Friday, October 30, 2015

"Cincinnati Nun Excommunicated After admitting Illegal Priestly Ordination", by Elizabeth A. Elliott, National Catholic Reporter

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/cincinnati-nun-excommunicated-after-admitting-illegal-priestly-ordination




  







"A nun in Cincinnati was excommunicated and dismissed from the Sisters of the Precious Blood after admitting she was secretly ordained as a priest this spring.
Sr. Letitia “Tish” Rawles was serving as a “catacomb” priest in order to not cause trouble for her religious order.
“A catacomb priest is a priest who functions privately in service of a specific community,” said Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP). Rawles’ specific community is the Atria Northgate Assisted Living Facility in Cincinnati, where she ministers to the sick and dying. She is seriously ill with multiple sclerosis, late stage liver disease, and diabetes. She has been a nun for 47 years.
Rawles knows what she would choose if there was an option on returning to her order.
“If I could stay in the order and also be a priest, I would definitely want to go back,” she said. “If it’s choosing between being a nun and being a priest, then I am a priest.”
An online petition is currently underway which the ARCWP hope will send a message to Pope Francis to allow Rawles to continue as a Sister of the Precious Blood and overturn her excommunication and others in the Year of Mercy.
Sr. Joyce Lehman, president of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, said in a press release that they are holding Sr. Rawles and all involved in prayer. Lehman noted a decree by Cardinal William Levada, former prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, in 2007, “both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman or a woman who attempts to receive the sacred order incur an excommunication.”
“This defection from the Catholic faith calls for an ipso facto dismissal from a religious congregation. Therefore, by her own actions, she has excommunicated herself and separated herself from the Sisters of the Precious Blood,” said Lehman in the press release. “She no longer has the right or privilege of wearing the ring and insignia or presenting herself as a Sister of the Precious Blood.”
Rawles told NCR she feels a mixture of things now that this secret is out.
“In one sense I feel a freedom now to really practice and do priestly things that I had to do in secret,” she said. “But I also feel a loss of community. I love the Sisters of the Precious Blood. I know they feel I deceived them because I didn’t tell them, but I didn’t tell them to protect them. That’s why I went catacomb status. Now I can be more in public.”
Being a priest is not something new for Rawles. She said she’s always wanted to be a priest and always had a calling to help other people. Rawles believes she was able to help a lot of people as a nun, both in the Sisters of the Precious Blood for 25 years and her previous 22 years with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word.
But she also felt she needed to go into something deeper, which turned out to be priesthood. Some of her ministry includes helping the sick and dying, giving last rites, funeral services, prayer services and presiding at home liturgies. 
Rawles doesn’t know what her next step may be, but she does know the religious community is putting together a financial package because of her major medical issues."
[Elizabeth A. Elliott, is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Contact her at eelliott@ncronline.org.]

Cincinnati Nun Excommicated After Admitting Illegal Priestly Activity, National Catholic Reporter Article

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/cincinnati-nun-excommunicated-after-admitting-illegal-priestly-ordination=


Last rites, funeral services, prayer services and presiding at home liturgies. 
Rawles doesn’t know what her next step may be, but she does know the religious community is putting together a financial package because of her major medical issues.
[Elizabeth A. Elliott, is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Contact her at eelliott@ncronline.org.]
 |  NCR Today
A nun in Cincinnati was excommunicated and dismissed from the Sisters of the Precious Blood after admitting she was secretly ordained as a priest this spring.
Sr. Letitia “Tish” Rawles was serving as a “catacomb” priest in order to not cause trouble for her religious order.
“A catacomb priest is a priest who functions privately in service of a specific community,” said Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP). Rawles’ specific community is the Atria Northgate Assisted Living Facility in Cincinnati, where she ministers to the sick and dying. She is seriously ill with multiple sclerosis, late stage liver disease, and diabetes. She has been a nun for 47 years.
Rawles knows what she would choose if there was an option on returning to her order.
“If I could stay in the order and also be a priest, I would definitely want to go back,” she said. “If it’s choosing between being a nun and being a priest, then I am a priest.”
rectangular-logo.jpgVisit our sister website, Global Sisters Report!
An online petition is currently underway which the ARCWP hope will send a message to Pope Francis to allow Rawles to continue as a Sister of the Precious Blood and overturn her excommunication and others in the Year of Mercy.
Sr. Joyce Lehman, president of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, said in a press release that they are holding Sr. Rawles and all involved in prayer. Lehman noted a decree by Cardinal William Levada, former prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, in 2007, “both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman or a woman who attempts to receive the sacred order incur an excommunication.”
“This defection from the Catholic faith calls for an ipso facto dismissal from a religious congregation. Therefore, by her own actions, she has excommunicated herself and separated herself from the Sisters of the Precious Blood,” said Lehman in the press release. “She no longer has the right or privilege of wearing the ring and insignia or presenting herself as a Sister of the Precious Blood.”
Rawles told NCR she feels a mixture of things now that this secret is out.
“In one sense I feel a freedom now to really practice and do priestly things that I had to do in secret,” she said. “But I also feel a loss of community. I love the Sisters of the Precious Blood. I know they feel I deceived them because I didn’t tell them, but I didn’t tell them to protect them. That’s why I went catacomb status. Now I can be more in public.”
Being a priest is not something new for Rawles. She said she’s always wanted to be a priest and always had a calling to help other people. Rawles believes she was able to help a lot of people as a nun, both in the Sisters of the Precious Blood for 25 years and her previous 22 years with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word.
But she also felt she needed to go into something deeper, which turned out to be priesthood. Some of her ministry includes helping the sick and dying, giving last rites, funeral services, prayer services and presiding at home liturgies. 
Rawles doesn’t know what her next step may be, but she does know the religious community is putting together a financial package because of her major medical issues.
[Elizabeth A. Elliott, is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Contact her at eelliott@ncronline.org.]

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sign Petition: POPE FRANCIS-REINSTATE FIRED NUN, LIFT All EXCOMMUNICATIONS IN YEAR OF MERCY

Left to right: Sister Tish Rawles, Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, front, back, Debra Meyers
on Ordination April 18, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio
http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/pope-francis-reinstate-fired-nun

TO: POPE FRANCIS

Ensure Sister Tish Rawles can continue as a Sister of the Precious Blood by overturning her excommunication and all excommunications. As we enter the Year of Mercy, the People of God ask you to show Christ's mercy to Sister Tish and all who have been excommunicated .

Why is this important?

Sister Letitia "Tish" Rawles, a faithful, committed Catholic, has served as a Catholic sister for 47 years: 22 with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, and 25 with the Sisters of the Precious Blood. She has also felt a call to the priesthood since her childhood. In April of this year, facing serious illness, she followed God's call and her conscience and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
Since Sister Tish's ordination, she has faithfully served the sick and dying, performing prayer services and administering last rites at her nursing home. When the Sisters of the Precious Blood discovered that she was following her call to the priesthood, she was dismissed.
Pope Francis has promoted a "Church of Mercy, which he states "excludes no one". He has shown mercy to controversial priests across the political spectrum, allowing formerly dismissed priests to say Mass, and schismatic groups to grant absolution.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and Roman Catholic Womenpriests ask Pope Francis to live the Church of Mercy by overturning all excommunications. This action will allow Sister Tish and all women called to the priesthood to serve their communities in peace.
Category: Women & Girls

JO
Jennifer OMalley
Campaign created by
Jennifer OMalley
Left to right: Sister Tish Rawles, Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, Janice Sevre Duszynska on April 18, 2015
at Ordination in Cincinnati, Ohio 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Nun Working as Priest Fights Excommunication" The Sister Tish Rawles Nun-Priest News Stories


"Letetia Rawles served as a local nun for decades, offering prayers and help for countless others.
She was kicked out of the Catholic Church after breaking cardinal rules and acting as a priest.

"Yahweh you are my shepherd I want nothing more. You let me lie down in green pastures… in green meadows you lead me beside restful waters,” read Rawles.

Psalm 23 is a favorite scripture for Rawles, who likes to simply go as Tish. Before last week, she was a part of the Catholic Church.

Rawles had been a nun for 47 years and wanted to be a priest. She did so with the help of the Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priest and became ordained in April. The problem is that she is a woman, and that is against the rules.

"Women can be priest. It's a man-made law. It's a man-made law the Vatican needs to make some changes on,” Rawles said.

Rawles says during her priesthood she stayed under the radar.

"As a catacomb priest means that you don't do anything in public you do things privately,” said Rawles.

Privately or publicly, the Catholic Church doesn't recognize her new position. Rawles knew that she could be excommunicated but didn't know it would happen so quickly. Rawls is hoping to be reinstated.

“Pope Frances has declared this coming year as the year of Mercy. So we are requesting from Pope Frances, that all excommunication lifted,” Rawles said.

With progressive multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and end stage liver disease, she hopes that prayers she's prayed for others won't be in vain."
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/10/27/cincinnati-nun-dismissed-acting-priest/74682372/
http://www.local12.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Nun-working-as-priest-fights-excommunication-224703.shtml

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- "A retired Catholic nun who has been operating as a priest in secret was kicked out of her religious order and excommunicated after she was questioned about her activities. Sister Tish Rawles has dreamed of being a priest since she was in the fourth grade. "When I first started going to Catholic school I couldn't understand why it was only men on the altar. I couldn't understand why there weren't girls up there too, serving," Rawles said. She responded to her calling by serving as a nun for 47 years but she always wanted more. "I needed to respond to the workings of the Spirit. I needed to follow my conscience what we call Primacy of Conscience," Rawles said. Rawles wrestled with her decision to become ordained. She suffers from MS and end-stage liver disease. She also worried her decision would hurt her community, the Sisters of the Precious Blood. In April, Rawles was ordained a Catholic priest by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The group said its ordinations are valid because the first women bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic bishop with apostolic succession. The group preaches about inclusivity and welcomes members of the LGBTQ community. "All are welcome. All are accepted. No one is turned away from our tables." Rawles preached in secret - also known as catacomb status - until last week. She was questioned by the head of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. She was notified that she was no longer a member of the community and excommunicated. Rawles said she and the other women priests want to force change in the Church. "We feel that we are not leaving the Church. We are leading the Church," Rawles said. She and the other priests are appealing to Pope Francis to remove the excommunication from the women who've been ordained priests during the upcoming Year of Mercy. "Jesus would not excommunicated anybody. Jesus welcomes all with open arms... There's no reason a person can't be a nun and a priest at the same time." Pope Francis has said he'd like to see women have a greater role in the Catholic Church but he has not said that he would be open to women becoming priests. Sister Joyce Lehman of the Sisters of the Precious Blood said Rawles excommunicated herself by her actions. Sister Lehman said she was surprised that Rawles had been acting as a priest. "If we’re going to be Catholic sisters then we will be faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church," Lehman said."
http://www.local12.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Nun-working-as-priest-fights-excommunication-224703.shtml

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/10/27/cincinnati-nun-dismissed-acting-priest/74682372/


A Cincinnati nun was excommunicated and dismissed from her Roman Catholic religious order last week after admitting she has been secretly acting as a priest since this spring.
Sister Letetia "Tish" Rawles, who has been a nun for 47 years, told the leaders of her order she was ordained in April as part of a movement that has been rebuked repeatedly by the church for violating Catholic teaching. Rawles, 67, has presided over religious services in secret and ministered to people who lived with her in a Cincinnati nursing care facility.
While other women have been ordained priests in violation of Catholic teaching, Rawles is believed to be the first member of a religious order in Greater Cincinnati to acknowledge taking that step and to face dismissal because of her actions.
Supporters appealed to the Vatican on Tuesday to allow Rawles, who is critically ill, to remain with the Dayton, Ohio-based Sisters of the Precious Blood. They said she has served the church as a teacher and care giver for decades and should be allowed to remain a nun, even if the church does not recognize her as a priest.
"Here's a woman who has devoted 47 years of her life in service to the people of God," said Janice Sevre-Duszynska, spokeswoman for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. "And now she's being thrown out of her community."
Rawles said she felt called to the priesthood since childhood and wanted to respond to that call before it was too late. "I thought that before I die, I want to fulfill God's call and my life-long dream to become a priest," Rawles said in a statement Tuesday.
The Catholic Church, however, is unequivocal in its rejection of the ordination of women priests. Pope John Paul II told the faithful 20 years ago that "the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women." Subsequent popes have said nothing to change that position, which the church has held for centuries.
Under church law, Rawles was excommunicated, or separated from the church, the day she was ordained a priest. Sister Joyce Lehman, president of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, said the religious order had no choice but to dismiss Rawles.
Lehman said she spoke to Rawles last week after learning she may have taken part in the ordination ceremony in April. She said Rawles confirmed she had done so.
"She has gone against what the Catholic Church teaches," Lehman said. "We didn't make a big decision to do this. She was dismissed as a result of her actions."
Catholics have debated the ordination of women for years, and national surveys show a majority of Catholics believe the church should permit it. A Pew poll in June found 59 percent of Catholics support the idea.
Some have argued women priests would alleviate a serious priest shortage in the United States and in other parts of the world, while others say there is scant support for a male-only priesthood in the New Testament and that some historical evidence suggests women did act as priests in the early church.
But the Vatican's position shows no sign of changing. The case against women priests is based on the writings of church fathers, as well as New Testament references cautioning that women "could not teach or have authority over a man."
Yet a small but growing movement has sought to ordain women while continuing to push for change within the church. Sevre-Duszynska said 77 women have been ordained through a two-year program overseen by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, and about 220 have been ordained worldwide. They do so even though ordination means immediate excommunication from the church.
"We also are created in the image of God," she said. "We also feel the call to the priesthood."
Lehman said she and other members of the Sisters of the Precious Blood were shocked to learn a member of the order had spent two years studying to be a priest and then had taken part in an ordination ceremony.
"She kept it secret from us," Lehman said. "There's no way she didn't know the consequences. This isn't something that should have been a surprise to her."
Although Rawles no longer is a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Lehman said the order would make sure she continues to receive medical care and housing.
"We are in the process of setting up some means of financial support," she said. "Not because she was in the order, but because she is a person in need."


One correction in article below: Our first female bishops in 2002 were ordained by an anonymous male Roman Catholic bishop in apostolic succession. There are now several branches of the international women priests movement. Our branch is the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, www.arcwp.org

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/29/nun-excommunicated-for-becoming-a-priest.html"
Cast Out: Nun Excommunicated for Becoming a Priest"
by Katie Zavadski in The Daily Beast
"After nearly five decades as a Catholic nun, Tish Rawles became a priest—and found herself cast out. Now she’s calling on Pope Francis to do what Jesus would’ve done and bring her back. When Letitia “Tish” Rawles was ordained as a Catholic priest in April, it was the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of yearning—and a practical fix to ministering to the sick and dying at her Cincinnati assisted living facility, where it was often hard to find a priest to administer last rites. “I’ve wanted to be a priest since... probably the fourth grade, as soon as I started attending Catholic school,” she told The Daily Beast. “I always wondered why there were no women at the altar, only men.”But Rawles didn’t know any female priests then, so she became a nun despite feeling the “deeper calling” of the priesthood. “And I’ve loved being a nun,” she said. The 67-year-old had that taken away from her last week, though, when the Ohio-based Sisters of the Precious Blood, the order she’d been with for 47 years, found out about her ordination and told her she was out. She was automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church, which bars women from the priesthood and shows no signs of budging from that position.Now Rawles and her supporters say they’re appealing to Pope Francis during his Year of Mercy to restore her to the church and to her order. That’s what Jesus would have done they say."This is an opportunity for Pope Francis to take a step towards reconciliation and healing misogyny in the church,” Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests told The Daily Beast. “The full equality of women in the church is the voice of God in our time. The ARCWP is one of many organizations pushing for allowing women to be Catholic priests but an outlier in that it ordains women. Meehan said the ARCWP’s female bishops were even ordained by an anonymous male Catholic bishop, linking them to an unbroken lineage leading back to the apostles. Did she know it was against the rules, did we know it was against the rules? Of course,” Meehan said. “But we are the Rosa Parks of the Catholic Church.”The ARCWP emphasizes the Catholic concept of “primacy of conscience,” which it says allows it to choose to dissent from an unjust teaching."


https://judyabl.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/validly-ordained-roman-catholic-nun-is-dismissed-from-her-order/

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/catholic.nun.excommunicated.for.being.secretly.ordained.as.a.priest/68973.htm

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/28/catholic-nun-excommunicated-secretly-attempting-ordained-priest/

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

News on Synod: Is God Laughing or Crying? Enjoy!

http://godlaughingorcrying.blogspot.com/

"Cincinnati Nun Dismissed For Acting as A Priest" by Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer

A Cincinnati nun was excommunicated and dismissed from her Roman Catholic religious order last week after admitting she has been secretly acting as a priest since this spring.
Sister Letetia "Tish" Rawles, who has been a nun for 47 years, told the leaders of her order she was ordained in April as part of a movement that has been rebuked repeatedly by the church for violating Catholic teaching. Rawles, 67, has presided over religious services in secret and ministered to people who lived with her in a Cincinnati nursing care facility.
While other women have been ordained priests in violation of Catholic teaching, Rawles is believed to be the first member of a religious order in Greater Cincinnati to acknowledge taking that step and to face dismissal because of her actions.
Supporters appealed to the Vatican on Tuesday to allow Rawles, who is critically ill, to remain with the Dayton, Ohio-based Sisters of the Precious Blood. They said she has served the church as a teacher and care giver for decades and should be allowed to remain a nun, even if the church does not recognize her as a priest.
"Here's a woman who has devoted 47 years of her life in service to the people of God," said Janice Sevre-Duszynska, spokeswoman for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. "And now she's being thrown out of her community."
Rawles said she felt called to the priesthood since childhood and wanted to respond to that call before it was too late. "I thought that before I die, I want to fulfill God's call and my life-long dream to become a priest," Rawles said in a statement Tuesday.
The Catholic Church, however, is unequivocal in its rejection of the ordination of women priests. Pope John Paul II told the faithful 20 years ago that "the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women." Subsequent popes have said nothing to change that position, which the church has held for centuries.
Under church law, Rawles was excommunicated, or separated from the church, the day she was ordained a priest. Sister Joyce Lehman, president of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, said the religious order had no choice but to dismiss Rawles.
Lehman said she spoke to Rawles last week after learning she may have taken part in the ordination ceremony in April. She said Rawles confirmed she had done so.
"She has gone against what the Catholic Church teaches," Lehman said. "We didn't make a big decision to do this. She was dismissed as a result of her actions."
Catholics have debated the ordination of women for years, and national surveys show a majority of Catholics believe the church should permit it. A Pew poll in June found 59 percent of Catholics support the idea.
Some have argued women priests would alleviate a serious priest shortage in the United States and in other parts of the world, while others say there is scant support for a male-only priesthood in the New Testament and that some historical evidence suggests women did act as priests in the early church.
But the Vatican's position shows no sign of changing. The case against women priests is based on the writings of church fathers, as well as New Testament references cautioning that women "could not teach or have authority over a man."
Yet a small but growing movement has sought to ordain women while continuing to push for change within the church. Sevre-Duszynska said 77 women have been ordained through a two-year program overseen by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, and about 220 have been ordained worldwide. They do so even though ordination means immediate excommunication from the church.
"We also are created in the image of God," she said. "We also feel the call to the priesthood."
Lehman said she and other members of the Sisters of the Precious Blood were shocked to learn a member of the order had spent two years studying to be a priest and then had taken part in an ordination ceremony.
"She kept it secret from us," Lehman said. "There's no way she didn't know the consequences. This isn't something that should have been a surprise to her."
Although Rawles no longer is a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Lehman said the order would make sure she continues to receive medical care and housing.
"We are in the process of setting up some means of financial support," she said. "Not because she was in the order, but because she is a person in need."

Marianne Williamson on Women and Religion at Parliament of World's Religion/ Highly Recommended

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF-2mBxfsjg

Press Release: As Religious Order Dismisses Nun-Priest with Debilitating Illnesses, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Calls on Pope Francis to Reinstate her and Honor Primacy of Conscience

From the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) (See: www.arcwp.org)
October 27, 2015
CONTACT: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, media, rhythmsofthedance1@gmail.com
859-684-4247
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com,
703-505-0004 

During this Holy Year of Mercy the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) asks Pope Francis to Reinstate Sr. Letetia Rawles (known as Sister Tish) who is 67 and critically ill as a Sister of the Precious Blood. She is stricken with the debilitating illnesses of multiple sclerosis, end-stage liver disease and Type 1 diabetes. For the past two years she has lived in an assisted living facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 Sister Tish followed her conscience, was ordained a catacomb woman priest on April 18, 2015, and was dismissed from her religious congregation on Oct 22, 2015 after 47 years of selfless service to the people of God. Why such a drastic punishment? She became a woman priest.
“I felt called to the priesthood since childhood,” said Sr. Tish. Inspired by encounters with other women priests, she began the journey to priesthood several years ago. “I thought that before I die, I want to fulfill God’s call and my life-long dream to become a priest,” she said. 
At present, she ministers to the suffering and dying in the assisted living facility where she resides. “It feels like I am walking on holy ground as I anoint the hands of the dying, pray with them, and preside at their funeral Masses.” She also celebrates Eucharist in inclusive liturgies in underground house churches.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP ordains Sister Tish a priest in Cincinnati, April 18, 2015

Her nun’s story began in 1968, at age 21, she entered the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and spent 22 years with them before transferring to the Sisters of the Precious Blood. While with the Incarnate Word Sisters, she taught grade 3 through 8. She also earned her Masters degree in guidance counseling.

When she transferred to the Sister of the Precious Blood in 1990, she worked as a clinical supervisor in mental health and as a chemical dependency therapist. She has been member of the Precious Blood Sisters for 25 years.

On Sunday, Oct. 25th, 2015 in a speech closing the historic Synod on the Family, Pope Francis  declared: “Today is a time of mercy.” Here is an opportunity for Pope Francis to put his words into action. This tragic dismissal of Sister Tish cries out to heaven for justice and compassion. We ask Pope Francis to revoke the dismissal of our beloved Sister Tish, a nun cast out of her order, because of the  harsh punishment  of Vatican excommunication.

The full equality of women in the church is rooted in the Gospel. Certainly this is not how Jesus, who embraced women, would act.

 Moreover, we call on Pope Francis to lift the excommunications of all women priests, our supporters and all Catholics who follow their consciences.


 Bridget Mary Meehan's Response:
 I ordained Sister Letetia Rawles, (known as Sister Tish) a deacon on July 19, 2014 and a  priest on April 18, 2015 in Cincinnati in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  
"Sister Tish , a compassionate woman of deep courage, followed her conscience to be ordained a priest in service to God's people. Although seriously ill  herself, Sister Tish performed her priestly ministry quietly in the Assisted Living Facility where she resides.  She anointed the sick and prayed with the dying ,some of whom were alone and in need of spiritual comfort. Her ministry of loving kindness to the suffering is at the heart of Jesus' call in the Gospels. I pray  that Pope Francis, who said "Today is a time of mercy' will show compassion to Tish who was separated from her Order involuntarily because she became a priest. Like Mother Theodore Guerin and Mother Mary MacKillop who were excommunicated by their bishops and later declared saints by the Vatican, SisterTish is a holy, prophetic women serving God's vulnerable people. She should be able to continue to serve God in the Order she loves as a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. (Catacomb ordinations happen in rare circumstances when the individual presides at sacraments out of public sight in service to a special community or serves a specific need. Often they work for the institutional church, like a diocese or are a member of a religious order, so  they cannot minister as a deacon or priest in public because they would be fired. )
Bridget Mary Meehan, a  bishop serving Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 

"Remembering Our Dear Departed", Free Spirit Catholic Community, North Carolina, Presider, Ann Harrington, ARCWP

 We had a Table of Remembrance that people brought photos and other mementos to be our Opening ritual.  
Our opening song was,  "Bring Him Home" by The Piano Guys.  https://youtu.be/5mJ08-pyDLg  During this time people came to the Table of Remembrance and lit a candle. 
 We had the readings and then after the homily,

Signposts on the Way to God - from Henri Nouwen's Bread for the Journey

How do we know about God's love, God's generosity, God's kindness, God's forgiveness?  Through our parents, our friends, our teachers, our pastors, our spouses, our children ... they all reveal God to us.  But as we come to know them, we realise that each of them can reveal only a little bit of God.  God's love is greater than theirs; God's goodness is greater than theirs;  God's beauty is greater than theirs.

At first we may be disappointed in these people in our lives.  For a while we thought that they would be able to give us all the love, goodness, and beauty we needed.  But gradually we discover that they were all signposts on the way to God.


Those Who Care
(Henri Nouwen)

When I am down and,
oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still
and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up,
so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.




If You Love Me, Do Not Cry
(St. Augustine)

If You Love Me, Do Not Cry
Don’t cry if you love me
If you know God’s grace
And what Heaven is like,
If you were able to listen
To the angel songs
And you see me among them,
If you were able to think for awhile
About the beauty
That no other beauty can match,
Wipe your tears and do not cry,
If you love me.

Death is nothing.
It is just having moved to the other side.
I am still what I am and you are still what you are.
What we used to be for each other is still the same.
Call me by the name you used to.
And talk to me as you have done before.
Do not use a different tone.
Do not be rigid or sad.
Continue to laugh about what used to make us laugh.
Pray for me.
Smile.

Think of me and pray with me.
Let my name be mentioned at home as before.
Without any exaggeration or distress.
Life continues to mean what it always did.
And it is still the same
The thread did not break.
Do you feel I have become outside of your thoughts
Because I am far from your sight?
No.
I am not far from you.
I am just on the other side of the road,
And everything is fine.
You will find my heart and my love pure.
Wipe your tears and do not cry.
If you love me

Homily 10/25/15
 As we  planetary pilgrims enter the darkest time of the year, it seems right and holy to descend and process the dark and troubling parts of our own souls.  The leaves are falling in a beautiful dance.  What might we let fall away from our own lives?  In conversations I've had recently, I have heard the need that so many of us have for healthy grieving.  This is one area in my life that I have had some profound experiences.  As I've often mentioned, I suffered my whole life from clinical depression.  One of the most healing things that happened during my time in psychotherapy was the realization that I needed to mourn the loss of my mother.  The woman who had been a loving mother to me descended into mental illness when I was 9.  I was nearly 40 before I realized I needed to grieve that.  The tears were so healing and the feeling of liberation made me feel like an eagle soaring.  
Church should be a safe place to do grief work and we are going to have an opportunity to do that today.  I hope we all feel free to cry here as well as laugh. Psalm 30 says God will turn our mourning into dancing.  But first the tears...  I remember back to a time in church, St. Peter's, that I had tears of mourning.  It was shortly after we moved here and I was sad about leaving our previous home.  I dashed into the bathroom to cry. 
If that's where you need to go, that is fine.  If you need to go outside that is fine, if you want to go sit in your car that is fine too.  I have an exercise that I am offering as part of our celebration today.  It comes from my spiritual director's training program.  We will take a few moments to do this and then come back together to share if anyone wishes to do that. If this isn't for you just take this time to do as you please. If this is too much for you to do here, you may take it home with you to try later.  I am sure any one of us can be a listening ear for your sorrow, if you feel more comfortable doing this one on one.  And of course the Holy Spirit will be with you if you prefer to do it one on one with Her in some other place and some other time.  To me this is the beauty of this model of church.  We take responsibility for our own growth.   You participate here to your own comfort level, no judgment, only acceptance and compassion. 

 Grief Exercise:

GOD IS WITH US ON OUR GRIEF JOURNEY:  QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

 1.  What memories do you hold dear about the person or persons you are remembering today?
 2.  What legacy(ies) did he/she/them leave with you?
 3.How have you felt God's perceived presence or absence or both as you grieve?
 4.  What Scripture verses bring comfort to you as you grieve?
 5.  What lessons have you learned from God as you grieve?
 6.  What would you offer in the way of suggestion to someone who is newly grieving?
 Sara O. Vale, Ph.D. (2006)


 Simple Eucharist

An Invitation
All:  The table of bread and wine is now to be made ready.
It is the table of company of Jesus, and all who love him.
It is the table of sharing with the poor of the world,
with whom Jesus identified himself.
It is the table of communion with the earth,
in which Christ became incarnate.
So come to this table,
you who have much faith
and you who would like to have more;
you who have been here often
and you who have not been for a long time;
you who have tried to follow Jesus,
and you who have failed; Come.
It is Christ who invites us to meet him here.
Iona Abbey Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications,
The Iona Community, www.ionabooks.com.
                                    Eucharistic Prayer
Presider:  When the hour had come, Jesus took a place at the table and said to them, "I've longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, broke it and gave it to them saying: 

All:  "This is my body which will be given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me".

 Presider:  Then taking the cup of wine Jesus gave thanks and said:

All:  "Take this and share it among you.  This cup is the New Covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you".  (Luke 21)
I give you a new commandment:  Love one another the way I have loved you.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, that you truly love one another.  (John 13)

                        Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
            All:  Loving God, you call us to life, a new life, abundant life
            Loving God, you call us to be transformed by the Life of the Spirit
            Loving God, you call us to join with you in creating the world anew!

Presider:  (lift bread and cup) Through the sharing of this bread and wine may we awaken to the sacredness of our lives and the beauty all around us.  May we experience your divine presence, O Creator God, so deeply, that our lives become reflections of Jesus.  Amen

All:  This is the body of Christ for the Body of Christ. 

Communion Song:Table of Plenty

Blessing
Presider:  May the Love that passes all understanding be our guide.  Take what you have received and share it lovingly with all you meet.  All:  Amen

Dismissal
Presider:  Christ has no body now but yours.  Go be the eyes, ears, arms and feet of Christ Sophia.  All:  Thanks be to God!

 Recessional: "When the Saints Go Marching In".