Friday, July 11, 2014

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests to Ordain Two Women in Indianopolis on July 13, 2014

 Truly, we women priests must be dangerous. Our brothers at the Vatican continue to put us in a special category. For following our conscience and call from God to priesthood, Pope John Paul II declared us excommunicated. In delicta graviora Pope Benedict  XVI deemed us guilty of serious crime – on par with pedophile priests. Now Pope Francis has rightfully excommunicated those who belong to the mafia.
Mafia, women priests, pedophile priests…
Women priests are not committing crimes. The Vatican is abusing their spiritual power each time it attempts to control women’s lives. That abuse of spiritual power seeps and reverberates into suffering and exploitation of women and their children around the world.
Yale-trained theologian, Jamie L. Manson, believes: “Women’s ordination isn’t simply about making women priests. It’s about helping church leaders recognize that if they were to include women in their leadership as their equals, they could truly be a powerful force for economic and social justice for women and children throughout our world.”
It’s time for the patriarchal Vatican to acknowledge women priests as images of the divine. We call on Pope Francis to lift the excommunication of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
Women priests are strong supporters of Pope Francis’ social justice agenda. Like Pope Francis we say no to a global economy of exclusion. However, we say no to a church of exclusion.  Like Pope Francis we say yes to a global economy of inclusion. However, we say yes to a church of inclusion.
Release date: June 29, 2014
From The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D. Min. (media) 859-684-4247,
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan,
On Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 3 p.m. the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain two women in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mary Weber will be ordained a priest and Annie Watson a deacon. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, FL. The ceremony will take place at St. John (Cumberland) United Church of Christ, 11000 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46229. All are welcome. A light reception will follow the ceremony in the church hall.
Media are invited to schedule interviews during the time leading up to the ordination and at 1 p.m. on July 13 at the church. Respectful filming/photo-taking during the ceremony is acceptable.
The ordinands are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry.
Mary Weber of Indianapolis
Mary Weber, a former Sister of Providence, is a wife, mother and grandmother. She became a Providence Associate recently after spending a year in formation studying feminist theology as well as Providence Spirituality. Prior to retiring she worked as a licensed social worker, an accredited hospital administrator and as a Pastoral Associate. Mary is a volunteer chaplain at a nursing home where she has ministered for 10 years. She plans to establish a house church and assist at an inclusive community already established in Indianapolis. “I envision a church community of equals where all are truly welcomed at the table,” she said.
Annie Watson of Indianapolis, formerly of Louisville, Kentucky
Annie Watson, a former Sister of Mercy, is also a wife, mother and grandmother.  She is a retired Special Education teacher and advocate for Special Needs children and adults in Kentucky. She has served as a religious educator, youth minister and pastoral care minister. Annie is currently working on a theological certificate program in preparation for ministry as a deacon.

Wisconsin Bishop: Gays Must Seek Bishop's Approval before Baptism of Their Children I&rd=1&t=1

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Scholarship on Women in the Diaconate
..."In 1974, Vagaggini, at the time a member of the International Theological Commission, wrote a long essay at the request of Pope Paul VI on the ordination of deaconesses in the Greek and Byzantine traditions. The pontiff was contemplating the possibility of admitting women to the ordained diaconate.Vagaggini concluded in his lengthy and profoundly researched essay that women in the East had been ordained to the major order of the diaconate over many centuries and in different regions of the Greek and Byzantine churches. He also discussed the liturgies used to ordain women (virtually identical to those used to ordain men to the diaconate)..."

Liturgy to Celebrate Feast of St. Mary Magdala/ARCWP

“We Are Called”   (David Haas)
Come!  Live in the light!  Shine with the joy and the love of our God!  We are called to be light for the kingdom  To live in the freedom of the city of God! 

Refrain:    We are called to act with justice,  We are called to love tenderly,   We are called to serve one another;   to walk humbly with God!

Come!  Open your heart!  Show your mercy to all those in fear!  We are called to be hope for the hopeless   So all hatred and blindness will be no more!  Refrain

Sing!  Sing a new song!  Sing of that great day when all will be one!  God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other  As sisters and brothers united in love!
Copyright © 1988   GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved

Presider:  In the name of God, our mother and father, and of Jesus our brother and healer, and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom and guide.  ALL:  Amen.
Presider:  May God, the Blessed Holy Three, be with us as we work together for partnership, justice and equality for women in church and society! 
ALL:  And also with you.

Presider:  O God, may we see your feminine face in our female ancestors and in all women.   ALL:  May we open our hearts, like Mary of Magdala, to the Risen Christ.  Presider:  Jesus the Christ, may we see the divine reality in the person of a woman especially in women who are called to serve you.
ALL:  May we like Mary of Magdala, who proclaimed the Good News, advocate justice for women who have suffered abuse and violence in our world. 
Presider:  May the God of love, forgive us our lack of trust in your Spirit Sophia moving with us, in us, and through us, leading us to guidance, courage, healing and empowerment.   ALL: Amen.

ALL:  Glory to God in the highest.  Peace to all.  Christ Sophia, Wisdom of God, Glory to Three in One.

First ReadingWisdom of Solomon 7:22-28
Litany of Women for the Church
LeaderDear God, creator of women in your own image, born of a woman in the midst of a world half women, carried by women to mission fields around the globe, made known by women to all the children of the earth, give to the women of our time the strength to persevere, the courage to speak out, the faith to believe in you beyond all systems and institutions so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty, so that men and women become whole, so that the church may be converted to your will in everything and in all ways. We call on the holy women of the Early Christian Church who went before us and who stand beside us, channels of Your Word in testaments old and new, to intercede for us so that we might be given the grace to become what they are and have been for the honor and glory of God. 
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church (with gestures)
          Father/Mother God, pray for us.
          Jesus Wisdom, pray for us.
          Christ Sophia, pray for us.
         Holy Spirit, pray for us.
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church
          Holy Mother Mary, pray for us.
          Mary of Magdala, pray for us.
          Deacon Sophie, pray for us.
          Deacon Eugenia, pray for us.
          Deacon Paula, pray for us.
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church
          Deacon Phoebe, pray for us.
          Deacon Basilissa, pray for us.
          Deacon Theoprepia, pray for us.
          Deacon Posidonia, pray for us.
          Deacon Agatha, pray for us.
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church
          Priest Julia, pray for us.
          Priest Vitalia, pray for us.  
         Priest Epikto, pray for us.
          Priest Ammion, pray for us.
          Priest Flavia, pray for us.
          Priest Atrimadora, pray for us.
          Priest Kale, pray for us.
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church
          Bishop Alexsandra, pray for us.
          Bishop Veneranda, pray for us.  
         Bishop Theodora, pray for us.
         Bishop Bridget of Kildare pray for us.
Sing:   Jesus your spirit send to renew our Church

Second Reading: Romans 16:1-7, 16

Gospel Acclamation:    Alleluia by Jan Phillips
ReaderWe will pause at various points in our reading as a symbol of Mary of Magdala is brought forward.
A reading from the Gospel according to John 20:1-2, 11-18     ALL:  Glory to you O God.

Reader:  The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

Reflection by Mary Theresa Streck on Saint Mary Magdala based on excerpts from A Passion for Life, Fragments of the Face of God, Sr. Joan Chittister and The Catholic Church, a short history, Hans Kung.
In response to the homily today, we invite you to take a few minutes to pray, reflect and then share with one another.

Profession of Faith:   ALL:  We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge oppression, exploitation and injustices.  We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives us everything.  We believe that we are radiant images of God who calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously.  We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey.  We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world.  We believe that all are one in the Heart of God.  We believe that women’s liberation is human liberation.  Here we dwell in loving relationships.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.

Lector 1Jesus healed St. Mary of Magdala of a very serious illness and then she followed him, supporting his mission with all of her resources.  Thank you O Christ, for all the ways you heal us.  Open our hearts to receive your healing grace and let us, like St. Mary of Magdala, put all we have at your service.  For this we pray.  Response:  Loving God, hear our prayer.
Lector 2:  Mary and the other women and men disciples persevered with Jesus, even when he was persecuted by his own religious leadership and government authorities.  God of Strength, help us stand in Jesus’ truth and healing love especially when we experience persecution for justice’ sake.  For this we pray. Response.     Lector 1:  Because of her witness and fidelity, St. Mary of Magdala is known as the Apostle to the Apostles.  Help us, O God of Righteousness, to accept your apostolic call “to go and tell our brothers and sisters of Jesus’ power to heal… even wounded structures which exclude.” For this we pray. Response.    Lector 2:  Women were faithful disciples of Jesus and significant leaders in the early Christian communities.  Help us Most Inclusive One, to reclaim our baptismal call to leadership.  For this we pray. Response.     ALL: Amen


 “Join Together (Carolyn McDade)

We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global community founded on these principles:
Respect for nature
Universal human rights
Economic justice and a culture of peace
(Free dance during instrumentation)

Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life. 
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.   Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink.  ALL:  Blessed be God forever.  Presider:  Nurturing God, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with Mary of Magdala, who proclaimed the Risen Christ. Like Mary, may we discover the liberating power of Woman-Spirit in our midst.  We ask this through Wisdom Sophia, Jesus, our brother, and the Holy Spirit.  ALL:  Amen.

Presider:  God dwells in you.  ALL:  And also with you.   Presider:  Lift up your hearts and pursue justice.  ALL:  We lift them up to God, Pursuer of Justice.   Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all.   ALL: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

(all Eucharistic Ministers gather at the altar and everyone is invited in the space in front of and around the altar)

Part One:  O loving God, O blessed Holy Three, who brings to birth the world of our dreams for mutual respect and partnership, we do well always and everywhere to give you praise.  Give us courage to act justly and work collaboratively to change systems that keep people poor and marginalized in our society. We thank you for the women and men who are working for justice and equality in our church and world. Your gift of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, gives us hope that one day all will be one at the eternal banquet of heaven. With thankful hearts in the company of the angels and saints, we praise you, God of Abundance and Welcome.

ALL: (sung)  Holy, Holy Holy (We are holy, holy, holy,3x we are whole, you are holy,3x you are whole, I am holy...etc" by Karen Drucker)

Part Two:  You are holy indeed O Mothering God. You are the Heart of Love. You affirm women’s bodies as holy and women’s stories as sacred.  Pour out your Spirit upon all who work for justice and equality.  Pour out your spirit upon this bread and wine so that we may become the body and blood of Jesus, the Christ, in whom we have all become your daughters and sons.

(please all extend hands as we recite the consecration)
Presider:  On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved.  Jesus took bread and praised you, God of compassion. He blessed and broke the bread, gave it to his friends and said:    ALL:  “Take, eat, this is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 

Presider:  After supper, Jesus poured the final cup of wine and blessed you, God the Creator.  Jesus shared the cup with his friends, and said:    ALL:  This is the cup of the covenant of my love poured out for you.  As often as you drink of it, remember me.

Presider:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith: (sung)
ALL:   Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

Part Three:  In memory of Jesus, who showed us the path to liberation and empowerment, we offer you, Loving Creator, the bread of life, this saving cup. We give thanks that we live in your Enfolding Presence and serve you with grateful hearts.  May all of us who share in this sacred banquet of Christ be brought together as one in the Holy Spirit and be filled with courage to live Gospel equality in inclusive communities working for justice and peace in our church and world.

Part Four:  God, remember your holy people throughout the world, make us one in love, together with Francis our pope, our female and male bishops,  and all God’s people. Remember our sisters and brothers, who face oppression, discrimination and joblessness, who have lost homes, partners, and hope.  Remember all those who work for justice, especially our Catholic Sisters who have given their lives for the needs of people who suffer injustice.  Remember those who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again, bring them and all the departed into your everlasting arms.

Part Five:  Have mercy on us all; make us one with Mary, Mother of Jesus, our sister and champion of the oppressed, and the apostles through the ages, especially Mary of Magdala, Junia and Andronicus, and all the holy women and men who have done your will throughout the ages.  May their courage inspire us to confront patriarchal systems that discriminate against women.  God, may we be free at last from all bondage and injustice, and give you glory through Jesus the Christ.

ALL:  Through Christ, With Christ and In Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, may our work for justice, peace and equality give You glory and honor, Holy God forever and ever. 
(sung)    Amen, (Lilies of the Field)

ALL:  Our Father and Mother…

Presider:  Protect us, God, from all evil and dismiss all anxiety from our minds.  May a thousand angels guide our steps to live justice, partnership and equality now as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of God in our time where all can say “thank God we are free at last!”

ALL:  For the kindom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

“Prayer of Peace” (David Haas)
Peace before us, peace behind us, peace under our feet.   Peace within us, peace over us, let all around us be peace.    Love before us…        Christ before us…

(Sung)  Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power, have mercy on us.
Loving God, you call us to live the gospel of justice and peace have mercy on us.
Loving God, you call us to be your presence in the world grant us your peace.

Presider:   This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.  ALL:  Jesus you make us worthy to receive you and become you for others.  We are the Body of Christ.

Communion Song
"Peace is Flowing Like a River"   (Carey Landry)

Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me.   Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free.

God's love is flowing like a river. . .

God's healing's flowing like a river. . .

Al-le-lu-ia, al-le-lu-ia . . .
God’s peace is flowing like a river . . .

Copyright © 1975 Carey Landry & North American Liturgy Resources. All rights reserved.

“Holy One”    (Songs of Presence)
All Chant: Holy, holy, holy One (repeat)
(Period of Silence)

Announcements and Thanks

Presider:   Our God is with you. 
ALL:  and also with you.

 (everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  May the fire of God’s love warm our hearts.  May God grant our prayers for justice and equality in our church and world.  May the love of Christ fill us and radiate through us forever.

Presider:   Go in the peace of Christ.  Let the service for justice and equality continue! 
ALL:   Thanks be to God.

Dancing in the Light of God
(Siyahamba, Public Domain)

We are dancing in the light of God, we are dancing in the light of God
We are dancing in the light of God, we are dancing in the light of God
We are dancing dancing, we are dancing dancing,
We are dancing in the light of God
We are dancing dancing, we are dancing dancing,
We are dancing in the light of God

We are Praying ...
We are Singing ...

Special thanks to our Liturgical Ministers, Music Ministers, and all those who helped in the planning and participated in this liturgy!

Bridget Mary Meehan
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This Guy Explained the Universe to his 5 year-old and Now She Knows More Than I Do"

"Pope Francis Puts Himself in Danger by Tackling Pedophilia and Cover-Ups"
Bridget Mary's Response:
If Pope Francis fires bishops who covered up sexual abuse and changes canon law that reserves decision-making to the hierarchy, he will begin a major reformation that is long over-due. The point is to not only to meet with survivors, listen to their stories and ask forgiveness, but to hold the Vatican accountable for sexual abuse crimes against children and youth.  The pope knows the house is on fire! I pray that he will continue to be courageous in challenging global economic equality and in taking on the Vatican Curia. Like Francis, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests supports global economic equality, but unlike Francis, we connect global economic equality with gender equality in the world and in the church. Discrimination against women in religion plays a major role in the abuse of and violence toward women in the world. 
 I pray for Pope Francis' safety and well-being often. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Five Ways to Help Unaccompanied Minors Crossing the US-Mexico Border

 As people of faith, let us support and protect  the immigrant children.
 Many members of the NETWORK community have been asking for ways to help address the humanitarian crisis that is causing record numbers of immigrant children and families to make the treacherous journey from Central America to the United States. We wanted to let you know of a few options:

1. Find them shelter. The Administration has told us that there is a desperate need for safe facilities to provide shelter for children until they can be discharged to a sponsor to await judicial proceedings. Read the letter from FEMA and facilities requirements, in case you know of a place that may be suitable. 

2. Advocate for them with Congress. Ask for additional funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and insist that we protect these children. Share these alerts with your friends, and ask them to take action as well. 

3. Schedule a lobby visit with your member of Congress during the August Recess to talk more about this issue.

4. Seek out local opportunities with organizations like Catholic Charities, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, or other groups working with unaccompanied minors or other refugees and asylum seekers to volunteer or provide much-needed donations of items to provide for children and families.

5. Share your story! Tell us what your experiences are working with vulnerable populations and the unaccompanied minors. We are eager to share stories with our contacts in Congress and the Administration. Email us at  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Showers of Miracles at Good Shepherd Ministries by Judy Lee, ARCWP

It is summer in Florida and each day brings pouring rain, usually for a short while. We welcome it as dry lakes fill and grass is verdant green again. Fort Myers is the lightening capital of the world and our storms can be quite dramatic and sometimes scary. I rush and get all the pets in when the thunder and lightening threatens. When we are with our youth group on a trip we herd them inside quickly. I think of all the people and animals who are outside caught in the storm,not only for a short while but for those who have no safe dry homes for retreat. We work even harder in the summer to find creative solutions to homelessness- any solution is better than living outside as the lightening comes.
Getting into affordable husing is a process. Ruby, Kathy and Kris (in picture below) were qualified for Goodwill Industries Housing for the physically disabled in February of 2014. Kris, who had waited four years for an available Unit was housed in March. He and his kitten met while he was living on a patio. He loved the furniture that church members provided. He had not seen TV in years.  They both felt safe and secure for the first time in their new home.  Kris said he was so thankful for the miracle of a home.  Kathy and Ruby waited until June for a new Residential complex to be approved. On June 28th Kathy was the first person who moved into this beautiful new complex with walk- in showers and features for those with mobility problems.    On July 3rd Ruby who also uses a walker moved into a nearby apartment with her cat. Her friend Portia helped her to get the cat ready for approval with neutering and shots. Our ministry paid for her furniture. She said that she thought she had died and gone to heaven when she saw the apartment all ready for her. She could not believe that she could have a literally new and beautiful place to live. She recalled years on the streets and stays in almost inhabitable spaces,like a trailer with no electric or toilets working.   We are so pleased for our friends to have this affordable and accessible housing.  Ruby is on the left end and Kathy is in the middle. Kathy who lost her home after a difficult divorce wants to help others as she knows how it feels to be homeless. She  is volunteering to help us with others who have experienced homelessness, like Diane whose story is below and who will live near Kathy.
On June 10th as the skies threatened a deluge Lauretta made her way to our Tuesday Ministry.  We have known Lauretta since 2007 when she lived outside without her medications and could not enter any ministry but ours due to her disruptive behavior. Lauretta has now been on her meds and housed and providing a home for her daughter for five years. She attends church with us faithfully and loves to share with and help others. Lauretta is on the right and her friend Donnie is on the left.
While passing through the Park where our ministry started in 2007  Lauretta met Diane. Diane, who is 60, was sitting at a table with a huge suitcase and some bags. Lauretta reached out to her and learned that  Diane was homeless as her money to pay a motel had run out. She had lived  in this area with her husband of many years who died over a year ago. She had returned to live with family in another state but did not feel welcomed any longer. She intended to find a small apartment here but now had no money. Lauretta brought her, bags and all, to the ministry.  She cried, shared her story and was warmly welcomed by our Tuesday group members. Afterward, Pastor Judy Beaumont and I made several calls and finding no available shelter, we arranged to pay for her to stay in a Transitional Program,After The Rain, until her funds became available in July. In late June we miraculously found an apartment she could just about afford if we vouched for her.
Another miracle, a wonderful grant from The Father’s Table Foundationmade it possible to vouch for her,pay her electricity deposit, and move her in with furniture supplied by this grant and other volunteers.
IMG_0039She will move in on July 8th. She is so happy as she says that  Lauretta was her angel leading her to Good Shepherd  and that God provided a home for her.
 This is Diane outside of our Good Shepherd Church
For the three weeks without funds she was able to stay in After The Rain, a
program for women recovering from substance abuse and addiction. Although Diane never drank alcohol or used drugs, After The Rain’s Director, Miss Bev, made the decision to accomodate Diane temporarily.  We were grateful as there is only one small Shelter for women in this area and it was, as it always is, full.  Diane enjoyed the warmth and welcome of Miss Beverly, Miss Ruth and all of the women there.
After The Rain is appropriately named. The women who come there have lived through raging storms in their lives and find it a haven as they pursue recovery from substance abuse and addiction. We have helped sponsor women as they entered their recovery there as many cannot meet the cost of program entry. One such women is Donna and her story is another miracle. We met Donna as we picked up Kris,named above, for his new housing from a “flop house” where she cared for one of the men who was critically ill.  Donna reached out to us and we developed a relationship with her. We learned that she was desperate to create a new life for herself and to leave that unhealthy environment behind.  In relatively short time she became ready to seek alcohol detox, treatment and a half way house. I have accompanied many to detox but  only one other sought treatment and transitional residence afterward. In what seemed to us to be a miracle, Donna was not only ready but eager to change her life. After detox, she met the Staff from After The Rain and she was accepted. We sponsored her entry into the program and she is doing an excellent job of working her recovery. She became a helpful buddy to Diane while she spent time at After The Rain.
This is Donna  on the right with Miss Bev, Director of After The Rain

We are so thankful that Donna has this chance to turn her life around and that she is doing it day by day with the support of After The Rain.

July has become women’s month at good Shepherd Ministries as Betty will be the fourth woman we assist into affordable housing. Betty had lived tripled up in her sister’s home, sleeping on a couch, for the nine years after the death of her husband.  She was a hard worker in a Restaurant and in the Ball Park seasonally until she fell on the job and injured her shoulder and back. We helped her to get her Social Security benefits and she got her first studio apartment. However, the rent for this took up four fifths of her income. She barely got by but loved her home. The rent continued to go up and she prayed that her name would finally come up for an apartment with Goodwill Housing. Finally, this month, after a three year wait, her name came up and her apartment was ready. Betty is moving into her new, and she says forever, home this week.  Good Shepherd is helping her furnish her one bedroom town house. I have never seen Betty so happy-except on the day she was Confirmed in her faith on 4/26/14! Betty attends church faithfully and is so happy to affirm her faith.The picture on the left below is Betty standing in front of the Bishop, Bridget Mary Meehan, as she was confirmed.
IMG_0148Betty is seated on the far right with our Tuesday Fellowship members pictured below .
We are so thankful for the miracles of faith,transformation,support and housing  that we have witnessed this rainy season. The sun is shining!  Thank God! Amen! IMG_0013