Saturday, September 10, 2016
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy on 15th Anniversary of Sept 11, 2001 , Co-Presiders Katy Zatsick ARXWP and Elena Garcia ARCWP , Music Minister Mindy Lou Simmons
|Elena Garcia ARCWP co-presides at liturgy|
|Mindy Lou Simmons leads song|
All: We ask you to awaken anew in our hearts the empowering grace of your abundant Spirit, who infuses these gifts of bread and wine with the transforming energy of life, to nourish and sustain us in our time of need for healing and peace.
That same bread, Jesus takes and breaks to restore the unity of our broken world. Jesus blesses you, God of healing and hope, then, along with the cup, Jesus shares the bread with those at table and we here now saying: Take this all of you, eat and drink:This is my body which will be given up for you.
All: In faith and hope we are sustained, in grace our dignity reclaimed, In praise we thank our God.
All: May Sofia Spirit of life and wholeness, who transforms the gifts we present, transform us, too, that we may be refreshed in our inner being and be empowered to bring mercy, peace and healing to those whose lives we touch.
Voice: The bread we break and the cup we share are symbols of our world of abundance where all are invited to partake of the fullness of life. But that life we often impede by our greed and selfishness, and by our exploitation of other people and their lands.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Inclusive Language Welcomes All as Spiritual Equals ; Bible and Christian Tradition Affirm Feminine Face of God by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
In a community that welcomes all as spiritual equals and promotes justice, our language reflects our belief and experience that each of us is the beloved of God and a reflection of the face of God in our world. While no image or metaphor can adequately express Divine Mystery, a variety of images for the Holy One will present a fuller and deeper reflection of the face of God in all. As Catholics committed to gender justice and equality in our church and world, it is imperative that we contemplate the feminine face of God and celebrate it in our inclusive liturgies.
author of Delighting in the Feminine Divine, Heart Talks with Mother God and Exploring the feminine Face of God.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Celebrating Mary's Birthday, Happy Memories of Pilgrimages and Religious Life by Bridget Mary Meehan SFCC, ARCWP
|St. Anne and Mary Statue in Trinity Chapel in Adare, County limerick, Ireland|
I remember one time a skeptical customs' officer in Boston asked Mom about the contents of the clear liquid in the small bottles. Smiling, Mom proudly announced "holy water,' ready to open it up and bless him! Mom also brought back sods of turf from the bog and Irish sausages and rashers. Luckily, these treasures were not examined or confiscated.
I loved visiting shrines. So did Mom. We rented a car which Dad drove. We toured all over Ireland visited family, and stopped at Knock for prayer and to stock up on our holy water supply.
As I prayed in these sacred places, I was inspired and deeply touched by the depth of people's faith, especially the ones with disabilities and their compassionate care givers who accompanied them. As we walked around and prayed, we were part of hundreds, sometimes thousands of pilgrims who were also praying. It felt like a tonic for the soul that was healing and renewing.
In his book, When Mary Becomes Cosmic, David Rocho describes Mary's healing power as present in all of us: "to say that Mary is the Health of the Sick is to say that we all contain the energy of the feminine archetype of healing. Sickness is not limited to the narrow literal meaning of physical illness. It means deficiency of any kind- our disabilities in loving, in talents, in vision are meant to be directions to our destiny of giving. We look at our deficiencies and feel compassion for others like us. We design an apostolate of works of mercy that are aimed at the people who are suffering as we are. if we are sick, we help the sick. f we are ignorant, we help the ignorant. If we are in an oppressed minority, we join our fellows in raising consciousness of equality for all." (When Mary Becomes Cosmic, p.114.)
Today the Roman Catholic Church commemorate Mary's birthday. This brings back wonderful memories of my convent days as an IHM. The IHM's, Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, celebrate all the Marian feast days and so do I.
Many religious orders schedule entrance day for new postulants on September 8th, but our "band"/class entered on Sept 15th because the new Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother House in Immaculata, PA. was not finished. So, 90 of us bid our family goodbye at the College across the street and walked over a wooden plank on Sept. 15th (to avoid the mud from rain and construction work in the front of the building) the feast of the Sorrows of Mary.
I was 18 years old, when I passed through the convent door and into a whole new world. Feeling both sad, saying goodbye to my family, and excited about what lay ahead in learning the ropes of how to be a good nun, I am so grateful now for my 15 years in the IHM Order. I learned a lot about the spiritual life from these wise women. Later this month some of the members of my IHM band will gather to celebrate our 50th anniversary. What a joy it will be to see these women and to catch up on our lives and recall so many memories!
In 1995, I made a transition to the Sisters for Christian Community (SFCC)a new paradigm of religious life. Our vision is "that all may be one" as Jesus prayed in the Gospels. Our aim is to be leaven of Christian community wherever we are, united with the people of God in our diverse ministries. SFCC is not under Vatican jurisdiction so I am affirmed as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest. Several of my sisters , including my soul sister, Regina Madonna Oliver, attended my ordination and several of our SFCCs are Roman Catholic Women Priests.
We are blessed companions on the journey in a community of equals to bring about a more loving, compassionate, just and inclusive church.
Bridget Mary Meehan SFCC, ARCWP