Sunday, December 4, 2022

Roman Catholic Women Priests Respond to Pope Francis' Interview on Women Priests Published in America Magazine


In response to Pope Francis’ explanation of Why women cannot be ordained.

Clare Julian Carbone ARCWP

Firstly, regarding the Marian Principle which Pope Francis alludes to - Mary is not primarily a spouse. She is essentially the Theotokos – the God Bearer. She is Mother - mother of Jesus and nurturer of the values of the Divine Feminine in him. And she is Universal Mother to all peoples of all faiths and persuasions.

If Mary is to be considered “spouse” then her espousal is primarily, not to man, but to the Holy Spirit, to whom she acquiesces wholeheartedly. In this, she invites each of us into this same espousal relationship with the Divine, to bear and nurture the Christ of compassion, truth, and mercy in our own lives. She is subversive and powerful in her defiance of patriarchal domination. (ie. Magnificat – “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones; He has sent the rich away empty”)

Secondly, what about the Joseph Principle? Clearly Joseph models the male role of supporting and protecting, (not subduing) the female. Joseph protects Mary from those who would subvert her calling, and takes a back seat, as it were, giving his all to support her fulfillment.

And what about the Magdalene Principle? Through commissioning her to be the witness and messenger of the Resurrection, Jesus is clearly validating woman's priestly, authoritative stance of leadership, of teaching, and when necessary, correcting the male. In the third century, Mary Magdalene was officially acknowledged as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ by Bishop Hippolytus of Rome.

My hope is that Pope Francis prayerfully reconsiders the shallow and patriarchal argument he offers for not ordaining women.


Diane Dougherty ARCWP

The governance of the church is patriarchal.
"a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line, " It is a global a cultural wineskin giving power to men only.

As a social framework, patriarchy is marked by inequality in the masses and in terms of church governance, those males holding positions of authority act in the name of their notions of God.  Their only qualification is to be appointed by another hierarchical member above them...All others sustain the framework from the positions to which they have been assigned whether qualified or not.

Women Priests are challenging this social construct by claiming gender equality in the Catholic tradition.  In doing so, Petrine and Marian Doctrines do not hold up.  While their voice resonates with the masses, we stand at the crossroads of change.

The movement toward democratic forms of governance that recognize human rights for everyone and works to gain access to civil rights within each city and nation is the single most threat to patriarchy.  Gender equality and all forms of governance that protect this notion in terms of law, policies and  practices minimize the power of patriarchy.

In the US, Brazil, China,Columbia, France, Russia, you see the telltale signs of patriarchal power in search of maintaining its hold on populations-working every angle to crush voices and remake nations into one man rule.  But people in democracies are pushing back-reconnecting with each other to restore not just a vision, but forms of governance based in equality that work for  all people.

While these men seek restoration of their old wineskins, we stand with a multitude of men and women on new ground weaving stronger networks that repair, restore and recover a world that works for everyone.

Jeni Marcus ARCWP
Here is the crux of the patriarchal problem. As long as faith systems rely on ancient scriptural texts as the foundations of their beliefs with their inherent cultural biases viewing God as an anthropocentric human male compounded by doctrines or beliefs that those scriptures are the "Word " or the "Inspired Words" of God humanity will be plagued with these false male superiority narratives and rationale. Beginning with the erroneous interpretation of the Genesis story and Trinitarian theologies as foundations of their faith coupled with anti-scientific Aristotelian and Augustinian philosophies and thinking, that women are less than complete human beings. Buttressed by primitive views that they are that they are not as physically strong or intelligent as their male counterparts. These false beliefs and rationale provide the male power elite like the pope and RCC hierarchy with the justification for the subordination of women which is also incorporated on other faith systems like Fundamentalist Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Islam etc. Regrettably, that same subordination rationale has bled into and permeated secular societies and governmental institutions for millennia: This is a good example for the justification of the Jeffersonian concept for the Separation of Church and State. Please note that it took a long time for women to even get the right to vote in the United States that finally occurred on August 18, 1920, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

In light of the above we are dealing with "Systematic Misogyny" that is a curse on our humanity and human evolution. It must be called out for what it is sheer false and discriminatory nonsense and within context of Christianity an intrinsic evil that must be exorcised 

Mary Eileen Collingwood ARCWP
America Magazine published an interview with Pope Francis recently.  In that interview, when asked whether a woman can be ordained a priest, Francis responded that this is a theological problem that lies in the fact that people just do not understand the theology of the Petrine Principle and the Marian Principle.  Implying that if they did, there would be no difficulty in understanding that women simply are not destined to be ordained. 
The Doctrine of Complementarity is a teaching of the Church that embodies the differences and purpose of the male and female. The male is always the head of the church, the family, the faith community, the corporation, the social activity, the war effort. From the male comes the “seed” from which all human life is created. The male is considered the minister/administrator—a role modeled by what is known as the Petrine Principle
The female is considered the heart, the moving spirit, the nurturer of the church, the family, the faith community, the spirit of social awareness, the vessel from which human life emerges.  The Church even goes so far as to use the analogy that Jesus is the bridegroom and the female is the church-bride, the faithful spouse of the male church—a role modeled by what is known as the Marian Principle. This principle encompasses the belief that the femininity of the church is mirrored in this dedicated role of the female.  
From this Doctrine of Complementarity came Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”  Most dioceses in the US have adopted this theology in all the institutions of religious education within their purview.     
From this teaching comes hierarchy, patriarchy, autocracy, caste systems, misogyny, the notion that the female cannot think clearly and decisively, which leads to the overall disrespect and abuse of women.
But Francis doesn’t stop there, he goes on to explain that the female can also be the secretary!  Yes, she can serve the male in duties that are beneath their stature.  She will organize, announce, and take notes—what Francis refers to as the Administrative Principle!
Clearly, Pope Francis has not evolved in his view of the place and purpose of men or women.  Until that happens, until another pope with more enlightened understanding comes along, nothing in the present teachings of the Catholic Church will change in this regard.  Clearly, Synodality can never be actualized until women are recognized as equal partners with men, with the ability to stand next to them in all aspects of church life.
If a church is built on a firm foundation, it will flourish.  If the church believes Jesus is the cornerstone of the church, then it also must embrace the reality that Jesus was inclusive of men and women.  So, if a church is built on sand (read: without women), it will fall.  Women cannot be ignored.  If they continue to be dismissed, the church will surely fall. 
But all is not lost, my friends: Women Priests are Here!  The Spirit isn’t waiting for Francis!  We are the recipients of the Spirit’s energy and vision as we lead faith communities with justice and equality.  Regardless of how unaware Pope Francis is, we are the prophets of our time!  We are living the change that needs to happen.  And by our commitment and calling to ordained ministry, we shall be known. 

Jane Kryzankowski RCWP Canada

I was astounded to read the latest interview with Pope Francis which was published in America Magazine in which he attempts to justify the exclusion of women from ordained ministry. My focus shifted. I could hardly believe what I was reading.

By appealing to a dichotomy between the “Petrine principle” and “Marian principle” a fictious segregation of men and women is created. The Petrine principle upholds the long-stated position that only men can serve as priests. The Marian principle, which Pope Francis admits is still in need of a developed theology, places women in a subordinate role. The appeal to medieval spousal imagery of an active-receptive relationship disregards the fundamental message of the Gospel and contradicts our baptismal oneness in Christ. “. . . there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Baptism rests on faith, not on gender, nor nationality, nor other forms of discrimination.

It was my hope, like that of many others, that the invitation to participate in the Synod process would provide the opportunity to explore together the visions and viewpoints of all those seeking a big tent church, where all would be welcomed and accepted in the fullness of the gifts they have been given. This attempt to justify the exclusion of women from ordination and pigeonholing them again by the men of the church is disheartening.

Would that Pope Francis meet with women who are called to ordination. If he needs to develop a theology of women and their role in the church, who better to help him?

Jill Striebinger ARCWP

It should be incumbent upon everyone to recognize when they have become unequal in any relationship and at that moment work with the other person to figure out how to balance it.  Even if both decide that the work distribution stays the same, it will be so due to an earnest attempt to figure out true equality in the relationship.

When someone is impaired or unlearned as in children, the disabled, as someone caregiving an impaired person, or those who are impaired due to life circumstances, we need to work diligently to find a solution with the impaired rather than deciding what it is we think they need to do and/or do it for them.  It is very hard work to get to the bottom of a problem because the problem inevitably is because one type of work is seen as more valuable by someone outside of your personal relationship.  Society can further compound this as in the case of money being exchanged for work out side the home, leaving the person in the home to be economically dependent on the person doing paid work.  It’s all work.  When paid work allows for freedoms that unpaid work doesn’t, it’s a grave injustice and imbalance.  We can get selfish about the paid work because of something outside of the relationship, now it’s status and the money to act freely in our society, literally the choice to be free.  This is an extraordinary violent act to the relationship.

Where two are three are gathered in my name…what happens when two or three are gathered in the name of something outside your relationship as in how society (outside) views your work division and incentivizes it?  Then we are no longer gathered in the name of our God, our shared God of our relationship, we are gathered in the name of something outside of our shared God.  When this happens, and most importantly, the person you are in a relationship with is not to be looked upon as outside!  Otherwise we are committing violence against them. 

This same concept should be applied to working relationships anywhere. Are you an employer? How do you involve those you invite in to be empowered and equal in your workplace relationship?  Are you a pastor or priest? How do you invite those in to be empowered in their relationship with you?

Violence begins in every act.  We each have the power to stop all violent acts, one relationship at a time.  World peace would begin today if we kept equality of personhood front and center.  Learn where we begin and end and where others begin and end. When we seek to be in equal relationships with each other. When we respect the work others do and allow for flexibility in roles we perform in the world.  When we give and receive with humility.

And lastly, to point, Roman Catholic Women Priests are not outside of the relationship with the institutional Roman Catholic Church.  It is a violent act to “other” people when the relationship is unequal due to perceived status or economic wealth when one claims the position of authority.  I don’t have the wealth of the church.  It is a severe imbalance to my personal freedom and the freedom of all women, our ancestors and still today.  I am however in a position of authority from God, authority to stand in my equality.  But I have no perceived authority in the institutional Catholic Church. So the authority to be an equal partner in the relationship is unrecognized, due to a perceived and false flaw that our bodies or gender is somehow an impediment to the role of priest regardless of what God says.  This dismissal is a great act of violence against women and against God.  

Does not anyone who claims superior wisdom understand the story about the lepers? Why does Jesus tell the leper that he healed to go back to the priest and tell him that he is clean? So that the priest can perform the ritual to cleanse himself, the priest, of his sin of exclusion.

Let’s get on with the cleansing ritual!  The time is now. Let’s work it out.

Adina Meyer RCWP Candidate for the Priesthood

A Satire for Meditation:  Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained to the Priesthood (adapted; used with permission)
1. Traditionally, women were the ones who prepared the meals, including the Last Supper. So, while Jesus offered the bread and wine to men, women were the ones who prepared it. Thus, only a woman may confect the Eucharist.   

2. Women were at the foot of the cross as Jesus gave His life, while the men had fled. This demonstrates that only women are qualified to act in persona Christi, giving their lives for their flock. Only they can understand the cross of Christ. 

3. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, a man. His lack of faith and subsequent punishment demonstrates the subordinate position all future men must take.  Peter denied Christ three times! 

4. Men can, of course, still be involved and respected in the church, but they must confine themselves to traditional male roles like fixing the roof or unclogging the toilet. 

5. A woman was the first to proclaim the good news of the risen Christ. The Samaritan woman was the first non-Jew to spread the good news of Jesus as Messiah. Thus, preaching should be done only by women. Men might be allowed to give a brief talk on Father’s Day. 

6. Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, and many other women provided financial support for Jesus and the disciples. Therefore, only women are capable of managing church finances.  

Men are too emotional to be priests. Their conduct at football games and other sporting events confirms this. 

8. Women are great listeners, whereas men are always mansplaining. Thus, women are much better suited to hearing confessions.

9. Jesus’ closest friends at Bethany, Martha and Mary, demonstrated the roles as the first deacon and the first priest.
10. Mary, the Mother of God, was the first to hold Jesus within her body, to give birth and hold Him in her hands. Therefore, it is fitting that only women should be priests, since the Jesus came into the world through the body of a woman.

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

In response to the Petrine Principle cited by Pope Francis as the reason women cannot be ordained: 

Scripture scholar John Meier concludes that Jesus gave his movement no authority structure. St. Augustine concluded that the Petrine Principle in Matthew16:18 -19 -referring to Jesus giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter and the passage  in Matthew 18:18 on binding and loosening - mean that Peter is given the keys as a representative of the community. In the early gatherings of the followers of Jesus, the entire community had the authority to decide who to include and who to exclude. Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp. 80-81.)

While Pope Francis claims that the Petrine principle means that only men can be ordained priests because Jesus have the keys to Peter, Roman Catholic Women Priests claim our spiritual authority to ordain women in the apostolic tradition of Mary Magdalene, first apostle, called by the Risen Christ to proclaim the good news of Easter and the thousands of women who served in diaconal  and priestly ministry for 1200 years of Christian history. ( See The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination by Gary Macy and Women Deacons - Past ,Present and Future by Gary Macy, Phyllis Zagano and William T. Ditewig)

In recent decades many Catholic theologians have moved away from the theology of complementarity and embraced a variety of theologies that affirm the full equality of all genders as images of God.  This theology opens the door to all who are called to serve in priestly ministry.

 A theology of Complementarity, that enshrines male supremacy and the subordination of women as God’s will, has no place in the Roman Catholic Church. It is time for Francis  and the hierarchy to let it go and listen to the voices of Catholics calling the Church to live the inclusivity that Jesus modeled.

Going forward, the bottom line for me is whether Pope Francis or the hierarchy accept women priests in our lifetimes or not, our egalitarian movement is a holy revolution that is here to stay. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy 2nd Sunday of Advent: Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Cheryl Brandi, Readers: Pat and Bob Ferkenhoff, Prayer Leaders: Jim Brandi and Pat Ferkenhoff, Music: Linda Lee Miller, IT: Peg Bowen

                Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive 
Catholic Community Liturgy

Second Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2022

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

Theme: Prepare the Way of Love

Welcome: Bridget Mary
Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy for the Second Sunday of Advent. All are welcome to participate in our liturgies on Zoom. Please unmute when you share and then remember to mute again when you are finished.  Our theme is prepare the way of love. 

Lighting of the Wreath
Prayer Leader:  Elena Garcia  

Opening Song: 
"I Hope" sung by Meah Pace with The Resistance Revival Chorus –

Transformation Rite: 
Cheryl: Called to see our own shadows or dark sides, we recognize our complicity in creating a world invested in money, white privilege, angry culture wars, competition and violence. 

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Cheryl: Called to believe in God’s limitless forgiveness of all sin and evil, we open ourselves to the “love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5)

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Cheryl: Called to be the hands and feet of Christ, we respond to the cries of the impoverished and oppressed longing for equity and justice in our midst. 

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Opening Prayer: Bridget Mary
Emmanuel, God -with-us, we long to quiet our minds and recognize your endless disguises in the people we encounter each day. May we, like John the Baptist, live in right relationships, love passionately, do justice, and follow the inclusivity that Jesus models. 

Bridget Mary and All:  May it be so. Amen

Gloria-Linda Lee Miller

FIRST READING: Pat Ferkenhoff
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 11:1-10 
A flower shall come out from the root of Jesse, a wild shoot shall grow out from the roots. 
The spirit of God will be at work in that flowering, the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and strength,
the spirit of knowledge and wonder. 
The joy of that child will be in God. 
Not by appearance will the child judge, nor by hearsay decide. 
Instead, you shall judge the poor with justice,
and defend the meek of the earth with equity. 
Righteousness shall be the belt around your waist, and faithfulness will gird your loins. 
The wolf will nestle with the lamb. The leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a young child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze in the same pasture, 
their young lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play over the hole of the asp, 
and the weaned child put its hand on the adder’s den. 
None will hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain. 
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters fill the sea. 
On that day, the flower of Jesse will be a sign for all peoples. 
All nations will seek it out, and it will be glorious. 
These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah and we respond by saying 
All:. May it be so.

Responsorial Psalm: Love, Make Your Way by Alan Levandoski

O Love, O Love, grow inside of us.
O Love, make your ways.
O Love, show the world that it bears your holy name. 

SECOND READING: Bob Ferkenhoff
A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans 15:4-13 
Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by perseverance and by encouragement from the scriptures we might have hope. 
May the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you live in harmony with one another, in keeping with the spirit of Christ Jesus, so that together you may, with one voice, glorify the God and Creator of Jesus the Christ. 
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ Jesus has welcomed you. 
Do so for the glory of God. 
For I tell you that Jesus became a servant to the circumcised, the Judeans, to confirm the truth of God's promises to their ancestors; and he became a servant to the Gentiles, so that all might glorify God for the divine compassion shown to all. 
As it is foretold in scripture, 
"I will confess You among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your Name"; and again, it says,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with God's people" and again, 
"Praise the Holy One, all you Gentiles, Let all the peoples praise the Holy Name"; and again, Isaiah says, 
"The root of Jesse and Ruth will sprout. The one who will rise up and call forth the Gentiles will come. In that One, the Gentiles shall hope." 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
These are the inspired words of the Apostle Paul and we respond by saying: 
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so. 

Alleluia: Jan Phillips
GOSPEL: Cheryl
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-12 
“A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of God, make straight the paths.’” 
While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kin-dom of heaven is at hand!” It was of John that the prophet Isaiah had spoken: 
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time, Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to John and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their offences. 
When John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to receive his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but after me comes one who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
These are the inspired words attributed to Matthew, and we respond to them by saying:
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so.   

Alleluia, Jan Phillips:
Homily Starter: Bridget Mary

As we prepare the way of Love, we reflect on impossible dreams of universal reconciliation, healing and justice. Isaiah envisions a time when wolves lie down with lambs, leopards with goats, calves with lions, babies and vipers play together.

The Gospel of Matthew depicts John the Baptist as an eccentric prophet – living in the desert- dressed in camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey and attracting large crowds from all walks of life who came to hear him and to change their lives. His message of repentance challenged everyone to take responsibility for their wrong-doing and change their unjust, unkind and cruel behaviors. He excoriated religious leaders for their adherence to dogmatic laws and outmoded practices.  

Like Isaiah we are called to dream new dreams of reconciliation and healing for everyone Like John, we are called to be passionate voices for justice and equity in a world that too often puts greed and profits over people and the planet. Like John and Jesus, we are called to challenge toxic teachings, policies and agendas that promote discrimination on the basis of race, class, caste, religion and gender. 

In an interview published in America Magazine on Nov. 28, 2022, Pope Francis was asked if a woman can be ordained a priest. His response was: “And why can a woman not enter ordained ministry? It is because the Petrine principle has no place for that. “

Let's examine the meaning of the Petrine Principle in the Bible: 

Scripture scholar John Meier concludes that Jesus gave his movement no authority structure. St. Augustine concluded that the Petrine Principle in Matthew16:18 -19 -referring to Jesus giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter and the passage on binding and loosening in Matthew 18:18- indicate that Peter is given the keys as a representative of the community. In the early gatherings of the followers of Jesus, the entire community had the authority to decide who to include and who to exclude. Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp. 80-81.)

While Francis claims the Petrine principle, we claim the Mary Magdalene principle to promote the full equality of women and all genders as the will of God by ordaining women now in the Catholic Church. We are walking in the footsteps of Mary of Magdala, Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia, Theodora, Leta and many empowered women of faith through the centuries who were prophets and visionaries dreaming new dreams!

You, my sisters and brothers in our MMOJ community, are prophets living the inclusion that Jesus models where there are no limitations to God’s forgiveness, healing and transformation, and where- all who come are accepted, loved and invited -to celebrate sacraments as equals in Christ

We  have been preparing the way of love as a community by making a yearly commitment to non-violence. advocating for the end of the death penalty, demonstrating for LGBTQ rights in our local area ,tithing to non-profits to care for the needy. 

During the past 3 COVID years, we have become a Church without walls on Zoom no longer separated by physical distance. As we gather next week for our annual meeting to make decisions together about our future, let us pray for wisdom to discern the path ahead to prepare the way of love by living justice in a companionship of equals.  In conclusion, we pray: 

O Love make your way. O Love, grow inside us. O Love, show the world your love through us as we live in harmony with one another in the spirit of the Universal Christ. O Wisdom-Sophia, guide us. And "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  May it be so. Amen.

Community Sharing: How can we prepare the way to better reflect the way of love, inclusion and justice?

Prayers of the Community: Jim B.
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our prayers and concerns for the community. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….”

(Joan M. offers prayers from our intentions book)
(Spontaneous Prayers are offered.

Jim B: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 


Bridget Mary: Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 
Pat and All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Cheryl:  Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 
Jim and All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Bridget Mary:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence calms our deepest fears and emboldens us -like John the Baptist- to be prophets for justice and equity- no matter what persecution or ridicule we encounter.  
Bridget Mary and All:  Amen, may it be so. 

Bob: God dwells among us. 
Pat F and All:  And in all people everywhere.

Bob: Lift up your hearts. 
Pat and ALL: We lift them in the joy of Christ embracing all.

Bob: Affirm the power of love within you and within all.  
Pat F and All: Alleluia

We Are Holy: by Karen Drucker -played by Linda Lee Miller 


Pat.: We gather during this Advent season to be bearers of good news preparing the way to celebrate Love Incarnate in our midst. 

Bob: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in the message of John the Baptist, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, and in all who work for a more compassionate, peaceful and just world. 

Bridget Mary: We ritualize the Christ Presence born anew each day in us and in the entire cosmos as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of blessing as we pray together:

(Community raises hands and prays the following Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

Bridget Mary and All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.

(Community holds bread and prays together)

All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.” 


(Community holds cup up and prays together)

Cheryl and ALL:  In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”  

Cheryl: Let us proclaim the sacred presence dwelling among us:

Jim and All: Jesus, by your baptism in the Jordan, you invite us -like John- to be passionate and courageous in the face of ridicule, rejection and condemnation. 

Pat F.:   We are mindful of our call to serve those who come to us in need of comfort and strength. We are mindful of our call to challenge all forms of discrimination that oppress the poor and the unwanted members of society. 

Bob F:  We remember the prophet and saints who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Joseph, John the Baptist and all our beloved family and friends in the communion of saints whose lives have inspired us to love tenderly, live justly and walk humbly with our God. 

(hold cup and plate up)

Pat F. and ALL: 

Through Christ, in Christ, with Christ, in your Spirit, we celebrate your dwelling with- us and within us forever. 

The Great Amen with Linda Lee Miller (Sung)

Bob and All: We pray together as Jesus taught us.

Our Father and Mother,

Source of all that is,

your vibrations radiate throughout the cosmos.

Make us a resonant space for your vibrations.

May your sphere of influence come.

May your heart's desire for unity and harmony

penetrate every part of the universe as it does on earth.

Give us what we need each day in bread and insight

Loosen the cords of mistakes and sins that bind us,

as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt.

Let us not be deluded by surface things,

but free us from what holds us back from our true purpose. Amen. 

(English translation of the original Aramaic)


Bridget Mary. Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in the circle of life as we sing 

“Peace is flowing like a River” by Carey Landry


Cheryl and ALL: 

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

Bridget Mary: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. 

Cheryl: Let us share the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing saying:

You are the Christ Presence in our world today!

COMMUNION Song: God is Holding Me Now
by Michael Hatfield with Karen Drucker


Bridget Mary:

Protector of the Vulnerable, we awaken to your love born anew in lives characterized by justice, compassion and kinship. May we prepare the way of Love by living responsibly and lovingly in service to our sisters and brothers across all boundaries. Through Emmanuel, God-with-us, 

ALL:  may it be so, Amen.

Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements


Cheryl:  Emmanuel – God with us – calls us to live compassionately, love tenderly and do justice.

Jim and ALL: Amen. May it be so. 


(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing and pray)

Bridget Mary and ALL: 

May Love grow inside of us.

May Love direct us to follow Jesus.

May Love guide us to dream impossible dreams. 


Cheryl: Go in peace to prepare the way of Love in our world. 

Jim and All: May it be so, Alleluia!

Closing Song: 

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord-Godspell


This Liturgy was created by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

If you want to add a prayer intention to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to Joan Meehan

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