Saturday, September 28, 2013

St. Francis Ministry- Nosy Gets a Home by Judy Lee, ARCWP
Often Ministry is simply responding to the needs before you with love and compassion. For me, like St. Francis (though I am no Saint), that includes the needs of all of God’s creatures, great and small.
The  little lake and woods behind my house are like a private nature preserve. They keep me sane, refreshed, and close to God’s creation.  About a year and a half ago three cats from the woods behind my house began to visit my cats on the lanai every evening. They made it clear that they were very hungry and two of them readily responded to both the food and the caring I offered them. One just ate and ran. 
The one I called Bushy Tail was particularly in need of love and affection. He looked like a Maine Coon Cat with his big feet,swirly dark markings, and bushy tail, though his face was more like a Bengal with lovely amber tones, curly hair in his ears, and a long nose ending in a little red rubber stamp.   He ran into my house when the door was open, not caring if “mean bigger cats” lived there. All three were very thin and flea bitten. The largest one eventually showed me that he could move right in and get along with my cats, and he did, after Vet care by Dr. Terry Sutton of Three Oaks Animal Hospital, who shares this ministry by discounting her fees and going the second mile for these unwanted kitties.  Brooklyn Big moved in after a period of isolation to make sure he was well. The skinniest one, Dotsy, just ate and ran, He is still eating and running, but stops to say thank you now and let me pet him once in a while.
But, Bushy Tail was the most poignant and heart breaking as he wanted a home so badly, but also would run at the end of the evening.   Then, before I could woo him to the Vet’s office for a check-up and neutering before finding him a home, he simply disappeared one day. I feared the worst as he was such a frightened and peaceful little cat. I promised God and myself that if he ever turned up again , I would make sure that he got a home. I found myself praying for him whenever I saw his friend Dotsy.
I watch the activity on the lake and out of the woods every day. But over a year passed and Bushy did not reappear. On the lake one can see magnificent birds stopping by from the North on their way to the warmth of Florida and the Caribbean. A family of coots have a little mandarin duck as a friend.  Turtles of all sorts shoot up their long necks and fish pass by in little schools. Egrets, herons, anahingas and other sea birds stalk and dry their wings the morning sun. Sometimes river otters dive and chase each other, scrambling up on the shore to do circus tricks and play.  Racoons, opossums and even tree rats often come by to see what’s for dinner.
And then there are the cats that daily make their way through the woods, around the little bend and head straight to my door. The woods is both a haven and a dumping ground for the unwanted cats and kittens that end up there one way or the other.  Very few are feral and never come close, but manage to run through and get something to eat at the feeding station. Others are tame and needy as if someone loved them once upon a time. In the fifteen years that we have lived here, I have found homes for over 30 of these kittys-each one beautiful and so thankful for their homes.  One tiny older girl kitty with a dainty lovely face, had a serious thyroid condition and one old gentleman had Feline Leukemia. Both loved their foreshortened lives with me and their new cat family. Some of the kitties from the woods have found a home with me but most have new forever homes. Additionally part of the ministry to homeless people has had to include ministry to their equally homeless animals. Our ministry gives out cat and dog food and takes care of Vet bills when necessary. I have placed seven of these kitties who lived with people who could not take care of them in the woods of North Fort Myers. I have had Lady Guinevere and three of her kittens who had Feline Aids for five years now.  The two healthy kittens were immediately placed. The couple who lived so marginally in the woods broke up after caring for Lady Guinevere for four years. They begged me to take her and the new kittens. When I made my way into the woods, I was utterly surprised to see Lady Guinevere quickly guide her kittens right into the cat carrier!  They are healthy (asymptomatic) and gorgeous but live separately from my other cats. 
Two other wonderful kitties made their way in to our home after Brooklyn Big came in. Mary Jane,a sleek tuxedo, was terrified of people and cats but determined to get out of the woods. Her entire skin was flea ridden. Skye, a striking silver striped cat who looks like a white tiger  with a broken necrotic tail literally ran in and would not leave.  After Skye’s surgery and treatment for paralysis in his intestines, these two got along and made the last space in my house their home.  And finally there was no more room in the inn. 
Then a miracle happened. Bushy Tail reappeared. He came with his old friend Dotsy. He was skinnier than ever and full of scabs from scratching fleas. I so wished that he could tell the story of the past fifteen months. His ear was cut which indicated that he had at some point been caught, neutered and released. I couldn’t understand why he was ever released since he clearly wanted a home and was affectionate and relational. It took a few days of being welcomed back and he slowly warmed up to the caring as the food settled in his tummy. Soon he was himself again and began his pattern of running into the house and leaving again. He could not stand any aggressive cats that came near his food and he ran away when he saw them. But he was so tired that he literally fell asleep in front of the house while a large mother opossum stole his food. He only came at night after dark and I had no where now to keep him until the morning so he could see Dr. Terry.  I knew that I could not keep him and spoke to my friend Ginger Delerme about adopting a second cat. Just this year she adopted her first cat since her marriage to Felix almost 40 years ago. Felix, a Child Psychiatrist, liked children but hated cats. Mercifully, he has now forgotten this along with his more serious forgetting. Her big beautiful cat, Ray, a manx, adopted her after seeing her twice at a mall. It was love at first sight. Felix and Ginger and Ray were very happy together.  Could she possibly consider extending their wonderful home to Bushy Tail?  She was doubtful about rocking the boat but agreed to think about it.  After about two months of his night visits,  he finally showed up on the morning of Saturday July 27th. He was examined, tested, given all of his shots, and, so far, was ready for a home after a period of isolation. Ginger was his only hope. I called her and she agreed to open her heart and home to Bushy-but he would have to have another name! And Ray would have to accept him.
Armed with pheromones to help make the cats mellow and ease the transition, Bushy went to meet Ginger, Felix and Ray. What ensued was one of the easiest transitions of a cat into a new home that I had ever seen. He took to Ginger right away nuzzling and settling on her lap. Ginger wisely involved Ray, first at a distance then closer, keeping them separate most of the time initially. Ray, who had tried to attack other cats visiting the house, kept a good distance but touched noses and let Bushy know that he might be accepted if he was submissive. Bushy said “no problem”. Each was to have his own space and only some joint time when they were ready. Bushy loved his new room, and adored his new parents. Felix enjoyed Bushy sitting on his lap,something Ray did not do. He was loved. It was a miracle.
Ginger studied him and decided to name him “Nosy”, because of his cute and unusual nose, and because he followed her and Ray around, nosing into everything and enjoying every corner of the house, and he loved playing with his toy mice.  Ray was sometimes annoyed at his following and told him to keep his distance with a hiss, and he did. Ray would lay down near him but not close and generally tolerated him with a bit of distance. He did not want to play. But Ginger liked his curiosity and nosing into everything.  She loved his affectionate loving nature. He fit right in. Nosy loved being loved.
And then the hitch. The FELV Test came back positive. He was a carrier for what is loosely called Feline Leukemia-though it is not really a Leukemia, but an immune deficiency disease. He had no symptoms and was young and active and so it may even clear up-or he could still live a long life with it, or he could eventually develop symptoms and a tumor. Perhaps more upsetting was that he and Ray would have to be separate when Ginger was not supervising as a bite could infect Ray,FELV shots notwithstanding perhaps. While infection through dishes is not likely it would also be on the safe side to have separate and private feeding stations.  What an awful predicament. My heart was broken in thinking Nosy could  lose his beloved home.  
But this is what happened. Ginger already loved him and decided to structure their world so he could stay. We have been friends for over thirty years and the integrity and goodness of this woman has always moved me. Her loving devotion to Felix during his slow decline was already more than enough to expect from one human being-she should have no more difficulty in her life. But here she was accepting little Nosy with the same loyalty and caring that she extends to those she loves. 
I am thoroughly moved at her decision and at seeing him with his new family. He is the happiest cat in the world, and I am one relieved “rescuer”.  Thank you God, and thank you Ginger Delerme!



Judy Lee, shepherding God’s little creatures-8/2/13

ARCWP Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska Joins Code Pink Activists to Stop Drones and to Promote Justice in Federal Budget

CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin, Tyghe Barry with Arcwp priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska
ARCWP priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska explains military spending in relation to
the US Federal Budget at the Baltimore Book Festival

Catholic Woman Ordained Priest in Milwaukee, Wisconsisn

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Wounds Will Not Heal, If the Teachings Remain the Same" by Jamie Manson

..."From an administrative point of view, Francis is wise to tell the bishops to refrain from their preoccupation with pelvic zone issues. In many cases, their obsessive talk has gotten them nowhere. In the U.S. and much of Europe, they have failed to win any battles over these issues, and their failures continue to stretch into traditional Catholic countries in the global South, like Mexico, Brazil and, yes, Argentina.
But let's remember the real problem here. The trouble is not so much that these issues are spoken of constantly, but that the talk has been a monologue of the hierarchy. The leaders of the church refuse to listen to the voice of God, who speaks through the people, through their needs, through their cries for justice.
Speaking less about pelvic zone issues will not make the harm they cause go away. Yes, it might put a kinder, more pastoral face on the church. But it could also create an avoidance of what are, in many corners of this world, crucial, life-or-death concerns.
What good is a more pastoral church when ultimately, gays and lesbians are still told their relationships are sinful, women are still barred from answering God's calling to ordained ministry, African women and men routinely infected by HIV/AIDS cannot get access to condoms, women in need of life-saving abortions are forced to die, and starving families in countries like the Philippines are denied access to contraception?
Less obsession about pelvic zone issues won't reduce the spiritual harm, violence, starvation, illness and death perpetuated by the hierarchy's refusal to deal with these challenges with honesty, humility and openness.
For all of his encouraging talk about a "big tent" church rather than a "small chapel," Francis seems firmly committed to keeping the doctrines as they are. This reality seems reinforced by the fact that, just days after the interview appeared, he reappointed all of Benedict's watchdogs to their posts at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Whether the institutional church is leaner and meaner or kinder and gentler, the church's pelvic zone teachings will continue to do harm. Until the needs of the people of God are heard and the teachings are finally changed, the wounds can never really be healed.
[Jamie L. Manson is NCR books editor. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. Her NCR columns have won numerous awards, most recently second prize for Commentary of the Year from Religion."Newswriters (RNA). Her email address is]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Pope Really Said About Women in Interview, Women Deacons and Cardinals?
Phyllis Zagano Commentary:
First, Pope Francis turns the Italian expression "non c'รจ spazio qui" ("there's no room here") on its head, stating quite plainly that the church must make room -- find space for -- women in its mission. ..Francis' complete comments on women did not go unnoticed outside the English-speaking world. The huge Spanish daily El Pais even ran a story opining the pope was ready to name women as cardinals, noting that two laymen became cardinals in the 19th century and reminding its readers that the tradition of women ordained as deacons could be restarted at any moment. (Full disclosure: El Pais cited my work on women in the diaconate.)
Bridget Mary's Response;
I hope that Pope Francis appoints some women cardinals with decision-making power in the Vatican Curia! Now that would really shake up the old boys network, wouldn't it?!

The full text of the America's response follows:
Due to production error, one sentence in America's interview with Pope Francis was inadvertently deleted. On page 28 of the issue of September 30, 2013, Fr. Antonio Spadaro asks the pope: "'What should be the role of women in the church? How do we make their role more visible today?' He answers: 'I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of…'" The sentence that was inadvertently deleted is a part of the pope's response. The full text should read: ""He answers: 'It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church. I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of…". America apologizes for this error, which was entirely inadvertent. We thank The National Catholic Reporter for bringing this matter to our attention. The text will be corrected immediately in our online version of the article and a correction will be printed in the next issue of America.
Fr. Matt Malone, S.J.
Editor in Chief

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Inclusive Catholic Church

The Inclusive Catholic Church
where everyone is welcome at Christ’s table!
Debra Meyers ARCWP
Fort Thomas, Kentucky services held the third Tuesday of the month from 7-8pm   
Priest: Debra Meyers
Location: Christ Church
15 S. Fort Thomas Avenue
West side services held the first Wednesday of the month from 7-8 pm
Priest: Debra Meyers
Location: Our Lady of Peace, 119 Wocher Avenue off of River Road in Cincinnati
Accessibility: There are three steps with a railing.
Additional Parking: Morton Salt Co. permits overflow parking in their lot located a block down the street.
For more information please contact Pastor Debra Meyers at

Australian Priest Excommunicated for Support of Women Priests and Gay Marriage
By Anne Lu | September 23, 2013 1:45 PM EST
"Melbourne priest Greg Reynolds has not only been defrocked, but also excommunicated by the Catholic Church over his support for women priests and homosexuals. The order came directly from Vatican under the authority of Pope Francis, who just recently said that the Church focuses too much on gays and abortion..."
Bridget Mary's Response:
I don't understand Pope Francis' excommunication of a priest who supports women priests and gays, when his recent interview indicated that he was open to an expanded role of women and an non-judgmental attitude toward gays. "Who I am to judge..." 
Melbourne priest Greg Reynolds is a prophetic witness for the full equality of women and gays in the church. Gender justice is the elephant in the Roman Catholic Church’s living room today. We have more than 160 women in the international Roman Catholic Women Priests’ Movement serving over 60 inclusive Catholic communities in the United States.  Like thousands of Catholics who support a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals, we are living prophetic obedience to the Spirit as we disobey an unjust, man-made law and follow our consciences. 
Bridget Mary Meehan,,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Interview with Roman Catholic Woman Priest Debra Meyers,"Catholics in Cincinnati Wonder if Reform is on the Way"

Inclusive Catholic Eucharistic Celebration in Milford, Connecticut on Sept. 22,2013

ARCWP Dotty Shugrue greets gathering for Eucharistic Celebration
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, co-presides at liturgy
Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP shares with gathered assembly

Connecticut Catholics gathered with Roman Catholic Women Priests Dotty Shugrue, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, and Bridget Mary Meehan to celebrate a joyous inclusive Eucharist that included lively worship music, a dialogue homily, a shared Eucharistic Prayer, and communal blessing.  The participants discussed the vision and mission of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. They expressed an interest in the possibilities of developing inclusive Catholic communities in different areas of Connecticut.

Janice and Dotty, Milford is located on the Connecticut coastline.
Janice and Bridget Mary

"Clerical Narcissm"

Four days before he was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, Francis spoke to his fellow Cardinals and identified ecclesiastical narcissism as a fundamental illness the Church needs to address. His vision is rich and substantial. It is a perspective that affects the mission of all Catholics.
Victims often blame themselves for their assaults. They, as do all Catholics, need to confront the causes and context of clerical abuse with an ever-deeper understanding of their dynamics.
The following talks were prepared for a conference in 2012 that strove to help victims of clerical abuse cope with the confusion caused by their betrayal by trusted clerics.
Clinicians who have treated clergy abusers have long identified clerical narcissism as an essential component of the individual and institutional pattern.
We must explore the underlying factors that condition priests and people for abuse and its cover-up by the institution. The authors are aware that they are only at the beginning of the process of discovery. We eagerly encourage exploration and discussion of the issues of clergy sexual abuse and its relationship to ecclesiastical narcissism.
We desperately need to explore the clerical cultural in order to meet the demands of Francis for “decisive action” in the battle against clergy who sexually abuse minors.
Read the Full Report

Should one religion be granted special privileges and recognition as a state while the others are not?