Friday, December 30, 2011

Bishop to Bishop: Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan Responds to Bishop Frank Dewane About His Letter to Deacon Judy Beaumont Regarding Her Upcoming Ordination as Priest

Bishop Frank :
It has been brought to my attention that you purportedly reside in the Diocese of  Venice in Florida and may attempt to be " ordained " to the ministerial priesthood here within this Diocese on January 22 , 2012 . This is a most grave and serious matter of consequence for your soul.

Bishop Bridget Mary:
Under all circumstances, the church teaches that one must follow one’s conscience. So how can serving God as a woman priest cause a problem for one’s soul? I wish our male bishops would be as concerned about the thousands of victims of sexual abuse as they appear to be about the souls of women priests!


Bishop Frank :
The Catholic Church has always taught that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women.

Bishop Bridget Mary:
Jesus set the example by calling women and men to be his disciples. Witness his relationship with Mary and Martha and Mary of Magdala for example. He did not ordain anyone. Ordination was developed much later, in the early centuries of the church. According to historians, such as Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, women were ordained for twelve hundred years before the patriarchy abandoned the practice.


Bishop Frank:
The Church shares this teaching with our Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters. The ministerial priesthood is a gift from God, not something that someone " earns, " " deserves " or has a "right " to, due to advanced education, devoted service in the Church, or simply because of one's own personal desire. The reasons for this include : the example recorded in sacred Scripture of Christ choosing His Apostles ; the constant practice of the Church, which imitated Christ in choosing only men ; and the Church's living teaching authority.


Bishop Bridget Mary:
This is a complete re-write of the Gospels! The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala and called her to be the apostle to the apostles (John 20:17). Paul affirmed Junia as an apostle, who was his mentor and teacher in Romans 16. Note (Luke 10:42) Jesus' words to Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, as she sat at Jesus' feet listening to what he said(as disciples do)"Mary has chosen what is better,and it will not be taken away from her." Bishop Frank, neither you nor church tradition since the 12th century are powerful enough to take away what Jesus has clearly given to Mary and countless women disciples like Judith Beaumont-"it will not be taken away from her".


Bishop Frank:
In calling only men as His Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and  sovereign manner . Throughout His earthly ministry, Our Lord also emphasized the dignity a n d the vocation of women , and in so doing , did not conform to the prevailing customs, traditions , and legislation of the time. Still , among His twelve Apostles , Jesus Christ did not include any women. This fact withstands any so-called "scholarship" to the contrary. Sacred Scripture further reveals that Jesus did include the participation of women in His public ministry in ways that shows a differentiation of roles between men and women . Together both worked to build up the unity of the Church, avoiding divisiveness . Specific to the role of women, the Church gives thanks for the feminine "genius",
appearing in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, and for the charisms of the Holy Spirit on women's manifestations of faith, hope and love .


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Luke 8 affirms that women were not only among Jesus disciples, but that there were many of them and they were leaders in supporting his ministry. Jesus was a radical feminist in his vision of a “discipleship of equals”. He had a theological conversation with the Samaritan woman, who became the first evangelist to bring her whole village to him. Martha’s profession of faith parallel’s Peter’s and her table ministry indicated that women presided at Eucharist in house churches in early Christianity. Jesus never spoke of feminine “genius", he treated women as equals to men, a reality lost on our present hierarchy, who try to wax eloquent about women’s second class citizenship in their own church by use of lofty phrases like you, Bishop Frank, used above. Roman Catholic Women Priests are the "Rosa Parks" of the Catholic Church. We will no longer settle for sitting in the back of the Catholic bus. Sexism, like racism is a sin and always wrong.

Bishop Frank:
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, all Christians , both men and women , share equally in the " common priesthood of believers . " Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders , priests also share in the " ministerial priesthood " of Christ , the High Priest . However, no individual has the "right" to be ordained to the ministerial priesthood. Ordination to the ministerial priesthood must be conferred by a validly ordained bishop on a baptized man. A candidate must receive the authorization of the Church, which has the authority and responsibility to determine if a true call to the priesthood exists for the said candidate.


Bishop Bridget Mary :
Jesus did not see himself as a “High Priest”. He came among us to transform our lives and world so that the kindom of God would be manifest through our witness to justice, inclusion and compassion. He showed us that those who are leaders/ ministers must serve our sisters and brothers in the washing of the feet ritual at the Last Supper. Jesus challenged the religious leaders of his time for their abuse of spiritual power and hypocrisy. Judith Beaumont's Ordination will be conferred by a validly ordained bishop as we (our bishops) clearly stand in the line of apostolic succession through the male bishop in standing with the pope who ordained the first women bishops.


Bishop Frank:
Below is a 1995 responsum, issued by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI] , then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith , in response to the to the question of ,
"whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women , which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the  deposit of faith , '


Bishop Bridget Mary:
This is the ultimate cop-out. Of course, the church has authority to ordain women. It did so for twelve hundred years. There are thousands of ordained women in church history. The institutional church can no longer discriminate against women and blame God for it.


Bishop Frank:
Responsum : In the affirmative. This teaching requires definitive assent , since, founded on the written Word of God , and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of
the Church , it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf Second Vatican Council , Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25 , 2). Thus, in the present circumstances , the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf Lk 22:32) , has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always , everywhere , and by all , as belonging to the deposit of the faith .


Bishop Bridget Mary :
The Catholic faithful, including the world’s theologians, many priests, some bishops, did not affirm this teaching. Therefore, it is not infallible teaching because it does not reflect the faith of the believing community, the entire, universal church. It does not reflect the "sensus fidelium".


Bishop Frank :
Further, as you may know, on May 30, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith issued the general decree , "On the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of
a Woman . " The decree affirms that , "he who shall have attempted to confer holy orders
on a woman , as well as the woman who may have attempted to receive Holy Orders , incurs in a latae sententiae excommunication," that is, an automatic excommunication. Further, reconciliation for this excommunication must come through the Holy See in Rome .

Bishop Bridget Mary:
We do not fear excommunication. Actually, we are walking in the footsteps of giants such as St. Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake for following her conscience. Pope Benedict canonized two excommunicated nuns: Mother Theodore Guerin from the United States and Mother Mary MacKillop from Australia, thereby making excommunication a possible fast track to canonization! One day a future pope, perhaps, a woman, will probably say, according to the common and constant tradition of the church, taught by the apostles and lived through the history of the church for many centuries, we ordain women deacons, priests and bishops.


Bishop Frank:
As your Bishop , I urge you , to refrain from participating in what will be an invalid attempt at "ordination ." This opportunity is taken to inform you that, should you proceed with this action , you would in fact, separate yourself from the Catholic Church, by your own free choice .


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Nothing can separate us from God, nothing can cancel our baptism, nothing or no one can stop us from living the fullness of Christ’s love in a more open, just and inclusive Catholic Church. We are faithful women living Christ’s call to serve those in need and on the margins offering the church the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in a Christ-centered, inclusive Catholic Church.


Bishop Frank:
With this in mind, for the good of your immortal soul , I exhort you to choose not to participate i n this attempted " ordination . "


Bishop Bridget Mary:
Our souls are in God’s hands. We answer the call in prophetic obedience. We walk in faith and love, trusting in Christ and with Holy Wisdom, Sophia’s guidance, as we serve our beloved faith communities. Each week Catholics affirm women priests as they celebrate inclusive liturgies in Florida and in more and more places in the U.S. and abroad with our 124 ordained priests and deacons.

+ Frank Dewane
Bishop of the Diocese of
Venice in Florida


+Bridget Mary Meehan
Bishop, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (USA and South America)

"Fort Myers Woman Taking on Catholic Church"- NBC TV Story on Deacon Judy Beaumont's Upcoming Ordination in Ft. Myers, Florida on Januaray, 21st, 2012

http://www.abc-7.com/story/16414897/2011/12/29/fort-myers-woman-taking-on-the-catholic-church
WZVN-TV
They're part of a worldwide group called the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. ..
... "to Beaumont, this is about more than seeking the role of priest. She's hoping to be part of a movement to bring equality among church leadership."We're the Rosa B. Parks of the Catholic Church trying to bring about change," Beaumont said. And despite the consequences, she says she isn't holding back The ceremony for Beaumont will be January 21 at 3 p.m. It will be held at the Lamb of God Lutheran-Episcopal Church."

Link to Songs:"NO" and "Rock Me Gentle" from Album "Her Wings Unfurled" by Colleen Fulmer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_N6ypnl8lA&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL48C6F50EA3D5360B

Enjoy this beautiful,woman-affirming, life-affirming, inspirational music by Colleen Fulmer!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deacon Judy Beaumont Responds to Bishop Frank Dewane's Letter About Her Upcoming Ordination as Priest- Prophetic Obedience to Spirit Trumps Threat of Excommunication

Deacon Judy Beaumont's Response to  Bishop Frank Dewane's Letter
December 26, 2011
Dear Bishop Dewane:
I have received your letter regarding my ordination on January 21, 2011. I understand that you are fulfilling your obligation as Bishop and I take your words seriously. However, I must reply that as I have tried throughout my life to answer the call of the Gospel to serve God’s people, I must again answer this new call to sacramental ministry with the poor and otherwise marginalized persons in our midst. Members of the Catholic community here including the people of the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community and the Bishop of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests have affirmed my call, in fact, they also have called me forth to serve.


While a Benedictine sister, I served as theology teacher, sacristan, trainer of altar boys and member of liturgy committees. I never thought of myself as being called to the existing all-male clergy. However in recent years, it has become clear to me that I am called by God to take on the sacramental ministry with our people. Four of the formerly homeless persons from our ministry presented me to Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan for my ordination to the diaconate.


I am convinced that in spite of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis women are being called by God to ministerial priesthood. In prophetic obedience we must answer and my answer is “Yes”. Surveys of Catholic faithful have reported that the majority are in favor of the ordination of women. Recognition of a woman’s call to ordination by the Vatican probably won’t happen in my lifetime nor in yours, but I do believe it will happen.


As a member of the Pontifical Peace and Justice Commission and attendee at the Bejing Conference on Women, you must be aware of the many injustices suffered by women worldwide. What a difference it will make for all women in our world when the Roman Catholic Church recognizes that God calls women as well as men to ministerial priesthood. What a blessing for the Church and our world it will be.
Thank you for your concern. Oremus pro invicem.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Deacon Judith Beaumont

BISHOP DEWANE'S Letter:
December 1, 2011
Dear Ms. Beaumont:
Greetings in Christ!
It has been brought to my attention that you purportedly reside in the Diocese of
Venice in Florida and may attempt to be "ordained" to the ministerial priesthood here
within this Diocese on January 22, 2012. This is a most grave and serious matter of
consequence for your soul.


The Catholic Church has always taught that the Church has no authority to
confer priestly ordination on women. The Church shares this teaching with our Orthodox
Christian brothers and sisters. The ministerial priesthood is a gift from God, not
something that someone "earns," "deserves" or has a "right" to, due to advanced
education, devoted service in the Church, or simply because of one's own personal
desire. The reasons for this include: the example recorded in sacred Scripture of Christ
choosing His Apostles; the constant practice of the Church, which imitated Christ in
choosing only men; and the Church's living teaching authority.
In calling only men as His Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and
sovereign manner. Throughout His earthly ministry, Our Lord also emphasized the
dignity and the vocation of women, and in so doing, did not conform to the prevailing
customs, traditions, and legislation of the time. Still, among His twelve Apostles, Jesus


Christ did not include any women. This fact withstands any so-called "scholarship" to the
contrary. Sacred Scripture further reveals that Jesus did include the participation of women
in His public ministry in ways that shows a differentiation of roles between men and
women. Together both worked to build up the unity of the Church, avoiding divisiveness.
Specific to the role of women, the Church gives thanks for the feminine "genius",
appearing in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, and for the
charisms of the Holy Spirit on women's manifestations of faith, hope and love.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, all Christians, both men and women, share
equally in the "common priesthood of believers." Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders,
priests also share in the "ministerial priesthood" of Christ, the High Priest. However, no
individual has the "right" to be ordained to the ministerial priesthood. Ordination to the
ministerial priesthood must be conferred by a validly ordained bishop on a baptized man.
A candidate must receive the authorization of the Church, which has the authority and
responsibility to determine if a true call to the priesthood exists for the said candidate.


Below is a 1995 responsum, issued by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [now Pope
Benedict XVI], then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in response
to the to the question of, "whether the teaching that the Church has no authority
whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic
Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to
the deposit of faith,'
The answer follows:
Responsum: In the affirmative.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of
God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of
the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal
Magisterium (cf Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff,
exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf Lk 22:32), has handed
on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held
always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
Further, as you may know, on May 30, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith issued the general decree, "On the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of
a Woman." The decree affirms that, "he who shall have attempted to confer holy orders
on a woman, as well as the woman who may have attempted to receive Holy Orders,
incurs in a latae sententiae excommunication," that is, an automatic excommunication.
Futher, reconciliation for this excommunication must come through the Holy See in
Rome.
As your Bishop, I urge you, to refrain from participating in what will be an invalid
attempt at "ordination." This opportunity is taken to inform you that, should you proceed
with this action, you would in fact, separate yourself from the Catholic Church, by your
own free choice.
With this in mind, for the good of your immortal soul, I exhort you to choose not to
participate in this attempted "ordination."
+ Frank Dewane
Bishop 0f the e Diocese of
Venice in Florida

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Three Media Stories About Roman Catholic Women Priests: Florida, Minnesota, Califoria/ CBS TV in Ft. Myers Covers Judy Beaumont's Upcoming Ordination


Judy Beaumont, in green stole on day of ordination as deacon, 
was called by leaders of her Ft. Myers' Community. Women in Vestments
are Priests from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: A Renewed Priestly Ministry in a Community of Equals


The ordained women of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) live and minister in the United States and South America. We prepare and ordain qualified women to serve the people of God as priests. We use equal rites to promote equal rights and justice for women in the church. We affirm that justice for all of God’s people is constitutive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) initiative is a renewal movement within the Roman Catholic Church. Our goal is to achieve full equality for all within the Church as a matter of justice and faithfulness to the Gospel. The Women Priests movement advocates for a new model of inclusive priestly ministry in the church. We stand in the prophetic tradition of holy obedience to the Spirit who calls all people to discipleship. The movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. Today there are over 124 women priests and 10 bishops worldwide. Our women priests are ordained in Apostolic Succession. The first women bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic bishop in apostolic succession and in communion with the pope.


The Vatican states that we are excommunicated, however, we do not accept this and affirm that we are loyal members of the church. We continue to serve our beloved church in a renewed priestly ministry by welcoming all to celebrate the sacraments in inclusive, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered communities wherever we are called. There are women priest communities in Germany, Austria, France, Scotland, Canada, the United States, and South America. From our birth on the Danube River, RCWP has evolved into two streams in Europe (West and East), two in Canada (West and East), and two in the United States (RCWP USA and ARCWP. Someday streams will flow in Latin America and elsewhere.

The specific charism of ARCWP within the broader global Roman Catholic Women Priests initiative is to live Gospel equality and justice for all including women in the church and in society now. We work in solidarity with the poor, exploited, and marginalized for structural and transformative justice in partnership with all believers. Our vision is to act as a community of equals in decision-making both as an organization and within our faith communities. We advocate for the renewal of Jesus’ vision as found in the Gospel for our church and our world.


The unique focus of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is on justice and equality:


1. We seek equality for women in the church including decision-making and ordination.


2. We minister with the poor and marginalized.


3. We live the spiritual and social justice tradition of the church serving inclusive communities of equals.


4. We actively and openly participate in non-violent movements for peace and justice.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan http://www.blogger.com/goog_2030030847

Judy Lee, Circle Leader judyabl@embarqmail.com 239-454-7426

Janice Sevre-Duszyska, Media Contact rhythmsofthedance@msn.com cell: 859-684-4247

A Message from Priests and Clergy Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors

Some of us are priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and some of us are survivors of childhood rape and sexual assault by priests. In the wake of the bankruptcy filing by the archdiocese this year, we have joined together as survivors and clergy in an ongoing dialogue about the clergy sex abuse crisis and what we can do about it.
The sexual abuse of a minor by a priest is a crime and a sin. If you were sexually violated by a member of the clergy it was not your fault. We want you to know:


• If you suffered this violation you are not alone.
• There are many survivors who have come forward and are receiving the care and assistance that they need.
• There are many resources in our community that are available to assist you and you can choose to use them or not.
We stand by you and support you.
• To be believed you must be heard. No one else will know unless you tell them.


EACH OF US BELIEVES that at the center of the human heart is
an absolute longing for justice. We are committed to creating among
priests and survivors a true and lasting community of justice.
Over the next months we want to widen our conversation to include
other priests and survivors in the archdiocese, especially those that
have already expressed a desire to join with us.


AS PRIESTS AND PASTORS OF THE ARCHDIOCESE,
we publicly declare our unqualified support to every victim/survivor.
We hold ourselves and our institution fully accountable for any action
or inaction that may have allowed these crimes to occur, the
offender to go unpunished, and other children to be harmed. We areWe believe that, in order for our church and our community to heal,
truly sorry that this happened to you.


there will need to be a full institutional accounting of the crimes
that have taken place in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Victim/Survivors
and their families have told us how important it is that they
know the truth about what happened to them in their church. But,
it is also important for each one of us.
Obviously, we are very tardy in making this public statement of
apology, support, and accountability. But, making this statement
now is better than remaining silent.


AS VICTIM/SURVIVORS OF THESE CRIMES, we declare our
unqualified support for every priest who takes the courageous step
of publicly standing with survivors.
Shame is logically and naturally created when a child is sexually
violated. But that shame is rarely, if ever, felt by the offender.
Instead, the offender pours that shame into the body of the child.
If justice does not intervene to lift that weight, eventually the soul and
aspirations of that child will be crushed by it.
If even the possibility of spiritual repair with the church is to become
real and effective for survivors, priests of the archdiocese must
courageously join us and insist upon a full and public confession,
which must include the open publication of all abuse related
documents in possession of the archdiocese and of the religious orders
serving in the archdiocese, detailing a full and explanatory
list of all clerics and employees who have harmed children and minors.


THE SEX OFFENDER ALWAYS commits two crimes: first he
steals the body, and then he steals the voice. The first and last moment
of the miracle of recovery from sexual violence—for the victim,
for the offender, and for an institution--is the resurrection of the
voice through words of truth.


We want there to be hope. We want there to be healing.
We want a new day for the church.
For victim/survivors who may still be living in silence or shame,
we hope this public plea from us—as survivors and priests working
together--to come forward before the February 1, 2012 court date
for filing a case for restitution through the bankruptcy process and
to seek help and guidance with this decision through the resources
we have posted below will be a beginning in creating together the
community of justice, which we all long for.


Mike Sneesby, SNAP Milwaukee Director (survivor)


Karen Konter, female advocate, (survivor)


Peter J. Isely, MS, M.Div, LCSW, SNAP Midwest Director (survivor)


John Pilmaier, MSW, APSW, SNAP Wisconsin Director (survivor)


Vicky A. Schneider, MAPS (survivor)


Marilynn Pilmaier, RN, BSN (mother of survivor)


Fr. Richard Cerpich
Fr. James Connell


Fr. Gregory Greiten
Fr. Howard G. Haase


Resources in our community:


The Healing Center: 414-671-4325


http://thehealingcenter.org/


Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault:


608-257-1516 608-257-2537 (TTY) www.wcasa.org


Sexual Assault Treatment Center:


414-219-5555 (A crisis counselor is available 24 hours a day. Non-crisis


information/referral is available M-F 8:30-5:00)


http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/services/sexual-assault/satc.asp


Counsel for Creditor’s Committee (of survivors)


for information regarding the bankruptcy: 1-888-496-8643


SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests)


Peter J Isely: 414-429-7259


John Pilmaier: 414-336-8575


Mike Sneesby: 414-915-4374


www.snapwisconsin.com


Archdiocese of Milwaukee:


414-758-2232 www.archmil.org


Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office:


Sensitive Crimes Division: (if you would like to speak to a member


of the law enforcement community concerning a sexual assault)


414-278-4617


Your local police department or county office for health and human


services.


Any other resource that you trust.


If you would like to contact one of us whose names are listed above,


call Fr. Jim Connell at 414-940-8054 or John Pilmaier at 414-336-8575.
Today we are making an urgent appeal to victim/survivors


to come forward before the closing of the February 1, 2012


bankruptcy bar date, and offer our help.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Christmas Pondering" by Sr. Anne Brooks

WHAT WAS IT LIKE?



What was it like,


O God, Creator of the seemingly infinite universe,


to chose the Star of Bethlehem timeless eons before the earth was formed


so the length of those light years' distance


would be a perfect co-incidence for the birth of your Son?






And what was it like,


O amorphous cloud of interstellar gasses,


to birth a light-bearing mass from the inky-ness of the black-hole-depths of space


specifically to honor the King of Kings?



And what was it like,


O Sun,


to allow gravity to form, in this universe,


to rein in your planets,


to measure the perfect distance for life to form


and to hear God call you to rule over the Day on this yet-to-be perfect world


where God would walk in the cool of the evening, and later in the heat of the day?


And what was it like,


O World,


when people were formed from the mud of the earth,


molded by the loving hands of God,


life-breath transmitted into them by the Spirit of God,


interstellar dust in their sinews and bones,


and yet who failed to obey their Creator,


allowing evil to attempt to try to change civilization?


And you,


O Star of Wonder,


your light speeding through space,


what did you think of how the stage was being set


for a Redeemer


for these troubled and battered people?


And what was it like,


O Star, when that wondrous night finally arrived in the Fullness of Time?


Did you see His mom? Did you see Him? Was He cute?


And did He cry?


And did you dance for joy?


And you,


O Star of Night,


did you see the Magi pointing at you, night after night, mile after mile after mile?


And did you hear them murmuring about your beauty


and pondering your reason to be there?


and what did you think of that dangerous journey you guided them on


so they could see what you had seen?


And what has happened to you,


O Starlight, which reached our world that night?


You didn't go out, like the flame of a candle --


your source of Light continues burning on


Instead, you keep on shining even now, into our own lives,


giving our civilization an inheritance to treasure


so that we see the light tonight that saw God's only Son


and now we know that


we must look with God's Eyes


and listen with God's Ears


and love with God's Heart which is beating in our hearts


and do God's Work on this Earth in such a way


that it will become as bright as your light,


as eternal as your light


full of praise for God, Whose children we are


and who can live forever, endless as your light, eternal as our God...
Christmas, A.D 2011

















Popular Irish Journalist, Olivia O'Leary Leaves the Catholic Church Over Stance on Women Priests/ Roman Catholic Women Priests Stand on Prophetic Margins for Justice and Equality

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/oleary-leaves-catholic-church-over-stance-on-women-priests-16095543.html
"Veteran Irish broadcaster Olivia O'Leary has made a very public departure from the Catholic Church. The Carlow-born journalist, best known for her "we were a bit worried about the curtsy" tribute to the Queen during the monarch's State visit, renounced Catholicism because of the church's refusal to ordain women, though the institutional cover-up of clerical child sex abuse was a "proximate factor"... "No longer at my age can I accept a subordinate role; not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my sisters, my nieces or friends," the 61-year-old current affairs presenter declared. She added that other women had walked out of the church a long time ago. "
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I hope that Olivia O' Leary is aware of the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement. I spoke to the Irish press about our movement over a year ago and RTE aired a special program on women's ordination. Roman Catholic Women Priests are the "Rosa Parks" of the Catholic Church. We refuse to accept second class citizenship in our own church. We are not leaving the church, but leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We, from the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers, Florida wish you a Blessed Christmas!


Here are some pictures of our young people who acted out the Christmas Story with the Luke 2 Gospel Reading during Christmas Eve Mass. Ty is 18 today, and Jolinda is 14 and Keion is 10 and Jakeriya 9. Jakeriya took me to task to make sure girls could be shepherds! She was so right. We had no camera during Mass so these pictures were taken afterward during our fellowship, hot Christmas Meal and Sunday School Classes. Only three years ago our children had no idea of what happened on Christmas or Easter, now they are all baptized and deeply love the Christ they celebrate at Christmas. We are so thankful for our whole community, and for those who could not be there and for our faithful supporters. About 35 people attended our special Christmas Eve Mass and celebration. There was such joy and love-we knew Christmas had really come and we wish all of you the love of Christmas.


Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP,Priest


Judy Beaumont, ARCWP Deacon

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, first female Episcophal bishop of the Washington DC Diocese, Interviewed on Diann Rehm Show

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-12-21/bishop-mariann-edgar-budde
A decade of schism in the American Episcopal Church has taken a toll. New polls show the number of Episcopalians in the U.S. has dipped below two million for the first time in modern history. The church is losing conservatives who say it is too secular and accepting of gays and lesbians. Liberals are leaving to find spirituality not based on a centuries-old theology. The first female bishop of the Washington D.C. diocese -- one of the nation’s largest and home to the National Cathedral -- has a plan. She’s looking for ways to grow the church and bring people together. Diane talks with the Right Reverend Mariann Budde about saving the Episcopal Church.

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Christmas in Sarasota, Florida

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Promote Justice and Equality for Women in the Church With Your Financial Support of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Dear Supporter of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,
Our Spirit-led movement for Gospel equality, nonviolence, justice and a people-empowered Church continues to grow.
At the end of March our second woman priest was ordained in Latin America! We now have candidates in the U.S. and Latin America! We are in a new moment! On September 10, 2011, two women were ordained priests, including our first from Texas, 84-year-old Adele Jones and our first from Connecticut, Dorothy M. Shugrue and Donna Rougeux from Kentucky was ordained deacon. In November Judy Beaumont was ordained a deacon. Judy has been involved with our movement almost since the very beginning and we are thrilled that she is on the journey toward priesthood. We are planning for the ordination of our five deacons in 2012.
Media – television, radio, print and Internet – have helped get the word out. We collaborate with Women's Ordination Conference and Call to Action to support Fr. Roy Bourgeois who said. “...it is my conscience that compels me to say publicly that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a grave injustice against women, against our Church and against our Loving God who calls both men and women to the priesthood.”
A new vision is rising up: one of Gospel equality, nonviolence and justice in our church and world community!
That’s what ARCWP is about. In the friendship that Jesus offers us, we work to bring about the Kin-dom by serving and being with the grassroots, the poor and marginalized and “being out there” for justice and peace challenging the powers that be. As a branch of the international women priest movement, our charism calls us to name the connections between sexism and violence toward women, children and the planet. We do this locally, nationally, and internationally.
We know that we can count on you to support our efforts. Make your tax-deductible donation to
ARCWP
18520 Eastshore Drive
Ft. Myers, Florida 33967
Check out Bridget Mary’s blog for the latest in the movement! http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/
and our website: http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
Blessings as we move forward together...
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
P.S. Don't miss "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" when it comes to your community!



Historic Ordination of Judy Beaumont of Ft. Myers as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest / Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Release date: December 22, 2011
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska at 859-684-4247, rhythmsofthedance@msn.com
Bridget Mary Meehan, 941-955-2313, 703-505-0004, sofiabmm@aol.com
Judy Beaumont, 239-454-7426, judybeaumont@embarqmail.com
See http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/

On Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Judy Beaumont of Ft. Myers will be ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota and Falls Church, Virginia. The ceremony will take place at Lamb of God Lutheran-Episcopal Congregation, 19691 Cypress View Drive, Ft. Myers, Florida 33967 (239-267-3525, Walter Fohs, Senior Pastor). Prior to the ordination, at 1:00 p.m. there will be a viewing of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican," the award-winning documentary of the struggle for justice for women in the Roman Catholic Church. All are welcome to attend.

The ordinand, Judy Beaumont, 74, has a rich and varied background as a religious sister, peace activist and as a minister to the poor and homeless. She entered the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago at seventeen and remained in their service for 35 years as a teacher and a volunteer resettling Vietnamese refugees. During this time she earned a bachelor's degree from Mundelein College and a Masters in Religious Education from Loyola University. In 1981 she left Chicago for Connecticut to join the anti-nuclear peace witness near Groton, Connecticut, at that time the home of the Trident Submarine, an instrument of mass death. In 1982, she was a member of the Trident Nein Plowshares nonviolent action which resulted in prison time. Later she helped to start My Sisters' Place, a shelter for homeless women and children in Hartford.

In 1989, she and Judy Lee, her partner in ministry, left Connecticut. Judy worked in two mission parishes and also became the director of religious education for a large parish in Fort Myers. This service was interrupted by her bout with a rare leukemia which she miraculously vanquished with the help of God in 2007. In 2008 she helped establish Good Shepherd Ministries of SW Florida, Inc. and works tirelessly serving the poor and homeless of Fort Myers. She is called forth by Call to Action of Southwest Florida and the Church of the Good Shepherd: an inclusive Catholic Community where she has served in a deacon's role since 2007. The church is located at 2621 Central Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33901.
"Although immersed in all things Catholic since birth, I never experienced a call to the 'males-only' clerical priesthood." said Judy Beaumont. "After witnessing the renewed priestly ministry of women, it only seems right that I follow their example and call to join in bringing about a new inclusive church leading in the work for justice and equality in solidarity with marginalized and oppressed persons. It is so unfortunate that the Vatican takes a fundamentalist view of the Gospel when claiming that women cannot be ordained since Jesus chose only male apostles. Their failure to listen to contemporary Catholic Biblical scholars who find no basis in Scripture for a male-only clergy continues to relegate women to second class membership. Just think what it would do for women's rights worldwide, if the Vatican were to recognize and allow women's ordination."

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests rejoices in a "holy shakeup" that millions of Catholics worldwide welcome. The good news now is that male priests, bishops, a cardinal as well as theologians have expressed their support of female priests. They are following in the footsteps of Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois whose prophetic call for a dialogue on women priests is being heard in more and more places today in our church.

Fr. Roy Bourgeois attended, delivered the homily and participated in the ordination rite of Janice Sevre-Duszynska on Aug. 9, 2008. This resulted in his excommunication and Vatican attempts to pressure Maryknoll to dismiss him from the Order.

"Nothing can stop the movement of the spirit toward human rights, justice and equality in our world and in our church," said Bridget Mary Meehan. "The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time."

The Women Priests movement in the Roman Catholic Church advocates a new model of priestly ministry united with the people with whom we minister. We stand in prophetic obedience to Jesus who calls women and men to be disciples and equals. The movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube in 2002. Today there are over 124 in the movement worldwide. ARCWP is in the United States and Latin America. Our specific charism within the broader global Roman Catholic Women Priests initiative is to live Gospel equality and justice for women in the church and in society now. We work in solidarity with the poor and marginalized for transformative justice in partnership with all believers. Our vision is to live as a community of equals in decision-making both as an organization and within all our faith communities. We advocate for a renewal of the vision of Jesus in the Gospel for our church and our world.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: A Slideshow Meditation Created by Deacon Donna Rougeux, ARCWP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_yF0GlnwO4

Enjoy this beautiful slideshow of our women priests and deacons serving God's people in inclusive, egalitarian communities in the United States and Latin America. Deacon Donna Rougeux created this prayerful reflection of our call to live Gospel justice and equality in solidarity with the marginalized, poor and oppressed in the church and world.
We wish you a blessed Christmas and New Year.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/

"Is it OK to Elect Catholics?" By NEIL STEINBERG /Chicago Sun Times

http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/9524518-452/is-it-still-ok-to-elect-catholics.html
nsteinberg@suntimes.com

December 18, 2011 5:38PM


".... The cardinal might not like it — I’m sure he doesn’t. But plenty of the faithful join the governor in considering themselves good Catholics while conducting parts of their lives in ways “not consistent” with church policy — just last week a survey showed 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control banned by the church. (We’re fortunate that the cardinal has not challenged the governor over which form he uses, at least not yet). Much Catholic doctrine isn’t even followed by Catholics, yet church leaders would dragoon government to force it upon the rest of the state anyway.What Quinn has done to draw church censure — for those of you not up to date — is present an award to a rape victim at a pro-choice dinner, and lead a state whose laws forbid discrimination against citizens due to their sexual orientation, which means the church had to decide whether to place homeless children with gay couples, or get out of the adoption business. It chose to get out of the adoption business — you can debate among yourselves whether that is a choice a loving God would smile upon..."

..."If at election time I were to say, “You can’t vote for Pat Quinn — he’s a Catholic and will be bullied into strictly following church doctrine” — I’d be accused of bias and rightly so. Yet the cardinal is trying to do exactly that, to exercise an authority over public life he does not and should not possess.Quinn attended 13 years of Catholic school — the church already had its chance to mold him. Now he is 63 and an adult. It is Quinn, and not Cardinal George, who gets to decide how his faith influences his life. I’m sorry to be the one to deliver the news."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Neil Steinberg hits the nail on the head! How dare Cardinal George bully Governor Pat Quinn to impose the hierarchy's teachings on the Illinois voters. It is true that Catholics follow their consciences on the hot button issues mentioned in the article above, and many dissent from the official teaching of the institutional church.
What the Cardinal George needs to learn is that Pat Quinn and many other Catholics no longer fear the crack of a crozier across the knuckles.
Another example is the Irish Governmentwhich closed the Irish embassy in Rome and is holding the Vatican accountable for the sexual abuse cover-up.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Massive Abuse Scandal Shatters Dutch Catholic Church"/Salon.com

http://open.salon.com/blog/lost_in_berlin/2011/12/16/massive_abuse_scandal_shatters_dutch_catholic_church
"[c]elibacy in itself doesn’t have to lead to rape. But it can give priests and bishops the idea that they are somehow on a higher spiritual plane. That narcissistic spirituality is the dark side of the church, the idea that you are better than others. They set themselves up to be a-sexual beings and that is how they are perceived, by their victims as well. That is what made it such a terrible and lonely experience for them: how could a priest sin? It was inconceivable so nobody believed them. The damage these people suffered at the hands of people who were supposed to be paragons of virtue is incalculable...The scandal has already cost the Catholic Church its influence in Dutch society. According to a report released yesterday, 86% of the population in the heavily Catholic province of Brabant have lost virtually all their faith in the institution."

Join us in Praying a Modern Version of O Antiphons, an Ancient Prayer of the Church, as You Prepare to Celebrate the Birth of Jesus

(left to right)  Priests: Lee Breyer, Katy Zatsick, Bridget Mary Meehan, Michael Rigdon

Katy Zatsick presided at our Fourth Sunday of Advent liturgy.
O Antiphons:
Psalm Response;
Come O Wisdom, Sophia's child (and Mary's too) bring us back to you.
Come O Adonai, Child of Ancient Israel set us free of fear, despair, and misogyny.
Come O Flower of jesse's tree, uproot out hatreds wash us clean in just-reign waters. Plant us deep in thee.
Come O Key of David, open heaven's gate, unlock, unblock, this captive people too long enthralled with hate.
Come O Radiant Dawn, dispel death's dark shadow, light the way of all who long
to preach, to teach, to consecrate heavenly Hosts of God's indwelling.
Come O Emmanuel, God's gladsome "with us" news, strengthen weary arms, steady trembling knees. Bring surcease of sorrow.
Come O Advent Light, pierce December gloom, quicken our waiting world with life's fresh blessed tomorrow. Bring joyful tidings of God's new birth, come through the labor of a woman, borne
So all will know Emmanuel. Amen.
(adapted by Katy Zatsick from Chris Schenk csj  O Antiphons  10/98)

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
A blessed week before Christmas to all! May you experience the presence of God with you and the presence of God within you in all you think, say and do during this sacred time of preparation for the celebration of Jesus' birth!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Institutional Dutch Catholic Abuse 'Affected Thousands'"/BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16216174
"Tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions since 1945, a report says. The report by an independent commission said Catholic officials had failed to tackle the widespread abuse at schools, seminaries and orphanages. But the report also found that one in five children who attended an institution suffered abuse - regardless of whether it was Catholic.
"This episode fills us with shame and sorrow," said a bishops' statement.

The commission, which began work in August 2010, sought to uncover what had gone on and how it had happened, and examined what kind of justice should be offered to victims.
It was triggered by allegations of abuse at a Catholic school in the east Netherlands, which prompted other alleged victims to come forward."

"Fighting Tradition, A Catholic Womanpriest Leads Mass in East Village"by Brigid Bergin

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/dec/16/roman-cathlic-womanpriest-east-village/
This is not a new debate. Among the scholars who have weighed in on the issue, Paul Lakeland wrote a book 37 years ago called, Can Women Be Priests? He's the director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, a Jesuit school in Connecticut. There is no sound theological reason why women can’t be ordained,” Lakeland said.He continues to support women's ordination and knows another woman priest who runs a small parish just outside of Boston. Most theologians would say that Jesus didn’t ordain anybody,” Lakeland said.He added that the development of ministry took several centuries, and given what we know about men and women today compared to what we thought about men and women 2,000 years ago, “there’s no reason that ordination could not be extended to them. But there are many conservative Catholic theologians who would not agree with me.”
"But for Gabriella Velardi Ward — and the other Roman Catholic Womenpriests — they are not waiting for permission from Rome. The change has happened. Ward defines herself as a Catholic priest, leading a parish, looking to enhance the ministry she provides to her congregation.While the Vatican has clearly stated its position against women priests, the future of this movement will depend on whether everyday Catholics are open to embracing a new tradition."

"Infallibility" and Equality in Catholicism by Sister Chris Schenk, csj / Excellent article

http://futurechurch.org/fpm/infallibility.htm
Some conclusions and some questions:

It appears that the Vatican is being deluged with faithful Catholic people who, far from having "doubts" about the teaching on the non-ordination of women, are in fact actively in favor of ordaining them.


Could this issue have more to do with Church politics than with theology? Given the fact that there is a Eucharistic famine all over the world because of the priest shortage, wouldn't it make more sense for our leadership to be thinking about who they can include in the priesthood rather than who they want to leave out?


Presuming that Catholics must accept the non-ordination of women, what will the all male church hierarchy do to actively implement women's equality (which they are always so careful to say they support) in the church? Where are the women Cardinals? How may qualified women participate in the selection of the next Pope? What dioceses will be open for qualified women to govern, much as the medieval abbesses functioned as Bishops?


Vatican officials delight in saying that women are "different but equal." Unfortunately ,only men have defined this kind of "equality." Women have been forbidden to join the conversation, and when they do try to offer a different theological perspective based on recent biblical scholarship, efforts are made to brand them as heretics. "Equality" seems to mean that male Catholics are equally entitled to make the rules and female Catholics are equally entitled to obey them.


Somehow, I can¹t believe that this was what Jesus had in mind when he commissioned Magdalen to go and tell her fellow apostles that He had, indeed, risen from the dead

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Criminal Hearing for Bishop Finnhead of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese Moved to January

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/first-criminal-hearing-bishop-finn-moved-january
Dec. 14, 2011
Joshua J. McElwee
"The first hearing in the criminal case against Bishop Robert W. Finn, head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, has been postponed until Jan. 12.
Both Finn and the diocese were charged in October by authorities in Jackson County, Mo., with separate counts of failing to report suspected child abuse in the case of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a diocesan priest who was arrested in May for child pornography.
The hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 15. Mike Mansur, the communications director of the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, told NCR the delay came at the request of the bishop’s lawyers.
News of the delay comes about a month after Finn dodged separate charges of failing to report abuse in Clay County, Mo., by agreeing to give the prosecutor there wide-ranging oversight of diocesan review procedures in the county. The diocesan chancery is located in Jackson County. The parish where Ratigan last served as pastor is in Clay County. "







Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas-Santa Lucia-Sweden

://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2-Q_ObdE-4&feature=related

"Female Priests Push Catholic Boundaries"/ Minneapolis Star Tribune Newspaper Article about Compassion of Christ Catholic Community

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/135386288.html
"Dressed in a priestly white robe and green stole, Monique Venne lifted communion bread before an altar -- defying centuries of Catholic Church law.Despite promises of excommunication from the Vatican, she and six other women in Minnesota say they are legitimate, ordained Catholic priests, fit to celebrate the mass. They trace their status through a line of ordained women bishops back to anonymous male bishops in Europe."We love the church, but we see this great wrong," said Venne, 54, who cofounded Compassion of Christ Church, a Minneapolis congregation that just celebrated its first anniversary. "Not allowing women to be at the altar is a denigration of their dignity. We want the church to be the best it can be. If one leaves, one cannot effect change. So we're pushing boundaries.""Minnesota has emerged as a hotbed for the growing movement to ordain women as priests, with the highest per-capita number of female Catholic priests in the nation, according to the organization Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Women priests are working in the Twin Cities, Red Wing, Winona, Clear Lake and soon St. Cloud. The group claims about 70 women priests in the United States and more than 100 worldwide..."





Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gaudete, Rejoice! Dance in the Rain, Everyday is Christmas! - Homily Reflection by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP


The message today is found in our second reading: Rejoice, Pray always, and give thanks in all circumstances for this is will of God for you in Christ Jesus.


A story that has circulated on the internet is one example of living this message in our daily lives.


A man had breakfast everyday with his wife who had suffered from alzheimer’s. She no longer knew him and was in a nursing home. When asked why he kept it up, he said “she does not know me, he said, but I still know who she is.”


So the author of the story summarized it this way: “love is an acceptance of all that is, all that has been, all that will be and will not be. Life is not about how to survive, but how to learn to dance in the rain.”


In the responsorial psalm we prayed the Magnificat. In her prayer for justice, Mary, a young, pregnant, woman, who could have been stoned to death, reminds us that God is on the side of liberation and justice. “The Bible reveals God”, Elizabeth Johnson writes, “as compassionate lover of justice, on the side of the oppressed to the point where those who oppress the poor insult their Marker.” (Proverbs 14:31)Quest for the Living God, p.76.


In an excerpt from the Associated press story, 3 women accept Nobel Peace Prize:


Gbowee, 39, challenged Liberia's warlords as she campaigned for women's rights and against rape. In 2003, she led hundreds of female protesters through Monrovia to demand swift disarmament of fighters, who continued to prey on women, despite a peace deal.


"We used our pains, broken bodies and scarred emotions to confront the injustices and terror of our nation," she told the Nobel audience in Oslo's City Hall.


She called the peace prize a recognition of the struggle for women's rights not only in Yemen and Liberia, but anywhere that women face oppression.


"We must continue to unite in sisterhood to turn our tears into triumph," Gbowee said. "There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free."


In the Gospels we encounter Jesus who reveals God’s compassion to the poor, the rejected, the outcastes and “offered table companionship so inclusive that it gave scandal.” Johnson concludes , “Deeply affected not only by poverty, but by the sin of sexism in the structures of church and society, women, the excluded among the excluded , realize that God’s preferential option for the poor is an option for poor women.” (Quest of the Living God) p. 77


With Mary, we rejoice, pray always and give thanks in all circumstances that God will triumph over every injustice.


Like Mary and Elisabeth, we are called to support one another as companions on the journey in our struggles, doubts and fears, over our tears. Sometimes this occurs over conversations that take months, --even years and many cups of tea. Like Mary, first priest, who could say, this is my body, this is my blood, we are all called as the Body of Christ to birth Christ in our world in all that we do and say each day, no matter what the cost!


We rejoice, pray always and give thanks in all circumstances as we wrap presents, decorate, write Christmas cards, serve others, that while Advent is a special season of preparation, every day is Christmas!


Mindy Lou Simmons sang “Every day is Christmas”
(For those in the Sarasota area, you can experience Mindy Simmons' beautiful music on Dec. 16th, Friday at 7 PM at St. Boniface Church. Siesta Key Tickets available at the door.)


Sharing by Community in Dialogue Homily (After hymn, the community shared their responses to readings for 3rd Sunday of Advent. )
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com

Video Clips of Mary Mother of Jesus (MMOJ) Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy on 3rd Sunday of Advent -Dec. 11, 2011

http://youtu.be/HbOc0w9wYOY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n3NuZsHpE0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNSW9nNt6GQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqWIXgjBiYY

Saturday, December 10, 2011

3 Women Accept Nobel Peace Prize / Associated Press/ Historic Moment for Women Working for Justice and Equality Everywhere

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_NOBEL_PRIZES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-10-12-00-27

EXCERPTS:
"...calling on repressed women worldwide to rise up against male supremacy."
"There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free."

Bridget Mary's Reflection
3 Women Accept Nobel Peace Prize is a historic moment for women working for justice and equality everywhere. They remind us that justice and equality are values that are shared by people of good will, of every faith, and of no faith throughout the world. These three women reflect the hopes of millions and are part of  God's liberating activity at work in transforming sexism in religious institutions and in society. Indeed, something we can all celebrate in our journey toward partnership and equality.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/
sofiabmm@aol.com

"You Reap What You Sow!"/Author Unknown


Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground.


The man slowly looked up.


This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. "Leave me alone," he growled.


To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling --- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.


"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."


The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.


"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.


Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..


"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"


The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"


"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."


"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."


This is a good deal for you, Jack" the officer answered. "Don't blow it.."


Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.


The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this, is this man in trouble?"


"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.


"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business.."


Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."


The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled... "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"


"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."


"And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"


"What business is that of yours?"


I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."


"Oh."


`The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"


"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."


"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"


"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."


The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."


The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.


"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."


She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"


Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so --- I mean you do look familiar."


"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."


"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.


"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally, I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."


Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said.. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."


"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."


"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.


"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons ...He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."


There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said.


"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus... He led me to you."


Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways...


"Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.


"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And. And thank you for the coffee."


God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.


If you believe, send it.


If you don't believe, delete it.


God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close.


If you need God to open some doors for you... send this on.


Have a blessed day and remember to be a blessing.






LIVE WELL, LOVE MUCH, LAUGH OFTEN


NEVER GROW A WISHBONE


WHERE A BACKBONE OUGHT TO BE
(Author Unknown)

Friday, December 9, 2011

"To My Brothers- Catholic Bishops of Minnesota"/ Herbert W. Chilstrom is Former Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

In 1976 I was elected a Lutheran bishop in Minnesota – one of seven such Lutheran leaders in the state. Over the next years one of the highlights of my time in office was the annual noon-to-noon retreat with our eight Catholic counterparts in the state.
The bond that developed between us was deep and respectful. We shared our differences; we celebrated our likenesses. My friendship with Archbishop John Roach and Bishop Raymond Lucker, in particular, is a blessing I will treasure as long as I live.
May I share a word with all of you who now lead the Roman Catholic community of faith in Minnesota?
First, I would go to the wall to defend your right to work for the adoption of the so-called marriage protection amendment. Having said that, I must tell you that I believe you are making a significant mistake.
Over my 35 years as an active and retired bishop I have come to know hundreds of gay and lesbian persons. I have yet to meet even one who is opposed to the marriage of one man and one woman. After all, they are the daughters and sons of such unions.
What they cannot understand is why church leaders would oppose their fundamental desire and right to be in partnership with someone they love and respect who happens to be of the same gender and sexual orientation. They don't understand why they should not enjoy all the rights and privileges their straight counterparts take for granted.
More than a half century ago Father Francis Gilligan spoke out for equality for African American citizens of Minnesota. Though many argued on the basis of the Bible that these neighbors were inferior to others, Gilligan fought tirelessly for justice for these brothers and sisters.
In our generation homosexual persons are subject to the same discrimination. Their detractors often use the Bible and tradition as weapons of choice.
Is it not time for religious leaders, walking in the footsteps of Father Gilligan, to do the same for another minority, neighbors who are as responsible as our African American sisters and brothers?
I also suggest that you ask yourselves an important question: If the amendment is passed, will it make one particle of difference in our common culture in Minnesota? I don't think so.
Responsible lesbian and gay persons will continue to seek companionship with those they love. This law will only work to drive many of them deeper into closets of anonymity.
Instead, why not welcome them into our communities of faith where they can work side by side with us as equal partners?
Let me put out a challenge to each of you brothers. Invite 15 gay and lesbian persons from your respective areas, one at a time, to spend two hours with you.
Thirty hours are a pittance compared to the time you are investing to promote adoption of the marriage amendment. Use the time, not for confession, but to listen to them describe what it is like to live in our culture in Minnesota.
Hear as they tell you what it means be a child of God and a faithful member of your church, persons who happen to be gay or lesbian through no choice of their own. I can promise you, based on my experience, that your heart will be deeply moved by what you hear.
When you have finished your time with these sisters and brothers in Christ, spend a quiet hour reflecting on a single question: "As I understand the heart of my Savior Jesus, how would he treat these sons and daughters of my church?"
Herbert W. Chilstrom is former presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Joan Chittister's Article on Occupy Wall Street Movement in National Catholic Reporter

http://ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/vision-and-wisdom-meet-occupy-support-group

"...The elders are going to be among the Occupiers, they say in their public statement, to "applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been non violent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate health care."And that's true, of course. But they are also a sign and voice for those of the 99 percent whose very years attest to the truth of the need for a new economy, a new spirit, a new soul among us as a people but who cannot go to the parks of the cities themselves.The elders bring the credibility of wisdom and age and experience to the zest and vision and hope of youth..."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Link to Hillary Clinton's Address to United Nations in Geneva on LGBTIQ Rights

http://news.advocate.com/post/13844217337/watch-the-speech-youve-been-waiting-for

Bridget Mary's Reflecton:
Kudos to Hillary Clinton for speaking up for justice for LGBRIQ.  It is truly a history-making, speech on human rights!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org/

The Challenge: A Supporter's Response on the Roman Catholic Women Priests' Movement

“for whoever is not against us is for us.” – Jesus
(Mark 9:40)

Here an irate response to my annual holiday update from someone, who is an ordained Roman Catholic deacon. My response is below.

Ordained Deacon's Challenge to me;

Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011
Gee, I hope you believe it is important to be a person of integrity! So, why would you say a woman has been ordained a deacon in the "Roman Catholic Church", when you full well know that the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women either as deacons or priests? Also, you know that only Bishops can ordain anyone. This claim you make seems to me to be like a college football team making up its own rules rather than playing by the same rules as the other teams. (Yes, I know all analogies have weaknesses!) I find this statement to be offensive and a slap in the face of all those faithful Roman Catholics who are trying to live our faith with integrity and have probably made sacrifices to be faithful. Your statement also seems disrespectful of all those Saints who were martyred because they were faithful to the teachings of the Church. Finally, you make no mention of the "reason" for the season, namely the coming of Jesus Christ who "ordained" the Apostles and is the One that the Roman Catholics follow and adore, for the gift of Himself to us for our Salvation!
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.' (1 John 2)


My Response
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011
Since this is not the first time I have mentioned the Roman Catholic Women Priest movement in our annual update, it interesting that you have responded with such intensity. It might help if you read the website www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org and this one based in the USA:www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org. They have carefully collected a volume of information to help faithful catholics understand this alternative position to Rome's dictates. Listen to Bishop Patricia Fresen's YouTube talks (and her personal experience standing against apartheid in South Africa), look at the evidence of women priests in the 1st two centuries documented in catacomb mosaics, read Bishop BridgetMary's blog or Diane Dougherty's blog and inform yourself of the way these brave women are following their deafening Call from God's Holy Spirit. Learn about Maryknoll's Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who put his pension and his reputation on the line by participating in our friend Janice Sevre-Duszynska's ordination. Because he gave the homily (and reading something he originally published in the Maryknoll journal a decade before) and co-celebrated Mass, Roy has been threatened with excommunication by the Vatican and dismissal from the Maryknolls. The Roman police arrested him and other supporters of women priests when he walked toward the Vatican with a banner. They quickly dismissed the case. He is still in dialogue with both groups.


Try to find - or purchase a copy of the documentary "Pink Smoke over the Vatican" and educate yourself about what has lead RCWP and it's supporters to stand up and be counted. You might change your mind about what is happening here. It is historical and I am pleased to be even a small part of it. I am not alone. This year HUNDREDS of priests have signed petitions from around the world identifying their support of women priests in the Catholic church. So it not like we are simply "making up our own rules." It is enlivening be in solidarity with so many of those who the Vatican considers "dangerous"... and heretical.


If the Vatican loyalists could still burn or torture us to death, they would. But they can't, so they have to imagine that they are in charge of our souls and try to scare us into compliance while they defend those who harm children and have yet to excommunicate even those who have been found guilty. Are you aware that the current pope has equated seeking ordination or ordaining women as grievous a sin as pedophilia? That he says it's "normal" behavior... so what's the fuss? and you, in good conscience, follow the dictates of this dictator? Those currently in power lost my respect many years ago. They have yet to do anything but make it worse since then and, as I've said, I am not alone. Discerning people of conscience are leaving the Roman Catholic church in droves.

I firmly agree with those who are challenging the Vatican. They are walking through fire to bring the Catholic experience to the marginalized and those alienated by the current regime. I have not joined them officially because I am uncomfortable with (but still support) their very valid need to call themselves "Roman Catholic Women Priests." If & when I become an RC priest it will not be as part of an all woman group... but that is my issue and I am stilled thrilled to call many of them friends. Actually, as the founders of The Holy Cooperative Order of Blessed by Default, our members consider Bob and I closer to being Bishops within our order and we are a multi-faith group, so I have released some of my longing to join the Vatican boys club. For what it's worth, we tend to follow the lead of the Celtic church that evolved in Ireland & Scotland, if we follow the dictates of any church, at all... but that is another story.

The 1st women who became Roman Catholic priests were ordained by a male Roman Catholic Bishop who was ordained in apostolic order and in good standing with the Vatican. He believed in the cause and hid himself to keep the movement going. A few years ago, several woman priests were elevated as Bishops. The principal bishop who ordained our first female bishopspassed down apostolic succession, so that nothing can stop the movement, even if the Vatican discovers this original presiding bishop.


Catholic theologians who have studied this movement have gone on record saying that the ordinations may be illicit, but they are also completely VALID and the Vatican cannot change that, no matter how much they threaten and sputter. Those involved believe they are breaking an unjust law, which is the only way things EVER change in the Catholic Church. Most of the saints were people willing to stake their lives and their souls on the need for change... even within the Roman Catholic Church. Many were martyred and imprisoned by the very church you are defending... for example, was the Inquisition right????? Those were faithful catholics, as I remember...


As for my letter, my friends include a large number of people who are not Christian, so I do not emphasize the Jesus part. I am a deeply devoted follower of Jesus' Way, but I do not idolize him, nor do I try to convert anyone with my annual update. Bob and I prefer to "BE" Jesus, rather than beat people over the head with Him... and as far as Jesus being the "reason for the season," well, since he was no doubt born in March, during lambing season... and when the actual census took place, using December 25th as the date he was born is simply wrong. When Constantine made Christianity the "world religion," they simply co-opted this date to keep people happy, since it was a traditional time of revelry and such. I believe it was called Saturnalia in Rome, Yule in the British Isles and celebrated as the Solstice in many nature-based traditions. Easter is a more believable date for Jesus' birth... and I guess we do celebrate it in a fashion... as Jesus' bright and glorious burst through the veil... but many of our traditions were also co-opted from ancient equinox and spring traditions... like what in the world does Jesus resurrection possibly have to do with rabbits and eggs? Those were Oester traditions from the Goddess...


Well, the kids are up and I have to quit. Thanks for the challenge. I didn't think I wanted to spend much time on this, but given that it is my passion, I guess I couldn't help myself. Take it or leave it or keep the dialogue going, if you like. I follow the Divine Spirit of Love in all Forms, the Love who is God and my Guide from the beginning of my life. I may not follow the rules of man, but you can be sure that every choice I make is inspired by Love = God = Love. I suspect you do the same... and if we find each other, it's beautiful... if not, it can't be helped. Like a kind parent, it matters not to God whether we agree on our petty differences or not, S/He keeps on feeding us and leading us and bringing us Home, no matter how far we wandered...

Always yours in Blessings and in Light


Shalom,


lamp: )


www.blessedbydefault.org