Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jesuit blasts St. Paul, Catholic teaching on women's ordination

"In a recent article for The Washington Post and Newsweek’s On Faith site , Father Aloysius Howe, a Jesuit and international visiting fellow at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center, has blasted Catholic teaching on women’s ordination. "

Father Howe argues:
"The Pauline analogy of husbands mirroring Christ and wives mirroring the church has within it the seeds of much in theology and church discipline that is sexist and misogynist. ...If Catholics are told that only men can be, for sacramental purposes, in persona Christi, standing in the place of Christ at the Eucharist, are we seriously meant to believe that this does not lay down the germ of an idea, namely that women are inferior to men, even in the order of God's grace? If all the discernment and decisions that affect women in the Church are made only by celibate men, are we to conclude that this has no effect at all on the attitudes of Catholic men towards women?...

Father Howe continues, “The sin of clericalism, however, is a choice, and not an ineluctable consequence of being a Catholic priest. Similarly, Catholic men may read St Paul, or the latest Vatican instruction against women priests, and yet come away unconvinced that socially-conditioned notions from 2 millennia ago have the force of divine will.”

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Cloud of Witnesses Retreat

Hi all in RCWP USA

Hope you have time to listen and even download St: Hildegard of Bingen's work:
"O Viridissima Viga "
and consider the greening of the world and of the Spirit.

Much love,
RCWP Canada and Europe West

I found this link on and thought you might find it of interest:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Cloud of Witnesses Retreat

From Canada and Europe West,
To our sisters and bishops elect in USA.
How about one song by Hildegard of Bingen today and over the weekend.

We surround ourselves in RCWP in a time of gradual opening to our as yet unknown visions and ways forward. WE feel our way in the Luminous Spirit Hildegard sings of today.

This song is called Hodie Aperuit: Today has Opened. ...It is the first in a series of luminous chants and instrumentaltions for her expressions of complete love for the Divine One and for her open heart waiting to receive each infilling of the Spirit in return.
Hey, I found this link on and thought you might find it of interest:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Cloud of Witnesses Retreat

Painting by Rose Mewhort who lives on Galiano Island, BC.

"Beside Still Waters" I am drawn into my recognition of the need to enter nature for a day and just stay and stay until am entirely penetrated by the beauty of silent nauture such as Rose has portrayed in in her painting.

I am moved to quote the final line of Denise Levertov's poem "Immersion" from her book
New York:New Directions, 1999.

"The holy voice
utters its woe and glory in myriad musics, in signs and portents.
Our own words are for us to speak, a way to ask and answer (53).

Loving Mother and Father God, we long to bathe in the light of your holiness and love.
We long to rest in your silence.

Be deeply with us and calm any fears we carry on our journey to the diaconate, to priesthood and to the episcopate.

Fill us with the courage of your holy prophets and help us to understand how prophetic witnessing and the creation of prophetic change happens.

Show us in your infinite gentleness and compassion how to co-create the building of your inclusive model of priesthood for a converted church and for the deep healing of the People of Godde, who also heal us.

We ask this in the your name, in the name of Jesus our Brother and in the name of Spirit Holy Wisdom Sophia

Rose Mewhort
Michele Birch-Conery

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Cloud of Witnesses Retreat in preparation for Episcopal Ordinations

(Photo of Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordinations
in Ottawa, Canada in 2007)

To all the women in RCWP USA,
Firstly, let me introduce to you those who, at this moment, are participating in holding your Sacred Space, in holding the rim of your space on the North American continent as you prepare for and journey towards and to the epicsopal ordinations .

We are:
Europe West
Marlene Wijdeveld
Bishop Patricia Fresen
We have the promise of more to come
from Europe when we begin our daily common prayer on March 29, through to and including Easter Sunday.

We are:
Marie Bouclin -Canada East (Sudbury)
Canada West
Monica Kilburn Smith (Calgary)
Jim Lauder (Van Island)
Michele Birch-Conery (Van Island)
Our Elder Co-ordinator
of St. Francis Chapel Ministries
Patricia Fitzgerald (Mayne Island)
Our Western Region Administrator
located in Calgary
Shelagh Mikaluk

Our candidates on the path do diacionate ordination:
Kim Sylvester (Van Island)
Rose Mewhort(Galiano Island)

And there are others with us who hold our space from deep within the Catacomb realities.
They should not be forgotten as powerful Presences in RCWP.

We also expect wider participation from our support people as we evolve in our Cloud of Witness presence and prayer. for and with you.

I am attaching our reflection and prayer for today to your responses because we know that in a Discipleship of Equals, the dialogic impulse (pulse I should say), the heart beat of our communities is essential,. Thus our role in servant leadership to listen for and to the movement of the Spirit amongst us as we language our responses, our prayer conversation with our God ( who always has the first Word) and then with each other in our liturgies and in Sacrament.

So on this Ash Wednesday, where I awoke wondering what we would offer you next and when we would do it, I found your grateful and heart-felt responses to us on the RCWP/NA list.

They are so heart fully grateful that we have been calling and communicating with each other in a return of ecstasy and joy and wonder at the unfolding of such a simple call offered just last night, the Eve of Ash Wednesday.

A reading for today is re-languaged from PEOPLES COMPANION TO THE BREVIARY: FOR Ash Wednesday. It reads:

You are a people holy to our God; Our Godde has chosen you to be God's people, Godde's treasured possession. It was because our Mother and Father God loved you and kept the promise sworn to our ancestors that now you have been rescued from the house of slavery. Know , therefore, that God is faithful . Our God keeps Covenant loyalty with those who love her, with those who love him to a thousand, thousand generations.
Dt. 7:6, 8-9

We pray that we wil be filled with the Holy Spirit, that our hearts will be renewed and our vision clarified as we take this new turn in our RCWP path, in our community on the journey to the first
USA Episcopal ordinations.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Sarasota House Church Doubles in Size

Mary, Mother of Jesus House Church in Sarasota Praises God for Growth

Mary, Mother of Jesus Catholic Community celebrated an inclusive Catholic liturgy on Saturdays in Sarasota, Florida. On Feb. 21 st, 2009 our community moved to a larger home because we had outgrown my home. Again the Holy Spirit suprised us and we doubled our numbers in two weeks. We give thanks that God is blessing our community with wondrous growth, not only in numbers, but in enthusiasm and joyful praise as we gather to celebrate the banquet of Jesus who invites all to the table of boundless love and forgiveness. On this wondrous occasion, Michael Rigdon, a married RC priest and Julia Fisher, an Episcopal woman priest co-presided at our Christ-centered worship. Indeed, as Jack Meehan, my Dad played our recessional, "When the saints go marching in," we truly experienced a cloud of witnesses on earth and in heaven leading us to a renewed, glorious celebration of our faith in Jesus's healing presence among us. We are called to be the reality that God is indeed doing something new in our midst and that we are challenged to think outside the box and bring our friends in need into Christ's healing embrace.
Bridget Mary Meehan
Roman Catholic Womanpriest