Saturday, October 3, 2009
PORT RICHEY, Florida —" The Rev. Eleonara Marinaro ministers out of duty to — and in defiance of — her church."
Article in St. Petersburg Times by Mindy Rubenstein
Roman Catholic Womenpriests : Interview with Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Sr. Louise Akers on "All Sides "on WOSO radio
Enjoy this great interview in which two prophetic leaders speak out for justice for women in the Roman Catholic Church.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Third St. Louis area Roman Catholic Womanpriest
to be ordained
Release Date: October 1, 2009
Rev. Rose Marie Hudson, 636-208-5598
Rev. Elsie Hainz McGrath, 314-477-6089
Deacon Marybeth McBryan, 314-277-3212
Deacon Marybeth McBryan, of St. Louis, will be ordained a priest on November 1, 2009, All Saints Day. The celebration will be in her home community of Therese of Divine Peace, with Bishop Joan Clark Houk officiating.
Marybeth has been heavily involved in parish ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for nearly 30 years. A mother and grandmother, she is a former teacher in both parochial and public schools, and has also served on the Board of Education of the St. Louis Public Schools. Marybeth has a Master’s in education with secondary degrees in administration and counseling, and has accrued 40+ hours in theology, liturgy and religious education. She is currently a part of the music ministry and serves as deacon at Therese of Divine Peace, and will continue on the ministerial staff there following her ordination as priest.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests continue to validly ordain women and marginalized men to the Roman Catholic priesthood in an effort to bring reform and renewal into an unjust hierarchical structure that is increasingly misogynous and misoneist. Rather than looking backward and inward, Roman Catholic Womenpriests continue to look forward and outward in the spirit of Vatican II. We are here. We are ministering. We are growing. We are not going away.
The ordination is at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2009, with the Therese of Divine Peace Inclusive Community. The Therese community meets at First Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Louis, 5007 Waterman Blvd. The ordination will take place in the sanctuary, and a light reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
Therese of Divine Peace Inclusive Community celebrates together every Sunday at 5 p.m. Regular services take place in Hope Chapel, at the rear of the First Unitarian complex. Our liturgy has continued without interruption since December 1, 2007, because we strive to imitate Jesus, who always and everywhere made clear to everyone that ALL ARE WELCOME.
Further information is available at www.thereseofdivinepeace.org.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests : "Vatican Asks Catholics to Fund Inquisition-like Investigation against Women Religious"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2009
Executive Director: 773.404.0004 x262
Vatican asks Catholics To Fund Inquisition-like Investigation against Women Religious
The Vatican has requested that U.S. Catholics contribute $1.1 million to fund an investigation of women religious in the United States. The Vatican claims this investigation is to evaluate the "quality of the life" of women religious.
This request for funding is deeply problematic. First, many dioceses already suffer from a lack of resources causing many parishes to be closed. Catholic families are struggling to make ends meet during this economic recession. Those same families and parishes are now being asked to donate their money to investigate the very sisters who have faithfully served them for years.
"Surely, during this time of economic struggle the Vatican could use $1.1 million to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our society," says Jim FitzGerald, Call To Action Executive Director.
Secondly, Mother Mary Claire Millea, head of this investigation, admitted that those who have already financially contributed to this investigation do not want their names publicized. As a matter of justice, those being investigated have the right to know who is funding such an investigation and the real reasons why this inquiry is being conducted.
"We are also concerned that the Vatican and some bishops may take money that has already been donated for other causes and use it to fund this inquisition-like investigation," says FitzGerald. "The lack of transparency is very disturbing."
Call To Action is calling on its 25,000 members to contact their bishops and request that their dioceses not fund this investigation. We believe financially contributing to this unnecessary inquiry perpetuates the abuse of power that is so prevalent within the Church hierarchy.
Call To Action (CTA) is a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society. An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 53 local chapters, CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just its appointed leaders. Visit our website at www.cta-usa.org.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Roman Catholic Womenpriests : " Ignore the bells and the smells and the lovely Raphaels, the Pope's visit to Britain is nothing to celebrate"
"Ignore the bells and the smells and the lovely Raphaels, the Pope's visit to Britain is nothing to celebrate"
by Tanya Gold
"In May 2001 he wrote a confidential letter to Catholic bishops, ordering them not to notify the police – or anyone else – about the allegations, on pain of excommunication. He referred to a previous (confidential) Vatican document that ordered that investigations should be handled "in the most secretive way . . . restrained by a perpetual silence". Excommunication is a joke to me, perhaps to you, but to a Catholic it means exclusion and perhaps hellfire – for trying to protect a child. Well, God is love."
"Mercy Theresa Kane criticizes the Hierarchy
"In the context of resistance she talked about women’s ordination in the Catholic church today." “'The Roman Catholic women priesthood is small, highly criticized, and not going away,” she went on. “No one controls our future but ourselves.'”
Sister Theresa Kane
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Elsie McGrath (left with red stole) at ordination ceremony of Marty Meyer-Gad
Would you say this is kinda outta character for Jesus? Kinda crass? Kinda gross? Whatssup with this trash talk, anyway? And especially after it started off so well: Whoever is for us isn’t against us. Would that everybody would prophesy, as Moses said. Would that everybody would be Spirit-filled and drive out demons and share cool refreshing life-giving water.
But everybody isn’t, and everybody doesn’t, and there is very little heaven on earth. And so, in an about-face such as we are quite unaccustomed to, Jesus preached hellfire and brimstone in order to try to get his point across. And the denseness of his so-called apostles was the trigger for this outburst. They were trying to stop somebody who was doing some fine miracle-working because the healer wasn’t “one of them”? This on the heels, you might recall, of their argument over which of them was the “greatest.” And all this in the context of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem … while he’s telling these clods, over and over again, what is about to happen to him. No wonder Jesus lost it!
Jesus said [quote 1]. Jesus may very well be thinking of the Samaritan woman at the well when he used that example of one giving a drink of water out of what we might call “Christian charity,” even though she did not then know Christ. The clods who were with him that day, who returned to find him engaged in peer theological discussion with this woman, saw nothing except an infraction of the law. But what was really happening? Those same clods have, of course, been touted throughout the centuries as “the” apostles – but the nameless woman really WAS one.
Jesus said [quote 2]. I thought of pedophiles hiding under the guise of holy men of God, and of their enablers, who call them “mere sinners” while women priests are called destroyers of the system. Is everyone current with this week’s news stories about the priest who had been convicted for abusing some 30 children over the years of his “ministry”? He is being released from jail less than 5 years after his incarceration. I love the juxtaposition of words for water in Jesus’ quote – from life-giving drink to death-dealing drink. Two sides of the same coin, so to speak. Like two sides of the same story, in a way. As in, the pedophile may deserve to be released from prison because what he really needs is confinement in a safe place – which won’t happen. But the enabler really needs to be in prison because he is responsible for ruining the lives of at least 30 people – which also won’t happen. Such a thin line between right and wrong, between life and death.
I had strange recurring dreams last night, most of which I cannot remember, but what I woke up thinking each time was, “What did that mean? Who were those people?” And as I mulled over everything that I could recall to mind before I arose this morning, it came to me that nothing and no one was as it seemed. It was like we were “living” Halloween, disguised from the realities of who we were and what we were called to accomplish.
And then I realized that my dreams were metaphor for what really IS going on in our world. And that it has always been so.
I thought of inquisitioners hiding under the guise of seekers of the truth, who dare to question the faith and ministry of those women religious most responsible for walking with the least of these throughout their lifetimes without honor or recompense. On Friday night, Ree & I were with several such women -- Louise Lears, Jeannine Grammick and Donna Quinn among them. And I was once again struck by something that I used to consider a phenomenon – they were all very obviously glowing with love & peace & forgiveness. Such phenomena are becoming less and less rare, sisters and brothers. More and more people are owning up to their apostleship in the face of growing opposition. Like the guy in the cult movie, Network, we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. These valiant sisters are women who, in earlier times, would have been thrown to the lions or burned at the stake. They have been uprooted and maligned and cut off from their communities. But they remain true to who they are and to what they are to do. They are among today’s apostles.
And perhaps, when the current “visitations” have concluded, perhaps some of their communities will be joining them.
Jesus said [quote 3]. I thought of predators, pimps & pushers. And I thought of fat-cat CEOs, big-money insurance brokers, smooth-talking swindlers, armed warriors & renegades & pirates & terrorists & murderers & burglars. I thought of a whole world collapsing under the weight of greed and graft and self-centered arrogance & misplaced pride. I thought of freak floods & fires & devastating winds, and the systematic destruction of our earthly flora and fauna. And, yeah, thinking of such enemies of the earth and its peoples, I thought hell was a pretty good place for them.
But is Jesus seriously talking hellfire and brimstone for those whose hands grab for the wrong things, whose feet walk on the wrong paths, whose eyes focus on the wrong prize? The all-forgiving Jesus?
The word some like to translate as “hell” is actually Gehenna, and Gehenna was a place of hellfire and brimstone – but not in the guise that has been presented to us over the centuries. (Note that I said “was” a place.) Child sacrifice, which should have been discontinued, recall, with the lesson taught by the Abraham/Isaac story, had rather recently continued in the Hinnom Valley, very near Jerusalem. As a result, and in an effort to atone for such abominations, the people literally turned that area into a trash dump and set the place on fire to keep disease and decay at bay. The fires were stoked, and burned 24/7, and everyone in the surrounding areas knew of Gehenna. Imagine the stench, carried on the winds for miles and miles. If you’re as old as me, you might remember burning ash pits, an acrid smell that I can still remember. It brought tears to my eyes and burned my nostrils. Everyone Jesus spoke to knew of Gehenna. Absolutely, the so-called apostles knew of Gehenna. What better place to dispose of “trash” like lecherous eyes, stampeding feet or grubbing hands?
So let’s be clear on what we hear … and know … and do. Jesus’ condemnation of those who aren’t what they appear to be is NOT a forever-be-damned condemnation. It is a wake-up call. LOOK at what you are doing, what you are feeling, where you are going. LOOK at who you really are … and at who you really are called to be. Get rid of the shams and the shames and the sins that are corrupting your true identity as a child of God. Be an apostle.
Tonight our Jewish sisters and brothers begin their celebration of Yom Kippur. This is the day the people, as a community, atone for everything that fractures their oneness with God. Jews learned that divided they fall centuries ago. It was why they burned Gehenna … a whole nation in mourning, atoning for the sins of the few. This corporate responsibility for the sins of the world is what sets Jews apart from the individualism that we tend to take such false pride in, albeit our penchance for blind obedience to whatever mob mentality is set before us for mindless emulation.
But did anything else come to mind as we heard this gospel being proclaimed? Did we hear any “good” news?
Jesus said [quote 4]. Did you think about yourself … here … in communion with – her … him … them … us …? Did you think of the miracles we’ve shared together … life-giving waters of baptism … healing oils of anointing … holy vows of matrimony … bread blessed & broken & shared & eaten …? Did you think that maybe … just maybe … we are among those whom Jesus is validating …?
Would that it be so, always and in every circumstance, for each of us and all of us. Amen.
1. If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, that one will be rewarded.
2. If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for that one to be thrown into the sea.
3. If your hand causes you to err, cut it off. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. And if your eye is your downfall, tear it out.
4. No one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak bad of me.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Roberta Meehan, RCWP
Homily for the 26th Sunday Cycle B – 27 September 2009
Psalms 19:8, 10, 12-14
Mark 9:38-43, 47-48
Today’s readings have a wonderful sense of unity to them! They also give us a wonderful sense of separation from the frivolous and a sense of total adherence to the essentials of who and what we are as Christians (or even just as God-people or human bei ngs). The frivolous? Yes, watch and see.
In Numbers we hear about the Spirit coming down on some people who were all gathered together. These people received the gift of prophecy and were then prophesying under Moses. But, the Spirit was not limited by the physical location of those gathered and the Spirit also imbued two other people with this gift. They also began prophesying. Joshua began whining to Moses (the Boss), telling Moses to make the others stop! After all, these OTHER prophets had not fulfilled the rubrics of the time.
(Keep in mind that prophesying does not mean “fortune telling” and today prophesying is what we would generally classify as “insightful preaching.”)
Nevertheless, what does this story of Joshua and Moses remind you of? I think it sounds like someone is trying to tell God what to do, don’t you? It always amazes me when people dictate what God can and cannot do. Joshua was essentially saying, “God, you can’t possibly have given your gift to those persons because those persons weren’t in the right place at the right time according to MY rules.” Have you ever heard any modern variations of this script? Of course! We all have! And most of us have probably worked from this very premise on occasion. It is human nature – but we can go one step beyond.
Moses,=2 0being a very wise leader (most of the time), quickly put a stop to Joshua’s complaining by declaring his wish that EVERYONE would be bestowed with the gift of prophecy! Moses definitely did not try to limit God.
Meanwhile, the first line of the Psalm today tells us that the Law of the Lord is perfect. Now we are beginning to see the problem. The Law of the Lord is perfect and some people are prophesying without the permission of the leadership. But, the leadership recognizes the validity of other prophesying – or that the Lord could possibly have given the gift without the leadership’s approval and/or permission.
But, what is the Law of the Lord – the Law that is perfect in every way?
Take a look at that reading from James. James is reprimanding the rich. He is particularly upset with the tendency of certain people to withhold wages from the workers, and to ignore the cries of the harvesters, and to condemn, and to even put to death the righteous one.
At first the reading from James does not seem to fit with the reading from Numbers – or the reading from Mark, which we will look at in just a moment. But, think about it! It does fit! The Psalm tells us the Law of the Lord is perfect. And what is the Law of the Lord? What was their Lord? Not God, that’s for sure! And, what were they telling20God? They were saying (or doing) the same thing as Joshua – only they were using different words. They were telling God that they knew the right answers, that they knew how to do it, that they did not have to listen to the true Law of the Lord – the Law that was/is perfect in every way. Withholding money, ignoring cries, condemning, etc., etc. – all of these things were the right way – even though the Law of the Lord was something different!
And finally we come to Mark. In this passage from Mark we find numerous verses that can be used in or out of context and all of them are extremely powerful. But, let us look instead at a picture of one of the unifying messages of this gospel. The passage begins with, “John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.’"
What does that sound like to you? To me it sounds like a “My god is better than your god” spitting contest!
Now picture Jesus looking with love (and probably a bit of exasperation!
Do we get so bound up in legalities (our own human legalities) that we forget the one God-legality? Do we forget the Law of the Lord that is perfect in every way?
Are our churches so bound up in the letter of the law that they forget the spirit of the law? Do our churches forget that the Spirit transcended regulations in the time of Moses and Joshua? Do our churches forget that Jesus transcended regulations? Do we become so entwined with the minutiae of the law – the strict letter of the law – that we forget the law that is perfect in every way? In the opening we heard the word “frivolous” and now it is time to ask if our adherence to the letter of the law might be frivolous in the eternal domain.
Jesus tells us right here that everyone might not be following the official rules exactly – but that does not mean that those people are not madly in love with Him and are not working in His name. Read it again! No one can perform a mighty deed in Jesus’ name and still speak ill of Him. No one can give a cup of water in Christ’s name and loose his reward.
Jesus told us what the only law is – the law of Love. And we wonder about the law of Love??? Where does that come in???
Oh, that is the Law of the Lord, the Law that is perfect in every way! That is the Law that says that the Spirit will give gifts at will – and not at our will but at God’s will! That is the Law that says that we must treat others with justice and fairness because that is the ultimate Law. That is the Law that says that it matters not whether the person has duly followed all of the human rituals and regulations. That is the Law that is perfect in every way. Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. In that are fulfilled all of the Law and the Prophets – even the modern prophets!
-- Roberta M Meehan