Saturday, July 31, 2021

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests - Annual Retreat Liturgy - July 31, 2021 - Presiders, Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, and Sibyl Dana Reynolds, ARCWP

Liturgy – Theme: Becoming Who We Are Called to Be: Mystics and Prophets 


Bridget Mary - As we gather joyfully in the presence of the Holy One, our brother, Jesus, and the life-giving Spirit of Wisdom Sophia, may our hearts be united in love as we live our call to become who we are called to be in our ministry and as members of

ARCWP.  ALL:  So be it!

Opening Song: All are Welcome

Community Reconciliation 

Sibyl  -- Holy One, in circumstances when we turn away from witnessing and responding to social injustice, inspire our courage, to speak truth to power. When we deny your guidance, and follow the voice of personal ego, may we become awakened to follow You. Help us to have clear vision and open hearts to illuminate the darkness with Your Love.  With faith and trust in You, we say, Amen.

Gloria: A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller

Opening Prayer

Bridget Mary --  Keeper of our Souls, we give thanks for the blessings of our ministries and our community. We pray to continue to support and celebrate one another’s callings, as we follow the Way of Jesus. May all that you have inspired within our hearts, grow to become a sheltering tree of grace and life-giving inspiration to be freely shared with others. May our community be strengthened through our mutual respect and love for one another, as we respond to your guidance and share Your Extravagant Love in myriad ways.  ALL:  Amen.

First Reading:  A Reading from the Book of Micah: 6:8

Dotty Shugrue

God has already made abundantly clear what “good” is, and what the Holy One needs from you:

Simply do justice,

Love kindness

And humbly walk with your God. 

These are the inspired words of the prophet Micah and we respond to them by saying ALL:  Thanks be to God

Responsorial: Spirit of the Living God

Second Reading:  A Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians 4:11-13

Jim Marsh


And to some, the gift they were given is that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers. These gifts were given to equip fully the holy ones for the work of service, and to build up the body of Christ—until we all attain unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Only Begotten of God, until we become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 

These are the inspired words of the apostle Paul and we respond to them by saying ALL:  Thanks be to God. 

Alle, Alleluia:

Gospel:  A reading from the Gospel of John (15:15-17)

Sibyl Dana Reynolds

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit.

Your fruit must endure,

So that whatever you ask of Abba God in my name God will give you.

This command I give you that you love one another.

These are the inspired words of the evangelist John.

And we respond to them by saying:  ALL:  Thanks, be to God.

Shared Homily: Guided Meditation, Bridget Mary Meehan

Begin by taking a few deep breaths… gently breathing in and out….

Reflect on your prophetic call to do justice…

Be aware of ways you are living Jesus’ call to love…  

Give thanks for the gifts you are sharing with others in your ministry and in ARCWP…

Jesus said: “Out of your heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

In the conflicting voices of struggles, discord and anger in our world, sink into the stillness of the Christ Presence within you...

Experience the Heart of Love embracing you in the depths of your soul.

Listen to the Holy One speaking to you now...

Contemplate your call to do infinitely more than you have ever imagined to be the hands and feet of Christ in loving service to the people of God...

Give thanks for your call to a renewed priestly ministry in prophetic witness to justice and equality in the Church and world...

Statement of Faith: 

Kim Panaro and ALL: 

We believe in Jesus formed in Mary’s womb,

and nurtured by her faith. 

He called women and men to follow him and invited the least and the last to an open table where all were welcome.

He rejected rigid laws, confronted abusive religious leaders and was put to death.

We believe that the Spirit of Jesus 

rises again and again in our lives each day,

freeing us from prejudice 

and hate so that we can carry on his revolution of love.

Prayers of the Community:

Bridget Mary: As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. 

Bridget Mary and ALL:  Holy One, You hear our prayer

Bridget Mary: For what shall we pray?

(Unmute your microphone when there is an opening, then, re-mute your microphone)

Bridget Mary: We pray for these and all unspoken concerns that we hold in our hearts.

Bridget Mary and ALL: Amen.

Preparation of The Gifts

Voice 1: Janet Blakeley 

Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 

ALL:  Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Voice 2: Dennis McDonald

Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 

ALL:  Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Voice 3: Ronnie Dubignon

Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, in whose presence we see no strangers, tend to the wounds in others and in ourselves. We commit ourselves to build a unity of love in a more compassionate and just world.  ALL:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 4: Kathryn Shea

Heart of Love, you reside in the hungry, the homeless, the stranger and in every person on earth. Aware of our call to be part of the world’s healing by choosing love over hate, forgiveness over retaliation, we sing: 

Holy Holy Holy –  Here in this place  by Christopher Grundy

Voice 5: Kathleen Ryan

Beloved, we encounter you as we speak and act as Jesus did in the midst of conflict to lift burdens and to offer healing and hope. We experience your love filling our hearts and energizing us to work for justice and equality in our church and world. 

(Please extend Your hands in blessing.)

Bridget Mary and ALL:

Pour out Your Spirit Sophia anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.

On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with his family and the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in memory of me.” (pause) 

Sibyl and ALL: 

After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying,

“This is the cup of the covenant of my love.  As often as You drink of it, remember me.”  (pause)

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Sibyl and ALL: Christ has died in all those who have died from violent attacks. 

Christ is rising in all who are set free from hatred by love.

Christ comes each day in all who labor for reconciliation and justice.

Voice 6: Irene: 

Creator of All, we remember all the courageous companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero and all holy women and men who have lived lives of love and service in the midst of hatred, violence and injustice. We pause now to remember our ARCWP priests who have passed into the embrace of Infinite love, Adele, Joan, Tish, Michele, and Sally – and our personal communion of saints. 


(Presiders hold bread and wine)

Sibyl and ALL: 

For it is through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to our call to live Gospel revolutionary love in our times

Great Amen  --  Sung by Dennis McDonald

Communion Rite

The Prayer of Jesus

Voice 7:  Lorraine Sharpe Meyer and ALL:

Our Mother who art within us.

Each breath brings us to you.

Your wisdom come, Your will be done,

as we honor your presence within us.

You give us this day all that we need.

Your bounty calls us to give and receive all that is loving and pleasurable.

You are the courage that moves us

to be true to ourselves

and we act with grace and power.

We relax into your cycles of birth,

growth, death and renewal.

Out of the womb, the darkness, the void, comes new life.

For you are the Mother of All Things.

Your body is the Sacred Earth and our bodies.

Your love nurtures us and unites us all.

Now and forever more.

Written by Dale Allen

Offer one another a sign of peace as we sing:

Deep Peace, Sara Thomsen

Bridget Mary:  Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread.

ALL:  Holy One, You call us to see no stranger, we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to tend the wounds of others and ourselves, we will do so. 

Holy One, You call us to respond to hate with love; we will do so.

Sibyl:  This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s open table where all are welcome.  

We are the face of God in the world.  Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Meditation 

Courageous Women by Jan Novotka, video by Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP, and Juanita Cordero, RCWP 

Concluding Rite

Dotty:  We give thanks for the goodness of people from every nation and culture.  We embrace our humanity – with all its imperfections – as holy ground.  As we go forth, we commit ourselves to be vibrant reflections of the Christ healing presence in our words and actions.  ALL:  Amen

Bridget Mary and ALL:  Please extend Your hands as we pray our final blessing.

In the spirit of the community of disciples, mystics and prophets,

We bless each other.

We bless all living beings,

We go forth, to live the Gospel of mutual partnership and hospitality. 

Closing Song:  Woman Spirit Rising by Karen Drucker, 

Slide Show by Donna Panaro

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Members of ARCWP with priestly ordination anniversaries this year, as well as our Circle Leadership Team, were invited by the Planning Committee to preside and read prayers in this retreat liturgy. This liturgy was written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Sibyl Dana Reynolds.

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