Saturday, November 18, 2017

Compassion is the Heart of Health Care, Pope Francis Says

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his Aug. 2 2017, general audience in the
Paul VI Hall. 
Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA.

Two Petitions in Support of Pope Francis

Dear friends
The petition “Pro Pope Francis” by Prof Paul Zulehner (Vienna) and Tomas Halik (Prague) has by now more than 51,000 supporters There are many VIPs, theologians and even clerics from the hierarchy ( who signed the letter to Pope Francis. The petition was initiated on October 17 and is now available in 11 languages:
The “Pro Pope Francis” initiative from Religión Digital in Madrid that was started a little bit earlier has more than 12,000 supporters by now, mainly in the Spanish speaking world, I guess:
Being aware of the ongoing attacks on Pope Francis especially about Amoris Laetitia we would very much like to invite you all to distribute both initiatives in your countries and in your groups. Both initiatives are very important to counterbalance the conservative voices who want to hinder any change in the teachings and practice of the Church. With these petitions we call to our bishops and theologians to increase their support for Pope Francis.
Valery Stroud has started a website from where you can easily find access to both initiatives:
Many thanks for your taking action!
Sigrid Grabmeier
Chair of We are Church International
Martha Heizer
Past Chair of We are Church International

Woman at the Altar Reflect the Glory of Christ, See Book written by Lavinia Byrne

“A woman who comes to the altar as a priest is a woman who moves from 
comparative invisibility to a place where the Glory of Christ is recognized in her.” 

My Response: Not only do women at the altar affirm the glory of Christ but, women, men, and created beings manifest Divine Presence everywhere. Our movement advocates a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals that is inclusive and empowering.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

Left to right: Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP Bridget Mary Meehan,ARCWP, Adele Jones ARCWP (deceased)

Movement Behind Ordination of Women Catholic Priests Comes to Thurmont By Nancy Lavin Nov 17, 2017

The Rev. Marilyn Rondeau is a member of Living Water Inclusive Catholic Community, which held its first services Sunday afternoon at Harriet Chapel, south of Thurmont.

"The Roman Catholic Church has been a constant presence in Mary Hollomon’s life.
Hollomon, 75, who lives in Frederick, was raised in a Catholic family and continued to worship at Catholic churches throughout most of her adult life, save for a brief period when she attended an Episcopal church.
Despite her nearly lifelong affiliation, Hollomon found certain Catholic teachings difficult to swallow, including the exclusion of women from the priesthood.
After years of internal struggle, she recently found a way to reconcile her faith with her values through Living Water Inclusive Catholic Community. Living Water supports ordination of women to the priesthood. Its female clergy are also affiliated with the Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an international movement of women deacons, priests and bishops.
Since beginning in a church in Annapolis in 2008, Living Water has grown to include services at churches in Baltimore, Catonsville and, as of Sunday, Frederick, with a Mass at Harriet Chapel near Thurmont. Before Sunday, Masses were said at Holloman’s former house in Thurmont.
Growing interest among local residents prompted leaders to seek a designated church space, according to the Rev. Marilyn Rondeau, the priest who presided over Mass at Harriet Chapel on Sunday.
None of the churches where Living Water hosts Mass are Catholic. The Catholic Church does not recognize women like Rondeau who have been ordained as clergy, although the Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests asserts that the female priests’ ordinations are valid based on the concept of apostolic succession.
“The traditional churches, they frown upon us,” Rondeau said. “They indicate we are excommunicated.”
Under the rules of apostolic succession, spiritual authority bestowed to Jesus’ original apostles has been handed down to subsequent generations of clergy. A male Roman Catholic bishop ordained the first female bishops, who then passed the spiritual authority down to other female clergy, according to the association.
As its name suggests, Living Water emphasizes inclusivity in all aspects of its teaching, not just the gender of its spiritual leaders. Worshippers are involved in all aspects of the service, from reading the Gospels — traditionally reserved for clergy in the Catholic Church — to the offertory in which the bread and wine used for the service are ceremonially placed on the altar.
“What makes us unique is that we are speaking with more than one voice and listening with more than one ear,” Rondeau said.
As an ordained priest, Rondeau still consecrates the bread and wine, completing the transfiguration of the food and drink into the body and blood of Christ. Living Water also lets anyone take Holy Communion, regardless of faith, sexual orientation or marital status.
The sacrament is traditionally reserved for Catholics under the church’s doctrine. Those who have divorced or separated but not had their marriage annulled in the church are also excluded from Holy Communion, although Pope Francis has acknowledged that there may be exceptions that bishops can permit for their archdiocese on an individual basis, the Catholic News Agency has reported.
Members of the LGBTQ community have been denied the sacraments of Communion and marriage as well as burial under canon law, although some priests and churches have defected from this rule on an individual basis.
Rondeau framed Catholic doctrines as a series of antiquated rules that denounce many of the identities and beliefs held by would-be followers.
“There’s a lot of people that feel so disenfranchised and so marginalized by the Roman Catholic community,” she said.
“They put up with things they disagree with, hoping things will change,” Hollomon agreed.
Rondeau could relate. A lifelong Catholic, she felt the call to priesthood as early as age 3, a sensation she described as “a tug, tug, tug in my heart...”

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, 33 Week of Ordinary Time, Presiders Karen Hylen and Lee Breyer, Music Minister Linda Lee Miska

Co-Presiders: Karen Hylen and Lee Breyer

Theme:   Our Father and Mother….May [y]our kindom come….

Welcome and Opening Expression
Presider:  Welcome everyone.  Today we come together as partners on our own particular journeys.  We know that, although our paths may differ in many ways, the goals and ways to reach them are the same…to spend eternity with our God by following the messages of the gospels. And this is identified in what is, allegedly, the most common prayer of Christians, The Prayer of Jesus. In it we pray, “may your kindom come” and – by definition – a “kindom” is a relationship, and a relationship – by definition – implies more than one subject.  To illustrate this mutual sharing in the prayer’s phrase, I worded it, in print above, with brackets.  And in words I could say something like “may your kindom come…and mine too!”

And now let’s take a moment or two to collect ourselves in mind and spirit to celebrate today’s liturgy.  And what better way to do this than sing together what I termed “our camp song,” Karen Drucker’s “We are holy.”

Opening Hymn “We are Holy (Karen Drucker)

Gathering/Opening Prayer
All:  We gather now to pray to God…while believing that God speaks (or “prays”) in and through us.  We pray that God at work in us comes to visual and audible expression in our words and actions to those around us.  We rejoice in the wonder of the fulness who we are and for the responsibility we carry with us.  We are grateful that the Breath of Life, our Spirit, supports us in the roles we share in the coming of the kindom.

Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today.  We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our Wisdom Sophia.  Amen.
Presider:  This is the day that our gracious God has made…
All:   Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Penitential Expression and Community Forgiveness
All: (raise an arm toward our brothers and sisters, as we pray…)  Compassionate God, we believe that nothing we do can separate us from your infinite love.  And we also know that we have to continually enrich our never-satisfied need to grow in our acts of understanding and compassion so that we may be more forgiving of our brothers and sisters. We ask for your forgiveness for any of our actions that may be hurtful to people of other beliefs and interests, nationalities and races.

Caring God, give us the strength to spread your merciful blessing that is your gift – through us – to all those with whom you share your unending love.  We ask this in the names of Jesus, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our healer and comforter.  Amen.

Glory to God
Presider: Let us give glory to our loving Creator.  We give thanks for the wonder of the Spirit at work in us that strengthens us on our journeys.  And so, in deep gratitude, we sing…

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

Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31  All: Thanks be to God
Psalm 128 Responsorial:  Blessed are those who listen to Jesus and walk in his ways.
Second Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6             All: Thanks be to God
Gospel:  Matthew 25:14-30                                       All:   Alleluia  (Celtic version)

Shared Homily/Community Reflections

Profession of Faith
All:  We believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything everywhere in the cosmos sacred.  We believe in Jesus, the Christ, the touch of God to humanity, who leads us to the fullness of life. Through his incarnation, we have become a new people…a holy one called beyond the consequences of our brokenness.  We believe in the Spirit, the Breath of God who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives.  She is the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our strengths grow weary in our journeys.  We believe that God’s shared kindom is here with us now and will always be present for those with eyes to recognize it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it known to everyone.

We say amen to faith, hope, and love.  We say amen to the partnership and equality of all people, regardless of gender, race, and beliefs.  We say amen to a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.  In all of this, we surely believe.

Prayers of the Community
Presider:  We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. We are mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each of us.  And so, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious God.  After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions.
(community intentions)

Presider:  Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world.  As we always do, we make these prayers to you, O God, in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom.  Amen.

Offertory Procession and Song: “You Are Mine”  #462
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use.  It will become for us the bread of life.
All: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer…this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use.  It will become for us our spiritual drink.
All: Blessed be God forever.

Gathering of the Gifted
Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his.  Everyone is welcome to share with one another in this blessed meal.

All:  Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus.  And we are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion especially all those who are marginalized and oppressed.  May we love tenderly, act with justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers everywhere.  And may we always live as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus.  Amen.

Presider:  Let us give thanks to the Creator of all that exists.
All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.

Presider:  Let us show our gratitude to Jesus who has shared with us his life-vision.
All: Open our hearts to your message through your words and actions while on this earth.

Presider:  Let us recognize the presence of the Spirit among us gathered at the family table.
All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all creation.

Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts.
All: We lift them up to the One who lives in us and loves others through us.

Presider: God dwells in each one of us.
All: Namaste!

Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1:  Ever living and ever-loving God, it is through you that we live and move and have our very being while on planet Earth.  And we know that in the days to come, that Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven.  Her dwelling with us gives us everlasting hope of unending peace and joy with you.  And so, we sing with thankful praise….

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power, God of light.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed are all who come in the name of our God.  Hosanna in the highest.

Voice 2:  We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us.  He was moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone he met, everywhere he went. He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived.  And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what is worth dying.

Voice 3:  And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, providing a personal example of this insight for the easier understanding of people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms and died. Then the Spirit, one stronger than death, raised Jesus to life, showing everyone that life is eternal and that love is immortal.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

All:  O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts – this simple wheat and wine.  May She make them holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.

All (With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.):  We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying: take this, all of you and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me.  [Pause]

In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine.  He said the blessing and, gave it to his friends saying: take this all of you and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  Do this in memory of me.

Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us today in this bread.  The Spirit, whom the prophets spoke of centuries ago in history, is with us today in this cup.    Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.
All:  Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ lives in us in the world today.
Voice 4:  In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread, this saving cup.  May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.  And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move as freely in our lives as She did in his.
Voice 5:  God, remember your church 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. We remember, as well, the entire communion of saints, both those living and dead, who touched our lives and left your footprint on our hearts. We remember especially …(pause as names are mentioned).

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…(and everyone sings)…Amen.  (3x)
All (holding hands):  Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…..

Presider:  God, we have just prayed that your kindom may come among us.  Grant that we may open our hearts to make it real and our hands to serve one another.

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

All: …. grant us your peace.  O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace through our words and actions to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.  Amen.

Presider:   May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another.                                 Let There Be Peace on Earth,   #532

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider:  Loving God…. All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of 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 understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing 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.

Pre-Communion Prayer
Presider: Gracious God, as we come to share the riches of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters, our families and neighbors.

Men:  We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry.  O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for all your people.
Women:  We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty.  O God, this very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.
All:  We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for the world at war’s doors.

Communion Hymn: Instrumental

After Communion Song/Reflection:  “Taste and See”   #331

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider:  Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our
oneness with you and with one another.  May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating, mothering
love for all.   And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion for us, your sacred people.  We ask this in the name of Mary’s son, Jesus the Christ.   All:  Amen.
Introductions, Gratitudes, Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

All:     May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams, see new
visions, and create a new heaven and earth.

May we live and work for compassion and peace, justice and non-violence in our hearts and in those of everyone we meet.

May we learn to bless and honor and hold in reverence all creation, the earth, and one another.

Closing Community Commissioning

Presider:  Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we have been called and blessed, and are now commissioned and sent into the world to create cultures of peace and justice.  May we again commit to our role in making a more smooth development of the “coming of the kindom” of God.

Presider : As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the people that God created us to be.  Let our service continue so that everyone observing us will know we are Christians by our love .

All:  Thanks be to God.  Let it be so!

Closing Community Hymn:  “They’ll Know We Are Christians” (verses 1,2, &3)   #584