Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles/ Video on Youtube available to Public

In this clip, I review the role of Mary of Magdala as the apostle to the apostles, as an example of Jesus' vision of Gospel equality. This is a GodTalk production that originally aired on cable tv at FPA.
Bridget Mary Meehan,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Male Priest's Support of Woman Who Will be Ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in June
"What can I possibly say to her in the face of her profound personal courage? I feel humbled even to be in her presence. I have been a priest for a few years, but, then, I am of the accepted gender, while she is not. The accepted gender has been determined solely by others of the same gender, who claim to be acting “after the example of Christ, and at his command”*. Other than the minions of the accepted gender’s managers, few folks these days believe the institution’s stated excuses for not allowing women to be ordained. Yet, with the emotional investment of the institution and its religious police, taking such a step is an act of courageous faith....
I think she is following Jesus’ words to us that, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must take up their cross every day and follow me”. She, and other such priests before her, display courage, no doubt of that. She will be subject to threats, name-calling, vitriol, and undoubtedly “christ-like paternal concern” from management. She has a tough road ahead of her, made even more difficult by those claiming to be acting in Jesus’ name, doing things and having attitudes that Jesus didn’t have or do. The “Catholic Taliban” is alive and well.
She has a solid prayer life, no doubt of that. She will need it on her journey. She will have the support of a Eucharistic Community, even though institutional management will vehemently deny folks who support and agree with her the right to use these words. But the Eucharistic Reality will still surround them. When Jesus said “wherever two or more gather in my name I am with them” he didn’t say anything about getting anybody’s permission or authorization, what words to use or clothes to wear.
I wish her courageous firmness, and perhaps a bit humility, on her journey. She will need it. Jesus’ followers are not always the kindest or most charitable folks. She will learn as she celebrates Eucharist the power and reality of Jesus’ words – all of them. Hopefully she will come to “recognize and know what she does, and imitate what she handles”**. Perhaps she will come to recognize Jesus present in the most unexpected folks, relationships, and situations, and realize that grace has brought her to where she is needed, and grace is always powerfully real...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
Thank you, dear Brother, for your open, loving support of a future woman priest. Your words are a source of inspiration to many.
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rosemarie Smead, ARCWP, Newly Ordained Priest- First Liturgy in Louisville, Kentucky, May 11, 2013

"God of amazing surprises, Creator of tiny bugs and awesome plants. Designer of earth's wonders, Giver of life and laughter, we praise your passionate love hidden, yet revealed, everywhere in the cosmos."
Rosemarie Smead, arcwp, in stole seated at table with Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community

So began the Eucharistic Prayer of newly ordained priest Rosemarie Smead's 1st Liturgy in Louisville Saturday evening, May 11th. More than 50 gathered in the children's chapel of St. Andrew United Church of Christ. Fittingly, she chose Bridget Mary's wondrous and awe-inspiring "Liturgy to Celebrate New Life, Creation, and New Beginnings."
Donna Rougeux, arcwp with yellow stole, shared homily with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, arcwp

We were at five tables with Eucharist bread and wine at each for the Body of Christ to consecrate, belonging to the Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community. A family therapist who has worked with teenagers for many years, Rosemarie wore the "children of the world" stole with a tablecloth of the same design. After housekeeping, (email sign-up list, our brochure, and a brief summary of our ARCWP community), we stilled ourselves with the chant, "Seek the Face of God" by Susan Butler. Our Gospel reading was from John 14: 11-20.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, arcwp, in white stole shared homily with Donna Rougeux, arcwp

..."I will ask the One who sent me to give you another Paraclete, another Helper to be with you always -- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept since the world neither sees Her nor recognizes Her; but you can recognize the Spirit, because She remains with you and will be within you. I won't leave you orphaned; I will come back to you."

We priests from Lexington, Donna Rougeux and I, were invited to give the homily. Donna focused on the letting go and coming into new life of the spirit. I spoke about my week with the prophetic Transform Now Plowshares activists who obeyed the promptings of the Spirit of Truth and entered the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Knoxville, Tennessee: Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli.

"You are the Body of Christ" we said to each other around the tables. This was a first experience for some who later articulated how moving and renewing an experience it was for them. In the hush of our Communion joy, we chanted "Do Not Be Afraid" and "Whichever Way You Turn" (there is the face of God) also by Susan Butler.

After we sang four stanzas of "All Are Welcome" Rosemarie outlined the needs and responsibilities of the community and gave a schedule for Liturgies which will be held there the first and third Saturday of each month at 5 p.m. "Thank you for your courage to support a renewed priestly ministry," Rosemarie said. We shared each other's company and some of us went for supper at Kingfish on the Ohio River.
article by Janice Sevre-Duszynska, arcwp

For more information on women priests or the Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, contact our website at


"Invisible War Exposes Pervasiveness of Sexual Assault in U.S. Military"/ The Rape of Military Women Should NOT Be an "Occupational Hazard" that Merits "No Redress"
"According to the victims and their advocates in the film, the crux of the problem seems to lie with unit commanders who have no legal training, and sometimes no higher education. It is up to them to adjudicate cases, whether or not accusations move through the military justice system. Often, they are the assailants or their buddies are; meanwhile, victims can be prosecuted for various reasons: giving a false report (even if they didn’t) and committing adultery (even if they were raped and are not even married.)
Almost all of the victims have attempted suicide at least once. One of the saddest moments in the film is when Cioca finds and reads the suicide note she wrote for her mother. After one attempt, Cioca said she decided to live once she learned she was pregnant, hoping the life within her would not have to live through what she had.
Equally sad is the story of one Navy recruit who joined the military because her father, still in the Army, encouraged her. He breaks down when he recalls the phone call that told him she was no longer a virgin because she was raped.
Almost all of these young women joined the military out of idealism and the desire to serve their country. The reports of rapes and assaults at the prestigious Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., are stunning.
Two days after seeing the film in April 2012, Secretary for Defense Leon Panetta took away the right to adjudicate rape cases from commanders.
The film does not tell us what the military, overall, is doing to make rapists and assailants accountable. A pitiable percentage of these sexual predators are prosecuted; there are virtually no consequences for rapists in the military, nor is there a database for offenders. They only make it to the national database if they receive more than one year’s punishment for a crime (that the military then deems equal to a felony).
The lawsuit filed by the former servicewomen, many of whom are interviewed in the film, was thrown out. The Department of Defense deemed that their rapes and injuries were the result of an “occupational hazard” and therefore merited no redress...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
The Obama administration needs to take action immediately to punish the crime of rape in the military with serious jail time. No more denials or hand-slapping or looking the other way by the brass can be tolerated. The culture must be changed in this case from the top down. It is time for Obama to hold the military accountable. A database for offenders must be established for all of these assults, and all assults prosecuted. No more punish the victim policies!  The rape of courageous women serving our country should not be an "occupational hazard" that merits "no redress!" Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Monday, May 13, 2013

First Disciples Create Model for Dealing with Contention in the Church by Bishop Tom Gumbleton

..."God is present for everyone, but we have to be alert to God. In the Catholic catechism, there's a definition of what our conscience is, and it's actually taken from the Second Vatican Council: the divine voice echoing in the depths of our heart as a law written by God in human hearts.
The divine voice of God echoing in the heart of each one of us, but we have to be quiet at times. We have to separate ourselves from all the things going on in the world around us in what people call now "centering yourself" -- going into the depths of your heart and hearing God speaking to you. God is there, but we have to take the time to listen. As we learn from the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles and elders together with the whole church decided what to do; they listened to the whole church.
There's a great teaching in our church called the sensus fidelium, the sense of the believing people. God speaks not just through the pope or to the bishops, the hierarchy. God speaks in the depth of the heart of each of us. The church has to enter into dialogue as that first community of disciples did to listen to one another, draw from the depths of the Spirit speaking to all of us, and then come to our conclusions. Now you might say, "That's impossible; that will never happen."
I just discovered yesterday or the day before that actually something very similar to this has just happened in a church in Germany. The bishops there gathered together 300 people for a four-day period to discuss what changes, what reforms needed to be developed within the church. Afterward, the president of the German Bishops' Conference spoke, and he said that one of the things that he, the bishops, and the church now were going to call for would be the ordination of women to the diaconate.
That's something we've been told you can't even talk about. Now the German church is saying, "Yes, we're calling for that." We're in a new time. We need more ministers in our church. There are women who claim and hear God speaking within them, calling them to minister. Now the German church having gathered together, listened to one another, and listened to the Spirit speaking to them are saying, "We need this reform now." And we do, I think.
It seems very obvious that we have just an extraordinary lack of ministers in our church. Why else are we closing all of our churches? We don't have enough ministers. Basically, that's the real reason. Now the church is listening in Germany, at least. That means, though, the church can do the same thing everywhere. We need to do that in our church. It starts with each one of us.
Try to listen deeply to what God is telling us about these things that are going on in the world around us, about the whole issue of homosexuality, about the issue of ordination of women, about the issue of how we bring peace into our world, about giving up violence, listening to God, bringing about change in ourselves and then trying to be bringing about this change in our church as we enter into deep dialogue with one another."