Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Story Behind the Catholic Liturgy for Adele Jones, ARCWP -Attempt to Block Women Priests' Led Mass at Villa De San Antonio in San Antonio and Beautiful Memorial Liturgy on May 9, 2015

On May 9th, 2015  the family, friends, and two women priests (Dotty Shugrue and Bridget Mary Meehan) gathered to celebrate the life of  our beloved Sister Priest Adele Jones, who had died peacefully in her sleep in April. 

Her son Rick played classical music on the piano. Alex, whom Adele called her adopted son, sang Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria.  See liturgy below for specfic music selections and prayers.  As relatives and friends embraced, they shared words of  deep appreciation for one another's presence and they expressed their fondness for dearest Adele. Some had come from as far away as New York and California. One small child, looked up at Adele's photo draped with a priestly stole and said to his Dad, "is this heaven?" Amidst laughter and tears, her sons, Rick, Randy, Alex, and many others shared stories of deep love and gratitude for Adele. 

However, there is a story behind the scenes of the drama that unfolded with a unnamed "Monsignor" in the  Diocese of San Antonio. So what could the Monsignor be upset about?

I bet you guessed it!

 Adele was a Roman Catholic Woman Priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 

When her son, Rick, made arrangements to have her Memorial Mass in the Chapel at the Villa de St. Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, he received a call from an administrator that there had been complaints that Roman Catholic Women Priests were  going to celebrate a Mass in the chapel. These complaints had gone all the way to to the top, to an unnamed Monsignor.

 So the word from on high was that there could not be Mass with Women Priests presiding.  Rick made it clear  in his communication with the Villa's administrator that since the Villa de St. Antonio is no longer owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese (It had been administered by the Franciscans.) It could not discriminate against anyone. 

So, we have a happy ending to this story!

Here we are -two women priests, Dotty Shugrue and myself, Bridget Mary Meehan with our sign "women priests are here" --- affirming our right gently and lovingly to celebrate the Catholic Funeral Rite for our Sister Priest Adele in the beautiful "Catholic" chapel. As evidence, I point out that this non-denominational chapel's  sacristy even has a confessional setup in the back corner! 

When I visited Adele two years ago, she showed me this lovely chapel  and pointed out the stained glass window depicting St. Francis of Assisi. She loved the fact that this Assisted Living facility had a "Catholic" Chapel. The Franciscans had left it, but it was a spiritual sacred place for her. 

At the Memorial Liturgy, the staff at the Vila was most gracious and welcoming to all who came to the funeral liturgy and reception. We were even given access to the sacristy, when we had been informed before that we would not be able to use the sacristy. We always bring our own liturgical supplies, but we appreciated the change of mind and kind gesture. However, we found it interesting that the sign announcing Adele's Memorial Mass  stated twice that Adele Jones' funeral was a "private service". 

Below you will see the Memorial liturgy and lovely photos of her son, Rick seated at the piano, and other family members and friends as well as Dotty Shugrue and myself, Bridget Mary Meehan, who represented our entire Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests who could not be physically, but were present in spirit. May our dear Adele sing and dance forever with the angels and saints! 

Adele's legacy of wisdom and joy will live on forever in the hearts of all who loved her, Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Made for Joy”: Memorial Service for Adele Jones, ARCWP
Opening Song: Prelude:
Notturno, form Lyric Pieces, Opus 54, Edvard Grieg
Derek Jones, piano

Gathering Prayer:
Loving God, we gather to remember Adele who has died. We give thanks for the many blessings that our Sister brought to us. May your loving presence comfort her family, friends, and  our  women priests’ community in their grief for her loss. In this liturgy we comfort one another as we share God’s love and remember our dear Adele who was” made for joy.”

First Reading: Philippians 4:4-9

 King James Version (We used this translation of Adele's favorite scripture because her grandmother used to pray these scripture verses with Adele as a child. It is our practice to use inclusive language in our services. However, our Sister Adele's wishes were of utmost importance to us and love always trumps everything else. Two months ago, Adele planned this inspiring Memorial liturgy with me over the phone, and when Dotty and I visited her in late March we reflected together on the entire service. Adele is an inspiration to us all. Bridget Mary. We will hold her in our hearts forever.)

 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. The Word of God. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 23:  God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
All: God   is   my  shepherd,  I  shall  not  want.

God, you are my shepherd. I want nothing more. You let me lie down in green meadows.
lead me beside restful waters. Your refresh my soul.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
You guide me to lush pastures for the sake of your Name. Even if l'm surrounded by shadows of
death, I fear no danger, for you are with me.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Your rod and your staff: They give me courage. You spread a table for me in the presence of my enemies, and you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Only goodness and Jove will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in your house, God, for days without end.
All: God is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Gospel: John 14:1-3:

Don't let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God;

In God's house there are many dwelling places;

Otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you

And then I will come back to take you, that where I am, there you may be as well.

Shared Homily: Tribute –we light a candle as we remember our dear Adele and share stories of her joy, faith, and wisdom that has touched our lives and blessed our world.
After each sharing, we pray:
All: Loving God, we will carry Adele in our hearts forever.

Music at Offertory: Offertory #1: Panis Angelicus, Cesar Frank
Alex Chavarria, Baritone    Shearon Horton, piano

Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer to you, fruit of the earth and work of human hands. It will become for us the bread of life.
All: Blessed by God for ever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you, fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
All Blessed be God for ever.  
Presider: Pray my brothers and sisters that our offerings may give praise to God.
All: May God accept our gifts for the praise and glory of God and for our good and for the good of our church.
Presider:  God is with you, proclaiming love.
ALL:  and also with you. 
Presider:  Lift up your hearts that Jesus proclaims healing, justice and peace for all people. 
ALL:  We lift them up to God. 
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Presider 1Lifegiving Love, You have called us to be radiant reflections of your holy presence on earth. United with You, we are one with all beings in the community of creation  we join the angels and saints as we say: 

ALL: Holy, Holy Holy, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God. Hosanna in the highest.

Presider 2:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your boundless love in the universe.  As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and excluded in our world today.
Presider 1: We especially thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, the Compassion of God, who came to show us a new vision of community where every person is loved and all relate with mutual respect. We welcome all God’s family into the Circle of Life at the Banquet of Love.
Presider 2: Jesus we remember our beloved Sister, Adele Jones, who is now in your eternal embrace in heaven.  We give thanks for her joyful witness to the Gospel during her life.  May we be blessed by her wisdom and inspired by her kindness as we celebrate our oneness with her in the communion of the saints.
All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts as we pray:
On the night before he died, Jesus took bread into his hands and said:
This is my body, he said. Take and eat. Do this in in memory of me.

At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, raised it in thanksgiving to you, and said:
Take and drink of the covenant of my love poured out for you. Do this in memory of me.
Presider1:  Now then, let us proclaim the mystery of the Christ Presence made new again through you:  
ALL:  In every creature that has ever breathed, Christ has lived; in every living being that has passed on before us, Christ has died;  in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! 
Presider 2:  We honor the holy women and men who have revealed your compassion and justice in our world.  We thank you for people in our lives who show us how to love tenderly and have revealed the heart of our God, especially our dear  Adele
Presider 1: And so, liberating God, we hold our religious ministers and political leaders in the light of Christ Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  We pray for Pope Francis, for our bishops, for the young and the elders, and for all God’s holy people.
Presider 2:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and comforted.  We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, and all the angels and saints who surround us with loving prayer each day.  We remember our dearly beloved Adele and all who have died that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our compassionate God forever.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS: Our Father and Mother
ALL:  Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will do so.
Loving God, You call us to live as Your presence in the world.  We will do so.
Presider1:  This is the Bread of Life.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.  All: We are the Body of Christ, the family of God.
Communion: Music:
Nocturne, Opus 9, #1, Frederic Chopin
Derek Jones, piano
Communion #2 
Ave Maria, Franz Schubert
Alex Chavarria, Baritone    Shearon Horton, piano
Final Blessing:  
Presiders: May God bless us as we go forth.
May the angels lead you into paradise, Adele,
May the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city,
The new and eternal Jerusalem. May choirs of angels welcome you and lead you into the heart of God.
All: Eternal rest, grant unto her O God, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace. Amen
Recessional :When the Saints Go Marching In
“When the Saints Go Marching in”

Chorus: Oh when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
We are traveling in the footsteps
Of those who've gone before
But we'll all be reunited (but if we stand reunited)
On a new and sunlit shore (then a new world is in store)

Oh when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

And when the sun begins to shine
And when the sun begins to shine
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the moon turns red with blood
When the moon turns red with blood
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
On that hallelujah day
On that hallelujah day
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

O when the trumpet sounds the call
O when the trumpet sounds the call
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

Some say this world of trouble
Is the only one we need
But I'm waiting for that morning
When the new world is revealed

When the revelation comes
When the revelation comes
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the rich go out and work
When the rich go out and work
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the air is pure and clean
When the air is pure and clean
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When we all have food to eat
When we all have food to eat
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When our leaders learn to cry
When our leaders learn to cry
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in
(Songwriters: Traditional

When The Saints Go Marching In lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Easter 6B, May 10th by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

All three readings today carry the same message,
and the scholars tell us that the teaching
definitely goes back to Jesus:
Love one another.
By the time the first letter of John was written,
the struggle between the synagogue leaders and the Jews
was no longer an issue.
But another struggle
threatened to split the fledgling Johannine community,
a struggle that Scripture scholar Raymond Brown
describes as “sparked by different views of Jesus.”
The reading from Acts of the Apostles
gives us a picture of another rift,
this time the one that led to the permanent separation
between Christianity and Judaism.
It involved, again according to Raymond Brown,
Peter’s defending the baptism of Cornelius and his household
even though Cornelius is not Jewish.
Peter explains why he did it
by telling about a heavenly vision he experienced,
in which God declared all foods clean.
Author Garry Wills points out that Cornelius,
as the Roman prefect at Caesarea,
would have had a large and very diverse household
including adults, children, slaves,
and military personnel attached to Cornelius’ headquarters.
As a result, Wills sees a second Pentecost
in the final verses of today’s passage from Acts.
In the first Pentecost,
the wonder is that Jews from all over the world
hear the message in their own language.
In this second Pentecost,
the wonder is that people from very different backgrounds
all are inspired by the Spirit to speak
in language that Peter and his companions can understand.
Wills concludes that this miracle happens
in order to make the circumcised Christian Jews
accept the non-circumcised Gentiles as Christians.
That leads to the solution for Peter and the Christian Jews,
echoed in John’s Gospel and the First Letter of John:
to remember that all are equal in God’s eyes,
so we must love one another as God loves us all.
In the passage from John’s Gospel
we are presented with another piece
of Jesus’ Last Supper discourse.
While the language and the scene are created by John,
scholars agree that the message to love one another,
the message that all are equal in God’s eyes,
is undeniably the message of Jesus.
It’s a radical message, and it is clear:
All live in God’s love.
The Jews are a Chosen People, but God shows no partiality—
God chooses everyone else, too.
Love one another:
the teaching comes from the historical Jesus,
rephrased and applied to the current situations
in the language of the scripture writers.
Love one another:
it’s not easy!
Our world today needs to listen to Jesus’ message once more.
When we watch the evening news
and see the violence and hatred
around the world and right here at home,
it seems that people must think
that some lives are more important than others.
The latest escapade of a movie star
‘ gets more air time than 7,000 people
killed by the Nepal earthquake.
A new cellphone ap
crowds out the story of genocide against the Yazidis.
Our local paper spills more page-one ink
when a police officer shoots a dog in the leg
than when a policeman shoots an unarmed black man
in the back.
In the midst of this barrage of skewed news headlines
we hear Jesus' command to love one another—
an order to consider each life as important as every other life.
Love one another in Baltimore.
Love one another in Nepal.
Love one another in Toledo.
All lives matter.
But what can we do?
How can we possibly make a difference
against all the hate and war and violence in the world?
We can show up for one of TUSA’s Nehemiah Actions,
and we can send a check to Catholic Relief Services for Nepal,
and we can join a Dialogue-to-Change anti-racism group,
and we can stand on a street corner
with the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition,
and we can plant a tree,
or we can convince someone else to plant a tree.
All these things are good,
and we do them out of love for God and neighbor.
But it all seems so little,
compared to the great need in our world.
I take heart from that old story
where a man on horseback comes along
and sees a chicken in the middle of the road,
lying on its back with its feet in the air.
He stops, hops off his horse,
and asks the chicken what she’s doing.
The chicken replies,
“I heard that the sky is about to fall, so I’m going to hold it up.”
The horseman laughs at her,
“Silly chicken,
you expect to hold up the sky with your spindly little bird legs!”
The little chicken looks up at him and says,
“One does what one can.”
Each of us can do something.
So we do what we can, just like that chicken,
holding up our little piece of the sky
as we love one another the way Jesus taught us to.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pope Francis Orders a Jubilee Year of Mercy and Pardon/How About Lifting Excommunication Against Women Priests and Our Supporters?

Bridget Mary's Response:  I hope that Pope Francis continues to reach out and lift excommunications against women priests and our supporters as well as all those who have been marginalized for following their consciences in the Catholic Church.  Now that would be a year of mercy we would never forget! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

This article is from the
BY Hannah Roberts
Pope Francis has ordered Roman Catholic priests to bestow a full pardon on women who have committed a mortal sin by having an abortion.
Next year, both women who have had abortions, and doctors that have performed them, will be able to seek absolution, as part of a special Holy Year of Mercy decreed by the pope.
In the Catholic Church, abortion is considered one of the gravest sins and results in automatic excommunication. It can only be forgiven in certain special circumstances, by high-ranking clergy or by making a pilgrimage to Rome during a Holy Year.
Pope Francis is handed a child to bless on his first official trip outside Rome since taking the Papacy
But in a gesture of reconciliation the pope is for the first time to send ordinary priests as ‘missionaries of mercy’ all over the world with special powers to forgive even the most serious sins.
One of the organisers of the Jubilee Year Monsignor Rino Fisichella told a press conference that this included also abortion.
He said the pope meant the gesture ‘as a concrete sign that a priest must be a man of mercy and close to all.’
Those priests who apply to be missionaries must be especially skilled and ‘good confessors’, he said.
The theme of the Holy Year, which begins on December 8th, has been widely interpreted as a signal by Francis that the church should be less judgmental.
In a document known as a ‘bull of indiction’ explaining how he wants Catholic to celebrate the Jubilee year, the pope said that ‘the church must be ‘an oasis of mercy’.
It went on: ‘The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love.’
The Pope pauses to bless a young child in St Peter's Square in the Vatican after a Palm Sunday service 
The Pope pauses to bless a young child in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican after a Palm Sunday service
The charismatic Pope Francis is proving popular, expressing a more progressive view on many Catholic beliefs that are seen as outdated and out of touch, such as those on contraception and abortion
The charismatic Pope Francis is proving popular, expressing a more progressive view on many Catholic beliefs that are seen as outdated and out of touch, such as those on contraception and abortion
The charismatic Pope Francis is proving popular, expressing a more progressive view on many Catholic beliefs that are seen as outdated and out of touch, such as those on contraception and abortion
The United Nations has previously condemned the Vatican for excommunicating the mother and doctor of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion in Brazil in 2009 after she was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins.
But the move is not likely to be approved universally. Italian cardinal Velasio De Paolis said it could cause ‘confusion’ among the faithful. He said: ‘Regardless of this decision by the pope, the church will continue to consider abortion a sin.
‘I hope it does not cause confusion.’
He told La Nazione: ‘He is the pope of mercy and wants to show the benevolence of the church towards sinners. This does not cancel the sin of abortion.’

"We Are All Mothers" by Hildy Gerard ARCWP

We are All Mothers

To borrow from a headline in a recent NY Times editorial about women
religious, 'We are All Nuns', We are All Mothers, too. It is Mothers Day, a
day specially designated to honor our mothers by buying them jewelry,
flowers and even smart phones, according to the mainstream media.

Mothers are remarkable women. Most in our culture hold full time jobs, while
simultaneously serving as 'house managers," supervising childcare, cooking,
cleaning, scheduling, chauffeuring, elder care, etc. In addition to these
task-oriented jobs, women in families typically hold the less-tangible,
heart-centered role - exhibiting warmth, intuition, compassion and
connection to the extended family, the neighborhood, the church and the
wider community. Now imagine carrying all of this without the loving support
of a spouse or partner... and doing it anyway.

So if this is the case, why are women often portrayed as soft, passive or
weak? Jesus tells us in today's reading from John to "remain in my love."
Our mothers take these words to heart and live them. Remaining in love
requires tremendous strength. I recently heard a song by Jan Novotka,
containing the words "I am strong, I am tall..." and considered mothers
everywhere who carry their children, both inside and outside the womb, with
love and strength.

As we honor our biological mothers, let us recall all women who are
childless mothers - those women who nurture and demonstrate love to
motherless children all over the globe. Religious women, of unique strength
and intellect, who serve people on the margins; they are our mothers, too.
Women in our own communities foster and guide children and adults in
countless ways; they are our mothers, too.

This love Jesus speaks of is not soft, nor is it romantic. It is an energy
that faces the truth head on, that demonstrates not passive acceptance, but
rather the willingness to navigate the reality of the stumbling mess that
raising children entails. Recall your own mother, aunt, grandmother,
spiritual mother...honor them today. They are whole human beings, not one-
dimensional creatures. They bring us into the world, without a roadmap to
motherhood, loving us, then sending us on, while remaining in love. Let us
honor our mothers and all mothers for who they truly are.

Edwina Gateley, author, poet, artist, mom, and spiritual mother to
thousands, honored her own mother, who died at 100 years of age, with these

I miss you, Mum,
beautiful soul.
I need no saints,
nor martyrs and virgins
to tell me of God -
only you, Mum,
with your teapot and your love
standing in the doorway,
shining with delight:
"Is it you, Edwina?
Oh, is it you?"

Hildy Gerard, ARCWP