Friday, August 11, 2017

Fr. Roy Donovan, Catholic Priest Speaks Up for Women Priests in Tipperary, Ireland

By: Noel Dundon 
"A Parish Priest in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly has spoken out against plans by Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly to establish a working group which will examine all aspects of the Permanent Diaconate with the possible view to establishing the ministry.

Fr Roy O'Donovan, PP of Caherconlish says that establishing the ministry in the Archdiocese extends the role and responsibility of men in the Church thereby extending patriarchy.

“What are the implications of this when already there are so many women involved on the ground, in all kinds of ministries, without having much status and power? Have they not earned their place at the top table? Fr Donovan asked this week.

Archbishop O'Reilly has appointed Rev Fr Tom Fogarty as Chairman of the working group which will examine all aspects of the Permanent Diaconate, but that group has not yet met and is expected to commence work in the Autumn.

The ministry of the Permananet Diaconate has been introduced in many dioceses in Ireland and permits lay people to perform many ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings.

Fr. Donovan said "Permanent Diaconate excludes women. Introducing the Permanent Diaconate, without women, is extending Patriarchy in the Archdiocese. What are the implications of this when already there are so many women involved on the ground, in all kinds of ministries, without been given much status and power? Have they not also earned their place at the top table? It has been suggested by some that one of the reasons why men get involved in the Diaconate, is that it gives a certain amount of power and status.

"Pope Francis set up a Commission in July 2016 to study the diaconate and the role of deaconesses in the early Church. Is this group set up by the Archbishop going to pre-empt the Commission and introduce deaconesses?!

"Allowing a male only diaconate further questions the nature of relationships priests have with their mothers, sisters and nieces. It also questions the nature of relationships priests have with women. There are women in the Archdiocese who believe they are called by God to be priests ie. Marese Skeehan (Thurles), Noirin Ni Riain (Murroe & native of Caherconlish) who was recently ordained as a minster in the One Spirit Inter Faith Seminary Foundation.

"We have a long way to go to implement the originality of the Gospel of Jesus – a ministry of equals among equals. After all, Mary Magdalene, known as the Apostle to the Apostles, was the first minister of the good news – proclaiming that Jesus is alive!", he said. "

ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland: Day 10: Kildare Visit and Prayer for Women Priests and Gender Equality in Ireland

St. Brigid's  Cathedral: Site of St. Brigid's Monastery in Kildare


Mary Theresa Streck and Bridget Mary Meehan at Kildare Monastery on August 10th

Ancient Monastic Site as it looked in time of Brigid in 5th century Ireland

Round Tower on Monastic Grounds of St.  Brigid of Kildare Cathedral in Kildare

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ARCWP Women Priests Visit Ireland- Day 9-Women in Ireland Discerning their Call to Ordination Prayed Liturgy Celebrating Justice, Partnership and Equality

Today we met with women discerning their call to ordination and celebrated the following liturgy.

Liturgy to Celebrate Justice, Partnership and Equality for Women in Church and Society

Woman’s Spirit Karen Drucker

Presider 1: We gather joyfully and begin in the name of the Holy One, Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Presider 2: O Holy One, You move through us.
ALL: As we work for justice, partnership and equality.
Presider 1:  We see Your feminine face in our ancestors and in all women.
ALL:  May we open our hearts, to Your mothering love.  
Presider 2: Jesus, our brother, taught us to see Your divine reality in women, especially in women who have been abused and exploited. 
ALL:  May we stand with our sisters who are abused and exploited.  
Presider 1:  We see You in men and women who have been caring partners and companions. 
ALL:  May we, live a connectedness and friendship with others.  
Presider:  May Your love heal and empower us.  
ALL: Amen.

ALL:  Glory to You, O Holy One, in the highest, and peace, justice and equality to all people on earth.  We give You thanks, and praise You for Your glory. You are all goodness and light, and You hold us in your heart forever. Amen.

First Reading:  Isaiah 58:5-8
Responsorial Psalm: “Ube Caritas” (Taize)
Gospel Acclamation:  ALLELUIA!    (sung)
Reader:  A reading from  the  Gospel John 13:34-35


Profession of Faith:   ALL:  We believe in  the Holy One who loves passionately, embraces  all and forgives everything. We believe in Jesus who accompanies us on our journey and shows the way to  fullness of life. We believe in the  Divine Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes us as co-creators  of caring communities that challenge oppression, exploitation and injustice. We believe that we are radiant images of God who calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously.  We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey.  We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world.  We believe that we are one in the Heart of God, and that we are called to live our prophetic call of mutual partnership now.
Presider:  Aware that the Holy One, like a fierce mother bear, who protects her young, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the women and men in our lives, in our church and world, before you.
Response: Holy One, you, hear our prayer.
Presider:  For those who have been abused, we pray for empowerment.  R.   Presider:  For those who have confronted their abusers, we pray for courage.  R. Presider:  For those who have been sexually exploited, we pray for healing.  R.   Presider:  For the men and women who have been caring friends and partners, we pray for their continued growth and well being.  R.   Presider:  In your name we pray that we can do all things by the power of your Spirit working in us.   ALL: Amen
Presider:  Blessed are you, O Holy One
Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life. 
ALL:  Blessed are You forever.   
Presider:  Blessed are you, O Holy One, Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 
ALL:  Blessed are you  forever.

Presider:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus in communion with all who proclaim the liberating power of Woman-Spirit in our midst. ALL:  Amen.

Presider: O Heart of Love, You dwell in us.
All: And we dwell in You.
Presider: O Pursuer of Justice, we life up our hearts
All: In service to our sisters and brothers
Presider: We thank you, Source of All
All: All the days of our lives.

Part One: O Holy One, You love through us as we  reach out to our sisters who are abused and exploited. Your gift of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in every encounter. With thankful hearts in the company of the angels and saints, we praise you, Spirit of Abundance and Welcome.

ALL:  Holy, Holy, Holy Source of strength and light. All creation is full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed are all who come in Your name.  Hosanna in the highest.

(Please extend your hands in blessing)
Part Two:  You are holy indeed O nurturing One. You are the Heart of Love. You affirm women’s bodies as holy and women’s stories as sacred. You  pour out your Spirit upon women called to preside at Eucharist. You pour out your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world

On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved.  Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying
ALL:  “Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in memory of me. “

After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying ALL: This is the cup of the covenant of my love . As often as you drink of it, remember me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
ALL: Christ has died in all those abused and exploited.
Christ is rising in all those working for justice, equality and partnership.
Christ comes each day in our work for a renewed humanity.

Part Three:  In memory of Jesus, who showed us the path to empowerment, we give thanks for the loving relationships that helped us grow more aware of our goodness, strength, and passion. We give thanks for your Enfolding Presence as we advocate for survivors of violence, abuse, and rape and  accompany them on their journey to healing and wholeness.  Sharing this sacred banquet of love, we are filled with courage to live Gospel equality in our communities.

Part Four:  Holy One, we remember your holy people throughout the world, as we grow in love, together with Francis our pope, our community leaders, and all Your people.  We remember our brothers and sisters who have suffered abuse and rejection by our church. We hold them in our hearts.

Part Five: We remember all the companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, Junia and Andronicus, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, and all holy women and men who have witnessed for justice throughout the ages. Like Jesus, thier courage inspires us to confront all forms of discrimination and work for equality. For it is…

ALL: Through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for justice.  AMEN


Presider: Let us pray as Jesus taught us.

All:  O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we    let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
            For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen  (Prayer of Jesus by  Miriam Therese Winter)  

Presider:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave you.  My peace I give you.”  The peace of the Holy One is also with you.  Let us offer each other a sign of peace.

SONG for Peace
May the Christ Light Shine in You by Kathy Sherman

ALL:  Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so. Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of  healing and justice, we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world.  We will do so.

Presider:   This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to the table.
ALL:  We are the Body of Christ.


Communion Meditation Song:
Beauty of the Dancer by Sara Thomsen

Presider:   The Holy One is with you. 
ALL:  and also with you.

Presider: Please extend you hands as we pray our final blessing:
ALL: The encompassing of the Holy One is on us,
The encompassing of the Divine Presence,
The encompassing of the Christ of love,
The encompassing of the Spirit of Grace,
let us go forth from this Banquet, aware always that human rights are equal rights and that we are all the beloved of God. ALL:  Amen.
  (Adapted from Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica)

Presider:   We go forth with the energy of Christ to heal and transform our church and world.  Let the service for justice and equality continue! 
ALL:   We give grateful thanks and may we be a blessing in our time.

CONCLUDING HYMN: Women Spirit Rising, Karen Drucker

Liturgy: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests