Saturday, May 20, 2017

Award -Winning Documentary Film on Roman Catholic Women Priests, "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" Screened in Albuquerque, New Mexico Today, Panel: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Advocate of Women's Ordination, Jules Hart, documentary producer, Donna Rougeux ARCWP and Carol Giannini ARCWP

Donna Rougeux ARCWP Carol Giannini ARCWP, Jules Hart, and Roy Bourgeois

Roy Bourgeois, Donna Rougeux ARCWP and Jules Hart

A small but engaged group of people attended the screening of documentary, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, at the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque NM on Saturday May 20, 2017. Fr.Roy Bourgeois, peace activist and advocate for women's ordination and Jules Hart, director/ producer of the documentary, were special guests for the screening and the Q&A afterwards. Donna Rougeux and Carol Giannini, ARCWP priests who both live in Albuquerque were also on the panel for the Q&A. The audience seemed to be inspired and touched by the documentary. 

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, May 20, 2017, 6th Sunday of Easter, with Presiders: Karen Hylen and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Music Ministers, Mindy Lou Simmons, Cantor, Russ Banner

Left to right: Karen Hylen and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Theme: The Spirit of God dwells within us in infinite love.


 Gathering Song:  Let you Light Shine In Us,” Kathy Sherman from album (Love Cannot be Silenced)

Opening Prayer
 ALL: O Spirit of Love, you dwell in the depths of our hearts. You manifest yourself each and every day in our lives, and in our world. We celebrate your infinite love always moving in our lives and empowering us to live your compassion and justice in our world.
 ALL: Amen

Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in love with others and with creation.

General Absolution by Community:
(All raise hands extended in prayer and recite together.)
God, our Mother and Father of compassion, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from the infinite love of the Holy One. May God give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and for our earth in the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom. Amen.

All:  Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth.  Creator God, Divine Mother of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit sustaining everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos.  Through the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience you in our brothers and sisters.  We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom.  Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

First reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14:7
All: Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm: Ubi Caritas et amo, ubi caritas, Deus ibi est. (Taize)

Second reading:   1 Peter 3: 15-18 
All: Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation:  Eightfold Alleluia
Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21
All: Glory and thanks to our God.

Shared Homily/Community Reflection
Mindy Lou Simmons sings chant
Mindy Lou Simmons, music minister at MMOJ

Homily Starter: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
This beautiful musical chant by Shana Noll, sung by Mindy Lou Simmons reminds us of our deepest reality proclaimed in our Gospel today that we are the Risen Body of Christ. Jesus said that he is one with God and that we are one in Christ: “You are in me and I am in you.” The Spirit dwells within each of us and in all of us in infinite love.

Scripture scholar Roger Vermalen Karban, a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., reflects on the significance of the risen Jesus identification with all his followers in the story of Paul’s conversion. Saul planned to “arrest any men and women” who followed the Way. On the way he was confronted by the Risen One claiming to be “Jesus whom you are persecuting." 

"According to Luke's theology, not only were the Christian men in Damascus other Christs, so were the women. Reflecting on Galatians 3: 28 spiritual author Michael Crosby once mentioned it took 30 or 40 years before the church overcame the Jew/Gentile issue, and almost 1,900 years before it finally settled the slave/free question. Then he pointed out the obvious: "We're still dealing with that male/female thing!" Just as the church once struggled to surface the risen Jesus in Gentiles and slaves, it continues to struggle with experiencing that same unique person in women, especially in women who have a calling to preside at the Eucharist.”

Like Paul, we encounter the risen Christ living and loving, healing and empowering today through us.  We are the Body of the Risen Christ where the Spirit of God dwells in infinite love. At each Eucharist, as we share the Bread of life, we say to one another: "you are the Body of Christ." Amen, my sisters and brothers, this is who we are!

Fourteenth Century English Mystic Julia of Norwich shared Christ’s visions of the gospel of love in her book entitled, Showings, or Revelations . She reminds us that we have been loved in God’s mind “from without beginning,” as Julian puts it, so “in this love our life is everlasting.” She understands that Christ’s unconditional love overcomes all evil and will eventually transform all suffering in heaven. My favorite Julian quotes are her theology on the motherhood of God: “As truly as God is our father, as truly is God our mother,  and “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well."

Now let us prayerfully journey into the depths of our souls and contemplate Christ dwelling there in infinite love. Here we can leave fear, mistrust and toxic thinking behind. Here all shall be well.

Chant: Mindy Lou Simmons leads;
"Be still and know that all is God...
Be still and know that all is divine...

Shared Homily with Community

Profession of Faith

ALL: We believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, the fountain of life, flowing through every being. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who reflects the face of God and the fullness of humanity. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos, who calls us to love and serve without counting the cost. We believe in our global communion with all in the circle of life. Amen to loving actions on behalf of justice, healing, compassion and equality for all in our world! We believe we are light to the world!

Prayers of the Community

Presider:  We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are filled with joy as your Spirit loves through us . And so, we bring the needs of people – throughout the world – to You.
After each intercession, respond: Spirit of the Living God, fill us with your love.
Presider: Loving God, you faithfully listen to our prayers.  We ask you to empower us in our service of our sisters and brothers. We pray in names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom.  Amen.

Offertory Procession: Song: Instrumental
Preparation of the Gifts
Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain that the 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, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have made. It will become for us our spiritual drink.
All:  Blessed be God forever.

Gathering of the Gifted
Presider:  Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table.  Everyone is welcome around our family table.

ALL:  Nurturing God, we are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus.  We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who proclaims your mercy to all those who are marginalized and oppressed.  May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.  May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit.  Amen.

Presider:  God dwells in each one of us.            All: Namaste!
Presider:  Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
All:  With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider:  Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.
Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts.
All:  We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us.

Eucharistic Prayer
  All: O Divine Flame of Love, your glowing embers dance in our hearts. Your passionate presence kindles our souls. You purify us with the searing truth that ignites our spirits. We celebrate your nearness this day as we remember your Pentecost miracles in our lives and world.

Voice 2 : The wind of your life has blown across our world in the gentle breezes and thunder storms of your vision in your prophets and visionaries among us. We praise and exalt you forever with grateful hearts as we sing:

Holy Holy Holy  - Karen Drucker
We are Holy, Holy, Holy…
You are Holy, Holy, Holy,…

Voice 3: Passionate God, you kindle your fire of enthusiasm within us. You speak to us with assurance and excitement and reveal to us the infinite, boundless, depths of your love for us.

Voice 4: You awaken us to your promises to be always present in our lives, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience. You consume us with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of your justice. You give us eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others burdens.

Invocation of the Holy Spirit (extend you hand in blessing)
All: You bless us O Holy One and you enliven all that exists. You transform these gifts of bread and wine, and our lives, by boundless grace that nourish and sustains us on our journey.

Presider: On the night before he faced his own death,Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions. He reminded them of what he taught them and bent down and washed their feet. Jesus returned to his place at the table, lifted the Passover bread and spoke the blessing, and then broke the bread with these words,

All: Take and Eat, this is my very self.

Presider: Jesus then raised high the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine with these words:

Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone. Whenever you do this, you remember me.

Presider: Let us proclaim the mystery of wonder in our midst:

All: Christ of the Cosmos you are the spark of love in whom we believe; the Wisdom of Sophia in whom we trust; and the desire for justice that consumes us.

Voice 5:  In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread and this cup of divine love.  May all who share this sacred meal grow more deeply one in the Holy Spirit.  And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus heal, liberate and empower us as well.

Voice 6 Spirit of Truth, remember your holy people throughout the world, help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. Remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to).

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

All: Our Father and Mother ……..Amen.

The Sign of Peace
Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”   Look on the faith of those gathered here and

All: … grant us your peace.  O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us live in peace and harmony with everyone, everywhere.

Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, as we join hands and sing, Peace is flowing like a river…

Litany for the Breaking of Bread
Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice.   We will live justly.

Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name.  We will love tenderly.

Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk humbly with you.

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

Communion:  Instrumental
After Communion Reflection Song:   Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us, Spirit of the living God fall afresh on us. Melt us.  Mold us. Fill us. Use us. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. (repeat with me/them)

Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion Presider: Spirit of Truth, may this Eucharist in which we always share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another.  We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom.   All:  Amen.

Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

Presider:  Liberating Spirit at work within us, we go forth in your abiding presence to give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all your holy people.   ALL:  Amen

ALL: (with an outstretched arm in blessing)
May the blessing of the Spirit, go before you.
May Her love wrap you ‘round.
May Her blessing remain with you always.
May you walk on holy ground.
Co-Presiders:   Let our service continue in all that we do!
ALL:   Thanks be to God. Let it be so!  Alleluia!

Gathering and Concluding Hymn: Let you Light Shine In Us,”
By Kathy Sherman from album (Love Cannot be Silenced)

Let your light shine in us (repeat 3 times)
And we will be light for the world.
Repeat again
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your hearts beat in us (repeat 3 times)
And we will be love for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come

Let your joy sing in us (repeat3 times)
And we will be hope for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come

Let your peace live in us (repeat 3 times)
And we will be one for us.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

 Let your light shine in us (repeat 3 times)
And we will be light for the world
We will be one and the kindom will come!

Friday, May 19, 2017

"The Return of the Sacred Feminine" by Andrew Harvey

"Taking 'Sanctuary Cities' Literally"

An activist is calling on the Archdiocese of New York to make churches places of refuge for people threatened by President Trump’s stance on immigration.

A woman prays in St. Patrick's Cathedral, one of the most prominent Roman Catholic churches in New York City

In February, a Catholic priest in Staten Island told the Daily News that, after rumors of ICE raids, he had seen a dip in the number of parishioners in churches. In New York, the Catholic Church continues to play a central role in the daily lives of Latinos. Since President Trump signed executive orders on immigration, activists have wondered if the Church should be doing even more to protect undocumented people.
According to Pew Research Center data from 2014, at least 35 percent of Catholics living in New York’s five boroughs are Hispanic. Many of them are unauthorized—New York is the U.S. city with the largest population of undocumented immigrants. So, how could the Church come to the aid of a community that seems increasingly in need of help? The activist Felix Cepeda has an idea: utilize property assets.
For a while, the Archdiocese of New York has seen a decrease of both parishioners and priests. This has led to an aggressive plan to ensure the survival of its most important churches by closing more than fifteen others. These are spread out among Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island; some are located in very valuable areas. Cepeda thinks those now-empty properties could become sanctuaries for people at risk of deportation.
"It's not just about helping undocumented people. In this city, there are more and more homeless people and access to culture is a constant challenge," says Cepeda. "Keeping those spaces closed does not make any sense." His proposal is threefold: to dedicate those spaces to solving the migration, housing, and cultural crises. In addition to addressing these three issues, his model is collaborative. "There are many groups in this city that could manage those spaces. The Archdiocese would not have to bear the costs involved in the execution of all of the potential programs, because if it opens itself up to other organizations, many more people could benefit,” he says. “They could open cultural centers, build affordable housing, provide shelter for the homeless, and welcome undocumented immigrants. "
Regardless, Cepeda acknowledges that his proposal is controversial. Although in New York there are several places of worships that are defined as 'sanctuaries' for undocumented immigrants, none of them are part of the Catholic Church. That would require authorization from the Archdiocese, which has yet to happen. "The Catholic Church continues to have a very rigid understanding of leadership. Although there are many priests who want to welcome undocumented people into their churches, no one can take that step if Cardinal Dolan does not approve,” adds Cepeda.
The role of Archbishop Timothy Dolan has recently become the subject of much criticism. Although during the last presidential campaign he criticized Trump's proposals on immigration by publishing an article in the Daily News, months later he participated in the inauguration ceremony in the nation's capital. His stance is similar to that of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. "When we use the word 'sanctuary', we have to be very careful not to create false hope," Wuerl told the Washington Post. "Given the separation of church and state, the Church has no right to say 'if you enter this building, the law does not apply to you,' but we do hope to be a voice to those who have none."
As for Cepeda's proposal, it seems that the activists will have to wait. Sources from the Archdiocese corroborated this information to CityLab Latino, but made it clear that they were not interested in a formal interview.
Some clergy in the Church have taken positions more closely resembling Cepeda’s. In an interview with the Catholic publication Crux, Daniel Flores, the bishop of Brownsville, a Texas town near the Mexican border, said that "in some instances," undocumented people seeking asylum were experiencing the "real threat to life," and failing to support these undocumented people was "to comply with an immoral act."
On the other hand, the Catholic Church has already called on individuals to not respect the law on certain occasions. The Church criticized the Affordable Care Act, for instance, claiming that the law compelled institutions and professionals to "oppose their conscience" by requiring them to provide contraceptive methods to patients regardless of their own religious beliefs.
"An unjust law can not be obeyed," read the document released by the American Episcopal Conference. "In the face of an unjust law, change must be sought, especially when the law contains misleading words and deceptive practices." At that time, the bishops were called upon to muster "the courage to not obey these rules" and to "avoid them as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith." On the issue of sanctuary, however, it is unclear whether a similar conclusion will be reached.
This post originally appeared on our sister site, CityLab Latino.