Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Life Consecrated, Not Religious" by Margaret Gonsalves sfcc


My Comment: I love being a Sister for Christian Community and affirm our vision of everyone and everything as consecrated! 


SFCC Vision

We envision building a global community where all will be one, and where openness to the Spirit empowers us to search new and challenging horizons. We seek to live passionately the Gospel Values of love, reverence, forgiveness, nonviolence, equality, diversity, integrity and care for creation. 

I rejoice in our theology of inclusivity and oneness with creation. I agree with Margaret's analysis of the future of religious life in this article. Bridget Mary Meehan sfcc, ARCWP

"It is 2008. I am sitting for meditation at the chapel of a Benedictine Ashram called "Forest of Peace" in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Benedictine Sr. Pascaline Koff has been guiding me through the meditations, and she hands me a book for my leisure time. The name of the book is Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West.
In the course of that one month retreat, I reached page 199 and got stuck there forever, reading this quote of St. Catherine of Siena again and again:
All has been consecrated. The creatures in the forest know this, the earth does, the seas do, the clouds know, as does the heart full of love. Strange! A priest would rob us of this knowledge and then empower himself with the ability to make holy what already was.
Saint Kabir was a weaver in North India. His famous poem "Of the Musk Deer" reveals that God is one and is everywhere. Producing sweet-smelling musk at his own belly button, the deer meanders in search of the source of the enchanting aroma. He runs helter-skelter in all directions and — dog-tired — he drops and curls up with his nose near his belly button and finds the aroma there.
So is our consecration. We were all consecrated as an embryo in our mother's womb. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).
We need not imitate the deer in his maddening rut, in search of consecration outside of our body and the cosmic body of the planet. If each one of us finds our peace, our dignity, our freedom within us, then we understand what the Vietnamese monk, renowned Zen master, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh says, "Peace is every step … walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet. … Peace is a state of mind, a way of being … the experience of peace is rooted within us."
So is our consecration within and around us.
We do not have to search for the consecrated life as something "up there," but rather the "beyond" that lies within. As Jesuit Fr. Anthony de Mello says, "You sanctify whatever you are grateful for."
We have to let go of the traditional notion of God, and of consecration as something outside of our body — which is terrifying and at the same time liberating.
Jesus, the prophet par excellence, announces that the time is now — time for the reign of God. In my understanding the consecrated one (prophet) comes to this planet with clear vision, the ability to announce that vision effectively both to the powers that be and to the people at the margins, and is ready to pay the price.
2015, the Year of Consecrated Life, made me aware that no one can take away our consecration before God, not even the civil or ecclesiastical magisterium. Every person, having been consecrated in the womb, holds God's place in relation to another human being. If anyone asks me whether I am a religious or secular sister, I find myself answering that "I am consecrated."
In her essay, "No More Sea," Society of the Sacred Heart Sr. Ishpriya Mataji narrates the following story:
The story is told of an ingenious adventurer of the last century who persuaded a number of businessmen to finance his research into the behavior of tigers in the Antarctic. After spending three years and a considerable amount of money on the project he returned home. His backers arranged a public lecture at which he was to share his findings. The announcement aroused much interest and it was to an audience vibrant with anticipation that he addressed these opening words: "Ladies and gentlemen, as you know I have spent three years in an exhaustive research in this topic. I am now convinced that there are no tigers in the Antarctic." After this he sat down.
This parable raises many disturbing questions for religious who are supposed to be prophetic voices crying out in the wilderness but find themselves comfortably ensconced in their institutional boxes. "Consecrated life" includes every human being, not just the institutions. After much research, Mataji has concluded that religious life and the church as we experience them today will no longer survive.
In an LCWR leaflet on "Formation," Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister wrote an article entitled "The Fall of the Temple: A Call to Formation." In it she predicted that the temple of religious life will fall, just as the temple of Jerusalem collapsed.
She laments its demise:
It is precisely our security that is killing us, and our isolation that is insulating us from the gospel, and our obedience that is making us useless lackeys of oppressive and unjust systems. We have taken the very vows that were meant to free a person and turned them into institutional niceties that now enslave us to the economic standards and antiseptic social strata and patriarchal systems to which we say we are counter-culture.
I have met several highly committed sisters who have expressed deep dissatisfaction with the irrelevance of institutionalized religious life. Some sisters, including provincials and superior generals, have left religious life and are exploring more meaningful possibilities of consecrated living.
Religious life as we see it today has strayed away from its basic thrust of countercultural protest. Forms of religious life which arose as prophetic movements according to the needs of the situation have become more and more institutionalized and lost much of their prophetic commitment. They compromised with the world and allowed themselves to be co-opted by it.
Would it be too far off the mark to say that the majority of religious congregations, which were started for the poor, find themselves catering primarily to the rich and pacifying their own consciences by throwing charitable crumbs to the poor?
Gerald Arbuckle, in an insightful study on religious life, comments: "Historically, once these movements cease to be prophetic, though in the Church law they may remain religious congregations, they are no longer authentically religious. By sinking to the level of purely human institutions they have lost their reason for being."
The crisis in religious life is a providential opportunity to explore new forms of consecrated life and an appropriate spirituality like, "Everything is sacred and everything is consecrated."
While some of us may lament the loss of vocations in religious life and its decline, it is high time that we dismantle its institutional trappings so that we can move from a religious life to a consecrated life style for today. In many western countries there may be a shortage of new entrants to religious life, diminishing numbers, departures and deaths.
But Consecrated life remains until the end of the world."
[Margaret Gonsalves belongs to the Sisters for Christian Community, Washington D.C. (WEB Region). She is the founding president of ANNAI Charitable Trust and networks with various newly founded women religious congregations for the empowerment of tribal/indigenous girls, including religious women.]

"Getting Catholicism -troubles and 90's Right in Derry Girls" by Jake Martin, America

https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2018/02/07/getting-catholicism-troubles-and-90s-nostalgia-right-derry-girls?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletters&utm_content=3+-+Getting+Catholicism+the+Troubles+and+90s&utm_campaign=Newsletter&source=Newsletter





"Tanks of soldiers carrying heavy artillery circle the wall surrounding the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. While the local news reports that another bomb was found attached to a bridge and has brought the city to a standstill, 16-year-old Erin Quinn is inconsolable because her cousin Orla has been reading her diary.
Such is the life of a teenager. Such is life in wartime. It’s just another day for Derry girls...Their focus on boys, exams and music really has nothing to do with the heedlessness of youth: We see Erin’s Aunt Sarah (Kathy Kiera Clarke) up in arms about the bomb on the bridge because it interferes with her time at the tanning bed, while Erin’s mother (Tara Lynne O’Neill) is simultaneously upset because she cannot spend another moment in the house with her teenage daughter. This is all terrific fodder for comedy, but it is more than that. The very reason it is funny is the same reason it penetrates: It is true. Erin, her friends and family get on with living their lives, the big and the small, the loving and hating, the major and the minor. They do what they can do because that is all they can do.
However tragic or unwieldy the bigger picture is, we live in the smaller picture. Our world is an immediate one, with its ungrateful, self-obsessed teenagers, cranky fathers-in-law, wacky aunts, sullen clerks and family dinners. This is life in wartime; this is life in our times. You get on with it."
"

Walter Bruggemann: "The Torah Is Written On Your Hearts" , Debt Cancellation, Social Justice, New Life of God: "Divine Possibilities for a Society in Free Fall"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUIUVn7Ppeo

Was Moses Real?
Understanding Scripture as Companion leading us to new places. 
Moses is counterpoint to Empire's oppressive power... etc

Friday, February 9, 2018

"Clueless Vatican is Gift that Keeps on Giving - Fallout of Banning of McAleese from Speaking at Conference Propels Wave of Support for LGBTI and Women Priests", Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP , "Efforts to Silence Mary McAleese Reveal Vatican's Fixed Thinking", Mary McAuliffe, Irish Times

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/efforts-to-silence-mary-mcaleese-reveal-vatican-s-fixed-thinking-1.3385160

My comment: The  fallout from this story as another example of the clueless Vatican as the gift that keeps on giving! The outpouring of support for LGBTI and women priests is propelling us toward a tipping point on these issues! I am delighted that to be part of a delegation of members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests visiting Ireland in early August to promote gender equality by ordination in a renewed, inclusive, egalitarian priestly ministry, that is non-clerical and rooted in our baptismal equality. We will be celebrating an inclusive liturgy at St. Andrew in Rialto on Sunday Aug. 5th and staying outside Dublin during the first week of August. Contact me, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP for details: sofiabmm@aol.com


Mary McAleese: why was a past president of Ireland, a practising Catholic, banned from addressing a meeting of Catholic women in the headquarters of Catholicism? Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA


"The invitation to the 2018 International Women’s Day meeting of the Voice of Faith conference to be held in the Vatican in Rome on March 8th reads: “We live in time marked by change, but there are places where gender equality is being systematically overlooked. The Catholic Church is one of them.”
Among the panelists invited to address the issue of why the Church is so slow in recognising that women have the “expertise, skills and gifts to play full leadership roles” was the former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese. So far, so uncontroversial, one would think. Dr McAleese, a Catholic, a canon lawyer, well-known to the hierarchy in the Vatican where she visited as president, has had things to say about the secondary position of women in the church, as have many women within the church.
She did play a prominent role in the 2015 marriage equality referendum when she spoke movingly of her son Justin and the difficulties he faced as a gay man and a Catholic within a church that rejects homosexuality. However, this conference, given the theme, would be a space to address the role of women in the church, a theme McAleese is eminently qualified to address.
As is customary practice, when such an event is taking place in the Vatican, the list of invited conference speakers was submitted to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, a native Dubliner, who is currently Prefect of the Congregation for Laity, Family and Life. He returned the list to the organiser, Chantal Götz of the Catholic Fidel Götz Foundation, with three names removed, including that of McAleese. Götz was understandably dismayed but Farrell was unyielding. McAleese, Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, a Ugandan LGBT activist, and Zuzanna Radzik, a Polish theologian specialising in Christian-Jewish relations, remained forbidden from participating.



After all efforts to negotiate with Cardinal Farrell failed, Götz and the foundation took the decision to move the conference venue to the nearby Jesuit Aula, still in Rome, but outside the walls of the Vatican State. McAleese is no longer a panellist, she is now invited to give the opening keynote to the gathering on March 8th on the theme, Time is Now for Change in the Catholic Church.

Irish hierarchy

Was all this yet another storm in the patriarchal, hierarchal teacup that is the Vatican? The Irish hierarchy seems to have washed its hands of the whole incident, despite suggestions from some Vatican-watchers that Cardinal Farrell would not have made his decision without consulting his episcopal colleagues in Ireland. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin, however, says the first he knew of it was from McAleese herself. So why was a past president of Ireland, a practising Catholic, banned from addressing a meeting of Catholic women from all round the world in the headquarters of Catholicism? Why would the presence of Mary McAleese on a panel so exercise the cardinal that he was moved to ban her?


"Why was a past president of Ireland, a practising Catholic, banned from addressing a meeting of Catholic women from all round the world in the headquarters of Catholicism?"

Could it be because of her support for same-sex marriage in the 2015 referendum, or could it be due to her support of the ordination of women? Catholic women like McAleese, working within the institution have, for decades, being calling – politely and reasonably – for change in the rigid, male-dominated, institutional church. However, despite some symbolic transformation, there remains an implacable resistance to true women’s equality within the church.
McAleese is no longer a panellist, she is now invited to give the opening keynote to the gathering on March 8th on the theme, Time is Now for Change in the Catholic Church
Speakers at the Voice of Faith conference over the past four years have come together to celebrate the work that Catholic women, religious and lay, do all over the world in education, in healthcare, campaigning for workers’ rights, helping migrants and asylum seekers, etc. As a matter of strategy, they have tended to avoid controversial issues such as the ordination of women. As Götz has said previously, “I just have to be very careful regarding the Vatican and the way we go forward, I want to have them in the boat.” However, it must be noted, few members of the Vatican hierarchy, and certainly not the pope, have attended this conference in previous years, so, in essence, the women were talking to and about themselves. Despite this softly, softly approach, Voices for Faith now finds that once a cardinal casts a disapproving eye on their list of speakers, there is no negotiation, no compromise.

Silenced and marginalised

The insider Catholic women of Voice of Faith may just now have met with the brick wall of Vatican non-negotiation, but many women in Catholic Ireland have met this hard wall in recent years. Marie Collins, a survivor of clerical sex abuse, resigned from Pope Francis’s commission on clerical abuse because senior clerics put “other concerns” before the safety of children. Survivors of Magdalen Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes campaigned for decades before having their voices heard. And it was the State and secular society who heard those voices, who offered apologies and restitution. The church, through the religious orders, continues to withhold direct, open access to records of these institutions, still has not paid its part in restitution costs, and oftentimes still denies or is silent about the trauma and suffering that happened at its hands. If the hierarchical church can attempt to silence and marginalise women who are insiders, how much more are they likely to silence and marginalise those on the outside.
Perhaps her speech, and the issues the attendees discuss, will get more publicity than usual because of the actions of Cardinal Farrell
The controversy of the Voice of Faith conference will inevitably die down. Mary McAleese will address the conference in Rome on March 8th, and perhaps her speech, and the issues the attendees discuss, will get more publicity than usual because of the actions of Cardinal Farrell. None of this will likely bother the cardinal; he is busy with plans for the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin in August. Already he is believed to have made his mark on this, demanding the images of same-sex families be removed from pre-conference publicity materials. Controlling what women say and defining what image of the family is acceptable is still what the Vatican and the institutional church does; it is the reaction of the laity that has changed. How long before the Catholic Church recognises this is anyone’s guess."
Mary McAuliffe is a historian and lecturer in gender studies at UCD

Love is Magical, It Expands Our Hearts and Fills Our Souls With Kindness

"Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?"
SYLVIA BOORSTEIN, Network for Grateful Living

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reflection on Real Presence, Eucharist: "Being Present to Presence" by Richard Rohr


Being Present to Presence Wednesday, September 24, 2014
By Richard Rohr
All my life as a Catholic, I have believed that the Real Presence of Christ is in the Eucharist. Now I also recognize that the very concept of presence is inherently and necessarily relational. We Catholics can defend the doctrine of the Real Presence all we want (and I do), but if we don’t teach the children of God how to be present to Presence, there is no Real Presence for them! We spent much of our history arguing about the “how” and the “if” and who could do it (“transubstantiation” of the bread), instead of simply learning how to be present ourselves (“contemplation”). We made it into a magic to be believed instead of transformation to be experienced. We emphasized the priest as the “transformer” instead of the people as the transformed. (Yet even Canon Law always said that the Sacraments are “pro populo,” for the sake of the people—and not an end in themselves.)
The Eucharist is an encounter of the heart, knowing Presence through our available presence. In the Eucharist, we move beyond mere words and thinking with the rational mind and go to that place where we don’t talk about the Mystery anymore; we begin to chew on it. Jesus did not say, “Think about this more” or “stare at this;” he said, “Eat this!” It was to be an action.

We must move our knowing to the bodily, cellular, participative, unitive level. Then we keep eating and drinking the Mystery, until one day it dawns on us in an undefended moment, “My God, I really am what I eat!” Then we can henceforth trust and allow what has been true since the first moment of our existence: we are the very Body of Christ. We have dignity and power flowing through us in our very naked existence—and everybody else does too! This is enough to steer and empower your entire faith life.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Enneagram for Pastors, Christianity Today

 http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2018/january-web-exclusives/enneagram-for-pastors.html?utm_source=outreach-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=23358230&utm_content=564714089&utm_campaign=email

Sister Louise Akers SC Died Today, A Prophet for Gender Equality in the Catholic Church: "Women's ordination is a justice issue."

We, in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests are grateful for Sister of Charity, Louise Akers, a courageous prophet for women priests, who was banned from teaching or speaking in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 2009.  Sister Louise's prophetic witness to the primacy of conscience and her outspoken support for women's rights in our faith tradition will be remembered forever.  As she joins the Communion of Saints, may she continue her advocacy for the full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. We extend our love and sympathy to her family, friends and to the Sisters of Charity. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

https://www.ncronline.org/news/cincinnati-nun-given-ultimatum-over-ordination-views
"According to the 66-year-old Akers, the archbishop outlined two requirements during their meeting. First, that she remove her name from the ordination web site, a step she has since taken in an effort to defuse the “destructive assaults” against her. Secondly, that she publicly rescind her long-held stance supporting the ordination of women.
The latter is a step she cannot take. “To do so would go against my conscience,” said Akers, who entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati in 1960, and holds a doctorate in feminist theology from the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass. Her master’s thesis, from the University of Dayton, focused on the “Prophecy of Martin L. King, Jr.”
“For four decades I have devoted my ministry to advocating on behalf of the marginalized through religious congregations, justice organizations, ecumenical and interfaith groups” Akers told NCR. “Women’s ordination is a justice issue. Its basis is the value, dignity and equality of women. I believe this to my very core. To publicly state otherwise would be a lie and a violation of my conscience. I love, support and cherish the part of Church that upholds the gospel mission and vision of Jesus.”
She quoted the words of Martin Luther, uttered centuries ago: “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.”

Her stance leaves her unable to make presentations at archdiocesan-sponsored events, to conduct retreats or reflection days, and to teach courses on any subject at sites that are directly related to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. All have been part of her ministry and service to the church, whether full- or part-time.





See inspirational homily by Sister Louise Akers SC
From Catholic Women Preach
Louise Akers, S.C., D. Min., has presented numerous workshops, 
courses and reflection days on justice related issues. 
Her past ministries include justice education & advocacy
 in formal classroom teaching on both the high school 
and university levels, parish coordinator in the 
Archdiocesan Social Action Office of Cincinnati, founder &; 
coordinator of Cincinnati’s Intercommunity Justice &; 
Peace Center, social concerns director of the Leadership 
Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and coordinator of the 
Sisters of the Sisters of Charity Office of Peace, Justice ;
 Integrity of Creation. In 1974 her master’s thesis in
 theology focused on the “Prophecy of Martin L. King, Jr.”, 
in 1996 she completed her Doctor of Ministry 
with a project entitled “Patriarchal Power and the 
Pauperization of Women”. Ministry opportunities 
include working with migrant farm workers, involvement 
with the civil rights & women’s movements 
along with international experiences in Malawi-Africa, 
Nicaragua; El Salvador; Mexico; Czechoslovakia; 
East/West Germany; Italy; Mondragon, Spain; 
Beijing, China; Paris, France; Canada.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"My House, My rules: 3 Women Speakers “Rejected” From Women's Day Event at Vatican On Full Inclusion of Women in the Church by Mary Hunt

"Why is this International Women’s Day in the Vatican different from virtually every other International Women’s Day in the Vatican? It isn’t. Women still have no power to make and implement decisions. The proof is painful, but clear.
For the past four years on March 8thVoices of Faith (VoF), a project of the Liechtenstein-based Fidel Götz Foundation, has held a symposium on women inside the Vatican. Chantal Götz is the project’s director. This year, the theme is “Why Women Matter,” for which the answer seems to be, they don’t.
The group’s goal is “to bring together leaders in the Vatican with the global Catholic community, so they can recognise that women have the expertise, skills, and gifts to play a full leadership role in the Church. Why does the Church continue to deny women that right based purely on gender? We amplify the capability of women in education and programs of social transformation, especially in areas of marginalisation and extreme poverty. Above all we showcase the enormous and under-utilised potential of women to exercise leadership at all levels of the Catholic Church.” The Vatican’s decision to prohibit the participation of some of their invited speakers provided all the data needed to show the importance of their mission.
The first four meetings have featured speakers from around the world talking about relatively safe topics like immigration and education. Planners have studiously avoided the sticky wickets of women’s ordination, abortion, and same-sex love, not to mention the elephant in the Sistine Chapel, which is Catholic women’s lack of jurisdiction or decision-making in the church.
This approach, facilitated by the fact that the women in charge have (and/or have access to) considerable financial resources and clerical friends in ecclesial high places, has been touted as an inside strategy. Feminist groups like Women’s Ordination Conference, the Catholic pro-LGBTQ group Dignity, Catholics for Choice, and many other member groups of Women-Church Convergence have never had a prayer of getting a toe inside the Vatican for meetings. There’s an argument to be made about needing multiple strategies to change a two-thousand-year-old institution. But VoF women have now come up against the reality of male-only decision-making that Catholic feminists have been trying to change for decades.
The live-streamed sessions of Voices of Faith reveal cordial meetings of women articulating their values and hopes in front of modest sized audiences. But even in the short few hours of focus on women there is the odd choice to have men, especially Jesuits, lead panels, make opening remarks, etc. On the one annual occasion when the focus is on women by women these valiant efforts to avoid any suggestion of turning the gender tables for even a moment are understandable. But I’m not sure in the long run they’re very helpful unless the men involved take principled stances when needed. Where were they this time?
This fifth year, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, an Irish-born American who began his theological studies with the Legion of Christ whose leader Marcial Macial went down in sexual abuse flames, thwarted these women’s polite and inclusive efforts. Mr. Farrell rejected three of the announced speakers without apparent comment.
That the names were submitted to him in advance—perhaps a regular practice in earlier years even though allegedly no one was rejected—begins to show just how expensive Vatican real estate can be. Since the event was at but not of the Vatican, Ms. Götz observed, “Ultimately, we did not see a reason why these women should have to go through an ‘approval process’ by anyone.” So why did she submit the names in the first place?
At this writing, the only banned speaker known is Mary McAleese, the former President of Ireland. The other two are thought to be Ugandan LGBTIQ activist Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, and Polish theologian Zuzanna Radzik who specializes in Christian-Jewish relations. But it’s anyone’s guess who caught the cardinal’s ire and why.
There is no official confirmation of the reasons why Mr. Farrell saw fit to bar them. But it’s widely speculated that among Mary McAleese’s sins is her strong support for LGBTIQ rights, beginning with her own gay son’s right to be as Catholic as his mother. Like so many queer kids, he reported being bullied because of his sexual orientation. The Church’s teachings against him and all queer people are damaging. His mother, like any conscientious parent with a tongue in their head, would not stand idly by as someone else’s child suffered the same pain.
Perhaps the former president’s support for the ordination of women is in the mix too. Surely her studies of canon law make her someone who can’t be lied to in such rarified spaces. At least she will not make nice by ignoring the hard issues of male power and female subordination that are baked into the fabric of institutional Catholicism.
After efforts to reason with Mr. Farrell proved fruitless, Ms. Götz and her group decided to change the venue of the event from their customary room inside the confines of the Vatican to a Jesuit hall just outside the walls. Ms. McAleese, they countered, will be the keynote speaker instead of simply a panel member as she has been before. It’s one way for the women to make clear to the prelates that they can make their own decisions when they pay for meeting space. The Götz Foundation is a generous donor to the Jesuit Refugee Service so it’s safe to assume some influence there.
Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin made clear that he was informed of the dissing by Ms. McAleese, not by his Roman colleagues. In fact, she has remained silent publicly on the matter, awaiting response to her private letter to Pope Francis who is Mr. Farrell’s boss. I wonder if this time the men are a little over their skis. Stay tuned.
In an added twist, the same Cardinal Farrell is the Pope Francis-appointed head of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, which is sponsoring the World Meeting of Families on August 21-26, 2018 in Dublin. Pre-conference publicity included pictures of same-sex families, giving the impression that this would be a more inclusive gathering than the session held three years ago in Philadelphia where LGBTQ Catholics were made to feel as welcome as the flu. Alas, new, recently released materials from which all traces of happy, good, healthy and moral same-sex families were erased have superseded the earlier ones. The WMOF2018 promises to be another contested space.
What’s more, Ireland will have a May 2018 referendum on abortion. It’s difficult to predict whether the Irish will overturn Amendment Eight which bans abortions under virtually all circumstances and develop new legislation that will stipulate under what circumstances abortions will be permitted. For a country in which many people of my grandparents’ generation went to daily mass, Catholic influence is on the wane. Many Irish Catholics are so thoroughly disgusted with priest pedophilia, episcopal cover-ups, anti-LGBTIQ blather, Magdalene Laundries, and now the running roughshod over a once-popular president that the famous bookies of Dublin aren’t ruling out anything. Catholicism has lost its hegemonic sway over the culture.
Several points bear further scrutiny in this debacle. First, the notion that women, even those who pay their own way like the Götz group, can set the parameters of debate inside the Vatican is naïve, or at least premature. It was, in my view, only a matter of time and issues before the curtain came down even on the most cooperative of Catholic women.
Voices of Faith’s way is one among many strategies to transform the Roman Catholic Church from a kyriarchy into a “discipleship of equals” in the helpful terminology of Catholic feminist biblical scholar Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. A patriarchal pyramid of power that functions with this kind of impunity is the antithesis of justice and has no claim on the values it purports to represent.
The value of Voices of Faith’s method will be measured by how it uses its unique access, made possible by the wealth and connections of its leaders, to advance a holistic agenda with myriad voices involved. While this first foray into the hard issues of church power has been thwarted, the group aims for a church inclusive of women capable of mature discussion even when not everyone agrees on basics. The Vatican would do well to take a lesson, though I fear it will try to coopt them first.
Second, the move to the Jesuit location is a mixed blessing. Given the fact that there is a Jesuit pope, there will be some who see this as a way for Pope Francis’ supporters to appear to help women without rocking the big boat. But the fact that the same Götz Foundation gives substantial financial support to the Jesuit Refugee Service makes it clear that there is some leverage involved.
Jesuits have a long history, well before one of them became pope, of helping out the institutional church when it suits them. For example, in 2004 their Boston College in Massachusetts offered to buy more than 40 acres from the Archdiocese of Boston for over $100 million cash with proceeds going toward settling myriad cases of sexual abuse by clergy members.
I see no reason to laud them this time without explicit proof that they actually stood for women in the face of a patriarchal church. It would be a welcome first in my experience and reading of history. In fact, one interpretation of the move is that the Jesuits bailed out the Vatican, providing a place so near yet so far away, ostensibly supporting the women by softening the hierarchy’s blow.
It reminds me of a time some years ago when the local bishop ordered the Massachusetts Women-Church group off of ecclesial property, including Jesuit places where the women had met once in a while. The women’s group had about a dozen members with a median age of 74, obviously a dangerous crowd! One Jesuit suggested that they would still meet with the women at a Dunkin’ Donuts. What courage.
Third, the real story is what will happen for International Women’s Day in 2019. Will the women expect to be back inside the Vatican walls? Will they be able to set their own agenda, invite their own speakers, and come to their own conclusions? Time will tell, but meanwhile, their 2018 conference invitation is telling:
We live in times marked by change, but there are places where gender equality is being systematically overlooked. The Catholic Church is one of them. Today, women are asking why the Church is so slow in recognizing their value and opening governance and ministerial roles to them; roles that incorporate their faith, gifts, expertise and education into structures of authority at all levels. Our world is facing a future more meaningful by the inclusion of women in significant positions. We will not let gender inequality undermine the longevity of the Church. Our voices stir the winds of change, so we must speak. Will Pope Francis and our pastoral leaders listen?
For now, the answer is apparently not. Cold, hard real estate rights—my house, my rules—hold sway.
So March 8th 2018 at the Vatican will be like every other March 8th. The sacred real estate and its inhabitants will remain untainted by the demands of Catholic women for “a full leadership role.” If not even very well shod women can get a foot in the door, imagine how the cleaning women, cooks, and secretaries are treated."

"In Lenten message, pope evokes end-times to describe ‘great tribulation"’ by John L. Allen Jr,.Feb 6, 2018

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2018/02/06/lenten-message-pope-evokes-end-times-describe-great-tribulation/

Judith Beaumont RCWP Memorial Mass St. Andrew United Church of Christ Sarasota, Florida Tuesday, February 6, 2018 , Liturgy prepared by Judith McKloskey RCWP

Judith Beaumont RCWP died on New Year's Day
Judy Lee  RCWP preaches homily at Memorial Liturgy for her partner Judy Beaumont


left to right: Andrea Johnson RCWP, Judith McKloskey RCWP, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia RCWP

Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia proclaims the Gospel in Spanish






Prelude Music:    played by Linda Miska

Hank announces the opening hymn and page numbers.
Opening Hymn: “Soon and Very Soon”          Breaking Bread 589

Procession while opening hymn is sung  
ministry cross             Joelle White
two candles
circle rosary
PEACE plaque family
Trident 9 book
drum
bell
Book of the Gospels   Rev. Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia
Bishops and Presider


INTRODUCTORY RITE

Presider:
On behalf of Judy Beaumont’s family, I welcome you
to this Memorial Mass as we honor the life among us
of God’s servant Judy Beaumont.
My name is Judith McKloskey, Roman Catholic Woman Priest and friend. Joining me at the altar are Bishops Andrea Johnson and Bridget Mary Meehan. Our music ministers are Linda Miska and Hank Tessandori. We are grateful to Pastor Paul Werner of St. Andrews, and to the members of Mary Mother of Jesus Community for their kindness and hospitality.
During this Eucharist, we pray in our shared belief
that God continues to be with us, and that we are called
to continue living the Gospel values that shined forth
from Judy.


So, in a spirit of gratitude and reverence, we begin,
as we always do,
In the name of our God: Mother/Father, Brother Jesus, and Holy Spirit.                              R. Amen
The grace of our brother Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
R. And also with you.
Judy donated her body to the medical school, so her physical remains are not here to be blessed with holy water. We know that she would like all of us to be blessed with water, because it reminds us of our baptism into Christ Jesus. That is how we will begin.
Sprinkling with water (Andrea, Judith, Bridget Mary); background music
Opening Prayer:
Let us pray.    (moment of silent prayer)   
Loving God, it is our certain faith
that your Son, who died on the cross,
was raised from the dead,
the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep.
Grant that through this mystery
your servant Judy, who has gone to her rest in Christ,
may share in the joy of his resurrection.
We ask this through our brother Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
R. Amen
Before we hear our Scripture readings, we’re going to spend a few moments reflecting on our beloved Judy Beaumont. Judy’s sister Jill and brother Ed and Judy Lee will share some of their memories.

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Thank you, Jill and Ed and Judy. Now let us open our hearts and minds to God’s words of comfort and courage.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Reading 1: Is 25: 1, 4a, 6a-7, 8a, proclaimed by Hank Tessandori

Responsorial Psalm 72: (Inclusive Version; Epiphany), proclaimed by Harry Gary
                                    (or Cyrillia or Felice Rismay) antiphon Mt 25: 21

Reading 2:       2 Tim 4: 6-8, proclaimed by Efe Cudjoe

Gospel:    Mt 25: 34-40 proclaimed in English by Rev. Judith McKloskey
                        proclaimed in Spanish by Rev. Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia

Judith and Marina go to lectern as Celtic Alleluia is sung and remain there until both final singing of Alleluia.

Gospel Acclamation: (Celtic Alleluia) led by Hank Tessandori

            The master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”     (NIV)

Alleluia (sung once)

Presider:                Our God is with you.
                                    R. And also with you
                              A reading from the gospel according to Matthew
                                    R. Glory to you, O God.

Then Jesus the Christ will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you blessed of my Abba God! Inherit the kin-dom prepared for you from the creation of the world! For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you clothed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you clothes me. I was ill and you comforted me; in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then these just will ask, ‘When did we see you hungry and feed you, or see you thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we see you ill or in prison and come to visit you? The Jesus the Christ will answer them, ‘The truth is, every time you did this for the least of my sisters or brothers, you did it for me.’

Presider (after the Gospel)      The Good News of salvation!
                                                R. Glory and praise to our savior, Jesus Christ!

Then Marina proclaims the Gospel in Spanish, repeating the         pre-Gospel dialog and the response after the Gospel.

Presider:                Nuestra Dios está contigo.
                                    R. Y tambien contigo
                              Una lectura del evangelio según Mateo.
                                    R. Gloria a ti, oh Dios.

Del santo Evangelio según san Mateo.

34Entonces el rey dirá a los de la derecha: Vengan, benditos de mi padre, a recibir el reino preparado para ustedes desde la creación del mundo. 35Porque tuve hambre y me dieron de comer, tuve sed y me dieron de beber, era emigrante y me recibieron, 36estaba desnudo y me vistieron, estaba enfermo y me visitaron, estaba encarcelado y me vinieron a ver.

37Los justos le responderán: Señor ¿Cuándo te vimos hambriento y te alimentamos, sediento y te dimos de beber, 38emigrante y te recibimos, desnudo y te vestimos? 39¿Cuándo te vimos enfermo o encarcelado y fuimos a visitarte?

40El rey les contestará: Les aseguro que lo que hayan hecho a uno solo de éstos, mis hermanos menores, me lo hicieron a mí.

Las buenas nuevas de la salvación!
      R. Gloria y alabanza a nuestro salvador, Jesucristo!

Celtic Alleluia sung only once


Homily: Judy Lee

Prayers of the Faithful: (read by Judy Alves)
Judy Alves goes to lectern and remains there until presider completes the prayers.
Presider:           Always mindful of God’s love and care for us,
                     we now bring our needs to our God:
(Pause for prayers)
Our sister Judy shared in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, leading God’s people in prayer and worship. Bring her into your presence where she will take her place in the heavenly liturgy. Loving God, in your mercy…
    R. Hear our prayer.
Many friends and members of our families have gone before us and wait the kin-dom. Grant them an everlasting home with your Son. Loving God, in your mercy, …
    R. Hear our prayer.
Many people die by violence, war, and famine each day. Show your mercy to those who suffer so unjustly these sins against your love, and gather them to the eternal kin-dom of peace.
Loving God, in your mercy, …
    R. Hear our prayer.
Those who trusted in the Lord now sleep in the Lord. Give refreshment, rest, and peace to all whose faith is known to you alone. Loving God, in your mercy,…                     R. Hear our prayer.

Judy’s family and friends seek comfort and consolation. Heal their pain and dispel the darkness and doubt that come from grief. Loving God, in your mercy, …
   R. Hear our prayer.
We are gathered here in faith and confidence to pray for our sister Judy. Strengthen our hope so that we may live in the expectation of your Son’s coming. Loving God, in your mercy, …
    R. Hear our prayer.

Presider:        
Gracious God, giver of peace and healer of souls,
hear the prayers of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ,
and the voices of your people,
whose lives were purchased by the blood of the Lamb.
Forgive the sins of all who sleep in Christ
and grant them a place in your kin-dom.
We ask this through Jesus our Brother.
      R. Amen

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Hank announces the hymn and page numbers
Offertory Hymn:  “I Am the Bread of Life” Breaking Bread 343, vs. 1, 4 & 5

Bridget Mary:     Blessed are you, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
     R. Blessed be God forever.
Andrea:            Blessed are you, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer.
It will become our spiritual drink.
R. Blessed be God forever.
Presider:            Pray, brothers and sisters, that our offering
may be acceptable to God, our loving Creator.
R. May God accept these gifts from our hands
for the praise and glory of God's name,
for our good, and the good of all the world.
Presider:              God of love, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ. May our lives be instruments of your healing. We ask this through Jesus, our Brother. R. Amen

                  May God be with you.                   And also with you.
                  Lift up your hearts.                          We lift them up to God.
                  Let us give thanks to our loving God.
                                                                                    It is right to give God thanks and praise.


                                            PREFACE

Presider:    It is truly right to give you thanks; it is fitting that we offer you praise, faithful and merciful God.
 You sent Jesus Christ your Son among us as redeemer.

He was moved with compassion for the poor
and the powerless, for the sick and the sinner;
he made himself neighbor to the oppressed.
By his words and actions he proclaimed
to the world that you care for us as a parent cares
for children.
And so, with all the angels and saints we speak
the joyful hymn of your praise:
All:           Holy, holy, holy One, God of love and peace,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. 
Blest is Jesus who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

Bridget Mary: You are truly blessed, O God of holiness:
you accompany us with love as we journey through life. Blessed too is your Son, Jesus Christ, who is present among us, and whose love gathers us together. As once he did for his disciples, Christ now opens the scriptures for us and breaks
the bread.


Presider:      Great and merciful God, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit to bless these gifts of bread and wine,
that they may become for us
the body ++ and blood of Jesus the Christ.
(Please extend your hands as we pray the consecration together.)
On the night before he died, Jesus came to the table with those he loved; Jesus took bread and gave you thanks and praise; he broke the bread, and gave it
to his friends, saying:
Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my body, which will be given up for you.
When supper was ended, Jesus poured a final cup
of wine.  Again he gave you thanks and praise.
He gave the cup to his friends, saying:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

Presider:      Let us proclaim the mystery of faith!
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Andrea:       And so, God most holy, we celebrate the memory of
Jesus your Son, whom you led through suffering
and death to the glory of the resurrection and a
place at your right hand. Until Jesus, our Savior, comes again, we proclaim the work of your love,
and we offer you the bread of life and the cup of salvation.
God, perfect your Church in faith and love together with our church leaders and all those your Son has gained for you.

Bridget Mary: Open our eyes to the needs of all; inspire us with words and deeds to comfort those who labor and are burdened; keep our service of others faithful to the example and command of Christ.

Presider:      Let your Church be a living witness to truth and freedom, to justice and peace, that all people may be lifted up by the hope of a world made new.
Be mindful of our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the peace of Christ, especially your daughter Judy. Lead them to the fullness of the resurrection and gladden them with the light of your face.
When our pilgrimage on earth is complete, welcome us into your heavenly home, where we shall dwell with you forever. There, with Mary, the Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all the saints, we shall praise you and give you glory through Jesus Christ, your Son.
Spoken while elevating paten & chalice
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, all-loving God, forever and ever.        sung AMEN. (from Lilies of the Field)

Communion Rite

Abba Prayer
Presider:       Let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught us:
                     Our Father/Our Mother, who are in heaven....

Sign of Peace
Presider:
Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
“I leave you peace. My peace I give you.”
Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,
and grant us the peace and unity of your kin-dom
where you live for ever and ever.    R. Amen

May the peace of Christ be with you.
                                               R. And also with you.

Let us offer each other a sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

All:                 Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                       Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                       Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Presider:        This is Jesus, the Bread of Life, how blessed are we 
                  who are called to this table.
                         R. Jesus, you make us worthy to receive you,
and by your word we are healed

(Four communion ministers: two for bread; two for chalice)

Communion Hymn:    “Peace Is Flowing Like A River” Breaking Bread 535
                                    followed by instrumental music

Communion Meditation: Ave Maria sung by Hank Tessandori


CONCLUDING RITE

Presider:                   Before we conclude our prayer, Judy’s family invites you to share food and memories in the fellowship hall. Again we express our gratitude to Pastor Paul of St. Andrews; Bishop Andrea Johnson for traveling from Maryland; Pastor Bridget Mary and the members of Mary, Mother of Jesus Community; music ministers Linda Miska and Hank Tessandori; all who prepared the food, and to all of you for praying with us this day.

As we take leave of our sister Judy, we express our love for her. We give thanks for the blessings she so fully lived in this life, and for the blessings she so richly shared with us. We pray for consolation as we mourn her absence here among us. We comfort one another in our grief, because even our mourning is a blessing and an opportunity to love one another better.

Please raise your hand in loving memory of Judy Beaumont, who lives now in God, and in blessing toward all who are gathered here today.

May our loving God bless us, heal us, and fill us with peace, in the name of God our Father/Mother, Jesus our Brother, and the Holy Spirit.                  R. Amen

Go in the peace of Christ, to continue loving and serving God and one another.                                             R. Thanks be to God.

Judy loved our closing hymn, because it got us renewing our commitment and back into service.
So we raise our voices in singing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”

Closing Hymn:            I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Sources: 1st reading, responsorial psalm and Gospel from Inclusive Bible. Epistle from NIV.


Prepared with love by Judith McKloskey




Jill, Judy Beaumont's sister and brother