Saturday, August 30, 2014

Article in French about Women Priests

"Your Word Burns in my Heart" 22nd Sunday OT, Rev. Judy Lee and Rev. Beverly Bingle
Today we place ourselves in the shoes of those called by God to do the hardest things. To follow Christ, to be prophetic is not easy and we often get it wrong. Sometimes we complain and struggle like Jeremiah (20:7-9), or we try to avoid the hardest parts of our calling like Peter encouraged Jesus to do in Matthew 16:21-27. Paul asks us to to transform ourselves and be transformed in order to live the Gospel. (Romans 12:1-2) It is not easy to follow a hard calling. It is not easy to be prophetic. It is not easy to follow the Gospel. Its okay to complain and to err in our understandings like Jeremiah and Peter as long as we know deeply that we are called and God’s word burns within us so it must be spoken. I am a Jeremiah. I complain that serving the poorest is hard, but I want to do it and I know I must do it- to be who I am to enact my very essence. . That is why Jesus says “take up your cross”-meaning take up the thing you must do no matter how hard it is. Can we use this Sunday to look at our lives and to take up those very hard parts of living the Gospel that are difficult for us. Jesus moved forward and beyond death, and we too live as we follow him in this.
Rev. Bev’s Homily
After Officer Frank Serpico exposed police corruption in New York.
he was set up by fellow officers and shot.
He survived.
When asked why he had stepped forward, Serpico replied,
“Well, I don’t know. I guess
I would have to say it would be because…
if I didn’t, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?”
Karen Gay Silkwood, working at a nuclear manufacturing company,
called them to task over faulty nuclear fuel rods,
falsified reports, and employee safety risks.
She had assembled documentation for her claims
and decided to go public with the evidence.
She left to meet a reporter, taking the documentation with her;
she was found dead
from a car crash of suspicious but undetermined cause,
and the documentation was never found.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois.
He stood up for women’s ordination
and was ejected from Maryknoll and the priesthood
when he refused to back down.
And more whose names are not household words:
Sister Sally Butler, Sister Maureen Paul Turlish;
Fr. Ronald Lemmert, Fr. John Bambrick,
Msgr. Kenneth E. Lasch, Robert Hoatson,
Fr. James Connell; Fr. Thomas P. Doyle;
Bishop Tom Gumbleton.
They have exposed cases of sexual abuse and cover-up.
Doing what’s right and just.
It risks everything.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer called it “the cost of discipleship.”
There’s no option; they cannot not do it.
So for us.
We’re not likely to be killed for doing what’s right,
but we will undoubtedly suffer.
Being a Christian is not easy.
Following Jesus means keeping the two greatest commandments—
love God and love our neighbor.
It means being a prophet.
Today’s scriptures tell us
that it has always been an all-consuming task
to be faithful to God.
For Jeremiah of Anathoth;
for Jesus of Nazareth;
for Paul of Tarsus;
and for us:
living as children of God takes all we have.
Yet we are called to be prophets.
There are two classic definitions of a prophet.
Fr. Bruce Vawter defines a prophet as
the conscience of the people.
Hans Walter Wolff defnes prophets as
the people in the community
who tell us the future implications
of our present actions.
Prophets are whistleblowers.
Prophets are reformers.
There’s a price for that, and sometimes it’s high.
Peter wants Jesus to avoid the consequences of his stand
for reform, for justice, for good.
He wants to follow Jesus,
but he doesn’t want to have to risk anything for it.
Jesus says no; the New American Bible translation reads:
“Those who wish to come after me must deny themselves,
take up their cross, and follow me.”
Scholars point out that taking up one’s cross
would have meant nothing to anyone
before Jesus historically took up his own cross.
By the time Matthew writes the story,
the cross metaphor has meaning
because he can look back on Jesus’ crucifixion and death.
When Jesus speaks of discipleship before he died,
he is telling his followers to be completely open
to whatever God wanted them to do,
to make God present and working in their lives
the center of their existence.
He was echoing Jeremiah’s demand
that people cut through their religious entanglements
and return to Yahweh.
Jesus is not asking us
to patiently endure some dramatic moment of suffering.
He is calling us to an ongoing, generous,
open, and honest relationship with God,
a daily quest to discover what is right and do it.
That search involves a real death to self, and real sacrifice.
It means looking with open eyes at what’s in front of us.
It means taking stock
of what we’re doing with this precious gift of life and talent.
It means doing what we can do
to make God’s love alive in the world.
For grandparents, it means putting aside their retirement leisure
and making a home for a troubled grandchild
while Mom and Dad work out their marital conflicts.
For teachers, it means taking an average of $936 a year
out of their personal pocketbooks
to buy school supplies and educational materials
for their classes.
For a retiree, it means hobbling into Claver House to every week
to wash dishes for three hours
instead of sitting comfortably at home
reading the paper and drinking coffee.
It means sending ten bucks to Catholic Relief Services
to help the victims of the typhoon, or the flood,
or the hurricane, or the earthquake.
It means listening to our grouchy neighbor.
It means working to save future generations
from the impending disasters of climate change.
It means going about doing good.
If we don’t do it, who would we be?

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisters for Christian Community: A Prophetic Ecclesial Community "Living a New Pattern of the Consecrated Life"

Bridget Mary Meehan is a Sister for Christian Community
and bishop serving the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
I am a Sister for Christian Community. I would like to share with you the SFCC Profile and a link to an excellent article about my religious community.

Sisters For Christian Community Welcome You!

The Sisters For Christian Community are contemporary women bonded together to manifest their commitment to Christ in a distince response to Religious Life, as a prophetic, collegial, ecclesial community. The Community: was formed in 1970 in response to Vatican II's call to return on every level to a participatory and mutual bond of organization; is an international community with a committed membership in all the continents of the world. 

The Community reflects the journey of women called to be co-foundresses, co-equals and co-responsible for all aspects of this prophetic response to Religious Life which is ecumenical, with a self-supporting membership. 

SFCC is organized into geographical regions, each with a Regional Communication Coordinator (RCC) who is selected from among the regional membership. The Region aims at fostering community through regional meetings and open communication among the membership. The Region sends reports about its activities to the community newsletter. 

An annual assembly is convened at a different location with the purpose of fostering communication and community among the full membership of SFCC. The addresses all community business and proposals that have been raised via the community newsletter during the previous year. All community business is conducted using consensus as the decision making process. 

The mission and the goals of the Sisters For Christian Community are clearly stated in the SFCC Profile. The apostolic goal of SFCC is to promote and witness Christian community; and, the Sisters strive through all means available to forward the realization of Christ's prayer, "that all may be ONE", that they may be community. To achieve this goal they seek to bring together into a Community Christ-commited women afire with the mission of building up the Body of Christ through helping to build dynamic Christian Community wherever they live out there calling. 
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mary Weber ARCWP Attended Rally for Marriage Equality- Let us Pray that Marriage Equality Becomes Law of Land

Mary Weber and Gary Meister at Rally

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in 
Marriage Equality cases from the states of Indiana and Wisconsin today.
ARCWP Priest Mary Weber attended a rally yesterday in Indiana 
supporting Marriage Equality.

ARCWP Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan added her support
with the following statement:
“Let us pray that Marriage Equality becomes the law of the
land in every state and country.”
Many thanks to both of these women, we truly appreciate 
your activism on behalf of this important social justice issue.

Mary Mother of Jesus, Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Women Priests

Women's Equality Day/News Release from the White House

Hi, everyone --
In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams, then serving on the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and reminded him to "not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands."
Seventy-two years later, in 1848, women across the country gathered together for the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. And it wasn't until 72 years after that, in 1920, that women in the United States officially gained the right to vote.
Let's be honest: Change hasn't ever exactly come quickly for women in this country. And 94 years later -- while it's undeniable that women have made leaps and bounds in every facet of American life, from the classroom to the boardroom -- it's not enough.
Today, on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we celebrate Women's Equality Day. And today, the day-to-day operations of too many businesses and institutions still don't reflect true gender equality. We've got the data to prove it.
Throughout the day, I've posted charts that tell the story of the progress we've made -- and the challenges women still face in the workforce.
In 2014, inequality and discrimination live on. Women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts (and that's 51 years after the Equal Pay Act passed), and the gap is even greater for women of color. Our workplace policies, on the whole, force many working parents to choose between their job and their family -- and that's wrong.
This Administration has a long history of shattering our remaining glass ceilings and upholding the rights of women -- but real gender equality is going to take more than the President acting alone.
Right now, there's legislation before Congress that would make it better -- that would make it easier for women to discuss what they're being paid, and to do something about it.
No major achievement for women's rights in this country has come easily. It's always taken a determined group of women and men alike, doing everything they could to organize, protest, and agitate the system they aimed to change.
The year 2014 is no different. So if you're ready for real equality for women, then make sure everyone you know has the facts.
- Betsey

Betsey Stevenson
Council of Economic Advisers


"Acting On a Deep Call to a Different Ministry" by Dawn Cherie Araujo, National Catholic Reporter/ Nuns and Priestly Ministry

 ARCWP Ordination in Louisville, KY.
It's impossible to know exactly how many women entered religious life with an unrequited or latent desire for priestly ministry. But if the current number of Womenpriests who used to be sisters is any indication, it was more than a few. There's no hard data on the issue, but insiders at Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an international organization that has ordained about 103 women and married men since 2002, estimate that more than half of the women they've ordained were once Catholic sisters. 
Photo;Left to right: Rosemarie Smead, Bridget Mary Meehan, Barbara Duff, all were nuns in traditional orders, now are priests with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 
Bridget Mary's Response:
Many former and current nuns have been performing priestly ministry for years in service to God's people.
They are ideal candidates for ordination. As bishop of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and a Sister for Christian Community, I rejoice that we are now ordaining these women of deep faith and generous service to our church.
We offer "catacomb" status to women who cannot go public because of their present ministry. Kudos to Dawn Cherie Aranjo for this article, "Acting on a deep call to a different ministry"!  No wonder the Vatican is worried! The nuns are part of the holy shakeup in every area of ministry today! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,
Spanish Translation:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"The Divine Feminine "by Matthew Fox

"The recovery (rather than discovery) of the Divine Feminine in our time
opens up multiple avenues for inspiring our God-talk.

To name and image God as Gaia, Goddess, Kuan Yin, Shechinah, Ochun, Tara,
the Black Madonna, or Kali
puts the Divine into a whole larger context
with tremendous implications for ourselves and the institutions we give birth to
whether of law, politics, education, economics or religion.

Consider for example the ecological implications
of what anthropologist Marija Gimbutas says of the Goddess:
She is “in all her manifestations a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature.
Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds,
snakes and fish, hills, trees, and flowers.

Hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery
of all there is on Earth.”

The Goddess calls us back to the sacredness of creation all about us.

Consider the virtues that are extolled in this ancient Tibetan prayer to Tara:
“Homage to Tara our mother: great compassion!
Homage to Tara our mother: queen of physicians!
Homage to Tara our mother: conquering disease like medicine!
Homage to Tara our mother: knowing the means of compassion!
Homage to Tara our mother: Spreading like the wind! Homage to Tara our mother: pervading like space!”

Consider this commentary on the Tao who is called
“The Great Mother, Mother of the universe” who “gives birth to all beings,
/ nourishes them, maintains them, /
cares for them, comforts them, protects them, /
takes them back to herself.”

Medieval Christian mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtild of Magdeburg
and Julian of Norwich
also explored the Divine Feminine in their writings.

According to Hildegard, we are “surrounded with the roundness of divine compassion” and we are “encircled by the arms of the mystery of God.”
For Mechtild, “God is not only fatherly.
God is also mother who lifts her beloved child from the ground to her knee”
and the Trinity is “like a mothers cloak
wherein the child finds a home and lays its head on the maternal breast.”
Julian says: “God is delighted to be our Mother.”

Naming of the feminine side of Divinity
gives inspiration and support to women struggling
with their womanhood and sisterhood
while simultaneously challenging men to get more in touch
with their maternal and compassionate capacities.

The Divine Feminine is not at all about softness or passivity
but about a passion with instead of a passion over.

Feminist theologian Dorothee Soelle has argued that
we need mysticism to access this Divine Feminine.
“Mysticism comes closest to overcoming the hierarchical masculine concept of God."

“In feminist theology therefore, the issue is not about exchanging pronouns,
but about another way of thinking of transcendence …
as being bound up in the web of life….
We move from God-above-us to God-within-us
and overcome false transcendence hierarchically conceived.”

The return of the Divine Feminine is a sign of our times.
It assists profoundly in renaming Divinity and in the process, ourselves."

Celtic Holy Delighting: A Mystical Journey in Ireland/ Introduction by Bridget Mary Meehan

Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland
 Holy Delighting is at the heart of the Celtic mystical tradition.
 Edward Farrell, in his spiritual classic, God is Very Fond of You shared a story about an elderly Irish man who described his relationship with Holy One as a loving gaze between friends in which no words are necessary. As he sat in the quiet, the man simply knew that God was very fond of him.

So, as we begin our sharing, let us take a few minutes to  experience God's love embracing us in  Celtic holy delighting.  If you have Celtic instrumental music, you may wish to play is softly in the background as you journey to your spiritual center.
I invite you to close our eyes and take a few deep breaths... Let go of the tensions of the day... Let go of any distractions, simply let them float away as if they were leaves floating down a river... drifting away...
Imagine God  sitting with you, calling you by name and saying, “I love you”...."You are the Beloved"... 
Be aware that God  is very fond of you... 
Give thanks for your Belovedness...
Give thanks for the Belovedness of your family, friends, everyone....
Delight in God who loves you beyond your fears and in your dreams.... 
Open yourself to the God of Surprises as you embark on this pilgrimage....

A Celtic spirit sees God's action as integral to moment-to-moment living. Every aspect of life is enabled by God and enlivened by God. It is the kind of God-awareness that inspired many Irish mothers (including my Mother, Bridie) to begin each day with the phrase: "In the name of God." The awareness of being immersed in the holy in the midst of a circle of love like a cocoon or a womb which God has woven around youThis is core to the Celtic understanding of life.

For the Celtic soul, there are moments and places where the veil between present reality and the next world are so thin as to be nearly transparent. These are holy places or holy moments and are often referred to as thin places. Holy wells, cemeteries, high crosses, ruins of buildings-these are thin places where one cannot help being drawn to awe-filled prayer in the presence of the holy. The Celtic soul sees with a vision that can only be called "faith-eyes."

 A loved one is never far removed, whether merely absent or with God, since the Celtic life of faith lives more in God's ever-present time (kairos) that in our chronological time (chronos).

In 1999, I returned with my Dad to cottage where Mom and Dad were married and where I lived the first 8 years of my life, It was the near the first anniversary of my mother's death. Dad and I were still grieving her loss in our lives. Then, as Dad and I stood outside the cottage, gazing at the river reflecting on the years that we lived here in the small gray cottage bordering the river, we saw two beautiful white swans gliding serenely on the surface of the Erkina River. For Dad and I just standing there was a moment of contact with family roots, a thin place where
we could feel Mom's presence. It was as if Mom was with us, assuring us that she was just a breath away.

Celtic spirituality is imbued with the sense of the family of God, the communion of saints, as a spiritual bond connecting the living and the dead. The Irish wake, the tradition of accompanying the dead person on the journey into heaven reflects this view. When my grandfather Patrick Beale, died, he was waked in his cottage where family and friends gathered for an all-night vigil of storytelling, music, song, tears, and food, and laughter. The next day a large procession of family and neighbors accompanied Pat to the church for the liturgy and to the cemetery for Christian burial. In the Irish tradition, there is a Mass celebrated for the deceased one month after death, and it is common for family and friends to pray for a deceased loved one, for he or she is, after all, only a prayer away from us.

In the theology behind Celtic spirituality, and contrary to Augustine's view of sin as an evil disruption of original innocence, is the gentler insight that saw human beings as essentially God-centered, since the creating light of God dwells within all persons. The divine light had been covered over and stifled by the inroads of sinful choices, but not extinguished. We are, as John's gospel says, begotten by God's light which is the light of humankind. The Celts are more comfortable with a theology of original blessing than Augustine's concept of original sin.

The Celtic soul calls us to contemplate earth's beauty and join in the dance of life in celebrating the magnificence all around us. The Celtic soul calls us to spend time outdoors where mountains stretch our minds, and lakes and rivers refresh our spirits. In fact, the connection between water and spiritual power is a characteristic of Celtic spirituality. Lakes, rivers, springs, and wells are prominent in Celtic myth and associated with certain figures. In ancient times, women even went to holy wells to give birth. In Christian times, the Virgin Mary and several women saints including Brigit, Ita, Gobnait, Monenna, Dymphna, Non, Tegla, and Winefride, are associated with springs, and water from these places is used in rituals and prayers for healing.

Celtic holy wells continue to be healing sanctuaries and reminders of the influence of pagan traditions on aspects of Christian faith. In our present-day evangelizing efforts, a growing awareness exists of the incorporation of indigenous rites, rituals, and customs into Christian practice where these can be adapted. We are realizing that those peoples to whom we are reaching out already have keenly developed spiritual insights regarding the power of the Divine in their lives, for the same Holy Spirit draws and inspires every human being. Fortunately, in evangelizing the Celtic people in the early centuries of Christianity, the missionaries adapted all that was compatible with Christianity. That is why holy wells and their accompanying rituals are still common in Celtic spiritual practice.

 One of these holy sites, Ladywell, near Ballinkill in County Leix, is still a popular pilgrimage site. Every year from before anyone can remember, people from Leix County gather at Ladywell to drink from and bathe in its waters, making a pilgrimage there especially on August 15 when a Mass is offered to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Into Heaven. The Ballyroan Brass Band plays, and stories of cures and answers to prayers are retold.

A Celtic heart is a pilgrim heart. Celtic saints often undertook a journey to what they termed their place of resurrection usually a site far away where they were to perform some good work, and die there, stepping into eternity in exile from their earthly roots and home. Such a pilgrimage to one's place of resurrection was usually a long journey. Every pilgrimage, whether short or long, is an enactment of our life's journey. It represents the yearning heart, longing for an encounter with God. It is more than a trip or tour, because the pilgrim is seeking ardently for a meeting with the Divine without knowing exactly what surprise is in store. The pilgrimage is actually a response to God's invitation to relinquish control, to step out and risk all, without knowing the full consequences.

 In Celtic tradition, the pilgrimage was far more rigorous than anything we might undertake today. The pilgrim set out, often by sea, to a totally unknown destination, believing that God was leading. It was always away from the familiar and the familiar was Ireland, so dear for its hearth and family ties. Ireland's landscape with its forty shades of green, its brilliant rainbows, its starry nights and air-crisp freshness was dear to every pilgrim-voyager who left with an awareness that there would most likely be no return. Such were the journeys of Colmcille to Iona and Brendan the Navigator to Britain, and of the women: Ia to Cornwall, Melangell to Wales, Cannera, Dymphna and others who traveled to far countries. For that matter, the same is true of Gobnait, who traveled without settling anywhere until she would see nine white deer grazing together. That sign would signal the site for the establishment of her monastery, and the place where she was to await her resurrection.  loose grasp of a faith-journey in which the Christian allows God to be the captain of the ship and the guide of the traveler's steps is a mark central to the inner listening of Celtic spirituality. Such drastic pilgrimages of those early saints were called a "white martyrdom."

One author of a book on Celtic pilgrimage sites has observed that for centuries The religious patterns or rounds [used at the holy wells] usually consisted of recitations of the rosary and repeated circling of the well with the pilgrims perhaps on their knees performing acts of penance.. A longing for healing was a major motivating factor in such visits to the wells, with the water being bathed in, drunk, or carried home....Modern scientific analysis has in many cases shown that the mineral content of certain wells does indeed contain medicinal qualities and may assist in the healing of certain sicknesses. Typically the one seeking healing would leave behind at the well, tied to a tree or a bush, a small rag torn from his or her garment, symbolizing the leaving behind of the ailment. (Sister Cintra Pemberton, Soulfaring, Harrisburg, Pa: Morehouse Publishing, 1999). At several holy wells in both Ireland and Wales, we noticed symbols left behind visitors: rags hung on trees at Monenna's well in S. Armagh, coins in Saint Brigit's well and Saint Dymphna's well in Ireland, and flowers at Saint Non's well in Wales.

My exploration of Celtic holy women and their healing wells took two years of research and resulted in a book entitled, Praying with Celtic Holy Women co-authored with a friend and companion Regina Madonna Oliver. I led a Celtic Sacred Journey to Mystical Ireland in 2000. Both book and pilgrimage are a celebration of the feminine spirit, the mystical vision, the creation-inspired heart, the generous hospitality, the sense of joy, the holistic approach to life that is found in the richness of Celtic spirituality and culture. So we welcome everyone, regardless of age, culture, gender, or ethnic origin to join us in an adventure of the spirit in our journey to the soul of the Celtic soul. (in both book and pilgrimage to Ireland in 2014)     
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,,

"Wesolowski Sexual Abuse Case A New Approach or Same Old Same Old?" By Evan Derkacz, August 26, 2014

"Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty...Apparently this fellow regularly had a few drinks by the waterfront in the afternoon and then invited a shoeshine boy or other young man in need of money to accompany him to a secluded spot for sex. Though wealthier than its island neighbor Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a place where these kids make a few dollars for a day’s work. The clergyman, on the other hand, was probably paid in Euros so he could well afford to up the children’s wages geometrically in exchange for a little titillation. It’s hard to imagine anyone defending the man’s behavior if even a fraction of what’s being reported is true. One victim was a boy with epilepsy, for example; Ms. Goodstein cites, on good authority, that “the nuncio gave him medication for his condition in exchange for sexual acts.” Is there no moral cellar here?..."

Monday, August 25, 2014

ARCWP Priest Mary Weber Joins Rally for Marriage Equality in Indiana Today

 I attended a rally for Marriage Equality in Indiana this morning. Eight couples, plaintiffs will be in court tomorrow (7th Circuit , Federal Court, Chicago) to attempt to overturn Indiana’s Stay of the Marriage Equality Law that was upheld in July. It was so wonderful to be a part of this group. 
Bridget Mary's Response:
Let us pray that Marriage Equality becomes the law of the land in every state and country.
Bridget Mary Meehan,

"Acting on a Deep Call to a Different Ministry" by Dawn Cherie Araujo /Former Nuns, Becoming Priests
by Dawn Cherie Araujo 
From left to right, Irene Scaramazza, Sue Guzik, Bridget Mary Meehan, Barbara Billey, Mary Collingwood, Mary Bergan Blanchard at ARCWP Ordination of Deacons and Priests by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Cleveland.
..."It’s impossible to know exactly how many women entered religious life with an unrequited or latent desire for priestly ministry. But if the current number of women priests who used to be nuns is any indication, it was more than a few. There’s no hard data on the issue, but insiders at the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a wing of the international Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement that has been ordaining women and married men since 2002, estimate – based on conversations and observations – that more than half of the women they’ve ordained were once Catholic sisters..."
Bridget Mary's Response:
When I was 18 years old, I entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters. I always felt called to consecrate my life to God.  When I was in  grade school I would attend Mass because I wanted to during Lent. I had a sense of God's closeness. Now I am a Sister for Christian Community and an ordained woman. I never dreamed that women would be ordained as priests in my lifetime. God is full of surprises!  As a bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I ordain women, including some former nuns  who are called to live their vocation to a renewed priestly ministry in inclusive, egalitarian communities where everyone is welcome. 
 As a woman raised in an Irish Catholic family who lived in a convent for 10 years, one could say that  I am a radical.  Some  have called me a heretic. I believe that women priests are prophets leading our church to live Jesus' example of Gospel equality. Women priests are visible reminders that God created women as equals and, therefore, women belong around the altar along with the gathered assembly.  We are no longer settling for  second class citizenship in our church! Amen to the miracle of grace and the holy shakeup that women priests bring! May more former nuns and present day nuns join in this great adventure of walking on water today! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

ARCWP Candidates Meet with Members of Mary Mother of Jesus Community in Sarasota, Fl. to Discuss Sacrament of Baptism

Left to right: Sherry Robertson, Katy Zatsick, Sally Brochu, Janet Blakeley, Don Thompson
On Sat. Aug. 22nd Sally Brochu and Janet Blakeley met with Katy Zatsick, their ARCWP  Program Coordinator, and one of the co-pastors of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community.  Rev. Don Thompson,  UU Church in Bradenton and MMOJ in Sarasota, Sherry Robertson, poet and artist and Bridget Mary Meehan - all members of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community to discuss the Sacrament of Baptism, which is one of the units in the preparation program for the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Our model of priestly ministry is non-clerical and focuses on oneness with the people with whom we serve. Our vision is a discipleship of equals.  www,

Left to right: Bridget Mary Meehan, Katy Zatsick, Sally Brochu, Janet Blakeley, Don Thompason

Both Sally and Janet had prepared papers based on their prayerful reflection and study. We discussed the meaning, theology, and the centrality of Baptism as initiation into the Christian Community, including pastoral considerations in a renewed, inclusive priesthood and the prophetic witness to justice and equality at the heart of our baptismal call in an egalitarian, empowered community.
Art by Sherry Robertson
Baptismal Mysteries
You poured forth the waters of life.
For years it rained,
Filling the empty spaces of my life with tears,
Sadness that could not be contained 
Even in shadowy vessels of life
Hidden in the density of earth.
For years it rained,
Waters of sadness, soft and dark as the night.
Blessed rain to wash away the pain,
Sharp, shared,
Often searing human pain.
I still walk in the rain,
Allowing her soft touch to anoint me
Drawing me upward,
Growing me deeper into Light,
Growing me deeper into Love,
Greening the Soul.
Poem by Sherry Robertson
Left to right; Sherry Robertson, Katy Zatsick, Sally Brochu, Janet Blakeley, Don Thompson