Sunday, March 15, 2015

Homily by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP: Ordination of Luz Galilea as a Priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Sarasota, Florida on March 14, 2015

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, this is the day God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it as we ordain a woman priest!
Luz Galilea prostrates during Ordination Rite



Theresa Rodriguez. Linda Lee Miska and Jack Duffy sing Litany of the Saints
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP lays hands on Luz Galilea during priestly ordination  
Luz Galilea is 50 years old, married with one daughter. 
ARCWP candle given as gift by Rosemarie Smead ARCWP
Bridget Mary anoints Luz' hands for priestly ministry
 Her personal commitments are with Partenia, diocese
without borders (see  http://www.partenia.org/ and with ATD Cuarto Mundo (see http://www.atd-quartmonde.org) a human rights organization which is an NGO, working with UNICEF and the European Council. 
Pat MacMillian read the first Reading from Isaia, Dotty Shugrue,ARCWP seated, was MC
Luz has also spent years working with marginalized people of the First World, doing pastoral work in poor neighborhoods with children and women (catechism training and accompaniment. She is a translator by profession.


Sand Hill Crane came and stayed outside for much of the ordination!
(This beautiful bird moved from Window to Window as if  trying to get the best view and was not perturbed by photographers!  He/She was a blessed and welcome  visitor reminding us of our oneness with all in the community of  creation!)

In the first reading, Isaiah the prophet proclaims God’s vision for us as the kindom of God. According to scripture scholars the word “kindom” is best translated as a “companionship of empowerment.”(Diarmuid O’Murchu) As companions on the journey all of us are called  to be prophets:  “Work for justice! For my liberation is about to come, and my justice is about to come.”
Luz Galilea, newly ordained priest  holds consecrated bread and wine at Communion Rite at Ordination Liturgy


My sisters and brothers, today, we are living our prophetic call as we ordain Luz  to serve God’s people so that Gospel equality and a church of inclusion may grow.

   In the Gospel, a pregnant Mary, who has fled her home, greets her cousin Elizabeth who is also pregnant. Both women are midwives of grace who create a sacred space for each other.


Mary and Elizabeth from stained glass window in Ireland
In the Sanctuary of Women, Jan Richardson depicts the scene: “According to a medieval French prayerbook, two women meet on a road.  Elizabeth, having hurried from her house, leans toward her cousin Mary, one hand on her shoulder, the other on her pregnant belly in an ancient gesture of blessing…. As they lean into one another, these two women make a sanctuary. With the arc of their bodies, with the aches of their longing for someone who understands, with the power of a blessing given and received, Mary and Elizabeth created a space of refuge of welcome and safety.” (Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women, Upper Room Books, 2010)

 Today, Mary and Elizabeth remind us that we are called to create a sanctuary, a safe place for people on the margins who seek a spiritual home where all are welcome.  We are renewing the church’s theology of sacraments as grace-filled celebrations of the whole community, the Body of Christ, All of us are midwives of grace. As Susan Ross writes:“the sacraments  are gifts of God’s extravagant affection,” that  “provide opportunities for Christian women and men to express, play, celebrate, and live out the “riotous plenty that is God” (Ross, Extravagant Affections,  1998, p. 13).

 In the Magnificat, Mary prays passionately for the marginalized, the excluded, and the oppressed. She proclaims that justice, liberation, and new life is rising up for God’s hurting, excluded people. May we, like Mary, live the Magnificat, by welcoming all to the table of God’s Boundless love.

Women and their dependent children make up two-thirds of the world’s poor. The World Health Organization has also said that every day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and that 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. In order to transform this appalling situation, we need women as leaders and decision-makers in every aspect of life including at the altar in the church.
  
 As an international movement, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, our vision is justice for all, justice for the poor, justice for women, and justice for women in the church including ordination. We speak out for women’s rights and for non-violence.
We stand in solidarity with the least and the lowest, and challenge unjust structures that continue to oppress people in our world.

As a priest, Luz Galilea, will work for justice and equality for the people in Colombia, Spain and France. May you, like Mary Mother of Jesus, radiate the Christ Presence as you live a renewed, vibrant priestly ministry in a community of equals.

Damos gracias y alabanzas  para este día,  mi hermana.
 (We give thanks and praise for this day, my Sister!)

Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, a Sister for Christian Community, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 31, 2006. She was ordained a bishop on April 19, 2009.  Dr. Meehan is currently Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program for Global Ministries University, and is the author of 20 books, including   Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God, The Healing Power of Prayer and Praying with Women of the Bible. She presides at liturgies in Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Meehan can be reached at sofiabmm@aol.com and www.arcwp.org




 

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