Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pope Francis Speaks Out for Peace and Justice ARCWP Promotes Gender Equality in a Church of Inclusion

“Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations,” Pope Francis wrote to the Vienna Humanitarian Conference in December. “To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price.”
According to Italian news agency ANSA, the message spoke of the unequal distribution of goods as a source of conflict in the Americas and the shortcomings of trickle-down economics.

Jubilee Year of Mercy
In the document, Pope Francis says the Holy Year is “dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy” which God “constantly extends to all of us.”He explains the year will begin on December 8 to commemorate both the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, which called the Church to proclaim the Gospel to the world in new ways, bringing God’s mercy to everyone..“The mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality through which he reveals his love as that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child,” the Pope writes.

Bridget Mary's Response:
Pope Francis challenges global inequality and promotes an economy of inclusion and global peace, but until women are treated as equals in the church and in society, we will not have a just and equal world.  Two-thirds of the world's poor are women and their dependent children.  Church teaching banning artificial birth control contributes to poverty and environmental degradation. Like Pope Francis who promotes an economy of inclusion, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests promotes gender equality in a church of inclusion.
 Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,
Martha Aida Soto, ARCWP  on right with 

Dra. Aida Abella at peace march in Colombia, South America


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sun City Celebrates Easter Liturgy with Co-Presiders Theresa and Roman Rodriquez/ Liturgy and Photos

Welcome:  Katy Zatsick, ARCWP
All:  Opening Prayer
God the Father and Mother of mercies, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from the infinite love of God.  May God give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth in the name of God our Creator, and Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom.  Amen.
First Reading from the prophet Micah:
“My people, you struggle blindly to know what God wants, and you act as if you remember nothing from your history, as if you know nothing.  From the beginning of time, there has been one message from God.  What God wants if this, ONLY this:  That we live justly, that we love tenderly, that we walk with integrity in God’s presence!”
This is the inspired word of the prophet.
A reading from the Gospel according to John       26:1-18   All will take turns reading each paragraph.

            On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus love, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Jesus!” 
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.  They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloth there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.  For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. 
Meanwhile, Mary stood weeping beside the tomb.  Even as she wept, she stooped to peer inside, and there she saw two angels in dazzling robes.  One was seated at the head and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus’ body had lain.
They asked her, “Why are you weeping?”  She answered them, “because they have taken away my Rabbi.  And I don’t know where they have put the body.”  No sooner had she said this than she turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.  He asked her.  “Why are you weeping” For whom are you looking?”
She supposed it was the gardener, so she said, “Please, if you’re the one who carried Jesus away, tell me where you’ve laid the body and I will take it away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned to him and said, “Rabbon”—which means “Teacher”
Jesus then said.  “Don’t hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to Abba God.  Rather, go to the sisters and brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Abba and your Abba, my god and your God!”
Mary of Magdala went to the disciples.  “ I have seen the teacher!”  she announced.  Then she reported what Jesus had said to her.
This is the inspired word of John, disciple of Jesus.
A moment of silence.
A quote from Clarence Jordan (1912-1969)
“The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb, but the full hearts of his transformed disciples.  The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave, but a spirit-filled fellowship.  Not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church”
How are we partnering with God today in transforming despair into hope, apathy into compassion, hate into love, and death into new life?”
Interactive homily

Renewal of Baptismal Promises  (adapted from Jay Murnane)
Presider:  Let us all renew the promises we made in Baptism
I promise to see what is good for my sisters and brothers everywhere, rejecting injustice and inequality, and living with the freedom and responsibility of the family of God
I promise to work for the realization of God’s vision of Harmony and right relations among people, rejecting the idols of money, property, race, gender and position.
I promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family, rejecting prejudice in every form, and all barriers to unity.
I promise to cherish the universe and this previous planet, working creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth, and water.
I believe in God, the Creator, in Jesus, the teacher of justice and love, who lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness.
I believe in the Spirit, the breath of God, who continues the work of birthing and blessing, of forgiveness and reconciliation, of challenge and hope, so that together we all can continue the work of creation.
Presider:  God has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins.  May God also keep us faithful to Jesus the Christ forever and ever. Amen.
 Presider: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers and we bring our many needs and concerns to the table. We pray for all who have asked for our prayers and for all who need our prayers.  Amen.  Response:  Loving God, hear our prayer.
Presider: Healing God, we know that you hear our prayers.  May we celebrate our planetary oneness in our works for justice, equality and peace.  We ask this through the risen Jesus, our brother, and the Spirit, our sanctifier.  Amen.
Eucharistic Prayer.     Please gather around the table. All are invited to our community meal.   
Presider: Holy One, You stirred the waters of creation, and you dwell in us.  ALL: And in every living being.           
Presider: Lift up your hearts.  
ALL: We lift them up to our Creator in whom all are one. 
Presider: Let us give thanks for the Breath of life in all forms throughout the Universe. 
All:  It is right to give glory to God, present everywhere and in everything, with thanks and praise.
All:  Holy One, we bring you these gifts that they may become the Christ Presence.  Fill us with reverence for all creatures, great and small.       
All: (extend arms): On the night before Jesus died, while at supper with his friends he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bead and gave it to them saying:  Take this all of you, and eat.  Do this in memory of me. (Pause)
In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine.  He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said: Take this all of you and drink.  Do this in memory of me.
All:  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body in communion with all creation.
Prayer of Jesus (“Our Father and Mother,) sung
Presider:  Risen Christ, you said to our disciples.  “My peace I leave you, my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all those gathered here.
Group Sign of Peace:  Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out to you and me. flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free….Love….Alleluia, Alleluia.

Presider:  This is Jesus who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world.  All are invited to partake of this banquet of love.  All:  We are the Body of Christ.
Passing the bread: “We are the Body of Christ.”  Passing the wine:  “We are the blood of Christ.”
Closing hymn: (to be determined)
Closing Community Blessing:  All (with arms extended):  The blessing of God is upon us as we go in the peace of Christ to live justice!  Thanks be to God.
Presiders:  Let us go forth in peace and share the good news:  The Risen Jesus is with us today and for all time. ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so!

"You Shine Forth Like The Dawn Jean," by Mary Sue Barnett, ARCWP, Poem in honor of Courageus MissionaryJean Donovan, RIP

Jean Donovan, missionary and martyr, worked with the poor in El Salvador. Jean and 3 nuns  Ita Ford, Maura Clark, and Dorothy Kazel were raped and murdered by National Guardsmen.  

"You Shine Forth Like The Dawn, Jean "

In those two hours in the chapel

was it the Good Shepherd you felt, Jean?

Divine Tenderness holding, calming your trembling self?

Was it the dimness of the chapel you welcomed, Jean? 

while a wind from God swept over the face of your soul? 
Was it perfect Love that you craved, Jean?
a Love finer than gold,
sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb?

Was it the cries of the orphans in the strange, undemanding silence, 
Jean? that moved your heart into its deep, unprecedented silence?
Was it your solidarity with Dorothy, Ita and Maura, Jean?
that pressed you like Ruth to Naomi on the road to Bethlehem?

Did you see in the stained glass, Jean? a hint of the highest heavens?
Did you see in the candlelight, Jean?
yourself, alone with Wisdom, compassing the vault of heaven? 
Did you feel in the stillness, Jean? 
the comfort of Wisdom traversing the abyss of violence?

Sitting, in your own skin, Jean?
were you becoming entwined with the one who claims, “I am the true vine?”
Hearing the heartbeat in your chest, Jean?
were you emboldened by Romero’s Christic plea, “I beseech you, I beg you, I command you, Stop the Repression?”

What held you, Jean?

In those two hours in the chapel,

Knowing that in El Salvador Lazarus would not walk out of the grave
 What held you, Jean?
In those two hours in the chapel
Knowing that in El Salvador the hemorrhaging woman would keep bleeding 
What held you, Jean?

In those two hours in the chapel
Knowing that in El Salvador you yourself would not walk out of the grave 
What held you?

Who held you?

What light did you see?

What door did you walk through?

Did Sophia pass into your holy soul, Jean? and make you prophet of the Holy?

When you walked out of the chapel, Jean You were a different woman

on earth and in heaven.

Holy are you

In Glory are we. Together.

I, Holy Wisdom, abide, Jean,

in the territory of your heart~~a holy tent.

I, Holy Wisdom, dwell, Jean,

in the chalice of your soul~~a resting place.

We grow tall like a cedar, Jean and dwell in the chapel eternal

where little ones possess the honeycomb.

With babes on our lap, you shine forth like the dawn , 
Jean for all prophets not yet born.

Hungry orphans no more.

Mary Sue Barnett, Spring 2011

Jean Donovan
was a lay missionary with the Maryknoll Sisters, She worked with poor communities in El Salvador during the bloody civil war. Her life was in grave danger. She came back to the States and while here agonized over whether to go back. Friends observed that after two hours in a chapel she was at peace with returning to El Salvador

Two weeks before she was murdered, she wrote to a friend in Connecticut: "Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could except for the children, the poor bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness. Not mine, dear friend, not mine."

Tell Des Moines Bishop: Stop "don't ask, don't tell" discrimination against school employees.

Tyler McCubbin was already a well-liked track coach and substitute teacher at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, so he was excited to be offered a full-time teaching job. But then school administrators found out that he's gay, and abruptly revoked the job offer.
The bishop of Des Moines, Richard Pates, has said that McCubbin wasn't denied the job because he's gay, but because he's been honest and open about it -- even though the Catechism of the Catholic Church says of LGBT people that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
Yesterday, hundreds of students walked out of class in protest, making national headlines. Let's show that Christians across American support Tyler McCubbin and his students -- and are appalled that the church would encourage people to conceal their sexual orientation.
For more information:

Pope Francis: Links to Articles on Jubilee Holy Year and Gay Priests

Cardinal in Rome Tells Religious Not To Abandon Vatican by Joshua McElwee 11/NCR

The cardinal who leads the Vatican's congregation for religious life told members of religious orders globally that they must live their vocations "inserted" into the world, not closing themselves off to new things but open to changes of modern life.
Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, speaking to a first-of-its-kind congress of many of the world's religious formation directors, also warned the religious against trying to abandon the changes in the church brought about by the Second Vatican Council.
"We feel today new geographical and cultural contexts that manifest in intense ways," Braz de Aviz said Wednesday to some 1,200 formation directors at the Rome conference.
"The contexts have changed," he said. "We are disoriented. In our identity, we are a bit insecure. We need a new deepening, a new pausing, a new listening."
Continuing, the cardinal told the formation directors: "Do not distance yourself from the great lines of the Second Vatican Council."

Roman Catholic Woman Priest Marta Aida Soto, ARCWP Marches for Peace in Colombia Today/ARCWP Offers Prayerful Solidarity

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) Priest Aida Soto joined thousands of Colombians in historic March for Peace today. 

Priest Marta Aida Soto  on left walks in Peace March in Colombia
La Rvda Aida entra al Centro de la  Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación con la Dra. Piedad Córdoba para participar en la Marcha por la Paz. 

La Rvda Aida Soto con la Dra.AidaAbella, en la Marcha por la Paz. 

Colombians are marching for peace today across the country, beginning at 10am, local time. Peace advocates are set to rally across Colombia on Thursday, amid ongoing peace talks between the government and FARC guerrillas. Initially called by Bogota's mayor Gustavo Petro, the nationwide rallies have received the backing of peace activists across the country. Thursday's rallies are intended as an expression of solidarity with the more than 6 million Colombians affected by the country's civil war. Organizers also say they hope to pressure the Colombian government and FARC to agree to a ceasefire. The FARC have repeatedly announced unilateral ceasefires, though government forces have been hesitant to reciprocate until a final peace deal is nutted out. Both sides have been engaged in Cuban brokered peace talks since late 2012. Successive Colombian governments have been at war with the FARC for over five decades, in what is today South America's longest armed conflict. The civil war has claimed more than 220,000 lives; most casualties have been civilians.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article.


Bridget Mary's Response:
Sisters and brothers, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, join you  in prayerful  solidarity on your journey to justice and peace in Colombia. May each step you take bring you closer together as God's blessed family, walking and working ogether, united in the Spirit! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pope Calls For Holy Year of Mercy, "No one can be excluded from God's mercy":the pope said. Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Ask: Will Pope Francis lift All Excommunications?

ARCWP  Ordination of Women Priests and Deacons in Cleveland
Pope Francis call in March for a holy year of mercy.
 On March 13, 2015, Pope Francis called for a holy year of mercy to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy."No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said
Bridget Mary's Response:
I hope Pope Francis means what he says! This would be a profound blessing to all who follow their consciences and who have been excommunicated like women priests and our supporters! 
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is calling for Pope Francis to lift all excommunications in the spirit of the holy year for a more compassionate church, and to honor the primacy of conscience for all those who have been condemned and denied sacraments
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

"Kentucky Diocese Excommunicates Female Priest" Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP, Women Priests' Movement Calls Pope Francis to Lift All Excommunications in Honor of Holy Year
Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, at the Vatican for Pope Francis' Election
ARCWP Calls Pope Francis to Lift All Excommunications in Honor of Holy Year of Mercy

Kentucky diocese excommunicates female priest from Milwaukee

A Milwaukee native, ordained in 2008 through 

"The diocese issued the decree of excommunication against the Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska of Lexington on March 31, saying she failed to amend or repent her offense after two earlier warnings. Excommunication bars a Catholic from taking part in the church's sacraments.
Efforts to reach the diocese were not successful on Tuesday.
Sevre-Duszynska said the diocese's action is inconsistent with Pope Francis call in March for a holy year of mercy.( On March 13, 2015, Pope Francis called for a holy year of mercy to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy."No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said)
"The ARCWP is calling for Pope Francis to lift all excommunications in the spirit of the holy year for a more compassionate church, and to honor the primacy of conscience for all those who have been condemned and denied sacraments," she said.
Women Priests argue that they are legitimately ordained because a European bishop in good standing within the church ordained their first bishop. The organization has not identified him for fear that he could be sanctioned.
Sevre-Duszynska, 65, grew up in Milwaukee, attending Saints Cyril and Methodius Church and School on the south side. She graduated from Pulaski High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
She still has family and friends in southeastern Wisconsin. Among them was the late Rev. William Brennan, the then-92-year-old Jesuit and peace activist who was sanctioned in 2012 for celebrating Mass with her.Brennan died last year."

About Annysa Johnson
Annysa Johnson is an award-winning reporter covering faith and spirituality in southeastern Wisconsin.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"God Did Not Kill Jesus on the Cross for Our Sins" by Mark Sandlin

"Jesus died on a cross to show us what love looks like in action.Sin is any action which separates us from God. The actions that separate us from God are unloving actions. Jesus came to teach us that the Law was designed to help us avoid those kinds of unloving actions. He also came to show us what the fullness of love looks like in action.
... It looks like a man, hanging from a tree, because the threat of death from the most powerful government on the face of the planet was not enough to subdue his love for those who were being taken advantage of. Did Jesus die to save us from our sins? ... Jesus’ death showed us how far love will go, what love looks like when it is played out to its fullest. And it showed us that, if we truly choose to follow, it can save us from our sins."

Bridget Mary's Response:
A powerful meditation on Jesus who lived the fullness of God's love for all especially the disinfranchised, rejected, the least and the last. When we look at the cross, we see the fullness of love in action. So today, when we look at our lives do we see the fullness of love in action?

Patty Zorn, ARCWP, Officiates at Wedding of Troy and Courtney in Spring Hill, Florida on April 4, 2015

Rev. Patty Zorn officiates at wedding of Son Troy and Courtney

"Sing Another Song" by Kathy Kelly, Peace Activist in Federal Prison in Kentucky for Participation in Anti-Drone Protest

Also published in the Eurasia Review, April 2, 2015

Credit for the attached suggested photo is to ChrisDowner who has creative-commons-licensed it for public use, as documented here. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative is in federal prison for participation in an anti-drone protest. She can receive mail at: KATHY KELLY 04971-045; FMCLEXINGTON; FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER; SATELLITE CAMP; P.O. BOX 14525;LEXINGTON, KY 40512.

New Book: What Shall I Call You, Father Aunt Mary?", A Must Read by Mary Bergan Blanchard, ARCWP

What Shall I Call You, Father Aunt Mary?
by Mary Bergan Blanchard
In her memoir eu', Blanchard wrote, "The greatest sin of the Catholic Church is its failure to treat women as equals." In 2014, at age 82, contrary to 'males-only' church law, Blanchard was ordained a Catholic woman priest. She states, "Rebelling for its own sake is silly, a waste of time, but gender inequality with its catastrophic results must go. We women priests have taken a major step by leading the church, not leaving it."
Bridget Mary's Response:
 Have you ever wondered what it is really like to be a woman priest? What are the questions that people really ask? Mary Blanchard is witty and wise.  I just ordered Mary Blanchard's new book and am looking forward to reading it. A great story-teller, Mary connects with her readers in a down to earth way. I am sure this book will be both inspirational and a fun read! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Connect with us

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington Excommunicates Woman Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)

Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington Excommunicates Woman Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) 
Why now almost seven years after ordination? 
Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP witnessesd for women priests during the conclave at which Pope Francis was elected. 

From: ARCWP in response to the Diocese of Lexington’s notification of the sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith excommunication of Janice Sevre-Duszynska,, 



Today, Janice received a certified letter containing a formal “Decree of Excommunication” dated March 31, 2015 from the Diocese of Lexington -- with the approval of the Vatican. Janice was ordained a woman priest on August 9, 2008 in Lexington. She has not repented her ordination. 

The Diocese in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly “The Inquisition,” said that Janice “following upon two warnings by then-Ordinary of Lexington, Most Reverence Ronald W. Gainer issued on June 13, 2006 and August 7, 2008 did not, within the extended period of time, give any indication of amendment or repentance for the most serious offense that she committed. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith authorized this Diocesan Administrator (The Very Reverend Robert H. Nieberding of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, USA), in keeping with these warnings, to declare the excommunication of Janice Sevre-Duszynska, with all the effects established in accord with the 'General Decree regarding the delict of attempted sacred ordination of a woman,' from May 30, 2008 of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith."

It is puzzling that the Lexington Diocese and the CDF issued this decree almost seven years after Janice's priestly ordination on Aug. 9, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky. Is it a response to the growing solidarity of male priests with our movement? Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Fr. Jerry Zawada and Fr. Bill Brennan all co-presided at Eucharist with Priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska. Or, is the Diocese of Lexington tidying things up as Bishop Ronald Gainer has left and a new bishop has been named?

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Bishop, Bridget Mary Meehan, said: "Since Pope Benedict canonized two formerly excommunicated nuns, Mother Theodore Guerin and Mother Mary Mac Killop, one could conclude that he has made excommunication the new fast track to canonization. The Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving!”

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests rejects this medieval penalty of excommunication. We practice primacy of conscience. We are disobeying an unjust, man-made canon law that discriminates against women in our church. We celebrate sacraments in inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome and all are equal. Our women priest movement is international and prophetic. We offer the church the gift of a renewed priestly ministry in which women follow God's call to serve at the altar as spiritual equals, created in God's image.

During Easter, we celebrate a God who rises up in Christ to triumph over evil and death, a God who continues to work through us to roll back the stones of oppression, hatred, injustice and discrimination.

We challenge centuries-old patriarchal domination and fear as we walk in the footsteps of Mary of Magdala, apostle to the apostles, who was first to encounter the Risen Christ and proclaim the good news.

It is time for the Catholic Church to follow the example of Jesus and affirm women as apostles and equals! Women priests are answering the call and our movement is growing since it began in 2002 with the ordination of seven women on the Danube. There are now over 210 in our international Roman Catholic Women Priests movement in 10 countries, including Canada and Latin America. In the U.S. approximately 180 women are living and serving in over 60 inclusive Catholic communities and welcoming all to receive sacraments.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, more than 70% of Catholics in the U.S. support women priests. There is no shortage of vocations as women are now saying "Yes" to this call and are being ordained

Pope Francis' Homily for the Easter Vigil, Women Priests in Inclusive Communities Are Living the Mystery Today- Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Bridget Mary's Response to Pope Francis' Easter Vigil Homily:

May the hierarchy of the Catholic Church let go of their fear, roll away the stone of centuries old sexism. May they affirm women disciples as models of faith and spiritual equals. Today women priests are following in the footsteps of St. Mary of Magdala. We are living Jesus' vision of Gospel equality- preaching the Gospel and presiding at the altar! May our beloved brother,  Francis, and our entire church  embrace the full equality of women and experience the fullness of the Mystery of Easter! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Easter Vigil with Women Priests , Married Priests in a Community of Equals in Sarasota, Florida. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Al Gagon co-presided 

Pope Francis: Homily

"Tonight is a night of vigil. The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf Ps 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom.

The Lord is keeping watch and, by the power of his love, he is bringing his people through the Red Sea.
He is also bringing Jesus through the abyss of death and the netherworld.
This was a night of vigil for the disciples of Jesus, a night of sadness and fear. The men remained locked in the Upper Room. Yet, the women went to the tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint Jesus’s body. Their hearts were overwhelmed and they were asking themselves: “How will we enter? Who will roll back the stone of the tomb?…”
But here was the first sign of the great event: the large stone was already rolled back and the tomb was open!
“Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe…” (Mk 16:5). The women were the first to see this great sign, the empty tomb; and they were the first to enter…
“Entering the tomb.” It is good for us, on this Vigil night, to reflect on the experience of the women, which also speaks to us. For that is why we are here: to enter, to enter into the Mystery which God has accomplished with his vigil of love.
We cannot live Easter without entering into the mystery. It is not something intellectual, something we only know or read about… It is more, much more!
“To enter into the mystery” means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us (cf 1 Kgs 19:12).
To enter into the mystery demands that we not be afraid of reality: that we not be locked into ourselves, that we not flee from what we fail to understand, that we not close our eyes to problems or deny them, that we not dismiss our questions.
To enter into the mystery means going beyond our own comfort zone, beyond the laziness and indifference which hold us back, and going out in search of truth, beauty and love. It is seeking a deeper meaning, an answer, and not an easy one, to the questions which challenge our faith, our fidelity and our very existence.
To enter into the mystery, we need humility, the lowliness to abase ourselves, to come down from the pedestal of our “I” which is so proud, of our presumption; the humility not to take ourselves so seriously, recognizing who we really are: creatures with strengths and weaknesses, sinners in need of forgiveness.
To enter into the mystery we need the lowliness that is powerlessness, the renunciation of our idols… in a word, we need to adore. Without adoration, we cannot enter into the mystery.
The women who were Jesus’s disciples teach us all of this. They kept watch that night, together with Mary. And she, the Virgin Mother, helped them not to lose faith and hope. As a result, they did not remain prisoners of fear and sadness, but at the first light of dawn they went out carrying their ointments, their hearts anointed with love. They went forth and found the tomb open. And they went in.
They had kept watch, they went forth and they entered into the Mystery. May we learn from them to keep watch with God and with Mary our Mother, so that we too may enter into the Mystery which leads from death to life."

Read more:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sun City, Holy Thursday Liturgy/Foot Washing

 Elizabeth, Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, Jim and Joan, Paddy Cooney, Bonnie, Marilyn Vaugn, LarryVaugn, Carol (green) Suzanne Lynch (pink)

Paddy Cooney washes feet of MMOJ Sun City Community on Holy Thursday at his home duringEucharistic liturgy

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