Friday, October 25, 2013

Two Women Priests in Dialogue-Right with God: Homily by Rev. Bingle,Ohio and Commentary by Rev. Lee, Fla

The Good Shepherd Community At Worship
For this 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 10/27/13 Rev. Beverly Bingle of Toledo, Ohio has given us a powerful and poetic Homily. After her homily is Rev. Lee’s Commentary. The purpose of the Commentary is to make this an interactive homily of the style many women priests use in their churches. First the Priest sets the stage and gives a brief homily or introductory thoughts and invitation, then the congregation is invited to respond and share their own thoughts on the readings and the thoughts of the Priest.  Readers are invited to add their comments in our global parish.  
The Readings are: Sirach 35:12-14,16-18; Psalm 34; 2 Timothy 4;6-8,17-18 AND LUKE 18;9-14
Right Relationship With God and Creation  Beverly Bingle
Our weather has turned this week.
The first frost.
Last mowing of the year.
Leaves falling.
Gardeners scurrying to bring in the harvest.
And a marked increase in the number of guests at Claver House.
George, the octogenarian who usually leads us
in the Lord’s Prayer on Thursdays, was late.
I was surprised when Mitchell,
a relative newcomer to the soup kitchen,
volunteered to lead us in prayer before the meal.
He framed the Our Father in a straightforward and simple way:
Let us be grateful for life, he said,
for the food we are about to eat,
for the warm and safe shelter of this room.
Let us share this food in friendship, he prayed,
to gain strength for the day
so we can use the gifts we have been given
to make the world a better place.
I bring this up not because today’s readings are about prayer—
they aren’t, even though they all use prayer as the context.
Instead, the readings are about justice
in the basic meaning of the term:
living in right relationship
with God,
with others,
with all of creation.
Mitchell’s short prayer showed an understanding of life
that revealed him to be
in right relationship with God
and other people.
Sirach seems to know Mitchell when he tells us that
“the prayer of the unpretentious pierces the clouds.”
That is, those who know themselves,
who do not pretend to be someone they aren’t—
they find their prayers heard.
They understand their right relationship
to God and creation and other human beings,
so they reap a harvest of justice.
They are justified.
They live in righteousness.
Then the psalmist tells us
that happiness belongs to those
who give thanks to God for dwelling in them.
They know who they are
and who empowers them.
Paul writes to Timothy
with another variation on this righteousness.
He knows he is weak,
but he also knows that it is Christ
whose action in and through him
gives him strength.
And in the Gospel this week we hear another parable from Jesus,
another of those that scholars believe came from him.
Through this parable, as with so many of his teachings,
Jesus reveals God to us:
a God of love, of compassion.
Jesus’ use of parables, here as elsewhere, is not meant to inform.
So he is not telling us to avoid the front pew—
though many of us Catholics seem to have picked up on that
as if it were the sole purpose of the parable.
Nor is Jesus telling us to sit in the back of the church and grovel.
No—the parables are aimed at re-tooling our minds,
giving us a new mindset
that will bring us to the experience of the kin-dom of God.
So we hear the Pharisee, an upstanding, law-abiding Jew,
carefully following, even exceeding, the letter of the law.
He is a good man, doing everything he is supposed to do.
He is admired in the community for his way of life.
But he does not go home justified.
His prayer is selfish and arrogant:
he sneers at the tax collector,
places himself above other people,
and prays thanks for what he himself has done
rather than thanking God
for giving him the opportunity to do good things.
The Pharisee does not go home right with God.
He does the right thing,
but he does not see God for what God is.
Nor does he see himself for what he is,
or others for who they are.
He has a long way to go,
and he’s on the wrong path.
On top of that, he doesn’t know he’s on the wrong path.
The tax collector is not a model, either.
His prayer reflects an understanding of who he is—a sinner—
and who God is—the Merciful One.
So he is in right relationship with God.
But his actions are not just—
his livelihood depends
on cooperating with a cruel and powerful government
to oppress his own people, his own neighbors.
He goes home right with God,
but he struggles with changing his life
so that he is also in right relationship with people.
This past Wednesday evening
at our discussion of Michael Morwood’s Tomorrow’s Catholic,
we talked at length about how to pray now that we have
a very different understanding of the universe
from the one held by the authors of the scriptures.
In our lifetimes we are witnessing a major shift
in our understanding of who God is.
what creation is,
and who we are.
The way we used to see God is no longer believable.
As we hear of scientific discoveries like the Higgs Boson,
as we read about the stardust at the base of all existence,
as we ponder the immensity of universes
beyond our universe,
much of the vocabulary and many of the images
that we used for God-talk
no longer make sense to us.
The Fall, redemption theology, the economy of salvation—
these understandings from our previous cosmology
are no longer real for us.
We’re theological babies again.
Happily, real experience and real life remain.
As always, we start with a life experience
and we try to understand.
The gift of conscious awareness brings us a universe of ways
to experience the God in us and around us and beyond us—
always through our embodied spirits, our inspirited bodies.
We are Catholic Christians,
committed to the Way that we learn from Jesus—
reaching out, welcoming, including everyone, loving.
We meet people like Mitchell.
We listen to folks telling us
about their experiences of transcendence and immanence.
We watch the falling leaves and the full moon.
the pink sunrises and the golden sunsets.
We pet our cats and hug our children.
And in all that real life
we do theology,
and we find a mystery full of grace.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Mass at 2086 Brookdale (Interfaith Chapel):
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Mass at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Rev. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Right with God, Right with the Poor and Humble-  Judy Lee
I love Rev. Bingle’s homilies, that is why I put them in this blog. -so you can enjoy them too. And, so you can reflect on who God is and where justice and compassion fits in your relationship with God and your neighbors as she does. Her work in a soup kitchen brings her close to truly humble and unpretentious people. As she notes Mitchell’s prayer is truly beautiful and God is delighted with it. The Mitchells in my church are Nathaniel, Gary and Lauretta and Donnie, Mrs.Jolinda and others. Sirach lets us know clearly that “God listens to the prayers of the exploited”( Sirach 13b TIB-The Inclusive Bible Translation.) Sirach also asks us to give of ourselves…and that is a very different posture than the Pharisee who prays putting others down in the Gospel of Luke. But it helps put us right with God. And, even as Rev. Bingle and I and our church members do prioritize serving the poor-including the poor serving one another-we may become the answers to the prayers of those who have little of this world’s goods like the widows and orphans in the time of Sirach,Paul and Jesus. And we may learn how to pray and do justice along with our theology.
I fully empathize with Paul in his letter to Timothy-an elder encouraging a younger church leader by sharing that it is Christ  who strengthen’s him so he can proclaim the Gospel even as his life is “already poured out like a libation”.
Yes, the Pharisee who bragged on himself in prayer missed the boat. As he bragged, the boat of right living with God and his neighbor sailed out of sight. He needs to catch the boat of justice and board it right now. As for the tax collector-I can empathize and I like to think that he went home and changed his cheating ,fraudulent ways after his encounter with Jesus since Jesus says “he was right with God”. I empathize with him. I have often felt like him-”Oh God, just give me the last seat in the corner of being with you for that is enough heaven for me. “
In this prayer I am feeling that while I may be stardust and that God’s everlasting love is within me and all around me, I sometimes mess up big time. I have in the past, I do in the present, and I probably will in the future. I am very human and while I fight the good fight and keep the faith like Paul, I do not always win that fight. I get tired, angry, irritable and downright selfish at times. I do not even aspire to being “exalted” but I do aspire to being right with God and my neighbor. I am therefore happy with a theology that includes God’s forgiveness for sin-both individual and social. And social sin, that is the sin of socio-economic systems and governments and powerful folks who exploit others is the worst sin I know.  I have no trouble with that word or concept-I do know what it is and have been there. Moreover, I serve people who have been there as well-yes, murderers, yes, adulterers, yes, exploiters of others, yes to breaking the laws of Loving God first and our neighbors as ourselves.  So with all due respect to Michael Morwood,whom I have dialogued with, and the God within, the God who is MORE and truly beyond our understanding-might I dare say even beyond the Cosmos- is the one I often need.  As one of my people said” I need the Jesus who comes to me when I am alone and scared and feeling lower than a snake’s belly”.  Yes, I do understand that new Cosmic understandings make us question “old” formulations, but neither old nor new encompass the God who is MORE. I don’t feel like a babe in the new woods of understanding God, but more like a weaver who gets a hold of and weaves strands of gold and silver, rust and green together, the loving essence of the “old” and the “new” to make a chain of living strands that hold us to our loving God and instructs us in right living.
Amen,to the mystery full of grace. Amen, sister Beverly,Amen.
What do you think our sisters and brothers ?
Judy Lee, ARCWP
Co-Pastor The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
Fort Myers, Florida
Bridget Mary's Response:
God is always" More than" we can imagine or dream of. The Holy One loves us beyond our wildest dreams, is within us and in all living beings. Let us rejoice that we are stardust and dance the cosmic dance of creation with delight each day!
Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Archbishop John Nienstedt Proposes Hiring More Lawyers/Not Allowing Police to Investigate Accusations

MN archbishop's answer: "I'll hire more lawyers"

For immediate release: Thursday, October 24
David Clohessy, Director, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143), 314 566 9790 cell (
In response to scandal stemming from secrecy, Archbishop John Nienstedt proposes more secrecy.
He does one thing today – he promises hiring more lawyers. That’s all. The rest of his column is just more promises from a powerful prelate who keeps breaking old promises.
Here’s the only real change: Soon the number of hand-picked, church-paid lawyers looking at predators' files will go from six or eight to 12 or 14. That's not progress.
Those files – all of them – must be turned over to law enforcement.  Despite his protestations to the contrary, this is “clear” to Nienstedt. But he refuses to do it.
It doesn't matter if they're paid permanently or temporarily by Nienstedt. The lawyers he picks aren't police or prosecutors. They're regular employees or contract employees. They're beholden to him. And they'll help him keep his secrets secret, as church lawyers have virtually always done. (The one exception, obviously, is Jennifer Haselberger.)
The job now isn’t adults “feeling peace” or their “trust” being “restored.” The job now is protecting kids. Nienstedt’s words don’t do that. His actions might. But he refuses to take concrete steps to safeguard children. And he is refusing again today to do that.
None of Nienstedt words today protect one kid, expose one predator, discipline one enabler, uncover one cover up or deter one crime.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (

David Clohessy

Inclusive Catholic Ministries Newsletter/Palm Coast Florida with Women Priests Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell

What is "Inclusive Catholic Ministries?"

We want to maintain the best of our Roman Catholic heritage and traditions.  We want to invite EVERYONE to participate in God's love and our ministries and we use inclusive language.   We want to offer what you the people of God want and need. We are starting with several ministry outreaches.  Come and see if this is the faith community you are seeking.



Wednesdays, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 3:30 to 5:00 P.M.  INTER-FAITH THEOLOGY CLUB  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast

Friday, Oct. 10, 2:00 P.M.  CUP CAKE MINISTRY


Saturday, Oct. 19, 4:00 P.M.  MONTHLY MASS in Palm Coast    Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, Fl 32164




Wednesdays, Nov. 6, 13, & 27 from 3:30 to 5:00 PM  INTER-FAITH THEOLOGY CLUB  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast


Saturday, Nov. 9 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM  Showing of “PINK SMOKE OVER THE VATICAN  Place:  2 Westmill Ln. Palm Coast

This is a one hour documentary DVD sharing how women were in truth priests in the early Church and how women are seeking to make this happen again today. 



Saturday, Nov. 16, 4:00 P.M.  MONTHLY MASS in Palm Coast    Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, Fl 32164

Dear Family and Friends,

What an awesome month September was for me and Miriam.  Miriam presided at her first wedding as a priest and went to the ordination of another ARCWP priest and two deacons in New York.  She will write about that later in this news letter.


I went to the Sisters of Loretto Mother House in Nerinx, Kentucky where fourteen of us had a reunion of the class of 1963.  Fifty years ago we were all novices with the Sisters of Loretto.  It was a fun and spiritual time for all of us.  Two of our class mates celebrated their golden jubilee at Loretto.  We had fun surprising them with cake, ice cream, cards and gifts.  They had fun having us join them at Loretto where we talked with sisters we have known over the years, walked to the “world” (to the main highway off the Loretto grounds which we named “the world.” vs. the spiritual grounds where we were being educated and trained to be sisters.), hiked to the lake and to the retreat cabins on the grounds, shared joy-filled and painful stories about our lives at Loretto and since we have left.  It was a joy-filled and healing time for all of us as we re-connected and quickly resumed just as we left off many years ago.  What a blessing my Loretto experience has been in my life.  I would not be the person I am today were it not for the time and experiences I had at Loretto.


From Loretto I drove about 30 minutes to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Bardstown, KY.  I stayed with a dear friend, Jo Ann, who lives on the campus and who is the Director of the SCN Associates.  I became an associate when I lived in Kentucky and first met Jo Ann.  I arrived on Labor Day and the associates from TN made bar-b-q for us.  YUM!!  It was a delight to re-connect with friends at Nazareth and make new friends there.  One friend has been very ill and it was an honor to pray for her healing.  Later I learned she was in remission from cancer.  Yea, God!  A new friend’s ministry is to take those who have cancer to their treatments.  She is perfect for this since she has a great sense of humor.  Two friends came over from Frankfort the next day and it was wonderful to recall fun times together and to make a new memory.


From there I went to Charlotte, NC where we had lived for 6 years and met some wonderful people there.  It was great to re-connect with friends who had been a big part of my learning more about myself and accepting me as an adult.  We had dinner together with several and reminisced about old times and shared about what has been happening since we were last together.  Ruth, Susan, Nancy and CJ had come down to Florida for our ordinations.  What a delight to see them again!


I am finally home and almost recovered from so much driving.  Thank you one and all for being so special in my life.  Had I not met even one of you I would not be the person I am today.  You know what, I like being who I am.  Blessings and prayers for each of you!           Love and peace,



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Pope Suspends German Luxury bishop'"/The Guardian

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg ordered to leave his diocese amid scandal over his alleged lavish spending...        

"Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has come under fire for spending tens of millions of euros building a lavish official residence. Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA
His new private residence will cost €31m and include a €15,000 bathtub, furnishings worth €380,000 and a garden that came with a €783,000 bill. But the "bling bishop" of Limburg is unlikely ever to enjoy the benefits of his luxurious new home, after he was temporarily suspended from his post by the pope yesterday.
In a press statement, the Vatican said it had been confronted with a situation in which Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst "could not follow his duty as bishop" and had decided to allow him "some time outside the diocese". A final verdict on the bishop's future is expected after the completion of an internal investigation into the Limburg building project.
Tebartz-van Elst has come under increasing criticism since the estimated cost of his new residence – described by some newspapers as "palatial" – rose to €31m (£26m) earlier this month.
He is also facing legal action for allegedly lying under oath about a first-class flight to India, in a row with the news magazine Der Spiegel.
It is hard to imagine a greater contrast between the alleged luxurious living habits of the German bishop and the ascetic style of the Argentinian pontiff, who, from his first hours in office, has made clear his desire for "a poor church … for the poor". Shunning the large and opulent apostolic palace, the pontiff has chosen instead to live in the simple surrounds of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, a Vatican guesthouse. He often travels in used cars and has urged priests to do the same, telling them: "If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world..."

Google Alert for Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Video 1 new result for association of roman catholic women priests Group ordains female priest hopes to break barriers ...

"Christ Sophia Has Risen"/Celebrate!


National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, 325 East 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218 410-366-1637 or
Contacts:  Malachy Kilbride  571 501-3729,  Max Obuszewski  410 366-1637 or mobuszewski,  Joy First   608 239-4327
WHO: Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] have been active in challenging U.S. invasions and attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.  On May 23, 2013 members of NCNR filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia against the CIA’s use of drone strikes to assassinate people in various countries, including Pakistan. The citizen activists never received a response. 
Subsequently, NCNR gathered some 200 signatures on a letter to CIA Director John Brennan seeking a meeting to discuss ending the assassination program.  Again there was no response. On June 29, 2013 six activists went to the Central Intelligence Agency hoping to arrange a meeting with CIA officials.  While Major Burton, a CIA police officer, accepted the letter, he would not speak with the petitioners.  So Joy First, Mt. Horeb, WI, Malachy Kilbride, Arlington, VA, Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, MD, Phil Runkel, Milwaukee, WI, Cindy Sheehan, Vacaville, CA, and   Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Lexington, KY, engaged in a die-in to represent the victims of the assassination program.  They were then arrested and charged them with “entering or remaining on installation without authorization.” 
WHAT: Just prior to trial, Cindy Sheehan became ill with a virus, pled guilty and paid a fine. The other defendants, representing themselves, appeared before Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis for trial. He explained that the government has established “This is not a trial about drones.” Stacy Chaffin, an assistant U.S. Attorney working for the CIA, presented one witness, a police officer, who described the die-in was a result of a simulated air strike.  He may have been coached not to say “drone.” When Obuszewski cross-examined the witness, Davis would not permit the defendant to show the letter to Brennan to him. In the police officer’s testimony, he stated that Major Burton accepted “information” from the defendants, carefully avoiding the word letter.
It became obvious that Judge Davis would not permit any defense arguments which called attention to the defendants’ First Amendment right to petition our government with redress of grievances or that as citizens the defendants were authorized to be at the CIA to challenge an illegal assassination program.  The CIA would be protected in Judge Davis’ courtroom.  In his judicial opinion, the defendants were there, they were unauthorized and thus arrested, and they were found guilty.    
WHEN: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1 PM
WHERE: U.S. District Court, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
WHY: The prosecutor, employed by the CIA, was unwilling to challenge her employer. Obuszewski had sent her an email query: “If you believe that it is legal to assassinate four U.S. citizens, including a child, please provide us with the lawyerly justification.  If you can’t provide us with a legal memorandum supporting an assassination program, then consider dropping the charges against us instead.” She did not respond.
Both Kilbride and Obuszewski were lectured by the judge about relevance.  The criminal complaint, the letter to the CIA requesting a meeting and the recent Amnesty International report on U.S. killer drone strikes were ruled irrelevant.  The defendants were not allowed to indicate their Nuremberg Obligation to speak out about the illegal activities of the U.S. government. 
First, a grandmother, testified about her concern for children around the world. At the CIA she held a photograph of child victims of drone strikes. Sevre-Duszynska, a Roman Catholic womanpriest, testified that besides doing liturgy her mission was peace and justice.  A retired ESL teacher, she told the court about educating students from war-torn countries and emphasizing mediation as a means of settling disputes. First, also presented a moving closing statement. 
The prosecutor indicated that the defendants were nonviolent and not a threat, and recommended unsupervised probation. Before sentencing all defendants, but First, spoke to the court.  Runkel, an archivist of Dorothy Day since 1978, spoke about the work of the legendary co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Kilbride became emotional as he described being a Quaker and what actions that entails. Sevre-Duszynska reached back to talk about her Polish-American upbringing in Milwaukee, and how the seeds of her activism were planted by her grandmother and grandfather. She also explained how horrified she was when she attended a conference in Nevada where killer drone strikes were extolled.
Obuszewski thanked all in the courtroom, including supporters, and urged the CIA police officers and the prosecution team to work within the Agency to stop the killer drone program. He spoke highly of the integrity and citizen activism of the defendants, and emphasized we must speak on behalf of the dead. Judge Davis was getting antsy. Once Obuszewski pointed out that by happenstance Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued a report today speculating that U.S. drone strikes may be war crimes, Davis cut him off.  The activist had intended to state that Mala Yousafzai, when meeting with the Obama family, raised concerns about the administration’s use of drones, saying they are “fueling terrorism.”
The sentence given was unsupervised probation for one year, a fine and cost costs of $335 and an order not to be arrested during this period. This will a difficult test for the activists, as they have been involved over the years in many acts of civil resistance.
Unlike other jurisdictions, the federal court in Alexandria required the citizen activists to report to probation and sign authorization forms to release confidential information—“employment records, educational records, medical record, and psychological and psychiatric records” to the probation office.  Another document, if signed, would give authorization “for access to financial records.” The activists were stunned to read these forms, and protested vigorously inside the office. Eventually, the supervisor came out and agreed to waive the requirement to fill out these forms.  Nevertheless, the probation office will review every ninety days to see if the convicted were arrested. This is the most onerous “unsupervised probation” any of them have ever experienced. Regardless, the activists intend to continue to speak out against the killer drone program and other government policies which are deemed unjust.


"The House on Sunny Street" by Judy Lee, ARCWP/ An Autobiography of a Woman Priest from Brooklyn, NY

WOW! It is Ready For Ordering- The House on Sunny Street by Rev. Dr. Judy Lee-Check it out!

 I am excited to share this autobiographical and historical novel with you. It is hot off the Presses and you can go to or or to to get it. It is available in paper and electronic forms. If you have ever wondered what makes people tick, what adds up to a human life, and what contributes to the life of a woman priest this book may have some answers for you.  If you like books about Brooklyn, New York, or inner city life anywhere this is your book. If you know the power of groups and the power of faith, this book is for you. If you like stories about real people who overcame some serious odds and kept on keeping on you will not be disappointed.  If you like to read about complex lives written so all can “get it” and laugh, cry, and cheer with the protagonists this is for you. If you believe in inclusion, justice and love you will enjoy this read!   
I hope you will check it out! If you do, please feel free to share your comments here. I welcome your responses. 
Keep on believin’
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,ARCWP

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Remember Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth": Pastoral Reflections by Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP

Remember Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth:Pastoral Reflections
One cannot remember what or whom one does not know. Ecclesiastes 12:1- to remember your creator in the days of your youth is only possible if you know your Creator in the days of your youth.  The Message translation of Proverbs 2:22 is clear: “Point your kids in the right direction-when they’re old they won’t be lost”. Most probably, though I sometimes may be disoriented, I am not lost today because of the wonderful teachers,pastors and examples from the church of my youth.  Our kids are our passion.  At our Good Shepherd Church we work hard so our children and youth will know the love of God and the way of the living Christ.
This reflection begins with a picture of the teen class at Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers, Florida on Sunday 10/20/13. These smiling teens (13-18) meet with me on Sundays after church and the Sunday meal. They are energetic and enthusiastic learners. They pray, they read the Scriptures on their own and they even do homework as it is assigned. They know the Great Commandments and try to live them. They are getting to know God and Christ in relationship. They are learning to serve and not be served.  Some of them have been attending our Sunday class since 2009.  Then, when I asked them and some of the younger kids who appear in the next picture: “Who created our universe? Who was born on Christmas? and What happened on Easter?” they did not know the answers.
Now all of them know the answers in their heads and,more importantly, in their hearts. I have baptized twelve of our Sunday school kids. Some have graduated from the Sunday class and and now in their twenties are working or attending college. We have, perhaps, lost one young man to the lure of the gang,weapons, and drugs. I say perhaps because we are not going to let him go so easily. In the world these kids live in people are shot right in front of their homes.  Economics is a very real problem and gangs promise alternate ways to get money as well as belonging and love. That we have only lost one so far is a small miracle, and one that we are working hard to continue. The love and support we offer to them and their families, the love of Christ, trumps violence and poverty and negative influences. It also trumps X Boxes and Nintendo/PlayStation/Smartphones type games that addict and supplant other forms of growth producing activities.   There are many challenges we have to meet along with our kids. My heart is lifted every time I meet with these kids.
Each child or young person is special to us, from the youngest to the oldest. It is our challenge to be the face of Christ to them so they can be that for each other and in their families,schools, and neighborhoods.  Teachers Pearl Cudjoe and Linda Maybin are also in this picture.
Below is Mrs. Pearl Cudjoe and the wonderful Junior class. They are fourth through 6th graders (10-12). their growth and excitement is contagious and they love their Sunday class and teacher.
This is a time when many contend that the church is losing ground. Young people rarely attend and the relevance of church to youth is questioned:
Yet, emergent forms of church seem to be working. We are a renewed Catholic church. We bought a house in the heart of the poorer community and converted it into a church. We have women priests, validly ordained servant priests.  Our form of liturgy and Eucharistic celebration is communal. All are welcome at the table of Christ, who is on the Table,at the Table and around the Table.
Within the last two weeks five new youngsters joined our worship and Sunday school. We are so pleased to have these new kids with their families. We pray that each child may know that she or he is loved and precious to our God as each grows and matures.
IMG_0128 IMG_0011IMG_0012
 For all of our children and young people, know you are loved and keep carrying the Christ light for others.

Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP,

Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican Examies Gender Discrimination in the Catholic Church

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican examines gender discrimination in the ...

by Lisa Sorg @lisasorg. The Vatican's case against having women priests is wafer thin. ... Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests • Women's Ordination 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Acts to Support Proposed Federal Immigration Reform Policy

On October 7, 2013 25 members of St. Andrew United Church of Christ, the Manasota Chapter of Pax Christi and MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community gathered for a pot luck supper in the fellowship hall of St. Andrew UCC. Michael Rigdon, married priest partner of MMOJ led the grace. After our pot luck dinner and wonderful desserts, James Martin immigration attorney and member of MMOJ gave an update on the state of immigration policy in the US.


Jim was honest in his appraisable of US policy as it is written and enforced, “It is immoral and inexcusable.” He thought realistically, with the politics of today, passing comprehensive immigration reform “will be impossible.”  The Democrats want a path to citizenship for immigrants already here; the Republicans want to secure the border and stronger law enforcement.  Jim also spoke of the “browning of America” (immigrants of color) and how whites will become a minority by 2050.  He argued that white politicians will do everything possible to remain in power in perpetuity.


We included are evening with questions for Jim and a prayer led by Russ Banner of MPC. Our refrain to the closing litany was “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”  Our last petition, “A new national immigration policy should support communities to help new arrivals integrate into the local economy and cultural life.  May our faith perspective lead us to be involved where we can in welcoming the stranger into our community and nation.”   Jim gave out handouts American Immigration Council’s A guide to S. 744: Understanding the Senate Immigration bill. See and AILA’s Take on House Immigration Reform. Contact Jim at


On October 14 Members of Mary Mother of Jesus participated in a prayer vigil and march from Sacred Heart Church in Tampa to the Federal building a block away.  Over a 1000 people attended and marched and the church crowd overflowed onto the street.  Bishop Lynch from the St. Petersburg Diocese led the prayers and gave a short homily comparing immigrants to the fleeing of Joseph, Mary and Jesus into Egypt and their return when it was safe.


Theresa and Roman Rodriquez, Katy Zatsick, ARCWP and Russ Banner from Manasota Pax Christi participated in the prayer vigil and march.  Roman writes, “On Monday, when people throughout our nation were celebrating Columbus Day by going to their nearby shopping mall, Theresa and I joined a march for immigration reform.  A bus caravan from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wimauma took a number of parishioners to Sacred Heart Church in Tampa for a prayerful celebration and march to the nearby Federal building.  It was a moving experience to join with Bishop Robert Lynch, priests, religious nuns, Anglos, African Americans, and an avalanche of Hispanics (both undocumented or U.S. Citizens) who were praying for our political leaders to pass legislation that will not disrupt families by deporting them back to their native countries.  I pray that God will hear the voice of the poor.”


Theresa adds, Sacred Heart Church was filled to capacity and more, when the team of walkers came up its aisle amidst loud clapping. The team, led by Fr. Carlos Rojas, the new priest and administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish.  He had walked with the team from Orlando, Florida, stopping at parishes along the way, and completing the last lap on Monday from Brandon to the Tampa church.  The moments that come to mind being the most moving, was the singing and praying in unison in the church, both in English and Spanish, the words of Bishop Lynch, in both languages, and the walk in the dark towards the Federal Building. the marchers singing peacefully all together.  My only regret is that the walk took place in the evening where there were few people around to witness it. and that it took place at a time when all attention was on the Congress' inability to come together for the American people.”


We are proud and thankful that members of MMOJ joined with others for equality and justice. Let us rededicate ourselves to supporting a fair immigration policy for those seeking economic and social justice in America.  Let us make ourselves heard in the political process for justice and peace.

"Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church"/Huffington Post

"That's the title of a new book written by Joani Schultz and Thom Schultz. And it's a question those leaving are more than ready to answer. The problem is, few insiders are listening.
And, of course, that IS the problem.
In a recent issue of Christianity Today, for example, Ed Stetzer wrote an article entitled, "The State of the Church in America: Hint: It's Not Dying." He states: "The church is not dying... yes... in a transition... but transitioning is not the same as dying."
Really? What cartoons have you been watching?
Clearly, the Church is dying. Do your research, Mr. Stetzer. According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, more than 40 percent of Americans "say" they go to church weekly. As it turns out, however, less than 20 percent are actually in church. In other words, more than 80 percent of Americans are finding more fulfilling things to do on weekends.
Furthermore, somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 churches close their doors every year. Southern Baptist researcher, Thom Rainer, in a recent article entitled "13 Issues for Churches in 2013" puts the estimate higher. He says between 8,000 and 10,000 churches will likely close this year.
Between the years 2010 and 2012, more than half of all churches in America added not one new member. Each year, nearly 3 million more previous churchgoers enter the ranks of the "religiously unaffiliated."
Churches aren't dying?..."