Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland: Media Coverage Links

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP sharing women priests movement in Drogheda, Ireland

Newspaper article links

The Journal
'Is it possible to be Catholic and a feminist?'

Irish Independent

Female bishop calls on women to join movement

Irish Times
Catholic woman bishop on Irish vocations recruitment drive

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland- Day 15 - Ennis on Feast of Assumption of Mary, August 15th, Franciscan Friary and St. Peter and Paul Cathedral and Celebration of Fleadh Cheoil

Today we participated in the Liturgy at the Franciscan Friary. The homily made the connection between God the Mother and Mary as a reflection of the feminine. The liturgy featured prayers in Gaelic as well as Celtic music. 
I prayed for women priests in Ireland at Mary's altar in the Franciscan Priory.
 See clip below.
At the Fleadh, there was music everywhere on the street, children were playing instruments and dancing. It was a joy to be part of the energy of a huge throng of people celebrating their Irish heritage. See my facebook page for delightful music videos. 

Today I received several calls from media, including BBC. We were invited to celebrate liturgy in Northern Ireland with Pat Buckely and his community on the Antrim coast, and heard from another woman who is interested in discerning a vocation to priesthood.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Mary statue at Franciscan Friary

Statue of St. Bridget at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

Franciscan Friary, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

Mary Altar at Franciscan Friary, Ennis, Ireland

ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland: Article in Irish Times: "Catholic woman bishop on Irish vocations recruitment drive"

Bridget Mary Meehan presiding at Liturgy

"Five women who believe they have a vocation to the Catholic priesthood have contacted a US delegation visiting Ireland this month to recruit female priests.
From the US-based Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP), the delegation is being led by Irish-born Bishop Mary Bridget Meehan, who is accompanied by Rev Mary Theresa Streck and Rev Joan Chesterfield.
Speaking of the five women seeking ordination, Bishop Meehan told The Irish Times they “already have theology degrees and diplomas in spirituality”.
A Mass celebrated by Bishop Meehan, in a community centre on Dublin’s South Circular, was attended by “35 to 40” people earlier this month, while the delegation met a similar number more recently in Drogheda.
They have also visited Glenstal Abbey at Murroe, Co Limerick, where they met former Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman and Nóirín Ní Riain who was ordained Rev Nóirín Ní Riain, minister in the One Spirit Inter Faith Seminary Foundation, last month. The foundation embraces “the universal truth at the heart of all spiritual traditions”. Ms Ní Riain has a doctorate in theology.
Bishop Meehan said she had also met Limerick parish priest Fr Roy Donovanwho last week called for the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood and objected to the introduction of a male-only permanent diaconate in his Cashel Archdiocese before completion of a report by the papal commission on women deacons.
The meeting with Fr Donovan was “very open” she said, and he had put her in contact with a woman who believes she too has a vocation.

Pittsburgh ordination

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan was raised to the episcopacy in 2009 at Santa Barbara, California, after ordination to the Catholic priesthood at Pittsburgh in 2006.
Her family is from Crosskerry, near Rathdowney, Co Laois, but they left Ireland for the US in 1956. Nowadays, she holds weekly liturgies , including Mass, at the Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida.

In 2007, she and fellow women priests were excommunicated by Pope Benedict. He decreed that anyone “who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order” was automatically excommunicated. However, this decree has been rejected by the ARCWP.
In North America, there were about 250 Catholic women priests and 11 women bishops, Bishop Meehan said. Their ordinations were valid “because of our apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church”, she said.
This is so because “the principal consecrating Roman Catholic male bishop who ordained our first women bishops is a bishop with apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church in communion with the Pope. Therefore, our bishops validly ordain deacons, priests and bishops.”
As well as in the US and Canada, the ARCWP has members in Latin Americaand, increasingly, in the rest of the world.


They seek equality for women in the church at all levels, including at decision-making and ordination levels, and prepare and ordain qualified women (and men) to serve as Catholic priests. Theirs is “a renewal movement” within the church which aims at “full equality for all within” as “a matter of justice and faithfulness to the Gospel”, she said.
Bishop Meehan points out that their model of church “is exactly the opposite” of the current Roman model. For instance, “our bishops have absolutely no authority apart from ordaining [others to priesthood/episcopacy]. It’s like the monastic model,” she said.
She and other members of her delegation are back in Ireland (she has been a regular visitor over the years) “for the month of August” and hope to encourage other women towards ordination while here. They will be “celebrating liturgies and meeting with women’s groups”.
They would also “love a dialogue with the bishops” in Ireland and believe there is “a new spirit in the church” since the election of Pope Francis in 2013. They feel “in harmony with a lot of what Pope Francis is saying”.
Recently, two Vatican officials met ARCWP members in Rome and all attended Mass together, she said.
Women who believe they have a vocation to the priesthood can contact Bishop Meehan at 001- 703-505-0004, and

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Response to Cardinal Marx's Call for Global Church Led by Women and Men-- Full Equality Includes Women Priests in Inclusive, Egalitarian Communities

Bridget Mary's Response to Cardinal Marx. Yes, to women in leadership positions with decision making authority, but,
until women are equals at the altar with equal rites and equal rights, the vision of Jesus in the Gospels of inclusiveness and spiritual equality will not become a reality in the Catholic Church. The mission of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is to lead the church into the full equality of women in a renewed priestly ministry in the community of equals with all the baptized.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

Dublin Liturgy on August 6, 2017 with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

"Cardinal calls for global Church
 led by both men and women
"We would be mad not to use women's talents. In fact, it would be downright foolish," Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of Pope Francis' top advisors, recently said at a mentoring program for women in his Munich archdiocese...
He said the fact that only men can be ordained as Catholic priests, is "certainly not helping the Church come across as a pioneer of equal rights". 
"But that does not mean only men rule the Church," the cardinal insisted. "
Christa Pongratz-Lippitt 

ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland: Movies with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

St. Brigit's Healing Well, Liscannor, County Clare Ireland

St. Brigit's Monastic Site in Kildare: Prayer for Justice and Equality- Bridget Mary Meehan

Immaculate Conception Church in Kilkee, County Clare, Ireland

Prayer for  Women Priests at Our Lady's Holy Well near Dunbeg, County Clare, Ireland

 Bridget Mary's Early Childhood Memories of Faith in Chapel in Rathdowney, Ireland

Cottage in Coolkerry, Rathdowney, Meehan Family Home from 1948-1956, County Laois, Watercolor

Childhood family home

Sunday, August 13, 2017

ARCWP Priests Visit Ireland- Day 13: Praise for Creation: Sunset on Wild Atlantic- Kilkee

Kilkee, County Clare, Ireland

Holy One, we give thanks 
for the beauty of the earth,
and for each woman called to priesthood in Ireland. 
(Bridget Mary, Mary Theresa, and Joan in Kilkee, Ireland)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fr. Roy Donovan, Catholic Priest Speaks Up for Women Priests in Tipperary, Ireland

By: Noel Dundon 
"A Parish Priest in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly has spoken out against plans by Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly to establish a working group which will examine all aspects of the Permanent Diaconate with the possible view to establishing the ministry.

Fr Roy O'Donovan, PP of Caherconlish says that establishing the ministry in the Archdiocese extends the role and responsibility of men in the Church thereby extending patriarchy.

“What are the implications of this when already there are so many women involved on the ground, in all kinds of ministries, without having much status and power? Have they not earned their place at the top table? Fr Donovan asked this week.

Archbishop O'Reilly has appointed Rev Fr Tom Fogarty as Chairman of the working group which will examine all aspects of the Permanent Diaconate, but that group has not yet met and is expected to commence work in the Autumn.

The ministry of the Permananet Diaconate has been introduced in many dioceses in Ireland and permits lay people to perform many ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings.

Fr. Donovan said "Permanent Diaconate excludes women. Introducing the Permanent Diaconate, without women, is extending Patriarchy in the Archdiocese. What are the implications of this when already there are so many women involved on the ground, in all kinds of ministries, without been given much status and power? Have they not also earned their place at the top table? It has been suggested by some that one of the reasons why men get involved in the Diaconate, is that it gives a certain amount of power and status.

"Pope Francis set up a Commission in July 2016 to study the diaconate and the role of deaconesses in the early Church. Is this group set up by the Archbishop going to pre-empt the Commission and introduce deaconesses?!

"Allowing a male only diaconate further questions the nature of relationships priests have with their mothers, sisters and nieces. It also questions the nature of relationships priests have with women. There are women in the Archdiocese who believe they are called by God to be priests ie. Marese Skeehan (Thurles), Noirin Ni Riain (Murroe & native of Caherconlish) who was recently ordained as a minster in the One Spirit Inter Faith Seminary Foundation.

"We have a long way to go to implement the originality of the Gospel of Jesus – a ministry of equals among equals. After all, Mary Magdalene, known as the Apostle to the Apostles, was the first minister of the good news – proclaiming that Jesus is alive!", he said. "

ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland: Day 10: Kildare Visit and Prayer for Women Priests and Gender Equality in Ireland


St. Brigid's  Cathedral: Site of St. Brigid's Monastery in Kildare


Mary Theresa Streck and Bridget Mary Meehan at Kildare Monastery on August 10th

Ancient Monastic Site as it looked in time of Brigid in 5th century Ireland

Round Tower on Monastic Grounds of St.  Brigid of Kildare Cathedral in Kildare