Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"Bishops' Attempt to Deny Communion to Biden Will Backfire even more Spectacularly than Opposition to Same Sex Marriage" by Mary Hunt, Religious Dispatches


If only President Joe Biden didn’t carry a rosary or quote the popular Catholic hymn “On Eagle’s Wings” in his Inaugural address, it would be easy to categorize him. It would be simple to write him off as one more ‘liberal,’ ‘fallen away,’ ‘baptized but not practicing,’ ‘cafeteria Catholic,’ or just ‘one of those radicals’ (said with a snarl). 

Instead, the man also carries a holy card-sized paper in his pocket with the Covid death numbers lest one life be forgotten, visits the cemetery regularly where his family members are buried, attends Mass at least once a week, and makes the sign of the cross in public as he did when attending the memorial for a fallen police officer at the Capitol. His pick for U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican will provide another clue about his Catholicism. But President Biden certainly looks and sounds like one of the many ways Catholics look and sound, confounding some journalists and conservative bishops who fail to realize how varied we are. 

What’s left out of the public conjecturing about all of this is that today’s Roman Catholic Church isn’t John F. Kennedy’s Irish Catholicism of sixty years ago. It’s the far more variegated, differentiated community that James Joyce labeled “Here comes everybody” in Finnegan’s Wake. Moreover, its institutional form has proved itself to be scandal-ridden, elitist, secretive, by turns criminal, and, in recent decades, the reason former Catholics number as many as current Catholics in the US. 

For the bishops to pronounce who among the laity is worthy to receive communion is absurd. At most, such decisions are made pastorally and in private, on a case by case, diocese by diocese basis. But these days, with the institution mired in bankruptcies because of priests’ criminal conduct, costs and market share plunging because of inadequate ministry and inane preaching, bishops are on thin ice to let even one another receive communion.

Another analytic mistake made by uninformed journalists and would-be pundits alike is the notion that all Catholics are sinners. The dubious logic that follows is that all are equally unworthy to receive communion. Conservatives would say that some are a little more unworthy than others. They sniff piously and say we should all shiver in our shoes as we approach the altar. Please, my Irish grandmother…where do they get these notions?

Communion is not a litmus test of orthodoxy nor a prize for theological correctness. It is a simple way people get together to express gratitude amidst life’s vicissitudes and to draw strength from companionship at the table and energy for justice struggles. It’s a chance to tap into the “renewable moral energy” (hat tip: Catholic moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire) of the Jesus story. To ensnare this simple act in theo-political red tape is to profane the Eucharist itself. Sigmund would agree that sometimes a rosary is just a rosary. Sometimes a Catholic is just a Catholic. 

Mr. Biden is currently the subject of some bishops’ braying and bleating about his fitness to receive communion. From the time of his election, through the upcoming annual June meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the right flank of the Conference has been rehearsing its old songs written to deal with Geraldine Ferraro, John Kerry, and other liberal Catholics in public service. In the fall of 2020, the current president of the USCCB, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, the first Latino head and a member of Opus Dei, set up a committee to consider how to respond to a Catholic president who doesn’t interfere with the law of the land when it comes to abortion. How do you solve a problem like Joe Biden? was their hit tune. 

They reprised it on Inauguration Day with a missive that was largely lost in the hoopla and stood in sharp contrast to Pope Francis’ kind, diplomatic words of welcome to the second Catholic president of the United States. The Bishops acknowledged Mr. Biden’s personal piety, but charged that he “has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity…” They weren’t referring to building walls, supporting the death penalty, interfering with voting rights, and/or withholding healthcare from those made poor. The chorus was a tired refrain: “abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.” It was as if Catholics cared about nothing else during a global pandemic when systemic racism and economic inequality reign. The timing was rude, the content familiar, the impact minimal. 

Then came Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, who chairs the Pro-Life Activities Committee of the USCCB. He put a finer point on it all arguing: 

“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching… When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is. What he is doing now is usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people…”

So now we have a bishop, not of the president’s diocese, who tells a practicing Catholic that he is not devout and that the president should cease and desist from acting as a bishop in the White House. It is a novel approach, I give him credit for that, but Naumann’s fantasy is based on pure lack of information. 

It’s the bishops, and not Mr. Biden, who have made abortion their “pre-eminent priority,” leaving no doubt except in the minds of rocks about where the institutional Roman Catholic Church stands on the question. Most Catholics believe that abortion is morally permissible under certain circumstances. I daresay the Biden Administration has so many pressing issues on its agenda that abortion is not keeping them up at night one way or the other. I doubt Mr. Biden has any after-retirement aspirations to become a bishop. 

In June 2021, the bishops will vote on whether to delve more deeply into these issues. Odds are they will continue their quest. But whether they can muster a large enough majority on the anti-side of the communion wars is less clear. 

What makes the possibility more remote is that a strong voice against the reality of Catholic diversity is the same San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore James Cordileone who fell on his pectoral cross against same-sex marriage. That was a similarly ill-fated attempt to persuade Catholics that they could not in good conscience support marriage equality. As a happily married Catholic, I hope Mr. Cordileone will be just as ineffective this time. 

His recent letter, “Before I Formed You in the Womb: A Pastoral Letter on the Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life” would just be creepy if it weren’t so pernicious. His description of an abortion at 24 weeks is gratuitous. In fact, over 90% of abortions are performed in the first trimester

He goes on to sketch the one and only way to be Catholic, which is to march in lockstep with conservative bishops; the one and only way to receive communion, which is to accept all teachings of the institutional Roman Catholic Church regardless; and the one and only way to call oneself a Catholic in public life, which is to oppose abortion, but not war, ecocide or racism. 

Cordileone ends his unwelcome letter with a plaintive cry to women who have had abortions to “take this deeply painful and ugly episode in your life and turn it into something beautiful for God, with God’s help.” Let the record show that unwanted pregnancy, not abortion, is the problem for many women. And reproductive justice is a beautiful thing, with the help of God, the courts, and Congress. 

It simply doesn’t get any more clueless or offensive than this letter. Nor are there many more effective ways to turn people away from the Catholic community than this kind of presumptuous, fatuous writing unless it’s the tombstones to ‘the unborn’ that some Catholic churches place on their property. 

A fool’s errand like opposing same sex marriage and dissing a manifestly moral Catholic president shows a willingness to take one for the team with the expectation of rich rewards. The most vociferous bishops on these questions tend to be the ones who’ve had their heads measured for new regalia because they’re banking on being named cardinals, especially after Pope Francis is conveniently, for them, out of the picture. With this kind of episcopal leadership, I predict that Joe Biden will be receiving communion in good conscience with his rosary in his pocket for decades to come.

Monday, May 10, 2021

People’s Catholic Seminary Announces New Course: PCS 601 Homiletics and Preaching - Cohort begins May 27, 2021

PCS 601 – Homiletics and Preaching facilitated by Rev. Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP

Cohort Orientation Meeting: Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 4pm EDT

Enroll now athttps://pcseminary.teachable.com/p/pcs-601-homiletics-and-preaching 

photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

This course provides a framework to create inspiring homilies, to implement effective delivery, and to incorporate contemporary scholarship of scripture through various approaches to sermon development. For more information about the course, contact Mary Eileen Collingwood at peoplescatholicseminary@gmail.com

Course Facilitator: Rev. Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP

Mary Eileen is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, and member of the presiding team at the Community of St. Bridget, Inclusive Catholic Community in Brecksville, OH. She cantors and presides at liturgies, officiates at weddings, offers sacramental ministry, and serves ARCWP as bishop. She earned her Certificate in Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland, OH, and Master of Arts degree in Theology from St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, OH. Mary Eileen was ordained a priest in Brecksville, OH on May 24, 2014, and ordained a bishop in Wallingford, PA on September 24, 2015.


People’s Catholic Seminary Announces New Program: PCS 310 - Delighting in the Feminine Divine

PCS 310 - Delighting in the Feminine Divine facilitated by Rev. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP 

Enroll Now: https://pcseminary.teachable.com/p/pcs-310-delighting-in-the-feminine-face-of-god 

This program provides a rich resource for women and men to discover the Divine Feminine within the Christian tradition in Scriptures, the mystics and contemporary writings. It offers participants a new opportunity to weave an awareness of the divine feminine into all aspects of life and to articulate the wisdom of their own spiritual experiences in creative reflections including poetry, prayer, song, dance and journaling.


Delighting in the Feminine Face of God is available as a private retreat, an independent study, or as a course for sharing in a cohort model. Cohorts meet regularly in a Zoom video conference to share insights on their meditations. For those taking this program as an independent study or retreat, Bridget Mary will respond to your reflections, and will be available to share with you in Zoom conversations.

For more information contact Bridget Mary Meehan at peoplescatholicseminary@gmail.com

Peoples Catholic Seminary announces new course – Icon Painting with Peter Pearson, Iconographer

PCS 703 – Icon Painting with Peter Pearson, Iconographer

Orientation Meeting: June 1, 2021 8pm EST
Enroll now at:

In this course, participants will paint a simple icon following a very methodical process. Peter will present a bit about the history, spirituality, and aesthetics of Byzantine iconography. No previous experience or artistic skill is required, only the willingness to try something new and to trust the instructor.

Peter Pearson, Iconographer

Peter Pearson, M. Div., Th. D. has studied under nearly a dozen master iconographers and has been painting icons for more than fifty years. He has been teaching iconography for over half that time and has authored three books on the subject. Icons by his hand grace the walls of churches, monasteries, and retreat houses, mainly in North America but some have also found their way throughout the world. Peter is an organized and accessible teacher and guide in the history, technique, and theology/spirituality behind these ancient images of faith. To learn more about Peter Pearson, visit his Facebook page.


Supplies to Gather

Welcome! We'll get started in June, but you can begin now to gather the materials you'll need for this workshop. In the meantime, here's a list of supplies you should gather and some sources for acquiring them:

PANELS- you can use a 9” x 12” or a 12" x 16"panel. I'd recommend the larger size. Give Mary a call at Innerglow (877-430-3639) or go to Blick Art Supplies and purchase a Premier Artist's Panel in the same size. Both are quite wonderful surfaces on which to work.

BRUSHES- I would recommend that you purchase a #6 Round, a #3 Round, and a liner brush (#0 or #1). You might want to get a #10 Round or a small flat brush too if you'd like to cut down on your work while filling in the base colors.

PAINTS- I use acrylic paints and my favorite line of paints is Utrecht Studio Series from Blick. These can be ordered online. But if you already have acrylics, don't go out and buy even more. Use what you have. These are the colors I will be using (I'm being intentionally general unless otherwise stated): Red, Yellow Ochre or Yellow Oxide, Blue, Brunt Umber or Dark Brown and some kind of white (I like Buff white, which is an off white). In addition, you might want to get some inexpensive craft paint in black.

MISCELLANEOUS- The other materials might already be found around your house. You will need: a pencil, a pencil sharpener, a ruler, an eraser, scissors, a sheet of carbon paper (or you can make your own), a plate, a water cup, paper towels or a rag, some little containers for keeping some mixes for a week or so, a couple of popsicle sticks. and maybe a bit of plastic wrap. For varnishing at the end, I recommend either brush on or spray SATIN polyurethane (oil based).


For more information about this course, contact Mary Theresa Streck at peoplescatholicseminary@gmail.com.


Captive No More? Homily by Rev. Dick Vosko


Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year B

    Thanks to the nudging of a good friend I am reading His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope. This gripping book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer
 Jon Meacham is hard to read and … hard to put down.
    As I track the chronology of the ongoing civil rights movement, I keep asking myself where was I and what was I doing in the 1960s. That was the period when John Lewis and others, in their early 20s, were feverishly fighting and risking their lives for human rights especially for people who are Black.
    The life story of John Lewis is rooted in the Bible. Meacham wrote: “For a youngster of great imagination and quickening faith there could be no more moving saga than the biblical epic of fall and resurrection, of exile and deliverance.” From his youth Lewis felt there was no justification, no reason at all, for Blacks to be held captive by a racist culture. And, he spent his life trying to end the prejudice, the brutality, the slavery.

    For some people the fear of being held captive, of suffering and dying, is countered with hope, resilience and a yearning for new life. Many believers find strength in the life story of the Nazarene Jesus, his promises and how he himself rose up from vanquishment. Today’s gospel (John 15:9-17) is comforting. Jesus said: “I no longer call you slaves but friends.”  [1]
    One commentary suggests that Jesus wanted to have a relationship with his followers that included honest communication and support, rather than tyrannical dictatorship. Jesus trusted that his disciples will carry on his mission (“if you keep my commandments”) in the same way he honored the vision of the creator God — truthfully, kindly, and without compromise.
    In the
 Acts of the Apostles (10:34) Luke imagines that a mission to the Gentiles will result in social integration rooted in respect for the other. Peter appears to accept this task. He encouraged both Gentiles and Jews to associate with one another: “God shows no partiality” he said. This line underscores the constant message in the second testament that God judges no one.
    This is why, in light of the Christian calling to work for justice, it is exasperating that so many people are still held captive in our country and around the world. Those who are oppressed are good people who keep God’s commandments and try to live honest, decent, faithful lives. The slavery they experience comes in many forms. Here are some examples. I am sure you can name other subjugations.
    Teenage girls and boys controlled by a sex trafficking industry. Street people hooked on drugs. Americans trapped by the need to consume more goods than they need. Powerless families struggling in totalitarian countries. People stereotyped because of color, age, gender, religion, ethnicity.  [2] Couples mired in abusive relationships. Children and adults subject to
 slave laborMembers of religious institutions disenfranchised by difficult doctrines. And, to the point of John Lewis’s story, people of color held captive by centuries old cultural chains that deprive them of civil liberties.
    Something is wrong in this country when elected politicians use misinformation rather than truth to stay in power; when religious leaders rash judge the members of their own spiritual tribes; when citizens, normally helpful in emergencies, can be self-serving the rest of the time; when extremist groups claim that America was founded to be a powerful, wealthy White only country.
 rise in hate crimes  [3] and other acts of insurrection is a wake-up call for us that this republic, founded on democratic principles and the value systems of diverse faith traditions, is about to be held captive by nativistic prejudices driven by lies, power, wealth, and greed. This is not the freedom from oppression that Jesus of Nazareth lived and died for. This is not what John Lewis and others worked for, risking their lives for equal rights in the United States.
    In her study of the second testament
Jin Young Choi wrote that the evangelist John "invites us to see the life Jesus has given to the world in the midst of wounds, pains, and traumas.” We are the ones who are healers and comforters. We are the ones who can release afflicted and exploited and misjudged people from whatever and whoever holds them captive.
​1. In some bibles you will find the word “servant” instead of “slave” but linguists agree that the Greek masculine noun δούλος is translated as “slave.”
The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) published this statement
3. The Southern Poverty Law Center
 reports that the number of hate groups has risen exponentially in the United States since the election in 2016.

Theologians call Vatican stance on same-sex unions unbiblical by Madeleine Davison, National Catholic Reporter


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An international group of theologians and scholars released an academic statement on May 4 alleging inconsistencies in the Vatican's arguments against same-sex relationships, and urging the church to review its stance in light of modern research.

"When people suffer ... because of doctrines, laws and disciplines, about whose correctness there are now well-founded doubts, the competent Church authorities have a religious and Christian duty to carefully and empathetically revise them," wrote theologian Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa, a former official at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the foreword to the statement.

The authors argued that the Bible never condemns consensual, faithful same-sex relationships. They also said evidence that non-heterosexual orientations occur naturally and the fact that the church allows infertile straight couples to marry undermine the Vatican's natural law arguments against same-sex relationships.

The statement was published by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research and signed by 20 contributors and over 40 other theologians and academics representing more than a dozen countries worldwide including the United States, the Philippines, Germany, Australia, Malaysia and Brazil.

Most of the contributors and signatories are theologians and ethicists, some specializing in gender studies, while others are biblical scholars or biologists.

Signatories included Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley, a professor emerita of Christian ethics at Yale University Divinity School and author of Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics; Todd Salzman, a professor of Catholic theology at Creighton University and author of several books on sexual ethics; and Mary McAleese, former president of Ireland and current chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin.

"We need something new," Farley told NCR in a brief interview about the statement. "Because people are suffering and they're being harmed."

Salzman said it was "timely" that the Wijngaards Institute statement came out shortly after the Vatican's March 15 decree, released by the doctrinal congregation and approved by Pope Francis, that clergy are not permitted to bless same-sex unions because God "cannot bless sin."

"I think [the Vatican decree] was a final straw for a lot of people … it was incredibly irresponsible and hurtful for the CDF to issue that statement," Salzman told NCR.

The authors of the new statement wrote that non-heterosexual orientations are part of the natural diversity in human sexuality.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day, from Science of Mind Magazine

 Happy Mother's Day to all Mother: Spiritual and Biological!

Your first teacher was your mother, whose arms were created to bring you peace and comfort. Her heart was to give you love so you might find your own. Her blood connected you to your ancestors so you would never be alone in this world. You were not kept forever in the confines of your yard but sent into this world to find your strength, which may have been the bravest thing your mother ever did. She let you go to your self-discovery. Mothers are walking, breathing miracles. Your mother sacrificed so much for you to enter the world.

This day [May 9, Mother’s Day] is to remind you to find gratitude in your depth and to express it mom s way. Allow positive mother memories to activate your heart so your love connection beyond time and space becomes the delivery system for what is more beautiful than flowers.

The maternal nurturing energy of the feminine is not bound by birth or gender. Let your love and appreciation go forth from you to all those amazing expressions of God s love, those spiritual mothers who help birth your soul s journey with their grace — the ones who encouraged you when you were down, who were there for you when your heart and soul ached and who reminded you that you are a child of God.

From Science of Mind Magazine 

Discovering God as Mother by Allyson Rockhold, published in America Magazine


Photo by Bethany Becky in Unsplash

Homily for May 9, 2021, Mother's Day & Sixth Sunday of Easter by Rev. Annie Watson ARCWP


A Peaceful Protest for Justice in Colombia at Colombian Embassy in Washington DC by Janice Sevre -Duszynska ARCWP

Janice Sevre Duszynska participates in peaceful demonstration in front of Colombian Embassy in Washington DC on Friday. (woman with red hair wearing a stole) 

As a person who served time in Federal Prison for crossing the line to shut down the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia, I had to be at the Colombian Embassy yesterday.

Washington, D.C. has a flourishing Colombian-American community. They came out yesterday morning in front of the Colombian Embassy on 17th and Massachusetts Avenue to show their deep support for the people of Colombia struggling against the fascist government supported by the U.S. through tax dollars and military personnel.
With songs, chanting, drumming and their presence these mainly young persons filled the sidewalks with colorful posters and photos of victims of government repression. When their names were read, a great silence prevailed and heads bowed in reflection. International reporters were on hand interviewing  many. Supporters in cars showed their solidarity by honking their horns as they drove by.


There were no arrests and eventually as the gathering continued to grow, the police closed off Massachusetts Avenue. After a mock-up of a green army tank pulled up promoting “Healthcare Not Warfare” and “Invest in Peace,” we were drawn towards its welcoming message of caring for community. Soon, ( like a vase) it was filled with huge colorful  paper maiche flowers.

Remembering My Mother Bridie and Aunt Molly on Mother's Day 2021 by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Bridie Meehan, my mother

Molly McCarthy, my Aunt

On this Mother's Day, my heart overflows with gratitude for my loving mother, Bridie and my dear Aunt Molly. Their gentle spirits continue to live on in my heart, and in the hearts of our family. 

Bridie and Molly were sisters who loved each other dearly. Even though they quibbled over the minor stuff, they were connected in a bondedness that went beyond anything I could describe. They nurtured my brothers, Patrick ,Sean and me  during our childhood and for years beyond until they passed into the fullness of God's loving embrace in 1995(Molly)and in 1998 (Mom). I still miss them. 

Each of my family  members  has their own precious memories of the sisters! Here are some of mine.

The sisters  were born in Coolkerry, Rathdowney in  County Leix, Ireland in the early 1900's. Sadly, their dear mother, Bridget Neary Beale died when they were children.  

Aunt Molly was a free spirit who loved new adventures. She emigrated with her brother Paddy to U.S. in her twenties. Shortly, after their arrival, Molly and Paddy settled down in Philadelphia. They lived with the Whelan family who had emigrated from Ireland sometime earlier.  

Molly worked as a maid for wealthy families on the mainline in Philadelphia until she married Fergus McCarthy from Galway and moved to Arlington Virginia. Mom stayed in Ireland to care for her father, Pat Beale. He died in 1955, and, shortly afterwards, Molly invited Mom and Dad to emigrate to the United States, which we did in 1956.

We lived together until Molly and Fergus saved enough money to purchase a new home down the street from us.  The sisters enjoyed doing things together. I remember they shared household chores and  their trips to the sales at  McCrory's 5 and 10! Fergus helped Dad to get his first job working as a janitor in a DC public school. I will never forget the beautiful red-headed doll with braids that Aunt Molly gave to me shortly after our arrival. 

On this Mother's Day, I honor Bridie and Molly, for their love of each other and for all they did to nurture our family.  Through "thick and thin" they were there for us. I  am grateful for the rich legacy of faith, and family bonds, they left to us. They never preached Catholic or family values. They simply lived them, like the air they breathed. 

May their gentle spirits live on in the circle of love that unites our family forever!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Take Action Now to Support Workers' Rights and Peaceful Negotiations in Colombia


 The Justice & Peace Support Circle of ARCWP encourages you to call and write to President Biden and your US Senators and Representatives in response to the urgent information just given to us by Our Sister ARCWP communities in Colombia (see blog article & other resources below). 

      Please ask for the name of your official’s foreign relations aide.  Speak directly to the foreign relation’s aide using the following information or your own. After that, write to the same. 

     We wish to thank you for your time and effort in supporting our friends in Columbia! We encourage you to forward this information to other communities. 

Muchas Gracias!

The Justice & Peace Support Circle (JPSC)
Contacts: Janice Severe-Duszynska, Katy Zatsick & Karen Kerrigan

Urge President Biden and Congressional Leaders to support workers Rights & Peaceful Negotiations in Colombia”.
Sample message to share with your officials: 

Please share your name and urge action:Hello my name is  ______ from ______.  I am very concerned about the reports of violence by the government on its people.  I call on you to look into this and use your power to encourage the government of Columbia to stop its violent response to peaceful demonstration.”  
The Urgent Information from Our Sisters in Columbia
Federal Elected Officials
·        Contact President Joe Biden online, or call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
·        Locate your U.S. senators' contact information.
·        Find your U.S. representative's website and contact information.
Further resources include:
“26 people were displaced every hour, and 1 person was kidnapped every 12 hours.”


MMOJ Liturgy Celebrating Katy Zatsick's Ministry on May 15, 2021 Presiders Dotty Shugrue ARCWP , Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and MMOJ Community


Zoom link for video- 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

ID 851- 0809-5506

Passcode 1066




Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  A special welcome to our newcomers, visitors or family members of our regular participants.  We hope you will share a little bit about yourself during announcements.

We invite you to pray the whole or any part of the Liturgy with us in the comfort of your home.  All worshipers will be muted during the liturgy, this helps keep background noise at a minimum.  When you are asked to share or have a specific prayer or reading remember to unmute yourself and then re-mute.  Your reflections and prayers are always welcome at the appropriate times.  During the shared homily we ask you to follow the same procedure of unmuting and re-mute when done.  Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Let us begin now with our gathering song Ancient Mother

“Ancient Mother, I hear you calling

  Ancient Mother, I hear you song”


Transformation Rite

Pat M.

The suffering being experienced by the people of the world is greater than ever before in our lifetimes. We commit ourselves to let our voices be heard, to serve in ways we can with our effort to eliminate poverty and to work for change in our government

ALL:  Transform us O Holy One

The disturbances and chaos existing in our country today keeps us all on edge.  Peaceful protests are interrupted needlessly.  Racism and white supremacy infiltrate all our structures.  We commit ourselves to be strength for one another, to let go of fear and to keep our focus on the Divine Presence within in us and within everyone around us.   “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

ALL. Transform us O Holy One

Our leaders of government are called to serve the needs of all living in America, to work out their personal differences and meet the needs of all those within our borders.  We commit ourselves to challenge our leaders to be responsible and do their duties and stop selfish bickering.

All:  Transform us O Holy One


Joan M

Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus who teaches us how to live the Gospels, who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 

O Holy One, you are one with us.  We are strong in our faith and will live life in hope and faithfulness to you, to be Church committed to the message of the Gospels

We depend upon the ever-present Spirit to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  

Glory to the Spirit of Life

                                Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:  Kevin

The Letter to the Ephesians  1: 15 – 19

Blessed is the God of Jesus, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, in the Anointed One.  For God chose us in Christ before the creation of the universe so that we might be holy and blameless in his sight, living in the spirit of love.

Ever since I heard of the faith in Jesus which prevails among you, and the love in all Christ’s people, I have never omitted giving thanks to God on your behalf, whenever I make mention of you in prayer.  My prayer is that the God of Jesus, the glorious God, may inspire you with wisdom and true insight through a fuller knowledge of Sacred Spirit, true Wisdom: And that your minds may be enlightened, that you may realize the hope given by God’s call, the wealth of the glory of the Holy One heritage among his people, and the extraordinary greatness of the power which he is able to exercise in being Present to us who trust in  in the message given to his  followers which is passed on also to all of us.

These are the inspired words attributed to Paul and the community affirms them by saying:

All:  SO BE IT!

Psalm:  Cheryl and Bob 139:1-6, 13-18

O my Beloved.  You have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up'

You discern my innermost thoughts.

You find me on the journey and guide my steps.

You know my strengths and my weaknesses.

Even before words rise up in prayer,

Lo, You have already heard my heart call.

You encompass me with love where'er I go 

and your strength is my shield.

Such sensitivity is too wonderful for me, boundless gratitude is my soul's response.

O that You would vanquish my fears, 

Beloved. O that ignorance and suffering 

would depart from me – My ego separates me from true 

abandonment, to surrendering myself into your Hands!

Yet are these not the very thorns that focus my thoughts upon You?

Will I always need reminders to turn my face to You?

I yearn to come to You in love, to learn of your mercy and wisdom!

Search me, O my Beloved, and know my heart!

Try me and discern my thoughts!

Help me to face the darkness within me,

enlighten me, that I might radiate 

your Love and Light!

From Psalms for Praying © 2007 Nan C. Merrill

Reprinted with permission of the publisher

Continuum International Publishing Group


Second Reading:  Judy

My Journey to Wisdom by Joyce Rupp

Once upon a time
a child of happiness danced upon the land,
knew friendship with the earth
and celebrated life
with her love of solitude and simple things.

She grew into a young woman,
whose vision of self was clouded,
clothed with the complexities of insecurity
and the necessity of leaving the hallowed womb
of the quiet earth.

She walked into cities of strangers,
straining her inner eye to catch
the slightest hint of the beauty
that had energized her younger days
when she played upon the earth.

Days stretched into months
and then years went by.
She slowly changed by going deeper,
deeper, into her Center.
Never understanding, why the desire
to go deeper was there
but always knowing there was no other choice
than to follow at all costs.  Darkness often loomed up large against her searching journey.
Risk and Truth became her companions.

She met Compassion
and then Wisdom came to greet her.
So close, at times, were these companions
that she wept for their intensity
and her unworthiness.
Still, they walked with her,
and everywhere she went,
her companions reached out
and blessed the people of her life.

She could only kneel in gratitude,
offering her heart of praise
to the Divine Companion
who had faithfully kept the kindling of love burning in her heart.

A reading from the prophetess Joyce Rupp and the community affirms it by saying:


Alleluia:  Celtic Alleluia 



Gospel:  Kathryn

Gospel of Mary Magdalene. 4: 1 – 9                                                   

When the Blessed One came to the followers, he greeted them all, saying, “Peace be with you!  Bear my peace within yourselves.  Go then and proclaim the good news of the realm.  Do not lay down any rules beyond what I determined for you.  Nor give law like the law givers, lest you be confined by it.”  When he said this, he departed.

But they were pained.  They wept greatly, saying, “How shall we go to the nations and proclaim the good news of the Child of Humanity?  If they did not spare him, how will they spare us?”

Then Mary stood up.  She greeted them all, and said to her brothers and sisters, “Do not weep and be pained, nor doubt, for all his grace will be with you.  But rather let us praise his greatness, for he has prepared us and made us Humans.”  When Mary had said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.  (Excerpt from the Gospel of Mary Magdala)

These are the prophetic words of Mary Magdala  and we affirm them by saying: 

Response: SO BE IT

Homily Starter:  Bridget Mary -Farewell tribute to Katy



The Face Of God 

You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart You are a part of me
You are the face of God...

You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart You are my family
You are the face of God...

words: Reverend Karyl Huntley & Karen Drucker music: Karen Drucker

                       Shared reflections by Community members

                                Profession of Faith 


We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us and is ever and always present with us.

We believe in Jesus, the Word incarnate, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.

We believe in Christ, the everlasting Presence in our world in our universe.

We believe in the Spirit of Life, the breath of wisdom Sophia, who stays present and real to us during this great human struggle we face today. 

We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love as we continue our life journey.

We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.

                                  General Intercessions 

Jack and Ann

We pray that the Holy One renew in our hearts our commitment to journey always in faith and hope as we reach out and support, comfort and love those closest to us.  Let us pray together for all the needs of the citizens of the earth.

We bring to our table those persons who are protesting the injustices levied on our African/American brothers and sister.  We pray that their pain and suffering will finally be heard.

We bring to our table the families who have lost loved ones because of Covid 19.

We bring to our table hearts full of hope and deep appreciation for all the gifts that Katy has brought to us and to the table of the world. 

We bring to the table Katy, who has been committed to peace and justice her whole ministerial life that she may continue to live the dreams she holds in her heart as she serves the poor and continues to speak for justice and peace.

We bring to our table all those who are sick, who gain strength through our faithfulness in remembering them in prayer …name your loved ones…  

We pray for all those we love who are healing from cancer. We pray especially for Dianne, Mary Kay, Sally and Bridget Mary.

And together we say:  


Pax Amor Christi – Kathleen Deignan, CND, PhD



Katy:  We are blessed by the Holy One in a multitude of ways.

We have bread made from human hands, and wine made from harvested grapes.  These are gifts of the earth, and together they will become our spiritual food and drink.

All:  Blessed is the Holy One

With this bread and wine, we pledge ourselves to the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels.  We accept our call to be present to all persons in our world. We are committed to the teachings and the ministry of Jesus.

All:  The Holy One is praised forever.

With open hands let us pray:

                             Eucharistic Prayer

Holy One, we remember the life and ministry of Jesus.   We are called to live our lives according to Gospel, always following the attitude and commitment Jesus manifested with the goal of being true followers of Jesus.  We look to the strength of our personal spiritual and prayerful reflections to come to know what it means to us to embrace the full meaning of the Christian life. 

In solidarity with Jesus, and with all the faithful women and men who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:

Holy, Holy, Holy. Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy




We celebrate, the wonder and beauty of the gift of life, as we recognize the sufferings and joys of being human. We look with hope toward the building of a future rich in diversity with love and understanding as our heritage, marked by our strength and courage to make all things new. 

Jesus, as our teacher,  you spoke in such ways that hundreds listened to you.  You took time to go apart from the chaos in your life and to pray alone. You were not naive. You knew what the end result would be for challenging the powers who sought to destroy the message of our God of Love.

Janet:  We, too, are called to speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the numerous injustices our world faces today.  We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to go apart and pray. 

(Hold your hand over bread and wine) 

Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us.  We remember you, Jesus, as you asked to be remembered through the blessing and breaking bread. And sharing the cup of wine, Yes, we remember you. 

During Jesus’s life on earth, he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society.  Because of his ministry, Jesus was feared by the authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.

On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet. 


(All lift your bread and pray) 

Sally:  When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 

Take and eat, this is my very self.  (pause) 


All lift your cup and pray) 

Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink.

Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.   (pause) 

Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope.

What we have heard with our ears, 

we will live with our lives.  

As we share communion, 

we will become communion 

both love's nourishment and love's challenge.

Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time

      “Receive the bread of life.  Drink from the cup of the New Covenant”


Communion Reflection: Be Still and Know by Shania Knoll - Shortened


Michael:  Sacred Spirit, we remember Mary, the Mother of Humanity, who birthed Jesus into our world. We rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with the Sacred Presence: Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs.  

Elena:  We remember our sister priests, strong extraordinary women: Adele, Judy, Tish, Joan and Michele.  We remember John O’Callaghan, beloved husband of Dena.  Both John and Dena served as priests at Mary Mother of Jesus.  We remember, too, family members and friends.  We remember all those whose lives have been lost to Covid, to war, to racism and all other “isms” that exist in our world.  And we remember those you wish to be remembered

… Share the names of your loved ones in silence…


All are beloved who have blessed our lives and whose memory continues to inspire us, we remember you.

And we respond together:

All:  Amen

Lee:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

O Holy One, who is within, around and among us, 

We celebrate your many names. 

Your Wisdom come, 

Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us.

Each day you give us all we need. 

You remind us of our limits, and we let go. 

You support us in our power, and we act with courage, 

For you are the dwelling place within us,  

the empowerment around us, 

and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen  

(Miriam Therese Winter) 

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Announcements


May the Greatest Love by Kathy Sherman 


Bridget Mary:  Let us raise our hands and bless our dear Katy:  

May you continue to seek truth boldly and love deeply.

 May you embrace the mystery in your journey, making justice a lived reality

 bringing peace, joy and hope to all those you encounter. 

May you honor your personal need for deep prayer and reflection while in the midst of suffering.  May you be a beacon of light to those you are called to serve.  

We hold you in our hearts, dear Katy. We are grateful for all you have done for us here at MMOJ.  

May we all continue to be people of faith that our life choices will be a blessing in our times and hope to others.

All:  SO BE IT


Bridget Mary:  Sacred Spirit, Sophia carry us forth as we leave this place and continue to be aware of your Presence within us.  Let it be so!

Closing Song:   Woman Spirit by Karen Drucker


If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to Joan Meehan at jmeehan515@aol.com

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to

www.marymotherofJesus.org where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

Please support our community, send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328