance itself of the word of Christ, who only surrounded himself with men to form his group of apostles.

Christina Moreira, however, accepts the principles that Christianity is a faith that, by its very nature, is egalitarian and stands against the established, rebellious against the hierarchies and privileges of the status quo. To break canon law, therefore, it seems an act of social justice, and especially moral and spiritual. Something similar to what Manuel Espiña, founder of the Christian Community of the Home Novo to which he belongs, made introducing the Galician into mass.
Moreira, who was ordained a presbyter in Florida, claims that the Bible says nothing of the veto to the priesthood to women

The Bible says nothing about the prohibition of the priesthood for women, argues the student of Theology. The ways to which the interpretations of the divine word lead are inscrutable; Heretical or legitimate depending on who you ask. "Only the baptized male validly receives the sacred ordination", echoes the Catholic legislation on this sacrament, which is accessible to women in Lutheranism and Anglicanism. "There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus," reply others quoting the Epistle to the Galatians of the Apostle Paul. "The Church in no way has the power to give women priestly ordination, and this sentence must be considered definitively by all the faithful," proclaimed John Paul II. God created male and female in his image, refers to Genesis the Association of Roman Catholic Presbyters (ARCWP), the "movement of renewal and justice" in which Moreira is associated with more than a hundred priests and which Aims to "heal centuries of misogyny" by claiming that women "preside at the altar and in all leadership roles in the Church." The first seven of them were ordained in 2002 in Danube waters by a prelate objector who transmitted to them the succession of the apostles. It happened, therefore, outside the jurisdiction of the bishops in order to be free of the authority that they have over the presbyters.

ACTIVE RESISTANCE. The sacrifice in the name of their beliefs, another foundation of Christianity, has been fulfilled Moreira, who in 2015 had to move to Florida to be ordained presbyter by the ARCWP; The first of all Spain. And, like Job, he assumes with perseverance the trials of adversity, since the Vatican has excolmulgado to all these women priest.
"The ordination of this lady is illegal and invalid," says the archbishop of Santiago, in line with the view of John Paul II

"The ordination of this lady is illegal and invalid, so neither she nor the faithful who follow her validly celebrate the sacraments nor are in communion with the Catholic Church," reacts the archbishopric of Santiago de Compostela to disallow any sacrament that officiates Moreira . "What this lady does has the same value in the Church as if she made pancakes," attacked the most immobile faithful.

Moreira has a pink t-shirt with a prayer hat that reads Do not be ashamed of what you are, show it. The Corunna is protected in the beneficial effect of her actions, in her continuation of the ministry of Jesus, to ask for dialogue and openness to Francis. Up to now, the Pontiff's so-called "feminine feminine theology" is reduced to the announcement of her intention to create a commission to study the possibility that women may be deacons - a degree inferior to the presbytery and who can perform a service but not administer a sacrament - in addition to claiming that "the Virgin Mary was more important" than apostles, bishops, deacons and priests. Theoretical, symbolic power.

Meanwhile, with active resistance, Christina Moreira and the ARCWP are expecting material progress, this time with the Gospel of Luke in hand. "Jesus called women and men to be disciples," it is written in him.


Upper Room Liturgy - March 19, 2017

On March 19, Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP and Mary Skelly led the community’s liturgical celebration for the Third Sunday of Lent. They used the Gospel of the Samaritan Women and a reading from The Samaritan Woman by Edwina Gateley. Edwina’s reading and Kathie’s homily starter are printed below.

Welcome:   Today is the Third Sunday of Lent. The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is proclaimed. Jesus interacts with this woman. He is a risk taker. He knows his actions are not the norm. He acts anyway. He is modeling what it means to live the love that the Holy One has always intended.  When we hear the readings today place yourself at the scene and imagine what the Holy One might be asking of you, of each of us.  

Opening Prayer:  Our world, our culture sometimes tells us we are not worthy. Love tells us we are everything. Between these two banks living water flows.  Let us pray our opening prayer in song.

Deep Within by David Haas

A reading from The Samaritan Woman by Edwina Gately

“Water, give me water.”  He—a man, and Jew-asking me for water! I can scarce hide my shock. He must be mad of course. But he is gentle. He does not know me.

I must tell him-it is not done, it is not right that he should speak to me. But he does. He begins to tell me strange things about Living Water.

Talking with me in sacred space.  I am swelling with a joy and freedom I have never known! There is a rush like cleansing water running through me, leaving me light as air. I have no need now for my jar of clay.

I run with the Living Water! I run with the Good News entrusted to me-to me by the Christ who waited for me, received and filled me at the well where women gather.

I am no longer afraid and shamed.  I am your soul sister. Honored, blessed, bearer of new life.  First witness of the Christ amongst us who broke the rules of exclusion, who dared to speak to a woman, who asked a favor from such as I, then chose me the rejected one, chose me the sinner, chose me the woman to run, oh so filled up, with such Good News.

These are the words of Edwina Gately, a disciple of Jesus. We affirm these words by saying AMEN!

Kathleen Ryan’s Homily Starter

The story of the Samaritan woman is very familiar. But every time I read it I hear/see something else. We know the Samaritan woman is living on the margins. She is at the well at noon because she is not welcomed to be there in the morning when the other women in the community go for water. She is alone and going about her daily routine just like you and I do every day. Sometimes our tasks are ordinary and on the dull side.  And then we have a moment when we recognize the Holy One, or Jesus, or the Spirit in someone or something. We become aware just like this woman and our hearts are lifted.  After spending time, sparring with, questioning, Jesus what does this woman do?  She runs to her community and brings them to hear the Good News. This is our challenge every day: to spend time, spar maybe, question too and then bring the Good News to our family, friends, communities. Please share your insights, and thoughts. What did you hear today?

Communion song:  Come to the Water by John Foley, SJ