Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Story Behind the Catholic Liturgy for Adele Jones, ARCWP -Attempt to Block Women Priests' Led Mass at Villa De San Antonio in San Antonio and Beautiful Memorial Liturgy on May 9, 2015

On May 9th, 2015  the family, friends, and two women priests (Dotty Shugrue and Bridget Mary Meehan) gathered to celebrate the life of  our beloved Sister Priest Adele Jones, who had died peacefully in her sleep in April. 

Her son Rick played classical music on the piano. Alex, whom Adele called her adopted son, sang Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria.  See liturgy below for specfic music selections and prayers.  As relatives and friends embraced, they shared words of  deep appreciation for one another's presence and they expressed their fondness for dearest Adele. Some had come from as far away as New York and California. One small child, looked up at Adele's photo draped with a priestly stole and said to his Dad, "is this heaven?" Amidst laughter and tears, her sons, Rick, Randy, Alex, and many others shared stories of deep love and gratitude for Adele. 

However, there is a story behind the scenes of the drama that unfolded with a unnamed "Monsignor" in the  Diocese of San Antonio. So what could the Monsignor be upset about?

I bet you guessed it!

 Adele was a Roman Catholic Woman Priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 

When her son, Rick, made arrangements to have her Memorial Mass in the Chapel at the Villa de St. Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, he received a call from an administrator that there had been complaints that Roman Catholic Women Priests were  going to celebrate a Mass in the chapel. These complaints had gone all the way to to the top, to an unnamed Monsignor.

 So the word from on high was that there could not be Mass with Women Priests presiding.  Rick made it clear  in his communication with the Villa's administrator that since the Villa de St. Antonio is no longer owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese (It had been administered by the Franciscans.) It could not discriminate against anyone. 

So, we have a happy ending to this story!



Here we are -two women priests, Dotty Shugrue and myself, Bridget Mary Meehan with our sign "women priests are here" --- affirming our right gently and lovingly to celebrate the Catholic Funeral Rite for our Sister Priest Adele in the beautiful "Catholic" chapel. As evidence, I point out that this non-denominational chapel's  sacristy even has a confessional setup in the back corner! 

When I visited Adele two years ago, she showed me this lovely chapel  and pointed out the stained glass window depicting St. Francis of Assisi. She loved the fact that this Assisted Living facility had a "Catholic" Chapel. The Franciscans had left it, but it was a spiritual sacred place for her. 

At the Memorial Liturgy, the staff at the Vila was most gracious and welcoming to all who came to the funeral liturgy and reception. We were even given access to the sacristy, when we had been informed before that we would not be able to use the sacristy. We always bring our own liturgical supplies, but we appreciated the change of mind and kind gesture. However, we found it interesting that the sign announcing Adele's Memorial Mass  stated twice that Adele Jones' funeral was a "private service". 

Below you will see the Memorial liturgy and lovely photos of her son, Rick seated at the piano, and other family members and friends as well as Dotty Shugrue and myself, Bridget Mary Meehan, who represented our entire Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests who could not be physically, but were present in spirit. May our dear Adele sing and dance forever with the angels and saints! 

Adele's legacy of wisdom and joy will live on forever in the hearts of all who loved her, Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org








Made for Joy”: Memorial Service for Adele Jones, ARCWP
Opening Song: Prelude:
Notturno, form Lyric Pieces, Opus 54, Edvard Grieg
Derek Jones, piano

Gathering Prayer:
Loving God, we gather to remember Adele who has died. We give thanks for the many blessings that our Sister brought to us. May your loving presence comfort her family, friends, and  our  women priests’ community in their grief for her loss. In this liturgy we comfort one another as we share God’s love and remember our dear Adele who was” made for joy.”

First Reading: Philippians 4:4-9

 King James Version (We used this translation of Adele's favorite scripture because her grandmother used to pray these scripture verses with Adele as a child. It is our practice to use inclusive language in our services. However, our Sister Adele's wishes were of utmost importance to us and love always trumps everything else. Two months ago, Adele planned this inspiring Memorial liturgy with me over the phone, and when Dotty and I visited her in late March we reflected together on the entire service. Adele is an inspiration to us all. Bridget Mary. We will hold her in our hearts forever.)

 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. The Word of God. Thanks be to God.


Psalm 23:  God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
All: God   is   my  shepherd,  I  shall  not  want.

God, you are my shepherd. I want nothing more. You let me lie down in green meadows.
You
lead me beside restful waters. Your refresh my soul.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
You guide me to lush pastures for the sake of your Name. Even if l'm surrounded by shadows of
death, I fear no danger, for you are with me.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Your rod and your staff: They give me courage. You spread a table for me in the presence of my enemies, and you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Only goodness and Jove will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in your house, God, for days without end.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.



Gospel: John 14:1-3:


Don't let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God;


In God's house there are many dwelling places;


Otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you


And then I will come back to take you, that where I am, there you may be as well.

Shared Homily: Tribute –we light a candle as we remember our dear Adele and share stories of her joy, faith, and wisdom that has touched our lives and blessed our world.
After each sharing, we pray:
All: Loving God, we will carry Adele in our hearts forever.

Music at Offertory: Offertory #1: Panis Angelicus, Cesar Frank
Alex Chavarria, Baritone    Shearon Horton, piano


PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer to you, fruit of the earth and work of human hands. It will become for us the bread of life.
All: Blessed by God for ever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you, fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
All Blessed be God for ever.  
Presider: Pray my brothers and sisters that our offerings may give praise to God.
All: May God accept our gifts for the praise and glory of God and for our good and for the good of our church.
Presider:  God is with you, proclaiming love.
ALL:  and also with you. 
Presider:  Lift up your hearts that Jesus proclaims healing, justice and peace for all people. 
ALL:  We lift them up to God. 
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
Presider 1Lifegiving Love, You have called us to be radiant reflections of your holy presence on earth. United with You, we are one with all beings in the community of creation  we join the angels and saints as we say: 

ALL: Holy, Holy Holy, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God. Hosanna in the highest.

Presider 2:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your boundless love in the universe.  As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and excluded in our world today.
Presider 1: We especially thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, the Compassion of God, who came to show us a new vision of community where every person is loved and all relate with mutual respect. We welcome all God’s family into the Circle of Life at the Banquet of Love.
Presider 2: Jesus we remember our beloved Sister, Adele Jones, who is now in your eternal embrace in heaven.  We give thanks for her joyful witness to the Gospel during her life.  May we be blessed by her wisdom and inspired by her kindness as we celebrate our oneness with her in the communion of the saints.
All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts as we pray:
On the night before he died, Jesus took bread into his hands and said:
This is my body, he said. Take and eat. Do this in in memory of me.

At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, raised it in thanksgiving to you, and said:
Take and drink of the covenant of my love poured out for you. Do this in memory of me.
Presider1:  Now then, let us proclaim the mystery of the Christ Presence made new again through you:  
ALL:  In every creature that has ever breathed, Christ has lived; in every living being that has passed on before us, Christ has died;  in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! 
Presider 2:  We honor the holy women and men who have revealed your compassion and justice in our world.  We thank you for people in our lives who show us how to love tenderly and have revealed the heart of our God, especially our dear  Adele
Presider 1: And so, liberating God, we hold our religious ministers and political leaders in the light of Christ Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  We pray for Pope Francis, for our bishops, for the young and the elders, and for all God’s holy people.
Presider 2:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and comforted.  We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, and all the angels and saints who surround us with loving prayer each day.  We remember our dearly beloved Adele and all who have died that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our compassionate God forever.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS: Our Father and Mother
THE SIGN OF PEACE
 LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
ALL:  Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live as Your presence in the world.  We will do so.
Presider1:  This is the Bread of Life.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.  All: We are the Body of Christ, the family of God.
Communion: Music:
Nocturne, Opus 9, #1, Frederic Chopin
Derek Jones, piano
Communion #2 
Ave Maria, Franz Schubert
Alex Chavarria, Baritone    Shearon Horton, piano
Final Blessing:  
Presiders: May God bless us as we go forth.
May the angels lead you into paradise, Adele,
May the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city,
The new and eternal Jerusalem. May choirs of angels welcome you and lead you into the heart of God.
All: Eternal rest, grant unto her O God, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace. Amen
Recessional :When the Saints Go Marching In
“When the Saints Go Marching in”

Chorus: Oh when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
We are traveling in the footsteps
Of those who've gone before
But we'll all be reunited (but if we stand reunited)
On a new and sunlit shore (then a new world is in store)

Oh when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

And when the sun begins to shine
And when the sun begins to shine
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the moon turns red with blood
When the moon turns red with blood
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
On that hallelujah day
On that hallelujah day
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

O when the trumpet sounds the call
O when the trumpet sounds the call
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

Some say this world of trouble
Is the only one we need
But I'm waiting for that morning
When the new world is revealed

When the revelation comes
When the revelation comes
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the rich go out and work
When the rich go out and work
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the air is pure and clean
When the air is pure and clean
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When we all have food to eat
When we all have food to eat
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When our leaders learn to cry
When our leaders learn to cry
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
(Songwriters: Traditional

When The Saints Go Marching In lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group)

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