Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Why a Former Nun Will Be Ordained a Priest?" Washington Post/Diane Dougherty, ARCWP

"I am passionate about Jesus’ vision for women disciples in our church --- so much so that on Oct. 20, I will be ordained a priest in Atlanta along with five women who will be ordained deacons. The recent third-century papyrus discovery announced by Dr. Karen L. King confirms what I have always known about my own calling, “She will be my disciple.”
In the 1960s, there were few options for women exploring their vocation. Catholicism was uniform and painted in either/or’s but my love for the God and early ministries with the people fed my desire to serve. I entered religious life expecting to leave in six months because I believed God was not limited the uniform vision presented by the church in that age. My experience of convent life far exceeded those stereotypes.
The day after I entered the convent, we began college courses. We studied, prayed, worked and laughed. The sisters immediately engaged us in renewing our constitution and ending pre-Vatican practices. Through baptism we were all called to serve.
We moved out of clerical notions that separated us from people into living the gospel mandate in homes, neighborhoods and wherever the marginalized lived. I was in my glory. For the first 12 years as a sister, I worked in systems operated by those “renewed Catholic women”. I was never denied access to any institution of higher learning. For me, Catholic was defined as raising each person to heights of excellence in a discipleship of equals.
However, during the last 10 years of religious life, I met up with a clerical culture that viewed religious women and laity as expendable, especially if they challenged current systematic practices. When we spoke about salary fairness, we were asked to leave. When we petitioned for Hispanics to use the church instead of a restaurant, we were evicted. The entire staff of the next parish I worked in was forced to resign when the new pastor took over. These events left me psychologically devastated and I decided to leave and move to Atlanta, the hope of the South.
For the next 14 years, I worked in a Catholic school as well as for the Archdiocese of Atlanta as director of children’s catechesis. What I felt, but did not have words to describe, was the growing politic of clericalism creeping throughout the South by the strategic appointment of bishops and priests. As soon as we had established vibrant systems making sound Catholic teaching accessible to a broad range of adults, our department was totally restructured. This recurring motif happened throughout the South. It was then I realized, after 37 years of service, I, as a woman religious and/or lay ecclesial minister, was expendable. It was my “ah-ha” moment.
I saw that from generation to generation clericalism’s all-male-elite hierarchy dominates Catholicism. It acts as a virus, spreading through healthy people and communities, dividing them, setting one person or group against another, working to make the group smaller and easier to control. It superimposes its self-made rules on the gospel confusing the people of God. Because it is male dominated, women and educated laity are a threat to the culture and their influence must be minimized. Once named, I realized one could not reason, collaborate, negotiate, challenge or control it.
When I discovered the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is intent on developing an inclusive, renewed priesthood in a community of equals, I found my true calling. Although I have suffered and endured all internal efforts to “get me to leave” and join the already 33 million displaced Catholics in the U.S., I refuse. I choose to become a “Catholic” priest because I am called to work with others who understand that “Catholic” is more about authentic gospel living than the false notions clericalism breeds."

By Diane Dougherty | 07:23 PM ET, 10/12/2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Roman Catholic Women Priests? by Phyllis Zagano/Why I Disagree with Phyllis Zagano on Women Priests by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

 As a bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women
Priests, I disagree with Phyllis Zagano's characterization
of the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement in the
Washington Post.
She said: "Theological hairsplitting aside,
 the official Catholic determination is no,
they are not Catholic and even within their own
movement they are not priests." 

First: Roman Catholic Women Priests are faithful Catholics
who  love our church and offer the gift of a renewed priestly
ministry in an inclusive church where all are welcome to receive
sacraments. By our baptism we are Catholic
and will always be! No one, not even the Pope, can cancel
our baptism! Galations 3:28 reminds us that by our baptism 
men and women are equal images of Christ.
Therefore, women are worthy to preside
at the altar. Women priests are visible reminders that all
women are equal images of God and that it is time to begin
the healing  process of centuries of misogyny in our church.

Like the women in the Gospels mentioned in Luke 8:1-3,
women priests are following Jesus's call to discipleship,
equality and partnership.  
Like  Mother Theodore Guerin and Mother Mary McKillop,
who were excommunicated by the church hierarchy, and
 later canonized saints,
we believe that faithful Catholics must always follow their
consciences no matter what the cost.
Obedience to God always trumps obedience to church laws.
Women Priests are living prophetic obedience by disobeying
an unjust law that discriminates against women in our church.

Second : RCWP ordinations are valid because our first bishops
were ordained by a unnamed bishop in apostolic succession and in
communion with the Pope.

Third: there is scholarly evidence that women were not only 
ordained deacons,  but were also ordained priests and bishops
during the first twelve hundred years of church history.
See  Professor Gary Macy's book, The Hidden History of
Ordination and Catholic theologian Dorothy Irvin's
archaeological evidence of women in ordained ministry
 in the ancient world.

Fourth: Dr. Zagano cites Jesus' words: "do this in memory of me"
to support the Vatican position of the Last Supper as Jesus
selection of a male priesthood.  
On the contrary, these words indicate that
Jesus gave Eucharist to the church. Jesus did not ordain twelve
male apostles at the Last Supper.
The Twelve represents the
Twelve Tribes of Israel. 
Jesus' words remind us that the Eucharist 
is a Sacred Meal that we share to celebrate the Christ Presence
in our midst and the Christ Presence that we are as the
 Body of Christ in the World. 
In other words the Body of Christ
is on the table, at the table and around the table. Contemporary
theologian Bernard Cook reminds us that the gathered assembly
 is the celebrant of Eucharist. It is the entire community that
performs the eucharistic action, not the presider alone.
Historical scholarship supports this conclusion and goes
even farther. Gary Macy concludes from his research in
Middle Ages manuscripts that, in the understanding of the
medieval mind, regardless of who spoke the words of
consecration -
man or woman, ordained or community -
 the Christ presence became reality in the
 midst of the assembly.
(National Catholic Reporter. Jan. 9, 1998 p.5)
Yes, indeed,
For the Vatican, Roman Catholic Women Priests are a revolution,
but for millions of Catholics, we are a holy shakeup whose time
has come!
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,, 703-505-0004

Abortion in the Vice-Presidential Debate: Catholics Are Still More Concerned about the Economy

For Immediate Release
12 October 2012

Media Contact:
David J. Nolan
202 986 6093


"Last night’s vice-presidential debate concluded with a brief, five-minute discussion about abortion and religion. Both candidates expressed their party’s position, their own personal perspective and how it related to their Catholic faith.
Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, responded: “The candidates are right that women and men do consider their faith when they are facing a decision about abortion, but neither candidate stood back and looked at the bigger picture.
“In this election, as in previous elections, Catholics are simply not voting on the abortion issue.
“A poll released yesterday showed what Catholics are concerned about:
‘A strong majority of Catholic voters (79 percent) wants the next president to make jobs his highest priority. Only 28 percent of Catholic voters believe abortion should be the highest priority of the next administration. Gay marriage is even less of a priority than abortion among Catholics, with only 16 percent prioritizing the issue as the most important.
‘In addition, majorities of Catholics disagree with criminalizing abortion and do not want priests to withhold communion from those Catholics who support legal abortion. Those who strongly agree that abortion should be legal outnumber those who strongly disagree by a 2:1 margin.’
“Rightfully a good portion of the debate was focused on the economy. However, to listen to the US Catholic bishops, one would think that abortion, marriage equality and religious freedom are the biggest issues facing the country. Again, however, Catholics are not listening to the bishops:
‘More than four out of five Catholic voters (83 percent) feel no obligation to vote the way bishops recommend and three-quarters of Catholic voters (76 percent) do not believe Catholic politicians are obligated to vote the way bishops desire.’
“The Catholic tradition has the utmost respect for individual conscience and religious freedom. It appears that the bishops are trying to usurp both—by imposing their consciences on all Catholics and by implying that their religious freedom should trump everybody else’s. Catholics are having none of this, as the poll shows.”
View this press release on the Catholics for Choice website."
Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.

50 Years After Vatican 11, We have Roman Catholic Women Priests Shaping a Renewed Priestly Ministry in Catholic Communities
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a branch of the international women priests movement to renew the church, is leading the church into a more open, inclusive Catholicism in grassroots communities  where all are welcome to receive sacraments. We are leading not leaving the church into its future now. For some like the hierarchy, women priests  are a revolution, but for millions of Catholics we are a "holy shakeup" whose time has come that is bringing justice, liberation and new life to the Catholic Church. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Welcome Our Sister-Brother Creator"/Inspirational Video on the Creation of a World of Peace, Justice, Kindness, Freedom..." Highly Recommended

Published on Oct 10, 2012 by
"Welcome Our Sister-Brother Creator"--new lyrics inspiring the creation of a world of peace, justice, kindness, freedom, healing, hope, and celebration of diversity--set to the tune of "Greensleeves."
Vocal Artist: Shannon Kincaid; Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton; Visual Artists: noted in credits, and other images from public domain; Musicians: noted in credits.
The lyrics to this song and fuller information about visual artists can be found on my website blog:

"Catholic Voters Reject Political Influence of Bishops" A New Poll Reveals/CFFC


As the two Catholic candidates for vice president prepare 
to face each other in a debate tonight,
a new poll of 1,000 self-identified Catholic likely voters
shows that, despite the best efforts of the bishops, they are 
least concerned about 
abortion and gay marriage. Catholic voters are most 
about jobs, 
public education and healthcare.
Amidst growing concerns about Catholic priests and bishops 
using the pulpit and 
church resources to tell Catholics 
how to vote, a large majority does not feel
a religious obligation to listen to them. More than four 
out of five
Catholic voters (83 percent) feel no obligation to vote the way 
recommend and three-quarters of Catholic voters (76 percent) 
do not believe
Catholic politicians are obligated to vote the way bishops 
“As we prepare to vote in this election, we have witnessed a 
effort by the US bishops to convince Catholics that some 
are more
important than others,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics
 for Choice.
 “The Fortnight for Freedom was just one part of their campaign. 
Some bishops
and priests have been less subtle, giving explicit voting 
advice to congregants.
In short, the bishops are trying to bully Catholics to vote in a 
certain way.
This poll shows that the bishops’ efforts have been a 
spectacular failure.
Catholics reject this type of politicking from the pulpit and 
refuse to 
be cowed
by their religious leaders. Just like other Americans, 
Catholics care 
about the bread and butter issues that affect our families 
when we consider
the political decisions to be made come November 6.”
Denying communion for Catholics because they support 
abortion is 
unpopular. There is not a single demographic group that would 
the practice. It is even very unpopular among the most 
conservative Catholics
voters: 65 percent of those who attend Mass weekly or more; 
60 percent of Republicans; 
58 percent of those who describe themselves as conservative;
and 53 percent of self-described prolife Catholics disagree 
with this policy.
A strong majority of Catholic voters (79 percent) wants the next 
to make jobs his highest priority. Only 28 percent of Catholic 
voters believe
abortion should be the highest priority of the next administration.
Gay marriage is even less of a priority than abortion among 
with only 16 percent prioritizing the issue as the most 
In addition, majorities of Catholics disagree with criminalizing 
and do not want priests to withhold communion
 from those Catholics
who support legal abortion. Those who strongly agree that 
abortion should be legal outnumber those who strongly 
disagree by a 2:1 
margin. John Russonello, partner at Belden Russonello 
said, “This poll is one in a long line of polls that all tell the 
same two stories:
first, Catholics do not listen to their bishops when 
making electoral decisions. 
In fact, they reject the bishops’ political views and make
up their own minds about whom to vote for and what 
issues they 
care about. 
Second, Catholic voting patterns are consistent with those 
in the
wider electorate. Watch how Catholics vote and predict the vote 
The Catholic vote has been a key indicator of which presidential candidate
would win the most votes in every election since 1972, the 
year in
 which exit polls began keeping track of Catholic voting data.
 In the
presidential race, President Barack Obama holds a slim
 lead over
 Mitt Romney among US Catholics: 46 percent of likely Catholic 
voters support 
Obama while 41 percent support Romney; 12 percent 
are undecided.
Download the entire poll here.
To speak with the polling company, please call John Russonello
at (202) 822 6090.
Read this press release on the Catholics for Choice website.

For Immediate Release
11 October 2012
Media Contact: David J. Nolan
202 986

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive 
ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to 
women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women 
and men to make moral decisions about their lives.

Movie: "Band of Sisters" Link

Could You Donate Frequent Flyer Miles to Support Travel for Growth Women Priests' Movement/ARCWP?

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is ordaining six women on Oct. 20th next week in Atlanta at 1PM in the First Metropolitan Community Church.  We have several more candidates in preparation for ordination. In 2013 we are planning approximately 8 ordinations!
As bishop, I need to be at all ordinations and that will involve extensive travel. I have a United Frequent Flyer account and they allow donations of 15, 000 per calendar year. If you or anyone you know is willing to donate frequent flyer miles to my account, I'd be grateful.

Contact me for more information at

Many thanks for your prayers and ongoing support of our growing women priests' movement!

Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sister Simone Campbell: Nuns on the Bus in Opposition to Ryan/Republican Budget Cuts in Programs to Aid Poor

 You go, Sisters! We are with you. Let's hope that the debate tomorrow night deals with the moral hole in America's heart this budget would create! Jesus said: "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do unto me." (Matthew 25) Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

"After Woman Priest ordained, a Chicana Hopes She’s Next" NBC Latino News

"On October 6, Jennifer O’Malley was ordained as a Catholic priest in Los Angeles as part of the Roman Catholic Woman Priest Movement. The 40-year-old is the first woman priest to serve in the Los Angeles area as part of the movement challenging the traditional Roman Catholic Vatican doctrine which does not recognize women in the priesthood.
“It’s a really exciting moment for myself to start a journey with people who have been excluded from our traditional parishes,” says O’Malley. “It’s an exciting moment for the Church to have the voices of women in leadership positions.”
It’s certainly exciting for Rosa Manriquez, a Chicana in Los Angeles, who is also working towards becoming an ordained priest. For years, she has heard the stories of other women wanting to be ordained, and she says they all sound similar. According to Roman Catholic Womenpriests, there are approximately 130 Roman Catholic women worldwide – about 100 of whom are in the U.S. – who have this strong desire.
“They have all felt a strong calling from a young age, and a frustration at not being able to do so,” says Manriquez who herself has tried different professions throughout her life, but has always felt the insatiable calling to be a priest.
She says the ordination of O’Malley is a big step forward. She received support from Church members, family, and friends – showing more Catholics are on board with the Womenpriest Movement. Yet, Manriquez says there is still push back from the Vatican.
“Her ordination is valid but illicit,” says Manriquez. “It’s like if you didn’t get permission from your parents to get married, but you’re still married. Even if the church doesn’t want to recognize it, it’s still valid.”"
Manriquez says although O’Malley was ordained by a bishop who was ordained by a cardinal or bishop, according to Vatican law, O’Malley is now considered excommunicated, and so is everybody who took part in the ceremony. She says this means her possibly being refused communion, depending where she is.
“I know there has been at least one instance that they refused a woman to be buried in a Catholic ceremony, but I wasn’t planning on getting buried in a Catholic cemetery anyway,” says Manriquez. “I think that would be the worst thing, or to refuse to baptize a child – petty little things – but in the long run, I think things will come out alright in the end.”
O’Malley says it’s a little hurtful to be excommunicated, but she thinks it’s a crucial step.
“It leaves me with no choice but to break an unjust law…,” says O’Malley. “I’m willing to accept those consequences with the hope that others won’t have to have those consequences, and the church will change and include the voice of women.”
Manriquez is not far behind. She’s only five classes away from completing her master’s degree in theology – one of the prerequisites before becoming an ordained a priest, and she says she’s feeling hopeful during this interesting time for constructive and giving Catholic women, like O’Malley, with the innate desire to be a priest.
“I think the Church of the future is going to persevere,” says Manriquez. “I think it’s going to be more inclusive with more hunger for the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Different isn’t bad – it can be very good.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Fond Du Lac Woman Ordained As Catholic Priest"/CBS News

MILWAUKEE--" A Fond Du Lac woman has been ordained as a Catholic priest in Los Angeles as part of the Roman Catholic Womanpriest Movement.

40-year-old Jennifer O'Malley is the first woman priest to serve in the Los Angeles area as part of the movement.

O'Malley grew up in Fond Du Lac, went to Catholic school and college in Wisconsin, but now lives in Southern California to continue her mission.

"The call of God and the community around me is a call that's higher than an unjust and oppressive law created by some men," said O'Malley.

The Roman Catholic Canon Law does not allow women to be ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic church. Just a few years ago, the Vatican decreed that any woman who sought ordination would be immediately "punished with excommunication."

"There is no basis in scripture or in the ministry of Jesus for the exclusion of women," said Alice Iaquinta, who is also a woman priest, but in the Wauwatosa area.

"It's such a moving experience... it's very moving for me when I'm at the altar, when im presiding and praying and I see new people crying, it gets me all choked up," said Iaquinta.

Iaquinta says in her experience, more people are beginning to accept women in a presider role.

"We really look forward to providing the voice of women within the church," said O'Malley."

Two Women Ordained as Roman Catholic Priests in Los Angeles/KABC News

Two women were ordained as Roman Catholic priests in Los Angeles over the weekend, making a first for the city.
The two were ordained under the Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA organization on Saturday. The Vatican does not recognize the group, but the organization says it is valid because women are ordained by bishops who can trace their ordination back to the apostles of Jesus.
"I think what we're witnessing here is a whole new movement within the Catholic Church where women are being ordained and are balancing out the ministry equally with men, and we're flourishing," said Suzanne Thiel, the group's president.
One of the two newly ordained priests is Jennifer O'Malley, who lives in Long Beach with her partner of 18 years..."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kudos to former Irish President, Mary McAleese, for her Support of Women Priests from Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Kudos to Mary McAleese for speaking out for the ordination of women priests. As one gutsy Irish woman to another, keep up the struggle for women's rights and justice in church and world. Maybe some day there will be women priests in Ireland. Now that would shake up both the Irish hierarchy and the Vatican! Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Cardinal Law told Mary McAleese he was ‘sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as President’Former Irish president reveals blazing row with disgraced US Cardinal on Boston visit
..."Cardinal Bernard Francis Law was Archbishop of Boston when he clashed with President McAleese on a state visit to the US in 1998.
The Irish leader was publicly berated by Cardinal Law for her open support for the ordination of women priests.
The Catholic Bishop told McAleese that he was: “Sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as President.”
The former President, now studying theology in Rome where she has published a book on canon law, told the Irish Independent that the Cardinal also attacked a junior minister who had accompanied her on the trip.
She told the paper: “His remarks were utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.
“Cardinal Law lambasted me and a considerable number of the official delegation after ushering us into a room where a well-known American conservative Catholic, Mary Ann Glendon, was waiting to lecture me on my views on women priests.”
McAleese told the paper that the cardinal’s language and attitude were nasty and he demanded that she sit down and listen to the orthodox view on women’s ordination from Glendon.
She added: “We were initially gobsmacked by this arrogant man.
“I then told the cardinal that I was the President of Ireland and not just of Catholic Ireland.”

McAleese then revealed how a heated argument broke out between the two.
She said: “I felt he had insulted Ireland and the Irish people....”

Read more:

Nuns on the Bus in Ohio and "Our Election's Moral Hole"

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
E.J. Dionne, Jr. in an article entitled "Our Election's Moral Hole" wrote the following insightful comment in today's Washington Post about the upcoming tour of Ohio by the Nuns on the Bus:

"...But there are forces working to make the campaign about something more than a suffocating battle to influence tiny slivers of the electorate. One of my favourite pressure groups, Nuns on the Bus, will be launching a five -day tour on Wednesday through the red, blue and purple parts of Ohio. Who better than a group of women who have consecrate their lives to the Almighty to reminds us that our decisions in November have ethical consequences.Those who serve the impoverished, the sick and dying know rather a lot about what matters-in life and in elections..."

Amen, Sisters, you go and spread the word to our elected officials that governments should serve all the people, not just the wealthy.  Dionne calls our attention to a statistic used by Sister Simone Campbell that comes from the non-partistan organization, Bread for the World': "every church in the country would have to come up with approximately $50,000 dedicated to feeding people- every year for the next 10 years" to make up for the cuts to food stamps in the Paul Ryan's budget!  Let's hope that both VP and Presidential candidates address this moral issue!  Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Nuns on the Bus in Ohio:
Catholic sisters from across Ohio, will board a bus and travel throughout Ohio calling for the passage of a faithful budget that "affirms the life of all God's children." During the tour the sisters will visit Catholic-sponsored social service agencies that serve the most marginalized and they are lobbying Republicans and Democrats alike to preserve programs that serve the most vulnerable. As they hold up the core values of solidarity, hope and the common good, they will remind us
"We are in this together - in Ohio."
Join us as we offer our prayer and blessings
for the sisters and their important work.

The Roman Catholic Church/ Looking Ahead to More Collaborative Model of Co-Responsibility

"Living with Death by Drone"/ Where is the Moral Outrage?

 ..."But drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above.
And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Women are afraid to meet in markets. Families are afraid to gather at funerals for people wrongly killed in earlier strikes. Drivers are afraid to deliver food from other parts of the country..."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Where is the moral outrage? How can we terrorize in the name of the war on terror? What would Jesus do? Let's speak out for non-violence, peace, justice and equality everywhere.

Read more here:

"Butler Stole Papers Pope Wanted Destroyed"/Reuters

Hans Kung urges "Catholic Revolution to Unseat Pope and Reform Church" / A Holy Shakeup Needed that Includes Women Priests!
I agree with Hans Kung about  the urgency of radical reform at the  Vatican. For the hierarchy the Roman Catholic Women Priests' Movement is a revolution, but for millions of Catholics the time has come for a holy shakeup in the church. The church cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

"One of the world's most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican.
Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, lacking credibility and apathetic to the real concerns of the church's members.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Küng, who had close contact with the pope when the two worked together as young theologians, described the church as an "authoritarian system" with parallels to Germany's Nazi dictatorship.
"The unconditional obedience demanded of bishops who swear their allegiance to the pope when they make their holy oath is almost as extreme as that of the German generals who were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler," he said.
The Vatican made a point of crushing any form of clerical dissent, he added. "The rules for choosing bishops are so rigid that as soon as candidates emerge who, say, stand up for the pill, or for the ordination of women, they are struck off the list." The result was a church of "yes men", almost all of whom unquestioningly toed the line.
"The only way for reform is from the bottom up," said Küng, 84, who is a priest. "The priests and others in positions of responsibility need to stop being so subservient, to organise themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore."
Küng, the author of around 30 books on Catholic theology, Christianity and ethics, which have sold millions worldwide, said that inspiration for global change was to be found in his native Switzerland and in Austria, where hundreds of Catholic priests have formed movements advocating policies that openly defy current Vatican practices. The revolts have been described as unprecedented by Vatican observers, who say they are likely to cause deep schisms in the church.
"I've always said that if one priest in a diocese is roused, that counts for nothing. Five will create a stir. Fifty are pretty much invincible. In Austria the figure is well over 300, possibly up to 400 priests; in Switzerland it's about 150 who have stood up and it will increase."
He said recent attempts by the archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, to try to stamp out the uprising by threatening to punish those involved in the Austrian "priests' initiative" had backfired owing to the strength of feeling. "He soon stopped when he realised that so many ordinary people are supportive of them and he was in danger of turning them all against him," Küng said.
The initiatives support such seemingly modest demands as letting divorced and remarried people receive communion, allowing non-ordained people to lead services and allowing women to take on important positions in the hierarchy. However, as they go against conventional Catholic teaching, the demands have been flatly rejected by the Vatican...."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Women Priests in Inclusive Catholic Ministries: Sacraments, Prayer, Theology, Cupcakes..../Wanda Russell, ARCWP and Miriam Picconi, ARCWP Share Stories About their Ministries in Palm Coast Florida

Inclusive Catholic Ministries Newsletter
Florida East Coast
October, 2012      Palm Coast, Florida

 Rev. Miriam Picconi 502-320-6817
 Rev. Wanda Russell 502-320-6814
 Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

For the time being we are using the name, "Inclusive Catholic Ministries."
We want to maintain the best of our Roman Catholic heritage and traditions so we include CATHOLIC in our name. We want to invite EVERYONE to participate in God's love and our ministries, so we include INCLUSIVE in our name. We want to offer what you the people of God want and need. We are starting with several ministry outreaches and so we include MINISTRIES in our name. Come and see if this is the faith community you are seeking.

Dear Family and Friends,
My Mother went home from rehab.  Praise God!!  But, Miriam’s sister was just moved from the hospital to rehab in Cocoa, FL.  Miriam is with her now.   Please pray for her sister’s healing and peace for Miriam.
Some of you live out of state and cannot participate in our ministries but we ask that you keep God’s work and our families in your prayers.  We hope that those who are local will be able to participate with us over the next months.  Listed below is our calendar of ministries for October.  Call or e-mail us for additional information.
Wednesdays, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 3:00 to 4:30 P.M. 
For seven weeks we will be discussing “RECLAIMING THE WORLD.”  Topics this month include:  Restoring Relationships; The Prophetic Jesus; Evil, Suffering and a God of Love; and The Myth of Redemptive Violence.  As we share our journey of faith with each other we live sharing our questions.  Come join us!  We will use the “Living the Questions” series.  (Google, “Living the Questions,” to see more about the series.)  You do not need to be a scholar to share in the discussion.  We will watch a DVD and then discuss the topic and respectfully share our insights and questions. 
Place:  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 5400 Belle Terre Pkwy, Palm Coast

Thursday, October 7, 2:00 P.M.  CUP CAKE MINISTRY
Want to make or help deliver cup cakes to firemen this month?  Contact Wanda or Miriam
Saturday, October 13, 4:00 P.M.  MONTHLY MASS in Palm Coast
Come join our community as we celebrate Eucharist.   God's transformative power works through an invitation to the table, not exclusion from it. It is our firm desire to offer a welcoming place of worship to all those seeking to be fed, all those desiring communion and community, all those desiring healing in mind, body and spirit, all who have been alienated and or ostracized by the institutional church or other denominations for whatever cause or reason.  All are welcome to the table in a community of equal discipleship.  If you like, bring your favorite appetizer or desert to share afterwards as we get to know each other.  We will provide the drinks. 
Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, 32164. 

Inter-Faith Dialogue, Thursday, November 15 in St. Augustine
More details next month.  Mark your calendar.
“Pink Smoke Over the Vatican”   We need someone to host a showing.
This is a documentary about women in priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church since the early founding days of Christianity to our current time.  Want to know more about who we are?  Come watch the documentary and we will respond to any questions.  We have learned that speaking truth to power is a necessity if ministry is to be life giving in all of our churches. 
Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, 32164

We would like to show the documentary, “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” in your area.  If you would host us we will be glad to come to you.  Invite friends into your home and show the documentary.  We will be glad to come and answer questions about our movement.  This DVD helps people understand the history of discrimination of women in the churches over the centuries and we can discuss what we can do about it.  Invite a friend.

Call to Action is a movement of Roman Catholics who are working together to overcome injustices in the Church and in the communities.  If you are interested in becoming a part of the solution, let us know and we can work on getting a chapter formed in this area.

Additional Faith Communities may be formed in other areas.  If a few people in different areas want a Mass, let us know and we will come to you.  Just get a few folks together and let us know when you would like to gather and we will work it out.  Some interest has been expressed in Ormond Beach and Jacksonville areas.  New Smyrna Beach area?

Please pray…..  Gather people together and invite us to come…… Work on publicity for our movement…..Make phone calls…..  Bring a friend with you……  Talk about what is happening in the Church today and how others can help……  Help us create a web site….. Make cup cakes……  PLEASE PRAY

We are attaching a copy of an article about Vatican II.
Please pray for all lay and religious leaders.
The attached article is written about priests at the start of Vatican II.  Miriam and I were in religious communities at that time and it was a period of much anticipation and excitement.  At last women would be able to be leaders in ministry.  At last the laity would be heard.  At last the Bible was no longer to be interpreted literally and only by the priest.  At last we could trust our consciences.  We could finally start asking out loud the questions previously kept in our hearts.  We no longer had to check our brains at the church door.  What an exciting time to be alive!
I was in the Sisters of Loretto at Nerinx, Kentucky.  Mother Mary Luke was one of the few women observers at the Council.  When she returned she shared all the news “right off the press.”  She was optimistic and shared her enthusiasm with us.  We immediately knew what was happening even though we were not allowed to watch television during our formative years.  After one return trip she shared about her long rosary getting caught in the airplane door.  The realization hit her about the potential dangers to all of us should we continue wearing the long rosary with our habits.  This event made it easier for us to make adjustments in the habit as Vatican II called us to return to our community’s roots.  Most religious communities referred to wearing the “dress of the day” in their earliest constitutions.  Thus it was relatively easy to change from our religious garb to “street clothes.”
I have talked with many who left their communities and have met many people over the years who are former religious.  Most of us have been very active in ministry in the Church and in our secular communities.  We believed Vatican II when it told us that ALL are called to share the Good News of the Gospel.  Priests are not the sole guardians for evangelistic outreach.  All baptized are called to go out into the vineyards wherever we live and share God’s love.  We are ALL called to bring about justice wherever we find injustice.
If we each do our part in our small corner of the universe, what a wonderful world we would have!  Reach out and share your love and your giftedness! The people are the Church!
Mass, September 15, 2012             Palm Coast, Florida
We had six people join us for Mass.  Two were wonderful children.  One asked her mother some very good questions and the younger colored and read for a while and then had a peaceful nap. 
One woman was moved to tears.  She shared that she knew her mother was present at our Mass and that meant her mother was okay with her participating.  Her mother was very conservative and would not have approved had she been alive.  She was very encouraged and at peace.
Do you want a Mass with inclusive language and open communion?  Are you divorced and re-married without an annulment?  Are you or a family member or friend affected by sexual abuse in the Church? Are you gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered and not allowed full participation in the Church?
 Whatever has kept you from a Catholic Church, please come and see that there is a Catholic community where you can worship, be loved and accepted for YOU just as you are right now. 
As Jesus said, “Come and see.”  Come and see if this is the faith community for you.
OTHER FIRSTS:  As Roman Catholic Women Priests, we are ordained to administer the sacraments.  Miriam heard her first confession and was as blessed by the opportunity as the penitent.  It was truly a special encounter with our loving, forgiving God.
I too had a “first”; actually, two “firsts.”  A staff member at Mom’s nursing home asked me if I would bring her communion since she had not received in about six months.  She works weekends and many overtime hours because she truly cares about the people for whom she works.  My mother and I grew to appreciate all she did and came to love her.  She loved Mom.
I told Mom I was going to bring communion and asked if she also wanted to receive.  She paused and said yes.  This was very big for me as she did not come to my ordination since the hierarchy said people would be excommunicated if they came.  (At 87 she did not want to tempt the Lord.)
Needless to say, I brought communion to the staff person and to my Mother.  We had a special time in the small chapel.  As a priest I was able to pray with them more than I was trained to do as a lay Eucharistic minister.  It was my first time to give communion to my Mother as a priest.  It was all I could do to keep my emotions in check as God’s love was ministered to all three of us.  What a special time of prayer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012        1:00 PM
First Metropolitan Community Church, 1379 Tullie Rd., Atlanta, Georgia 30329

On October 20 there will also be five women ordained deacons:Barbara Ann Duff (Macon, GA), Debra Meyers (Batavia, OH), Joleane Presley (Manassas, VA), Rosemarie Smead (Bedford, KY), and Irene Scaramazza (Columbus, OH).  Please pray for all of our ordinands.                          
Go to links below for more details.  Have your Atlanta friends join us.