Monday, April 13, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Cloud of Witnesses Retreat



From left to right

Bishops: Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Gisela Forster, Patricia Fresen
at first North American ordinations on international waters/St. Lawrence Seaway
July 25, 2005






Art by Rose Mewhort (Candidate RCWP)
Canada West

Dear RCWP USA,
Where were you when you recevied news of the ordination of the first RC Women, contra legem, the Danube Seven? Could you have imagined the lengths it had taken to prepare for this ordination and to get there on the day for the ceremony?

Are you aware of the dangers of the sabotage possible, death even, and of the chaos engendered through the complexity of secret communications between countries necessary to bring this off.

My favorite story, and Bishop Gisela Forster tells it in WOMEN FIND A WAY is of the secret bishop who sought a room in a monastery on his way or maybe he was in Passau already, and his brother priests or monks locked him in his room and kept him there the whole day. One of the three ordaining bishops was missing.

The whole drama of the event is unparalled in Dr. Forster's account., which so wonderfully carries humor and joy despite the formidable obstacles overcome and challenges met. It is probably unparalleled in Church history although not so far removed from the challenges encountered by the aposles and disciples in the Acts of the Apostles..

30 women were ready for ordination through their study and experience in the programs of preparation,
7 were ordained. Would that we had the stories of the other 23. what were the hold-ups? Much of what we still encounter could be learned from those stories.

7 tenacious and persistent women held strong in the circumstances, held up through the ceremony and opened the way we hope for-forever -for the ordination of Roman Catholic women .7 women on a ship on the Danuberisked their lives and security in their public and private lives so as to begin.While a necessity not entirely understood by the rest of the world the symbolism and actual reality of this irver ordination held many of us riveted. I know I felt immediately compelled to support these women. Something had appeared that I knew was so right there was no turning back to the world as I knew it prior to this momentous event.

I can only imagine what the experience was like for many of you who were at the ceremony.

I believe the ordaining of USA womensbishops will carry comparable historical impact. The reality will be compelling despite all of our theological quandaries and wrangling about the role of bishops and our fears that we will now abuse power.

The real meanings of these episcopal ordinations are yet to unfold and who we become in our new realities will be up to us and our God. The first women are well-chosen in a commuity discerned process. We go one step at a time and think and act by responsible choices just as, in that very first step in 2002, we had women who were thinking spiritual persons making responsible choices and so we have continued ever since.

It will take centuries, I believe, to thoroughly express the wealth of gratitude owed our bold , courageous women who set out in 2002. And just as long to fully appreciate Bishop Fresen's situation and the gift of herself coming one year later. The fullness of Wisdom Sophia's graces poured out at this time are unfathomable.

Litany response:

1. We thank you for your complete self giving in going forward to the first RC ordinations.

Glory to our Mother and Father God and to the Holy Spirit, Bright Fire of Holy Wisdom , whose power working in these founding women has done infinitely more than we could ever have asked or imagined.

Priest Ida Raming, we thank you
...................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God,
..........................................................................


Priest Iris Muller, we thank you......................
.............................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God.....
...........................................................................

Priest Gisela Forster, we thank you for
...........................................................................
Glory to our Mother and Father God..........
................................................................................

Priest Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger,
we thank you.................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God.........
...............................................................................

Priest Adelinde Roitinger, we thank you
.....................................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God........................................................................
.................................................................................

Priest Dagmar Celeste, we thank you...
.............................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God..........
.................................................................................

Priest Pia Brunner, we thank you...............
.............................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God..........
...........................................................................

And one year later at the Spanish Women's Synod
Priest Patricia Fresen, we thank you..........
......................................................................

Glory to our Mother and Father God..........
..............................................................................

And then 2003:
Glory to our Mother and Father God
for the following episcopal ordinations:
Bishop Gisela Forster
Bishop Christine Mayr Lumetzberger
Bishop Rafael Regelsberger

And then in March 2005:
Glory to our Mother and Father God for the episcopal ordination of
Bishop Patricia Fresen

And then in Spring 2006:
Glory to our Mother and Father God for
the episcopal ordination of
Bishop Ida Raming

Glory to our Mother and Father God, and to the Holy spirit, Bright Fire of Divine Ruah, whose power working in these women and men has done infinitely more
than we could ever have asked or imagined.

Closing: Music...the rhythmic song and of the men and women in Canoro Pianto.......... a different track than the others we have heard. .


Michele Birch-Conery, RCWP
Canada-West

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: An Easter Celebration and Prayer


Roman Catholic Womanpriest, Judy Lee and some members of community after Holy Sat. Vigil Liturgy, Ft. Myers, Fl.




Art image by Charlotte Therese


Mary of Magdala,

What joy you felt as you embraced

the Risen One!

We share your joy this day as the Risen Christ embraces us too!

Jesus, who called you by name,"Mary!" calls each of us by name,

Long ago, Jesus sent you, as apostle to the apostles, to proclaim the Good News , the Easter Proclamation that resounds through eternity!
Now, Jesus sends us to proclaim the Gospel by our words and deeds!


"
Go to the sisters and brothers and tell them, 'I'm ascending to my Abba and to your Abba, my God and your God." Mary of Magdala went to the disciples. "I have seen the Teacher."


May we, like you, be joyful witnesses of the Good News wherever we are and wherever God sends us.

May we, like you, celebrate women as equal images of the divine.

May we, like you, live Jesus' example of Gospel equality.

May we, like you, ignite a fire of love for justice, peace and equality as we live our priestly ministry in communities of equals serving God and others, especially those most in need of loving kindness and compassion.
Alleluia! Christ is risen, indeed risen!

Bridget Mary Meehan
Roman Catholic Womanpriest