Saturday, August 16, 2014

Should the Vatican Apologize to Elizabeth Johnson and Reinstate Female Priests?
..."If women ontologically differ from men, then trying to force male voices and thoughts upon women commits one of these pesky “sins against nature” that the hierarchy abhors.  If women do not differ ontologically from men, then excluding women from the priesthood is unfounded.  Either women are different and hierarchical leaders owe Elizabeth Johnson not only an apology, they owe her their deep appreciation for letting these differences shine forth via her language of women…or women are not different and hierarchical leaders owe a deep apology and expression of gratitude as well as need to reinstate all the excommunicated female priests because they simply denuded a myth about men’s and women’s ontological differences.  There is a third scenario where the hierarchy both reinstates female priests and apologizes to Elizabeth Johnson which should occur if men’s and women’s difference serve to complement rather than impede clerical ministry. But right now, the hierarchy’s stance seems to just further undermine its credibility."

"Jesuit Fr. William Brennan, Penalized for Liturgy with Woman Priest, Dies"/National Catholic Reporter

Friday, August 15, 2014

"However Long the Night" by Sister Nancy Schreck OSF/Recommended for Prayerful Reflection
Bridget Mary's Response:
A deeply spiritual reflection on where religious life is today  "in the middle", struggling through a dark night of the soul! Sister Nancy provides nurturing food for thought not only for religious orders but for individuals and groups who struggle to live the Gospel during times of stress, loss, change and misunderstanding.  Right now the Leadership Conference of Women Religious faces a take-over of their organization by the Vatican. In this address, Sister Nancy invites us to go deeper to encounter the blessed embrace of Divine Love that meets us in darkness, and leads us toward the dawn.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mystical Ireland Trip

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 20OT, Aug. 17, 2014 by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Jesus was born into a Jewish culture
that despised the Canaanites and denigrated their beliefs.
At the beginning of today’s Gospel story,
he treats the Canaanite woman with disrespect,
calling her a dog.
A recent parallel for us would be rock star Ted Nugent’s
calling President Obama a “mongrel.”
A few scripture commentators go to great lengths
to try to gloss over this incident with the Canaanite woman,
saying that Jesus was not really being rude
by using a racist slur
but was somehow setting up a lesson for his disciples,
and that the unnamed woman was in on the act.
I don’t see anything in the Gospel to argue for that interpretation.
On the contrary, I see confirmation of our traditional understanding
that Jesus was fully human.
Just like us in all things.
Like us, he had to learn.
So this Gospel tells a story
of how Jesus gained a wider understanding
of faith and of tolerance
through conversation with the woman.
Because of his encounter with the Canaanite woman,
and because of her faith,
Jesus changes.
To Matthew’s community,
this story is a lesson that Jesus’ mission
goes beyond the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”
to encompass the outsiders in their culture.
The lesson is the same for us.
Who are the outsiders now?
• The pastor of a Church in Tampa
canceled Julion Evan’s funeral service
when he found out Julion was gay
and had married another man.
• Residents of Murietta, California, screamed in vicious protest and
refused asylum
to Central American children fleeing from oppression.
• Extremist militants in Iran filmed their atrocities
as they beheaded babies and raped women
because their victims were Yazidi,
a Kurdish-based ethnic minority
and a religious group the extremists call "devil worshippers."
• At Claver House Monday one of the guests
loudly accused another guest of being greedy,
pointing to the amount of food he put on his tray,
calling him names, belittling him mercilessly.
• Hundreds of West Toledoans
have been putting their houses on the market
and heading for the suburbs
because a black family bought a home nearby.
• School will be back in session next week,
where scores of children will be bullied
because they’re different—
what they wear, where they’re from,
what they look like, how they talk.
How do we treat the people in our lives who are different from us?
Today’s scriptures give us some pointers.
In Romans, Paul lifts up the “outsiders”—
those Gentiles who embrace the Way of Jesus.
Isaiah makes it clear that God embraces foreigners
because they meet the real requirement of love of God,
unlike the proud and haughty among the natives
who are more enamored of title and position and wealth
than they are of God.
At the same time that examples
of exclusion and persecution surround us,
so do the examples of inclusion and acceptance.
• A woman who wants to do something to combat racism
decides to invite a mixed group of women
to get to know each other at a supper at her home.
• A high school student, one of the “in” crowd,
notices a new student in class
and asks him to sit at his table for lunch.
• A factory supervisor hires a Hispanic
to work inside the factory instead of in the fields.
• A teen bakes a cake for the family
to welcome their new neighbor into the neighborhood.
• I notice that I lose patience with people when I’m tired,
so I try to get enough sleep.
None of us is perfect.
Folks today see a conflict between the idea of a perfect Jesus
and the faith statement that he is fully human and fully divine.
Perfection doesn’t fit with their experience of humanity.
Perfection isn’t required for their own participation in Divinity.
What is required for both divinity and humanity
is the conscious, continuous effort to love God and neighbor.
That effort requires reflection.
It requires openness to change.
So we are in the same position today as Jesus was.
We may not notice right away
the clamor of people calling for our attention,
but once we do notice them,
we need to listen.
We may not respond right away with grace and love,
but we need to keep our ears open anyway.
We may not have the energy or the resources,
but we need to do what we can.
We may not respond perfectly,
but we can learn.
Like Jesus.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Catholics To Celebrate Married Priest Couple's 45th Wedding Anniversary on Sat. Aug. 16th/Couple Will Preside

Ministry Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ- Call to Ordination Comes from Community

Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ

 Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P Professor of Theology, University of Nijmegen

In the early Church
one could be ordained
a priest or deacon
in an absolute manner
only if a local Community
supported him/her.

If local support
was withdrawn
their appointment
was null and void.

Only someone called by a particular Community
to be Pastor/Leader
authentically received Ordination.

was an appointment
as a Minister
to a Community
which called a fellow-Christian
and indicated him/her
as its Leader.

Hands laid on one
without being asked
by a particular Community
were null and void.

The source
of Power for Ordination
came from the Community,
not some external force.
(Courtesy of John Chuchman)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kathryn Shea:" Preschool suspensions can lead to lifetime of failure"/Article in Sarasota Herald Tribune

By KATHRYN SHEA, Guest Columnist
Published: Monday, August 11, 2014 at 1:00 a.m.

"A recent CNN report highlighted new data showing that thousands of three- and four-year-olds, including a disproportionate number of boys and black children, are being suspended or expelled from U.S. preschools at a disturbing rate.
More than 8,000 public preschoolers were suspended at least once, and some multiple times, during the 2011-12 school year, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. During that year, black students represented 18 percent of preschool enrollment and 48 percent of students suspended more than once. Boys represented 54 percent of the preschool population and 82 percent of preschool children suspended multiple times.
A child's early education, which includes preschool and elementary school, sets the foundation for future success. And for at-risk children with histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, this foundation reduces their likelihood of dropping out of school, having children as teenagers, or becoming entangled in the criminal justice system. Sadly, the CRDC data further support a rising trend in our nation to discipline young, bright children with a "zero tolerance" policy that is setting them up for failure...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
In this brilliant opinion article, Kathryn Shea has issued a clarion call  to help children who are at risk of failure because of poverty or abuse. All God's children are beloved and should be treated as such by all of us. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ by Edward Schillebeeckx OP/ Early Church, No link between Ministry and Presiding at Eucharist

Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P Professor of Theology, University of Nijmegen

In the New Testament,
did not develop
from and around
Eucharist or Liturgy,
but from the building up of
through Preaching.

were Pioneers,
those who inspired the Community
and served as models
for the whole Community.

For the New Testament
there was no special treatment
as to who should preside
at the Eucharist;
Nothing was so specified.

Even Paul
did not call Eucharist
an apostolic Tradition.

Eucharist was Jesus’ parting gift
to the whole Community.

Nowhere in the new Testament
was an explicit connection made
between Ministry of the Church
and presiding at Eucharist.

There are no biblical grounds anywhere
for a sacral and mystical foundation
to the ministry in the Eucharist.

Early Eucharist
was structured so that
anyone who is competent
to lead the Community
in one way or another
was presider at the Eucharist
without any special separate authorization.

And In House (Home) Churches
very often
the Host/Hostess
would preside at Liturgy/Eucharist
even though
Not a Community Leader.

simply were not a part of
Church Ministry

in the New Testament.

(Special thanks to John Chuchman for posting this scholarship)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Return Violence with Love" by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

"...We're a country that has been committed to war. It's going on in the Middle East right now. And where do their weapons come from? Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, all the countries in the Middle East that are so engaged in violence now — their weapons have all come from us because we make weapon production our No. 1 industry...
We seem committed to the idea that violence will bring peace, and Jesus is saying, "No, it won't. It never will; it never has." The only way we're going to transform our world is through the love that Jesus shows us: that you return love for violence, love for hate. That's how we can transform our world.
Jesus promises us that our world can be transformed into the reign of God where everyone will have a full human life, where there will be peace, joy, fullness of life. If we listen, try to change our ways of thinking, and then change our ways of action in our individual lives, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, our world, then the reign of God can break forth. And the peace of God will fill our hearts, fill our minds, our whole being, and gradually transform our world into the reign of God."
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is a founding member of Pax Christi USA. This column was excerpted from his homily at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Detroit. He will lead a retreat 

Letter of Support for LCWR by Thomas J. Orzechowski

Dear Women of God,
Know that you are not alone…ever.  Your voice while causing trouble and pain for you has made a difference in the church for many of your lay co-workers.  I know I am one of them.  Over forty years in church ministry.  Sometimes you as a group were the only ones who were giving voice on an organized, effective high profile professional level, too much of what I had come to know and value because of my own education (Jesuit graduate schooling in religious education and biblical studies).  Over the years I have often said to those I was privileged to work with that the human body has orifices that can be prostituted just as much as the ones we normally think of.  After that point was made I wanted them to know that I had often prostituted myself.  Sometimes over even small things.  Why?  Because I did not open my mouth and say what I ought to have said.   Many times I was silent and did not cry out or even utter a public word when the situation called for more than that.  To me, that is and was as much a prostituting of myself as any other act of prostitution.  For a few pieces of silver I remained mute.  Thank you for often being braver than I.  I do not want you to think that I did not at times speak out.  But whenever I did there was a price to pay and it was paid.  But we owe you a great debt for your bravery and your modeling for us what “faithfulness” is.    Faithfulness … a loyalty and dedication even when one is afraid, even when one pays a price and one suffers because of it.  Thank you for maintaining “apostolic succession” so effectively in your individual and corporate presence in and to the church.

Thomas J. Orzechowski
(I received a copy of this letter on the day it was mailed to LCWR. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP)

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Remembers Peace-Makers who Gave Lives/Liturgy Led by Maureen McGill, ARCWP and Janet Blakeley

On Aug.9, 2014, Maureen McGill and Janet Blakeley led a liturgy of remembrance of people who had given their lives for peace in the 20th and 21st century.
Roman Catholic Woman Priest Maureen McGill ARCWP wearing stole and Janet Blakeley in blue lead liturgy.
Mindy Lou Simmons, music ministry, sings "where have all the flowers gone"

 We also remembered all those who died in World War1, World War11, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, 9-11, Gaza, Israel,  and the current wars in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

We lit candles to remember

First Candle:Titus Brandsma, A Dutch Carmelite priest and Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, both of whom opposed the Nazi regime and tyranny.
Second Candle: Franz Jagerstatter, who refused to serve in Hitler's army and was behaded as an enemy of the state.

Third Candle: Edith Stein, scholar, teacher, convert from Judaism to Catholicism who entered Carmelite Order. She was known for her kindness to children in Auschwitz prison camp. She died in the gas chamber in 1941 in solidarity with the millions of her people who were killed in camps during Hitler's reign of terror. 

Fourth Candle: Maximillian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest and martyr who took the place of another man who was to be put to death. When the man cried out that he would never see his wife and children again, Fr. Kolbe stepped forth. 
Fifth Candle: Millions of people who were killed in all the wars and violent conflicts in the 20th and 21st century. 
Janet Blakeley preached homily
Maureen McGill, ARCWP and Janet Blakeley Co-Presided at Liturgy of Remembrance

Our MMOJ  community meets on Sat. at 4 PM for an inclusive Catholic Mass at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Florida.

Homily: "Be Not Afraid" 19 Sunday Ordinary Time – August 10, 2014 – by Rev. Richard S. Vosko

..."Our church over the centuries has maintained a steady and usually reliable course. Today by many accounts, however, it is a ship in troubled waters. We have not reached calm seas on many issues: married clergy, women deacons and priests, shared authority at top levels of decision making, trusting the consciences of it members and incompetence in leadership roles.
Above all, how does our church prepare for the stormy weather in the forecast? How do we reach disenfranchised Millennial and Pluralist generations? How do we plan for a greater shortage of priests? How do we break the chains that continue to moor our church in safe harbors, a church often afraid to jump into the waters much less sail the high seas.
The first reading implies that God is not found in these storms. Instead they are indications of how God works in our lives. God is found in the aftermath of the storms — whatever it is that frightened us to death. The revelation of God in our lives is ever evolving. Our collective awareness of new epiphanies sustains us and gives us courage. There is no one way to understand how God works. We do believe God continues to speak to us. Psalm 85 that we sang this morning challenges us to be still enough to hear the soft, comforting words of God. [Pause]
Maybe for this week you and I can take time to notice what is stirring in our lives that requires acting beyond our fears. Maybe there is something that is challenging us to take a bold step forward in the face of those fears. Just maybe this is the time to let go of whatever it is that holds us back so that we can chart a course forward trusting that the God of all creation will guide us safely home."