Saturday, June 6, 2015

Women Priests Leading Church: Moving from a Clerical Model to a People Empowered, Inclusive Community of Faith

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida
Liturgy at 4 PM on Sat

As we reflect on our movement as a bridge between the church as it has evolved today ,and the discipleship of equals community of faith model in early church. We are making a way by ordaining women as an issue of justice and then offering a renewed model, similar to the early house church model!
Today the institutional church has an ordained priesthood that is both clerical and hierarchical , women priests are renewing the church by birthing a community of equals, inclusive, empowered model. God is not in a box controlled by anyone. The Spirit is free and is moving within everyone!
We are helping the church move from a clerical model of priesthood to a people powered community of faith.
In summary:
The international  Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement is a renewal, justice movement within the Catholic Church.
We are serving inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments.
Our women priests' initiative is a non-clerical movement that offers the church an egalitarian, partnership with the community of the baptized. 
We have come full circle back to where we started in the days of early Christianity.

(Our approach reflects the early church’s practice of the community as the celebrator of the meal in memory of Jesus, Eucharist. In our inclusive liturgies, for example, the people pray the Epiclesis and Eucharistc Prayer, dialogue homilies are often used.  We have come full circle.
From What Jesus Meant by  scholar Gary Wills:
"Jesus disapproved of the sacrificial system and confronted the religious leaders, the priests . In the Gospels the priests are the most active plotters to kill Jesus. There were no priests among Jesus’ followers."
 Jesus did not ordain anyone.
(The Roman  Catholic Church claims that the apostles became priests at Last Supper and that Peter was the first Pope! There is no scripture basis for this teaching.)
The early church functioned without priests. In addition, Gary Wills writes,
“...nowhere  is it indicated that there was an official presider at the Christian meal (agape)much less that consecrating the bread and wine was a task delegated to persons of a certain rank. When the term priesthood finally occurs in the Pseudo Petrine letters it refers to the whole Christian community. (1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9 Peter refers to himself as a  “fellow elder” among the other elders. ) (What Jesus Meant, pp 69-70

Good Shepherd Ministries: Serving the Homeless in Ft. Myers, Fl. , Pastors Judy Lee, RCWP and Judy Beaumont, RCWP

Good Shepherd has helped more than 100 persons end their homelessness.

Is this actually the Catholic Church in 2015?

Cardinal Raymond Burke sports t
 he cappa magna, an elaborate red ceremonial robe not widely used in decades, at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena in New York on June 1. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
Cardinal Raymond Burke sports the cappa magna, an elaborate red ceremonial robe not widely used in decades, at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena in New York on June 1. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
Cardinal Raymond Burke is known for his use of elaborate vestments and defense of traditional Catholic orthodoxy. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
Cardinal Raymond Burke is known for his use of elaborate vestments and defense of traditional Catholic orthodoxy. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
Participants at the Sacra Liturgia  USA conference advocate for the use of traditional vestments in the liturgy. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
Participants at the Sacra Liturgia USA conference advocate for the use of traditional vestments in the liturgy. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the main celebrant at the Pontifical Mass, wore a Tridentine-era chasuble at St. Catherine Church in New York on June 3. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia)
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the main celebrant at the Pontifical Mass, wore a Tridentine-era chasuble at St. Catherine Church in New York on June 3. (Courtesy of Stuart Chessman/Sacra Liturgia) 

"Become artisans of peace in your daily lives, Pope Says

Reflecting on the fact that “Peace is God’s dream, his plan for humanity, for history, for all creation, the Pope said there are people who wish to incite and foment this atmospherem of war deliberately: “those who want conflict between different cultures and societies, and those who speculate on wars for the purpose of selling arms”.
But war – he said “means children, women and the elderly in refugee camps; it means forced displacement of peoples; it means destroyed houses, streets and factories; it means, above all, countless shattered lives”.

Join Fr. Roy and Women's Organizations in El Salvador in Calling for Women to Be Freed
Teo is a young woman in El Salvador. She has one son and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her second baby when she started feeling strong pains. She was home alone, so she called the police to take her to the hospital. However, it took hours for the police to arrive and while she was waiting she slipped and fell, passing out unconscious. When she came to, she was in jail. She was crushed to learn she had lost the baby. Teo has now been in jail for 8 years with 22 more years to go. Her son is growing up without her. Why? She was sentenced to 30 years in prison on homicide charges.
Alba was 5 months pregnant with her third child when she received news that her mother had died. She went into shock and this caused her to go into premature labor and lose the baby. When she sought help, she was taken to jail and has been there since, for 5 years with many, many more to go. Alba is visibly traumatized at not being able to raise her two daughters. She is intimidated by the jail guards who tell her not to share what happened to her. Her homicide sentence has so many irregularities that it even refers to a male involved in a shooting, not a woman who lost a baby, as if it had been copy and pasted from another homicide case.

Click here to sign the petition calling for freedom for Teo, Alba, and other women in the same situation.

Father Roy, myself, and several other activists met Teo, Alba, and several other imprisoned women on a recent SOAW delegation to El Salvador. There are currently 15 women -- many mothers -- serving 30-40 year sentences for having miscarriages or stillbirths. Additional women are also imprisoned while their trials are ongoing. What all of these women have in common is intense poverty and little to no access to medical care while pregnant, combined with no advocate in the legal system when they were suddenly accused of homicide while in a hospital bed. Several sought help when they started to bleed and were taken straight from the hospital to jail. Many were live-in maids, with one woman even prohibited by her employer from getting medical care until she was bleeding profusely. Most do not even have the money for their families to pay the bus fare to come visit them in jail.

Read more of the women's stories here.

Thanks to the dedication of grassroots activists and organizations who have been working for years to demand freedom for the women, some of those imprisoned have been released. Lawyers have reviewed their cases and found a presumption of guilt, lack of due process, and numerous other irregularities and problems. In February, Guadalupe was freed after 7 years in jail when the Supreme Court ruled there was not evidence against her and the Legislative Assembly approved a pardon. Then in April, lawyers won an appeal in Carmelina's case, after prosecutors tried to say she must be guilty because she didn't receive medical care while pregnant. But others continue to be locked up despite lack of due process, lack of evidence, and other irregularities. For the 15 women who have already been sentenced, a ruling of approval by El Salvador's conservative Supreme Court, a majority vote in the Legislative Assembly, and finally approval by the President are all needed for a pardon. Organizations here in El Salvador and internationally continue the struggle to win freedom for the women. 

Father Roy was so moved by this injustice, of impovershed women forced to spend much of their lives locked up because of a medical emergency that he and three others carried out civil disobedience this April to bring attention to the unjust incarceration of these women. In May, a judge ordered Roy, Ed, John, and Paki to stand trial starting July 7, where they face maximum of 6 months in jail for their action in solidarity with the women. This coming August, Father Roy and the the other three co-defendants will travel to El Salvador to meet with the women and their lawyers as a gesture of solidarity.

Join Father Roy and women's organizations in El Salvador in calling for the women to be freed.

In El Salvador, the struggle to free the women continues.  Thank you for signing the petition, which we will present to the appropriate authorities and also share with the women and their lawyers. 

Salvadoran women and mothers are also being imprisoned in the United States in for-profit immigrant detention center like Karnes and Dilley in Texas.  Women from El Salvador such as 25-year old Karen Morales Sanchez and her 8-year old daughter Yoana have been jailed for 11 months in the Karnes center.  Karen and Yoana were fleeing violence in El Salvador, only to find themselves locked up at a GEO Corporation Detention center that has been heavily criticized for its treatment of women and young children.  Women at Karnes have twice gone on hunger strike to demand freedom for themselves and their children from indefinite detention.  Many of these women and children are fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; violence caused by decades of US military and economic destruction in Central America. Stay tuned for more as SOAW calls for an end to the militarization that fuels violence and displacement in Central America. 

Thank you,
Ana Aviles, SOAW El Salvador

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Getting Ahead of the Spin on the Pope's Enviornmental Encyclical" by John Allen

"Coffee on the wall"/Great idea, more restaurants should give people an opportunity to do an act of kindness!

Bridget Mary's Response: I'd love to see this happen at popular restaurant's like McDonald's, Wendy's and Subway, even Starbucks!
 Just think how ordinary folks could help feed people who are hungry and thirsty in our local areas! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring town of Venice (Italy),
the city of lights and water.

As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us.

He called the waiter and placed his order saying,

'Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.'

We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served
with one cup of coffee but he paid for two.

As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying 'A Cup of Coffee'.

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee,
two on the table and one on the wall.

They had the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left.

This time also, the waiter did the same;

he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, 'A Cup of Coffee'.

It was something unique and perplexing for us.

We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again.

While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered.

As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, 'One cup of coffee from the wall'.

The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.

The man had his coffee and left without paying.

We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall
and threw it in the dust bin.

Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear.

The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.

Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted...

He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem ...

he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee ...

without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of
  coffee to him.

He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.

... probably the most beautiful wall you may ever see anywhere....!!!

Worth sharing......

Sister Megan Rice, Release from Prison, Speaks Out

Excerpt: "We don't use the word 'break in'because we didn't break in. We entered the Y-12 facility, legally. And I'd just like to make the statement that all citizens are required to expose and oppose known crimes, equally responsible, according to their ability, and according to their situation. And we had known well of the crime of nuclear weapons."

Released From Prison, Anti-Nuclear Activist Nun Megan Rice Speaks Out
By Lisa De Bode, Al Jazeera America
04 June 15
  In an interview with Al Jazeera America, Rice reflects on prison life, Iran and the fight against nuclear weapons

Roman Catholic Church Running Out of Priests, Time to Ordain Women!
Our Women Priests Movement is leading the way!
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Ordained 4 Women
in Sarasota, Florida on May 24th, 2015

"Restorative Justice" by Silvia Brandon Perez, ARCWP, Outstanding Article on Need for Major Prison Reform

"Restorative justice: in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes"

Sonnet 29
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

W. Shakespeare
On Sunday I will have my first contact visit with my youngest son since his incarceration on December 5th. He was recently removed to a prison facility in Chino, California, about 6 six hours away. His case is on appeal, the stop and subsequent arrest unwarranted, the crime non-violent. He was in “Reception” at San Quentin for the past five and a half months , Reception being the first step in the state imprisonment system, supposedly lasting between one month and three, as it is a harsh time of almost solitary confinement, in which you are in your cell 23 hours a day, with 15 minutes every 3rd day for a cold shower, no television or radio, a maximum of two hours per month of visits to the law library, and no contact visits. Visits, in fact, had to be made by telephone, and the lines were only open on Wednesdays and Sundays between 8 and 10 a.m., but most of the time you would call and reach a busy signal, or it would ring and then disconnect. My last visit at San Quentin was on May 3rd, and I couldn’t get another appointment until the 29th, but when I arrived I was told he had been moved.
The system is a very punishing one, designed to humiliate and denigrate not only the prisoner but his/her visitors and family, almost as if you were guilty because you had a friend or relative behind bars. I know this because I practiced criminal law as an attorney for close to thirty years, and the treatment of prisoners (and their families/friends) has not improved in that time or in the ten years since I retired, but rather worsened, as we are now imprisoning more and more people, in a continuing exercise of the Jim Crow system, as Michelle Alexander so well explains in her book, The New Jim Crow. My experience as an attorney was that Jim Crow practices never died and were alive and well as far north as New Jersey, where I lived and practiced. Even then we could see a terrible increase in inmate populations, and the disproportionate prosecution and sentencing of people of color, including, then and now, minors.
Years ago I watched the film Fortune and Men’s Eyes, and it had a tremendous impact on me. It is based on a play by Canadian writer John Herbert about sexual slavery and violence in prison. It was difficult to cast and to produce, because it shows the seamy underside of the system. As someone who has made it her life’s work to show and fight that seamy underside, whether it be about the cruelties of the immigration system (worldwide), the plight of refugees and of occupied peoples everywhere, including Palestine, and the criminalization of poverty and homelessness, right here in the land of plenty, where the veterans and the hungry children, rather than the deer and the buffalo, roam, I can tell you that for me it is frequently a case of “kill the messenger” because people would rather NOT find out what is going on, so they can continue to do nothing about any of it. The play eventually led, by the way, to the creation of the Fortune Society, an advocacy and support organization for prisoners reentering society after incarceration.
I belong and contribute to such initiatives as The Innocence Project, which works to exonerate convicted prisoners through the use of DNA evidence. I have seen quite a few reversals of convictions, one of the most damning (as far as our society is concerned) being that in the Central Park jogger case, where prosecutors bullied kids into pleading guilty. I remember the furor at the time; I was a frequent visitor to Central Park, and the story of these five Latino and Black kids and their apparent brutal beating and rape of a white jogger was constantly in the news. Only years later when another prisoner admitted his own guilt and DNA tests proved without a doubt that these kids had not committed the crime, were they exonerated, but the years and years of imprisonment can never be returned to a prisoner. See
I am also writing to prisoners whom my son has met, and who may have no one writing to them; two of them are in San Quentin. One of them is a penpal from program founded by Sharon Martinas that I joined last month called The Human Rights Pen Pal Program. Most of the prisoners who have requested letters have participated in the hunger strikes and other human rights protest actions throughout the state. My penpal has been in solitary confinement for most of his life.
We are in the midst of a wave of police and official abuse of and slaying of people of color and of state violence. In our monthly vigils in Oakland, we now read the names not only of those dead in Iraq or Afghanistan, but those who are victims of state violence, one every 28 to 36 hours, day after graveyard
This, unfortunately, is not unprecedented. When I first went to interpret for torture survivors at Fort Benning, Georgia, I heard many tales of the sale of slaves in some of the historical sites in the area. Families were separated, lives were destroyed at the auction block, and many who are now respected because of their wealth and power made their start in this execrable business. Yet today our prison industry is an industry worldwide, with no downside. You get free labor, the prisoners pay (at excessive prices) for the privilege of being enslaved, and we throw away tens of thousands of lives every day. Who invests in these things, you ask?
At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.
Eric Schlosser wrote well about the prison industrial complex in the 1998 issue of the Atlantic Monthly:
The prison-industrial complex is not only a set of interest groups and institutions. It is also a state of mind. The lure of big money is corrupting the nation’s criminal-justice system, replacing notions of public service with a drive for higher profits. The eagerness of elected officials to pass “tough-on-crime” legislation—combined with their unwillingness to disclose the true costs of these laws—has encouraged all sorts of financial improprieties. The inner workings of the prison-industrial complex can be observed in the state of New York, where the prison boom started, transforming the economy of an entire region; in Texas and Tennessee, where private prison companies have thrived; and in California, where the correctional trends of the past two decades have converged and reached extremes. In the realm of psychology a complex is an overreaction to some perceived threat. Eisenhower no doubt had that meaning in mind when, during his farewell address, he urged the nation to resist “a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”
Of course, all of my work for prisoners did not prepare me for being the mother of an imprisoned man, a homosexual man who was brutally attacked while awaiting trial by another prisoner in what was clearly a homophobic crime. In disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, my son has joined the legions of the harshly punished, and I am just one more of the mothers protesting, with tears at the ready, a system of greed and cruelty that surely damns us all.

A Roman Catholic Woman Priest's Homily for Corpus Christi by Judy Lee, RCWP

Homily for Corpus Christi-6/7  2015: Life Saving Blood Transfusions
Today we celebrate the Body of Christ, the fullness of what Jesus, the Christ, gave for the life of the world and the fullness of what we, as members of his Body, the church, are to give to one another and to the poorest and “least” amongst us.
The readings for this Sunday speak of ancient and current rituals and deep symbolic meanings.  In an era when some theology chooses pretty and ethereal words like ‘stardust’ and ‘cosmic Christ’ and evoke beautiful pictures from the Hubble telescope to capture the essence of who we are and who Christ is, this Sunday the church focuses boldly and solidly on “the most holy body and blood of Christ” or the solemnity of Corpus Christi, literally the Body of Christ.
How truly amazing, complex and beautiful the human body is. From infancy through old age, in health and in illness, beauty and grace and wonder are embodied in us. When one part of the body is hurt we can still see how other members compensate for that loss and the body still functions. After major stomach surgery two and a half years ago I am still going strong. Not the same as before, but strong. How resilient the body is.  We can see the face of God in one another. The body, not the stars above, is the single greatest metaphor for the miracle of creation and life. What an amazing miracle to have God embodied in Christ and giving God’s self for the world, and that our God knows intimately what it is to laugh and fear and hurt, and to love, to suffer and bleed as we do.  We too are embodied and far from being celestial our bodies often remind us of how precious and fragile life is.
IMG_0158Pastor Judy Beaumont and Stella Odie-Ali with Claire Powley.
And some of our precious little ones.
It is a temptation to choose only feel-good words as God-words and to avoid words like body, blood, broken, poured out and death lest we offend or lose the faint- hearted. I literally use the word ‘faint’ as I recall that my beloved Grandmother, the tree of life and faith for me, wanted me to become both a missionary( there were no women clergy back then) and a nurse (she didn’t know any women Doctors either). In High School I thought that would be my path until my best friend sustained a major cut on her hand while preparing food. There was no car available so her sister and I wrapped up her hand, put our arms around her and walked her quickly one block to St. Mary’s Hospital.  I was fine until they began to sew the wound and blood spurted out. I fainted then and there.  When I woke up we were all outside and she was ready to go home. I knew then I would not be a nurse because I could not deal with blood. Yet we miss the true meaning of the Gospel today if we cannot deal with blood. And by now, I see blood in a totally different light.
When my Grandmother was operated on for what turned out to be a cancer that had already spread out of control the family was asked to donate blood as she had many transfusions to keep her alive. Each one did and it was not enough. Then one by one the members of my young adult group at the church came forward and gave their blood.  Some of them were as repelled by blood as I was, but it didn’t matter- they came through.  I was so thankful for them. They could not save her life, but their selfless gifts may have saved someone else’s life. And most importantly their love surrounded us and helped us to get through the worst time of my young life.
In our work with the homeless we learned that many must sell their blood to survive. One man, Mike, explained to me that he no longer needed to sell blood after his Social Security and Veteran’s benefits started, but he continues because he knew that his gift would save lives. He felt that he had little else to offer but was thankful to be alive and to have a home now and he wanted to continue to give something back so others could also live. I was thoroughly moved that this person who had been through so much wanted to give the best he had to help others. Remarkably he also cares for the many stray cats in his apartment complex.
In 2005 Pastor Judy Beaumont was diagnosed with a rare type of Leukemia called APL.  Her white cell count bottomed out and her blood was unable to nurture her body. This was a time of much prayer of the faithful and much love for her. Some of our church members also gave blood to be banked for her. She had massive infusions of chemo and was hospitalized for almost a month when she sustained infections during this time of lowest immunities.  She needed blood and platelet transfusions.  As I sat with her through these I could see the color return to her face and the energy return to her body.  I could literally see the life giving properties of blood.  I could hear the old hymn in my head “There is power, power, wonder- working power in the blood, of the Lamb….”  While I cannot hold with sacrificial atonement I accept that it was an early belief of God’s Hebrew people and I know for sure that there is power in the blood, and in the giving of blood for love.  Now, I welcomed the sight of blood and thanked God for it. And, within two years, thanks be to God and prayer and an excellent Cancer Doctor, James Reeves, she was pronounced cured of this cancer. She has now been free of it for ten years and remains an active and energetic servant of God.
Her understanding of the role of Christians before, during and after her bout with leukemia is to follow Christ- “body broken, blood poured out”. This simply, and not so simply means, to give your ALL in loving and serving God and one another.  As she said in a sermon given in 2012, “(We put ourselves in the bread and in the wine to be changed even as the bread and wine are changed into Christ we too are changed into the body and the blood of Christ)…. Just think of what a different world we would have if all those who claim to be Christian really make it important to be life-giving to others. So when today you hear the words: You are the Blood of Christ, say back your AMEN (I agree) and mean it-YES, I believe I am the blood of Christ and I will be life-giving for others. This change of bread and wine, of you, of me, of the church, of us-such change is possible because Jesus says so: “This-and you- my body. This and you-my blood. Do this and remember me”.  And we will answer by saying AMEN to what we are.
Theologian Megan McKenna (author of On Your Mark: Orbis Books, 2006) tells a story from the Viet Nam war era that corresponds to the Gospel (Mark 14) where Jesus offers his own life, his body and blood, as symbolic of the new covenant. During that tragic war an orphanage was bombed. One little girl was losing blood fast and needed a transfusion.  The other children were asked and were too frightened to comply. Finally one little boy came forward. He cried and watched the little girl’s face to see if new life was entering her. Finally a Vietnamese woman was able to talk with and comfort him. When asked why he was finally able to calm down, she explained that he thought he was dying because she got his blood and his life. “Then why did he do it”, the doctors asked? He said simply: “She’s my friend, I had to help her”.  Ah yes, this is exactly what Jesus did, as he said (John 15:13-14a) “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, and you are my friends….” (TIB).
I reflect here too on the transfusions the church needs to really be the Body of Christ. It needs to be compassionate to all, a friend to all, including all and excluding no one at the Table. It needs, as Pope Francis has said, to return to simplicity and a priority for serving the poor. It needs to become more Christ-like. “It “ I say, but I simply mean “we”. We need the transfusion of the holy blood of Christ to become life giving as Christ was.
The readings from Exodus (24:3-8) and Hebrews (9:11-15) speak of blood as sealing the first covenant and the new covenant between God and God’s people.  We still say important promises are “sealed in blood”, though we do not mean it literally. The Gospel (Mark 14:12-16, 22-26) shows how far God was willing to go for God’s friends-for us. For telling the truth and showing us how to love God and one another, Jesus met painful rejection, suffering and a violent death. Yet his essential non-violence and selfless giving wins out in resurrection and life eternal, for him and for us. McKenna quotes theologian David Hamm reflecting on this Last Supper:  “Now they are quite literally given Jesus’ cup to share. Continuing to be his disciples will entail a full giving of self somehow like his. Such laying down of one’s life-in a loving service that may or may not include martyrdom-is the life-blood of the covenant community called the body of Christ.  Jesus’ giving of his blood provides not only the model but the source of this new covenant life….Sharing in the sacramental body and blood entails behaving as one body by donating the gift of life to one another. (“The Word’, America, May 24, 1997).
Reflect with me on how it feels to give yourself away so others may live. In our Tuesday ministry this week Lauretta, a formerly homeless woman who had as she describes, “been to hell and back” shared that she was full of joy because she was welcomed to do volunteer service at a local food bank.  Everyone listened and clapped as she described what she did and how happy it made her feel to give others food and hear that it was appreciated. Roger was the first man we helped out of homelessness in Fort Myers, some seven years ago now.  His unstable diabetes is still life threatening.  He said that he has found meaning in his life by helping other needy people like Jesus did and as our ministry does. He brings a donation in a white envelope every time he comes and it is marked as “Roger’s Foundation for the Poor”. He asks that we give it directly to someone in need and we are very happy to do so.  Gary, formerly homeless and an elder in our church who leads Sunday Liturgy with us, listened carefully as I told the group of my recent emotional and spiritual struggle with violence and drive by shootings in our community and how it depleted my energy until I realized that there was nothing I could do about it except to keep on serving, preaching and loving with the heart of God.  I could not change people’s loyalty to the “ghetto code” of tolerating violence out of fear and misplaced loyalty, but God could.  Gary literally beamed and said that he was so glad I would keep loving “our people” with the heart of God because that gave him strength to do that too-we needed each other. Indeed, he has to live where the bullets fly but he is not afraid anymore because he is consumed by love. All I could add was AMEN!
IMG_0036Mr. Gary, Roger and Linuel with Pastor JudyL
But here I can add that loving with God’s heart, serving God’s poor and struggling people, is  often as hard as it is joyful and only through prayer and the support of all of the Body of Christ can we do it. And so, before you take Holy Communion and hear those words again ask yourself “Am I willing to be the body and blood of Christ? And if you are, give yourself away and start praying.
Love and blessings,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP

Homily for Holy Spirit Catholic Community Body and Blood of Christ, June 7th, by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Did you ever notice what happens when you go into a restaurant?
Someone greets you and shows you to a table.
If you’re a woman alone,
you’re likely to be seated with a close-up view
of the door to the kitchen or the restroom.
If you’re a well-dressed couple,
you will be more likely to be seated
in a quiet corner with a pleasant view.
You’ll be ask what you want to drink,
and a basket of bread will show up with it.
In a similar way, meals were markers of status in Jesus’ time.
Invitations showed who was "in” and who was "out.”
Seating arrangements
reflected hierarchy, patriarchy, status, and gender rules.
During meals everyone saw
who sat at the head of the table
and who was at the foot
and who washed the feet.
Social and religious values were maintained
in the ritual washings, prayers, and symbols.
Meals were a way for the wealthy to show off their wealth
and for the guests to gain honor.
This was Jesus’ world, but he didn’t follow the rules.
Instead, Jesus challenged social and religious exclusivism
with his practice of open table fellowship.
He ate with "sinners,” offending the religious elite.
Jesus ignored religious traditions
about washing and fasting and Sabbath,
overturning the system that put rules ahead of people.
In the homes of the rich and powerful
he did not hesitate to tell parables about misguided priorities,
even contrasting a host’s lack of moral values
with a repentant sinner.
He turned social rank upside down.
Jesus embodied his subversive, counter-cultural message
in meals—a table theology, so to speak.
It is clear from our scriptures that the first century church
remembered those lessons from Jesus’ open table fellowship.
John’s Gospel includes 5 different meal scenes.
Matthew’s has 9.
Mark’s has 10.
Luke’s has 11.
It’s ironic that over the centuries
our Catholic theologies have missed the point
about the significance of Jesus’ table fellowship.
Paul’s letter to the Hebrews carries two of those errant theologies:
the “atonement” theology of Jesus’ bloody death
as redeeming us from sin;
and the “supercessionist” theology,
also called displacement or substitution theology,
where the “new” covenant of Christianity
is seen as replacing the “old” covenant of Judaism.
Statements about atonement theology
weigh heavily in the Vatican’s translation
of the New Roman Missal now in use here in the U.S.
As for supercessionism,
a few verses before today’s reading from Hebrews,
Paul asserts that God has judged
the covenant with Moses and Israel
as deficient and obsolete, old and close to disappearing.
That theme, a product of the dissension
among the various strains of early Christianity, grew
into vicious anti-Semitism, the Crusades, and the Holocaust.
Since Vatican II, theologians and popes have made some efforts
to move away from supercessionism,
yet that theology remains as recently as
Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. .
But Jesus was Jewish.
His disciples, remembering their meals with him,
remembered them as Jewish Sabbath meals
and practiced them that way.
They would set the Sabbath table with two candles
to represent the commandments
to remember and to observe the Sabbath;
a glass of wine;
and at least two loaves of challah bread
to represent the double portion of manna that God provided
to prepare for Sabbath in the wilderness of the desert.
They would bless the candles and light them,
then pray the Kiddush while lifting a glass of wine:
This Kiddush is a blessing prayer
that has echoes in every Catholic Mass.
They began: Barukh atah Adonai—
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the Universe,
who sanctifies us with your commandments,
and has been pleased with us.
Then the head of the assembly would lift the two challah loaves
and recite another blessing:
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the Universe,
who brings forth bread from the earth.
They would break the bread into pieces
and pass it around the table
and each person had a piece to eat.
Then they would start the Sabbath meal.

We use those same prayers at every Mass—
Blessed are you, God of all creation,
through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made….
Blessed are you, God of all creation,
through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
We pass the bread and we pass the cup
for everyone to eat and drink.
This is our holy meal,
the very same meal Jesus celebrated with his disciples.
It is our thanksgiving—that’s what the word Eucharist means.
It is our ritual remembering of our brother Jesus and his teachings.
These and all the other meanings of this meal
make us Catholic—that is, universal—
in our connection with God
and each other
and all of creation.
Each time we celebrate here,
we go from this holy table
to the other holy tables in our world.
There’s the holy table in our homes,
whether we eat with family or friends or alone.
There’s the holy table in friends’ homes,
in restaurants, in soup kitchens.
There’s the holy table even when there’s not a table,
in the bleachers at a baseball game
or at a picnic, or on the beach.
There’s the holy table when we pray for the oppressed in our world.
There’s the holy table
when we send a bag of canned goods to Claver House
or toiletries to Rahab’s Heart
or clothes to Assumption Outreach Center.
Once we have seen this holy table
and shared this meal of bread and wine,
we begin to experience it everywhere in our lives,
in every connection,
all along the way.
And at every step our hearts sing out, Barukh atah Adonai!
Blessed be God!

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Two French horticulturalists have named a new type of white rose “Pope Franciscus” in honour of the Holy Father.

..."White roses are of special importance to Pope Francis, a sign of his devotion to the Little Flower Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
In the book El Jesuita, then-Cardinal Bergoglio said whenever he has a problem, he asks Saint Thérèse “not to solve it, but to take it into her hands and to help me accept it and I almost always receive a white rose as a sign.”
Saint Thérèse promised that, after her death, she would “let fall a shower of roses” as a sign of her intercession."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Women Sisters, Not Servants", Pope Francis Fosters Debate and Dialogue

Bridget Mary's Response: Yes, Pope Francis is moving the 
Vatican from the Middle Ages' patriarchal
 hostility toward women to the 21st century: 
"women are "sisters, not servants."
His advocacy for equal pay is a major step toward 
gender justice for women everywhere. 
Open debate is healthy and indicates a 
change in tone toward women's 
empowerment at the Vatican. 
Now if women priests were invited 
to join the conversation,
that would really be a big shakeup!
We are living Gospel equality in grassroots, 
inclusive communities now.
So, the bottom line is---
 until Roman Catholic Church 
treats women as equals in every area of ministry, 
including priesthood, women will remain 
second class citizens in our own house. 
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP greets members of
Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community

ROME -- "It may just seem like some nice talking with no action taken, 
yet it is striking to notice: in the past weeks, the Vatican has been 
hosting, organizing or involved in a series of seminars, colloquiums 
and conferences -- all dealing with women
The latest event, among several, dealt with ways the Catholic Church 
addresses the various conditions of women worldwide today. 
It was held within the Vatican City State and organized by the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and its monthlysupplement on women.

"Women are too often looked upon in the Church as servants and not as sisters, 
who are as much in charge as brothers," said Lucetta Scaraffia, 
editor at the L'Osservatore Romano
She launched a debate last year stating it was 
theologically possible to create women cardinals.

Pope Francis joked about the idea. 
But the fact that he is letting 
these discussions develop in the Vatican itself shows 
he is looking for new ways to empower women 
inside the church and is not satisfied with the 
present situation."

"Peacemaking Posts" by Diane Doughterty, ARCWP

Part of my ministry is in support of efforts to bring about dialogue centered in Peacemaking.  In January-I collaborated with Kira and Lisa in making these posts that will travel throughout the US.  We had a Hispanic community-social justice educators-One Billion Rising participants-a GLBTQ community all making posts....we drew people from schools, universities and justice organizations.  The diversity of focus was incredible.   I brought the one we will leave at the Center for Civil and Human Rights to the Annual Meeting....

Art is a great way to draw folks together who would not ordinarily come to meetings...I highly recommend this activity.  Contact Kira for more information.
This is from Kira's website.....
The Posts for Peace & Justice Workshop, at the International Child Art Festival July 2, 10am to 4pm, encourages collaborative creative imaging of peace and social justice on 8-foot posts, that will travel and show in the USA to inspire others to speak up.
Students trace their hands, add names and paint inspiring words and symbolic images onto posts at the festival. Kira Carrillo Corser teaches the class with Lisa Parsons and ten artists including my facebook friends: Ellen MartinCarla BaldassariJennifer ColbyDiane Dougherty, coming to help! Students, teachers and family members are encouraged to paint and we will record video stories.
Students will also paint small solar lights to take home so they can make posts in their communities. Students and families are invited to a reception on Capitol Hill, at the Corner Store Art Center, at 900 South Carolina Ave, SE in Washington, DC on July 2nd, 7pm to 9pm where they will get refreshments and a photo of themselves with the painted post to take home. Post your photos and see other student's photos on our facebook page:
see more on our website:

from right to left: Kira Carrillo and Diane Dougherty, ARCWP
see where the Posts for Peace and Justice Reception and Exhibiton is located:

Diane Dougherty
54 Chelsea Ct
Avondale Estates, GA 30002