Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Second Sunday of Extraordinary Time – January 14, 2017 Co-Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWP Music Ministers: Mindy Lou Simmons & Russ Banner Lectors: Imogene & Michael Rigdon

Our theme today is – “Discerning the Light of Christ”.

GATHERING SONG AND GREETING: #316 “Gather Your People, O God” verses 1 – 3

Presider: In the name of God, our Creator, of Christ, our liberator, and of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier.

ALL: Amen.

Presider: My sisters and brothers, God is with you! ALL: And also with you.


Presider: Creator God to whom all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and from whom no secrets can be hidden, cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom.

ALL: We take your Word into our minds and hearts. Open them to new understanding.

Presider: We ask for the grace to continually acknowledge our need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves, for others and for our earth, and all the while to be Jesus for others and to meet Jesus in others.

ALL: We accept your love and understanding of the frailty of our human nature.

Presider: And we join with you, Jesus the Christ, believing the strength and insight of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedication to justice, equality and peace in our world. ALL: Amen.

(All raise hands extended in prayer)

Presider: God, our Father and Mother of Mercy and Love,

ALL: Through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. May you, Loving God, give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth in the name of you, our Creator, of Jesus, our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen.


ALL: (sung) Glory to God, glory, O praise and alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)


First Reading: Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6 (Response: Thanks be to God)

Responsorial Psalm 40 #772 “God, my God , come to my aid……..”

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 (Response: Thanks be to God)

Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! (sung)

Gospel: A reading from the Gospel according to John 1: 29-34 (Response: Glory and praise to Jesus, the Christ)



Janet Blakeley

John 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

What John says here he does not say lightly. It is the result of several years devoted to fasting and praying under harsh conditions. But John’s commitment to live and wait in the silent desert had allowed him to hear God. What he heard caused him to act in certain ways – to call people to a change of life and to baptize them with water.

But all the while he was looking for the One God would send. How was he to know that One? Undoubtedly he appreciated being told to look for a recognizable sign – the Holy Spirit appearing like a dove, resting on this person. But that was secondary to his personal sense, his “just knowing,” that alerted him first of all.

What is this sense? Do we have it? In the spiritual life, this sense is called “discernment” or “discernment of spirits.” It is an internal knowing, and the capacity to name, whose presence is at work. Basically we desire to know if it is the Holy Spirit, or some other spirit – using the inclusive word “spirit” for lack of a better one.

My dear friend, Mary Herald, had an acute sense of discernment. She could walk into a party of nicely dressed people who were behaving and talking nicely and who would carry on to the end “nicely.” But even before meeting people, Mary knew what was going on in that room; who was coming from a place of truth and goodness and who was not. i.e., the one who was deceitful, who was lieing, who was angry, who spoke in half-truths, and so on. She greeted each person with good will and acceptance, but whatever they said seemed to pass through her filter and she knew the underlying truth of what they were saying. Sometimes she lamented having this “gift,” because she couldn’t just go and have a nice time! But, like it or not, it was her gift. She discerned spirits.

John the Baptizer surely had this capacity as well. When he saw Jesus, he “knew” that was the one who existed before him, who must be made known to Israel. And then he “knew” because of the sign of the dove.

Not everyone is born with the gift of discernment, and not everyone hears God saying words. Still, in every age, we must discern if what we are experiencing is of God or not: All the more so today when we are surrounded by half-truths, outright lies, and so-called fake news.” How do we discern?

Mary Herald taught first of all that we must become accustomed to spending time with God. With her it was with her morning cup of coffee, but it can be our drive to the grocery store without the car radio, our walk around the block without the i-pod, our review of the day before we fall asleep – any time during the day taken to experiencing and becoming familiar with the peace of God found within us, the peace Jesus said he would leave us, the peace “man cannot give.”

Returning often to that peace within makes us quick to notice when some other spirit is present and trying to distract us. When that happens, when we notice that our inner peace is disturbed, we must pay attention to what our bodies tell us. Does the hair stand up on the back of our necks? Does our stomach tighten? Do we feel tense? Is there an unnamable feeling that is trying to alert us to something? Do I question or feel troubled? Am I upset? Do I feel fear? Noticing our physical and emotional feelings will alert us and make us pay closer attention, to look deeper and name what we are seeing or hearing.

The intellect must do its part by considering what it has learned – what Scripture and tradition have taught us: That we know the Holy Spirit is near when we feel peace, love and joy (Paul): that we are seeing or hearing the gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit ( ). The opposites of these could point out distracting spirits. Sometimes we hear a mixture of things – some reassuring and some troubling, which make us ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit to better discern, to go deeper in order to find the root of what we are experiencing. (St. Ignatius says we need to look for the “tail of the serpent.”) Sometimes we can only wait until the air clears and we can see and hear better. The main thing is that we noticed the disturbance and called on God for help.

What difference does all this make? It could prove to be crucially important in the era we are now entering. Evil “spirits” are quickly discerned when we recognize lies and ugly things like hatred. But the spirit of God still speaks and still intends that we listen, even if we must struggle to hear through the clatter and the roar. In other words, like John, we have to be committed to living and waiting, hoping to identify the voice of God. In times like these, that commitment cannot be a light one. It must be cultivated in time set aside. It invites a deeper familiarity with Scripture. It calls for vigilance of mind, words, body and actions. We need desperately to be able to say “That is the One” and feel secure in following that voice.

What signs have we been given? What resources can we refer to? Above all, how do we know the voice of God? Like John, how do I identify the Christ among us?


Profession of Faith: ALL: I believe in God, the creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, child of God, born of Mary, human like us. I believe Jesus came to teach us God’s love, to heal our minds, our bodies, our spirits, to bring hope and a new vision, to show us how to live in the fullness of grace. I believe that Jesus threatened the establishment. Jesus called for God’s people to focus on the kin-dom within. I believe because of the message that Jesus proclaimed, Jesus was condemned to die. Jesus was put to death through crucifixion, buried in a borrowed tomb. I believe that the women, faithful to Jesus, went to the tomb to anoint his body. I believe that the body of Jesus was gone, and Jesus overcame death through the resurrection. I believe in the Holy Spirit, eternally living in our hearts, present in our world, in our universe. I believe the holy Catholic Church is the people of God gathered in worship and song. I believe that all God’s children will one day be with God experiencing life everlasting. Amen.


Presider: We are people of faith. We believe in the power of prayer. We believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and who need to experience hope, to those who are grieving and need to be comforted in their loss, to those who are facing medical challenges that they be granted hope and healing. We bring the needs of people throughout our world to our gracious God.

After each intercession, the response is: Loving God, hear our prayer.

For what else shall we pray?

Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. Strengthen us as we strive to respond to the needs of your people. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.

Offertory Song: # 331 “Taste and See” verses 1 – 3

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS – (Please join us around the altar)

Presider: Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Pray my friends that as we celebrate this breaking of bread and blessing of wine we accept more fully the mission of our Church by actively living our response to God’s call.

ALL: May our gracious God accept these gifts for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good, and for the good of all our Church.

Presider: God is always with you. ALL: And also with you.

Presider: Together, we lift up our hearts. ALL: To God and one another we lift them.

Presider: Together, we give thanks to our gracious God. ALL: Indeed it is right to constantly give thanks and praise.


Voice 1: Gracious God, source and sustenance of life, redeeming presence to the pain and brokenness of our world, Holy Spirit who enlivens all that exists, we beseech your healing power upon us and all for whom we pray today. We join together with our community, with all creation everywhere, with all those who have gone before us and live in the eternal now (Names of our loved ones…………)

Let us sing:

ALL: We are holy, holy, holy (x3), we are whole. (You, I, We) By Karen Drucker

Voice 2: We ask you to enliven anew in our hearts the empowering grace of your abundant Spirit, who infuses for us these gifts of bread and wine with the transforming energy of life, to nourish and sustain us in all times and especially in times of need.

(Please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together.)

ALL: Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, Jesus took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples and said: take this, all of you, and eat it; this is my body which will be given up for you.

ALL: When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup. Again he gave You thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said, take this all of you, and drink it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all. Do this in memory of me.

Presider: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

ALL: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Voice 3: (Please place your hand on the shoulder of the person to your right)As we gather around this Eucharistic table, we recall God’s blessing and love from ages past, and we celebrate anew the gift we share among us at this Eucharistic feast. May the 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, love and healing to those whose lives we touch and who are Jesus to us.

Voice 4: Remember gracious God, your Church throughout the world; make us open to receive all believers. We join with all God’s people, with our community, with Bridget Mary our Bishop, and with Francis our Pope.

Voice 5: So grant that, in union with all peoples living and dead, we may strive to create a world where suffering and pain are diminished, where justice and peace are restored, and where all people can live in health and wholeness, united in acclaiming the God of Life, whose abundance is offered to each and to all, ‘til the Kin-dom arrives in the fullness of time.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, gracious God, forever and ever. Amen (sung).


Presider: Let us join hands and raise our voices as we say the Prayer Jesus taught us:

ALL: Our Father and Mother…….

Presider: Deliver us, God, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us holy in your sight and protect us from all anxiety and fear. We watch and wait, discerning signs that You are continually with us.

ALL: Amen.


Presider: Jesus, You said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all and grant us the peace and unity of your kin-dom where you live forever and ever. ALL: Amen.

Presider: May the peace of our gracious and loving God be always with you. ALL: And also with you. Let us offer each other a sign of peace.


Presider: Loving God,

ALL: You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.

Presider: Loving God,

ALL: You call us to be the presence of Jesus in the world. We will love tenderly.

Presider: Loving God,

ALL: You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presiders: This is Jesus, our Light, who liberates, heals and transforms our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. ALL: We are the Body of Christ.

Communion: Instrumental by Mindy

After Communion Song: “A Stranger, Starving on the Street” (See back page)

(to the tune of “I Heard the Voice of Jesus” #466 i.e., Kingsfold)


Presider: May wonder, gratitude and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion fully fill our hearts, that you may heal the numbness that continues because of our society’s injustices. May we each know that we are loved and may we continue to be the face of God to each other. Amen.

Introductions, Prayers of Gratitude, Announcements


Presider: May God be with you. ALL: And also with you.

Presider: Let us call upon our gracious God as we share blessings with each other. We bless one another and pledge to live the Gospel of Christ. ALL: Amen.


(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)

ALL: May our gracious God, bless us all gathered here, in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our Light, in the name of the Holy Spirit our Wisdom, as we care and minister to one another in love, for we are the Body of Christ and the face of God to the world. Amen.


Presider: Go in the peace of Christ. Let our service continue!

ALL: Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN: #604 “Christ Be Our Light” verses 1,2,5

A Stranger, Starving on the Street

(to the tune of “I Heard the Voice of Jesus” #466 i.e., Kingsfold)

Verse 1

She moves into our sacred space, – where from the table spread,

she gives to us the cup of grace, – for us breaks living bread.

Astonished as we take and taste, – our clouded sight turns clear;

This hungry one dismissed in haste – is Christ who feeds us here!

Verse 2

With opened eyes and grateful hearts, – imaginations stirred

through joyful song, creative arts, – and thought provoking word,

we celebrate the nourishment – she offers in this meal

an unexpected sacrament – to bless, renew and heal.

Verse 3

Inspired by her, transformed and freed, – compelled beyond our door,

We’ll go into the city street – among the starving poor.

Awakened to each person’s need – of body, soul and mind,

We’ll strengthen, comfort, humbly feed, – and be the Christ they find!

Song #21 in “Earth Transformed with Music!

Inclusive Songs for Worship”

Jann Aldredge-Clanton

With composer Larry E Shultz 

Anointing of Roman Rodriguez with Bridget Mary and MMOJ Community

Pope Francis: Addresses Mandate to Care for Refugees, Children, and the Poor/Abused/Enslaved Members of our World

Before all else, I would restate my conviction that a world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane.  This lack of concern for persons is a sign of regression and dehumanization in any political or economic system.  Those who cause or allow others to be discarded – whether refugees, children who are abused or enslaved, or the poor who die on our streets in cold weather – become themselves like soulless machines.  For they implicitly accept the principle that they too, sooner or later, will be discarded, when they no longer prove useful to a society that has made mammon, the god of money, the centre of its attention.

"A discerning church is a listening church"; German Priests Advocate for Women Priests and Married Priests

In an open letter, 11 German priests from the Cologne archdiocese have urged…

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Ordinary Time A 2, January 14-15 by Beverly Bingle RCWP

Our nation faces challenges that demand strong moral courage.
We are a country divided by race and ethnicity and class;
a nation of immigrants struggling with immigration;
a nation involved in wars, with all their human cost.
We are an affluent society
where too many live in poverty.
We are part of a global community
confronting terrorism
and facing urgent threats to our planet.
As Catholics and as Christians,
we are called to participate
in shaping the moral character of our society.
It is the mission given to us,
as it was to our brother Jesus,
by the Spirit of God.
Our Catholic Church has been very clearly calling us
to put our faith values into action
since its 1976 document Faithful Citizenship.
The values of Catholicism do not conflict
with the values of our democracy.
Catholics—both as citizens of the city of God
as citizens of the United States of America—
believe that life, liberty, and equality are God-given rights.
Our faith requires us
to stand in solidarity
with the most vulnerable people
and with our vulnerable planet.
This past Tuesday evening
we heard President Obama
echo the values of our faith
when he delivered his farewell address
to the American people.
He said that “change only happens
when ordinary people get involved,
and they get engaged,
and they come together to demand it.”
He called those actions that lead to change
“the beating heart of our American idea”
and quoted the Declaration of Independence,
that we are all created equal,
endowed by our Creator
with rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Life, liberty, equality—
rights that come from God for all people,
every single one.
Tomorrow [today]
we remember the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
who, as a man of God,
preached those scriptures we just heard.
Half a century ago, he said,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
He said,
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
I can never be what I ought to be
until you are what you ought to be.
He said,
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,
‘What are you doing for others?’
And he said,
Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
about things that matter.
It’s fitting that today’s readings
are full of political and theological meanings
not only for the time they were written,
not only for the time before that,
but for our time as well.
The message for us,
as it was for Isaiah and Paul and John,
is two-fold:
servant discipleship and inclusiveness.
Isaiah talks about the anointed leader being formed from the womb
to be God’s servant
and a light to peoples of all the nations.
Paul tells the Corinthians that they are the body of Christ,
flesh and blood alive
and continuing to incarnate God in history.
John the Evangelist tells us
that the meaning of baptism
is in its revelation of Jesus
as the servant of God.
Behold the Lamb of God, John says.
Theologian Joachim Jeremias observed
that the word for “lamb” in Aramaic was “talyã’,”
which meant lamb,
but it also meant slave or servant.
When we read these passages, we see ourselves in them.
We claim for ourselves
the calling to be servants of God
and light to the nations.
It’s not only Christians who are called to bring light to the nations.
People of all religions follow that same call,
each in our own culture and tradition.
And it’s not just people of faith who are called
to bring light to the nations.
Many folks
labeled atheists or agnostics or “nones” by the media today
are people of virtue
with values and priorities
that call them to lead lives of service
and do the good works that bring light to others.
With us Catholics and Christians
and people of every faith everywhere,
they can claim citizenship in this country
and on our planet
and in the reign of God.
On Tuesday, President Obama urged us to be good citizens,
to speak up for justice,
to care for the common good.
It’s the same message we heard from Dr. King in the Sixties.
It’s the same message we heard from Isaiah 2,800 years ago,
and Paul and John 1,950 years ago.
It’s the message of God’s Spirit to Jesus and to us:
I love you.
I call you to serve one another.
I have chosen you to be light for the world.
For those of us who have dedicated our lives to the Way of Jesus,
this coming Friday’s inauguration
marks the need for even greater commitment to inclusivity
and even greater efforts at serving the most vulnerable.
We are called.
So let’s get to work.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Women Priests

"Should We Forgo Married Priests Until We Can Have Women Priests/" by Pat Periello, National Catholic Reporter
Bridget Mary's Response: The Catholic Church needs to embrace full equality with women priests and married priests. If Pope Francis approves women deacons and appoints women in top positions in the Vatican, he will take a step forward toward gender justice, but the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement will continue our prophetic work of ordaining women priests as we live the Spirt's call of full equality in inclusive communities in the 21st century. We are  leading the Church in a liberating companionship of empowerment! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

"It seems that married priests are on the horizon in the Catholic church. Word is that an experiment will soon take place in Brazil to address the severe shortage of priests in that country.
We know, of course, that married priests are already active even in the United States. Episcopal clergymen and even some Lutheran clergyman who have entered the church have been allowed to serve as clerics and remain married. As is to be expected, things will go slowly. Pope Francis could simply make an announcement that henceforth priests can get married within the church and that would be that. Of course, that is not the way we do things in our church.
South America, perhaps followed by Africa, are continents where the need for additional priests to serve the people has considerable urgency. Therefore, they may be good places to experiment with a married clergy. Perhaps married deacons may be ordained to priesthood, or priests who have left the priesthood and married might be reinstated. Naturally, only small steps can be taken. One doesn't want to push the envelope too dramatically.
Even this incremental step, however, is meeting some resistance, and some of the resistance is coming from liberals. In a 2014 article, Jamie Manson described the movement toward married priests as a major step backward for women priests. Married priests will remove much of the leverage for women priests. If there is no significant felt need for women priests, then it will be easier for the hierarchy to continue to say no to them.
When I first read Jamie's article, it gave me pause. Her points are well-taken.
Light-of-Truth-friends-2016.jpgNCR's award-winning reporting and commentary are possible because of support from people like you. Give today.
A blog post by "Rebel Girl" responds to Manson's article and provides a well-thought-out analysis that I believe is worthwhile reading.
It is undoubtedly true that there is no interest in ordaining female priests in either South America or Africa. I would add that Francis has made it clear that there will be no women priests at least for the duration of his papacy. It just isn't going to happen anytime soon.
The need to weaken the mandatory celibacy rule in the Roman church is also critical. We have put our heads in the sand with the sexual abuse crisis, but things have to change. Those wedded to the charism of celibacy can pursue it in religious orders or otherwise, but the mandate needs to be ended.
Moving forward on married priests does not mean that the quest for female priests should not continue to be pursued vociferously. The Rebel Girl post makes this clear. Yet, the thrust for women right now would be most effective by pursuing greater leadership roles and pushing for female deacons. Voices need to be raised with bishops to demand action in these areas.
Those women who have taken the plunge and gotten themselves ordained are pioneers and show the way we are headed eventually. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their witness. Someday, they will be remembered for their courage and forward thinking.
Within the church, however, we need to see movement and progress. Since Francis has made it clear that he will not ordain women, it becomes even more important that he make positive changes in the way women are treated in the church. Women need to be included in the highest councils of the church. It is time they exercised real leadership roles. A ministerial role as deacons, clearly attested in the New Testament, should move forward.
Finally, let me mention one of my pet peeves. We often correctly defer to the cultures in other lands. We understand that Africa or Asia may have a different view of women, for example. We try to understand their culture and make some allowances for it.
My question is, why do we never make allowances for Western culture? Why do our values, including equal rights for women, need to be ignored to placate other cultures? Why can't we be responsive to indigenous cultures, including our own?
If we need to explore experiments with married priests in South America and Africa, how about something for the West as well?

How about an experiment with female deacons in Boston or Washington, D.C.?



Course Description: In this course, adult faith seekers will primarily use Diarmuid O’Murchu’s text Christianity’s Dangerous Memory: A Rediscovery of the Revolutionary Jesus along with supplemental materials available on the Internet. This course provides a liberating spirituality for a companionship of empowerment rooted in compassion, justice and equality that expands what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st Century. Class participants will explore a Christian faith that is much bigger, deeper and more challenging than churches have ever acknowledged or proclaimed.

This on-line course opens the week of January 30, 2017 and concludes the week of April 10, 2017. The course is presented in six sessions. Each session is two weeks long. In the first week participants read and reflect on course materials and in the second week, participants write a refection on the session’s theme.
Registration closes January 27, 2017

Course Facilitators:

Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
Bridget Mary Meehan, MA, DMin, ARCWP, a Sister for Christian Community, is one of the founding members of the People’s Catholic Seminary. She is a member of the pastoral team at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. Bridget Mary presides at liturgies, officiates at weddings and offers sacramental ministry. She is an author of twenty books.  Her work in communications media include programs about women priests on Google and YouTube. Bridget Mary was ordained a priest in the first USA ordination in Pittsburgh on July 31, 2006 and was ordained a bishop in Santa Barbara, California on April 19, 2009.

Dr. Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

Mary Theresa Streck, Ed.D., DMin, 
is one of the founding members of the People’s Catholic Seminary. She is a member of the pastoral team at the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany, NY. She presides at liturgies, officiates at weddings and offers sacramental ministry and is a member of the ARCWP Program of Preparation team. She earned a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the Sage Colleges and a Doctorate in Ministry from Global Ministries University. She was ordained a priest on September 15, 2013.

Cost: $200 (financial aid available)
Register now at

Mail check or money order to:
People's Catholic Seminary
PO Box 421
Watervliet, NY 12189
(paypal coming soon!)

Click here to read Amazon’s book review of Christianity’s Most Dangerous Memory

Book Review from
Drawing from the best contemporary scholarship, bestselling author Diarmuid O’Murchu deconstructs the history of Christianity, and specifically the life of Jesus Christ, as it has evolved over the past two thousand years. With rich language and clear metaphors, O’Murchu speaks to every Christian who is fed up with a revisionist Christian doctrine based on banal ideas and who desperately seeks affirmation that the Christian faith is a much bigger, deeper, and more challenging institution than churches have ever acknowledged or proclaimed. According to O’Murchu, Jesus was never an earthly prince, but rather the first rebel, a countercultural outsider who sought to empower the oppressed and marginalized while questioning the core beliefs of longstanding institutions—and ultimately paying a mortal price for his convictions. Using this portrait of Jesus, each chapter addresses a range of common human problems that Christ himself overcame, such as understanding others, resolving hostilities, discovering empowerment by suffering, and preserving personal identity in a globalized world. O’Murchu’s stunning conclusions serve to reintroduce the world to the revolutionary Jesus, giving His story new life and relevance for the modern age.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pax Christi Seeks Signers Of letter Petitioning President -Elect Trump to Abolish Weapons

To sign the letter go to: HlghiJFJad2.

Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century by Ada María Isasi-Díaz Orbis Books, 1996

"In her introduction, Ada María is very clear about the intent of her mujerista theology: to provide a venue for the voices of grassroots Latinas, take seriously their experiences as a theological resource, and challenge those theological teachings that oppress Latinas. This last point is significant, for it becomes a theological norm in her work, one that embraces a preferential option for the oppressed as normative.
Her opening essay emerges from the pain of leaving her homeland and her struggles to find a home, first in a convent, then later in the women's ordination movement. There, she is shocked to discover racism and ethnic prejudice. She then turns to her mother's legacy, acknowledging both its positive and negative aspects. From Ada María, I learned that I was able to be critical of my Cuban heritage while at the same time embracing it, and that this was not a betrayal.
The next essay is the writing by Ada María that I have assigned most often in my classes, "To Struggle for Justice is to Pray." Autobiography also opens this chapter, and here we encounter her time as a missionary in Lima, Peru. Two profound insights are found in this brief essay. The first is the lived experience of the poor as the foundation for her theology. This insight, which resonates with the writings of Latin American liberation theologians, reads more powerfully within her personal narrative than it does in the jargon of traditional academic theology. The second is her realization that spirituality is not reserved for the elite and does not have to be nourished by disembodied prayer. Instead, it is in the midst of concrete, embodied social justice that she becomes closer to the sacred. One does not have to take refuge from this world to be spiritual; one can encounter God in the messiness of life.
In her essay defining mujerista theology, she focuses on the preferential option for Latinas, the significance of liberative praxis, and the importance of daily life. In Ada María's work, daily life (lo cotidiano) is not only material, but also cultural. It is something that is conscious, not merely repeated mechanically. It does not refer exclusively to the private or domestic sphere. Epistemologically, it is linked to what is known as "common sense." Due to its material and epistemological value, for Ada María lo cotidiano exemplifies the unity of action and reflection. She partially blames the failures of liberationist movements to transform structures of oppression on the neglect of lo cotidiano.
Lo cotidiano is a central characteristic of mujerista theology. Since its inception, mujerista theology has emphasized the concrete lived experiences of Latinas as the starting point for theology. For Ada María, this is the site of struggle, resistance and transformation. It is the space of popular religion, inhabited by the saints and virgenes of Latino/a devotions.
The category of lo cotidiano is not only descriptive, but also hermeneutic and epistemological. In the essay titled "Mujerista Theology: A Challenge to Traditional Theology," she states: "Lo cotidiano also includes the way we Latinas consider actions, discourses, norms, established social roles, and our own selves. ... Lo cotidiano is a way of referring to Latinas' efforts to understand and express how and why their lives are the way they are, how and why they function as they do."
This emphasis on lo cotidiano protects mujerista theology from essentialist claims. The centrality of daily life is not, however, uncritical, only that which contributes to the liberation of Latinas is salvific. It also does not reduce theology to pure relativism. The liberative principle remains the norm within her theology. However, daily life reminds us of the partial and fragmentary nature of all our knowledge.
"Elements of a Mujerista Anthropology" is the essay I have cited most frequently in my own scholarship. In mujerista theology, three phrases are critical to anthropology: la luchapermítame hablar and la comunidad/la familia. These are not the only sources, nor are they necessarily exclusive to Latinas. However, they are starting points for reflections on theological anthropology that takes as its starting point Latinas lives.
To speak of these three phrases is to offer an arena for Latinas' theological contributions: Latinas' daily lives, their contributive voices, and their relational conception of selfhood. Family and community are fundamental dimensions of human nature. This essay captures the maturity of Ada María's scholarship, where she is beginning to make theological claims based on the insights gathered from the Latinas who inform her work..."
[Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado is associate professor of religious studies and assistant provost for undergraduate education at the University of Miami. Her most recent book is Shopping: Christian Explorations of Daily Living.]

Janice Sevre Duszysnska ARCWP: Review of PBS Important Documentary Nuclear Weapons

To sign the letter go to: HlghiJFJad2.

In September, Max and I got to see a special viewing of "Command and Control," in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of its 10-city tour. We sat next to Sr. Megan Rice of the Transform Now Plowshares and Kathy Boylan of the  Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in D.C.

This was one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. It is about a near-nuclear explosion in the 80s
in Arkansas. At least 1,000 near-nuclear accidents have already occurred, and the author and others
believe it is inevitable that an explosion will eventually happen (unless nuclear weapons are abolished). 

The book was written by Eric Schlosser. He was present for the discussion afterwards along with
the movie's director, Robert Kenner. Dan Zak of The Washington Post and author of Almighty: Courage,
Resistance and Existential Terror in the Nuclear Age, was the moderator. This is the book about the
Transform Now Plowshares (Sr. Megan Rice and Catholic Workers Mike Walli and Greg Boerjete-Obed) and their witness at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in July 2012.

The movie is about a 330,000 ton Titan II Missile, eight stories high, that would fly for 20 minutes before it hits its target -- anywhere in the world. The missile contains 3x all the bombs used in WWII, including those used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A wrench was dropped onto the missile by accident. This set off the gas in one of the cylinders, and the launch would take place when this gas interacted with gas in another cylinder. Eventually, the interaction of the gases set off an enormous explosion. This particular nuclear weapons launch site is located in a small town in Arkansas, 50 miles south of Little Rock. The movie demonstrates the confusion that occurred among the workers, enlisted men who are trained to follow orders. Nobody questioned authority. They just followed. In the chaos, no one knew what to do. 

Once it was recognized this was a potential disaster, the base commander kept it secret. There was no transparency. If they would have told others how dangerous the situation was, the sheriff would have evacuated the  nearby community.

The checklist would not solve the problem. In reality, when something unexpected happens, it’s a traumatic event .

Later, the Strategic Air Command took over the base commander's authority, yet the situation was kept from Governor Bill Clinton, a U.S. senator and the  sheriff. They put all these people in danger. They wouldn’t even tell Senator Mondale who was in town because of the Presidential Campaign. That’s when Mondale called Secretary of War Harold Brown and asked, "What’s going on here?" Nobody told President Reagan.

Schlosser spoke of the “illusion of control, sense of enormous power getting out of our control.”

At least a 1,000 nuclear accidents over the years have occurred...

An expert said "It will eventually happen"…

A Hibakasha (survivor of nuclear blast in Hiroshima or Nagasaki) spoke:…"I saw this beautiful light….that then reigned down fire and incinerated human beings…melting them, screaming ghostlike people, melting naked blackened bodies, eyeballs hanging out of their sockets…