Saturday, January 6, 2018

Obituary for Judith Ann "Judy" Beaumont

Judy Beaumont sharing Communion with Children of Ft. Myers

Judith Ann (Judy) Beaumont, RCWP, lifelong fighter for peace and justice, succumbed to AML leukemia, after a valiant fight of almost two years, on January 1, 2018, at her home in Fort Myers, Florida, cared for by her partner in life and ministry, Judy Lee, and her sister, Jill Bergner, and her favorite cat, Timmy.

Life was precious to her and she was dedicated entirely to service of the poor and God’s “little ones.” She was a Sister of St. Benedict at St. Scholastica in Chicago for 34 years. She was a teacher of math and religion and assisted in the resettlement of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees. She earned her MRE Degree from Loyola University in Chicago. She moved to Hartford, Ct., in 1981to participate in work for peace and justice, including the Plowshares Action, Trident Nein. Her prison time in Connecticut for this act of conscience included successful prison reform for women. She then worked at My Sister’s Place, in Hartford, CT, a shelter for women and children. In a few short years, she rose in the ranks of servant leadership and became CEO of MSP. She led in the development of four programs and construction of two new buildings for homeless women and families and mentally ill men and women.

In 1998 she moved to Fort Myers, Florida, with her partner, Judy Lee. There she worked with various churches in the diocese of Venice, in administrative roles and as Director of Religious Education. Four different cancers slowed her down a little, but she was able to develop Good Shepherd Ministries of SW Florida, and Church in the Park, serving homeless and low income people in need of impassionate and skilled support.

In 2012, she was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest and became pastor of Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers.

In 2015, she was named a candidate for person of the year by The News-Press, for service to the community, calling her a “force for good.” She was an amazing dynamo for justice and love for all 80 of her years.

Judy was the beloved partner of Judy Lee, loving sister of Ed (Joanie) Beaumont and Jill (Bill) Bergner, shining example of goodness for many nieces and nephews, her “foster son”, Marlee Maxwell, godchildren, Felice Rismay, Keeondra Terrell, and others, friends and members of the Good Shepherd Community.

Her indomitable spirit continues to guide us in service to others. She has given her body to the University of Miami Medical School.

A memorial service will be held in February of 2018, details to be announced.

Memorial donations may be given to Rev. Joe Irvin of Bootstraps Ministry for the Homeless in North Fort Myers and/or the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

With My Homeless Friends Today Bundled Up in Sarasota

Bridget Mary,  Randy and Dog Stubbie homeless in Sarasota- I shared gift cards from McDonalds with them. 
 Bridget Mary and Stubbie, homeless dog
Rick, Randy and Jeff

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community: Epiphany Sunday, January 6, 2018 Co-Presiders: Elena Garcia ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP, Music Ministry Mindy Lou Simmons

Left to right: Elena Garxia ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP

Sally Brochu ARCWP
Cathy proclaims the first reading



Let us begin in the name of our Mother and Father God, in the name of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit our liberator. The graces of the Source of all Being are with us.         ALL: Amen

Opening Song: Companions on the Journey # 581 vs 1 and 4

Opening Prayer
Presider: Loving Jesus, the light that shone on the wise ones at the epiphany, shines on us today. You shine your light within us and you ask us to share it. The light of our faith may seem fragile at times, yet we know that a small light can set the world on fire. Each time we share the light of your love and blessings we help that fire grow in strength. Instill in us the desire to keep your light burning brightly.       ALL: Amen

Rite of Forgiveness and Peace

Presider: In your light our sins are forgiven, and we are healed.
ALL: Help us to forgive one another. Draw us, O Christ, we will follow you.
Presider: In your light, all who seek will find you.
ALL: Deliver us from all that blinds us to you. Draw us, O Christ, we will follow you.
ALL: God, Father and Mother of Mercy, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. Grant us your pardon and peace and move us to forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus our brother and of Holy Spirit our Wisdom. Amen

Glory and Praise
Your light, O Christ, means life to us: Make us bearers of life to others.
Your light, O Christ, reveals the mysteries of God to us. Help us to recognize the “gifts of God”
Your light, O Christ, brings healing to our hearts. Teach us to be compassionate with each other.
Your light, O Christ, brings peace to our world. Have mercy on us lest we cloud it with conflict.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6   R: Thanks be to God
Psalm 72 Res: God, every nation on earth will adore you.
Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6     R: Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation: “Alle, Alle, Alleluia” #565
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ         R: Glory and praise to you Jesus our brother.

It seems that the unwrapping of bible stories is quite popular in contemporary time. I grew up surrounded by a literalist frame of mind in the teaching of the scriptures. And it fared well with a code of respect which demanded not asking many questions and not thinking too deeply about things you could not explain. Yet at an early childhood age, while mother cooked and I reclined on the couch thinking, I wondered out loud about other planets outside of our galaxy. I was warned that thinking those thoughts could lead to a loss of mental health. In other words, my mind could travel to places from which I would never return. So, thus science was boxed in and tightly wrapped up for our own good.  And THEN, it would be wise to consider the Church as the keeper of all that God would want us to know (in order to be happy with Him forever in Heaven). While we were taught to meditate on what was written in scripture, I (and I suspect my peers), began to expand on those scenes by visiting them and trying to conjure up the reality of what actually happened and how it was possible, while always keeping guard on our desire to share these scriptural adventures.  And so, our minds were secretly freed to expand our horizons and learn new ways of knowing and not knowing God. This is how we were made ready for contemporary radical ways of looking at the Gospels today. 

Today, we commemorate that scripture event we know as The Epiphany. We all know that epiphany comes from the Greek word “epiphainen” which connotes a shining upon, or manifesting or making known.  With that knowledge base, we arrive at an understanding that God wants us to be aware of and responsive to the many ways she reveals her existence to us, and her call to communion with her through love of our neighbor.

The story of the Magi, coming from the East, visiting the holy family, giving gifts, and taking another route home, was a story (Emphasis on Story) not a historical event. From time immemorial every tribe has endeavored to establish itself as chosen and supreme at the exclusion of all others. Matthew’s purpose in developing this story was clear. He had found in the life of Jesus of Nazareth one who was for him “the light of the world”, one who draws all people into a sense of oneness as they came into the meaning of this Christ. He also probably sensed that this would draw people into new dimensions of their own humanity.  He wanted to alert his Jewish community to the importance of Jesus’ all- inclusive plan that all gentiles are to be welcomed, loved and cared for equally. To do so he adopted texts using familiar Jewish scriptures and symbols found in Isaiah 60, 3; 1Kings (10:1-13) and Micah 5:2. The gentiles followed the star to the palace of King Herod where they would have to consult the Jewish scriptures to find their ultimate destination.

The conclusion or “bubble buster” one can arrive at with these insights is that there were no wise men, there was no journey, there were no gifts, and Herod was not looking for this baby. All the content of this mythological story was the product not of history, but of the rich imagination of the author of the Gospel we call Matthew.  I am grateful for the profound works of Bishop John Shelby Sponge and other contemporary truth tellers like Matthew Fox who stand up to the ignorance spawned by a gentile heresy that has hijacked the story of Jesus for far too long.

 This awareness is not meant to leave us in darkness. It points to the ever-loving ways The Holy One makes known her Love and her Faithfulness for and toward all her Children.
She manifests herself often in our lives, and each time it is a loving gift.

This week:
·      Take time to unwrap that story. What do you hear, see, notice that you may not have noticed before? Ask questions without fear of retribution.
·      What is it like on your journey to find the Christ? Where are you on your journey and where do you want to be in the coming weeks?
·      Look at the events in your life when The Holy One has manifested Herself.
·      Consider what gifts you want to give to Jesus; what is he asking you to give back that you may have been holding onto lately?
·      How do you feel about preparing ahead of time? And how do you need to prepare for the journey into 2018?
--> Take some time today, this weekend, and in the days ahead to consider how you want to make Jesus known in your everyday life. In what tangible, practical ways can you bring the light and love of friends, your neighbors Jesus to your family.

Profession of Faith
ALL: We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge injustices. 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 all are one in the community of creation. We believe in God who calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. Amen.

Presider: Led by the light of a star, Magi came to worship the child. In our longing for truth, let us pray: Response is: GUIDE ALL WHO SEEK YOU, O GOD.
– Creator of the world, complete the work which you have begun. Help us to hear and live the message of Jesus.                                         ALL: GUIDE…….
– God of the nations, you see us all as your children. Draw us into unity that mirrors your own.
-Source of all truth, you dwell within us, the light of our minds. Let us never silence your voice.
-Word of God made flesh, the magi adored you in a child. Help us to recognize you in one another.                                                        ALL: GUIDE…….
-Eternal God you know our needs and you care for us. Help us to see the things that you see.
For what else shall we pray?
Presider: Loving Jesus, you are the star inviting all nations to fullness of life. Give us the wisdom to follow you and to lead others to walk in your light. This we ask in your name   Amen

Offertory Hymn: Open the Eyes of my Heart (Pulse Praise Band)

Open the eyes of my heart, God
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You; I want to see You.

Open the eyes of my heart, God
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You; I want to see You.
To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love;
As we sing holy, holy, holy…

To see You high and lifted up,
Shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love;
As we sing holy, holy, holy…
Holy, holy, holy, Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy, I want to see You.

Holy, holy, holy, Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy, I want to see You.


Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life. Through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: God is with you. ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts. ALL: We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks and praise to our God.
(Please join us around the table of life)

Voice One: Mothering God, you brought forth all creation from your Life-Giving Womb. O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for joy in your presence.

Voice Two: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in Mary’s womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. You embrace us with infinite love in every situation and relationship. You dwell in the depths of our hearts.

Voice Three: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness of your boundless love as we gather around the table of abundant life. With grateful hearts, we proclaim your praise:

ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, Creator of heaven and earth. All beings are pregnant with your glory. Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed are you who dwell in all things. Hosanna in the highest.

Voice Four: Praise to you, all-giving God, born of Mary. You are the body and blood of woman. We glorify you, nurturing God for the dawning of the sacred promise of God’s Anointed, fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ.

Voice Five: We celebrate the birth of Jesus, our newborn Emmanuel, who came to give us the fullness of life. During this holy season, we share the bread of freedom and lift the cup of salvation.

(raise hands toward bread and wine for Invocation of the Holy Spirit)
All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine, that they may become the Body of Christ.
Presider: As Jesus gave birth to the New Covenant, he took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, and shared it with all who were present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and eat it. This is my body.
Presider: Then Jesus took a cup of wine, blessed you, Loving God, shared the cup with all who were present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from the covenant, poured out for you and for everyone. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our nurturing God:
ALL: Christ, by your life, death and rising, you have blessed us with abundance that will never end.

Second Invocation of the Holy Spirit: (Place hands on each other’s shoulder)
All: God of all people, you call us “beloved.” Give us courage to accept your faith in us and to live your compassion in the world. You infuse us with Sophia, Holy Wisdom, to serve you in the last and the least.

Voice Six: As we wait with joyful hearts for the fulfillment of your loving presence in our lives, we remember the prophets, martyrs and saints who have gone before us: Deborah, Isaiah, Mary of Magdala, Peter, Martha, Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Jean Donovan and all those we remember as heroes and heroines in our church who inspire us today. (Community names mentors whom they want to remember, living and dead. This list is only partial. Each
community needs to create their own according to custom and culture.)

Voice Seven: God of our dreams, may we give birth to the Word Made Flesh in us every day. May we give birth to the church of our dreams and hopes. May we give birth to a deep reverence for earth and live in harmony with all creatures on the earth.

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Amen – sung (same melody as Gospel Acclamation)
ALL: (sing) Our Father and Mother …

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: Let us join hearts and hands and pray for peace in our world as we sing “peace is flowing like a river”, love, joy, alleluia

Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power. We will do so.
Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do so.
Loving God, you call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

Presider:   This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.

ALL: May we be who we are, the Body of Christ.

Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ!   ALL: Amen.


Post Communion Song: Hills of the North Rejoice (Brotherhood of Hope)

Presider: God of new beginnings, thank you for nourishing us in your sacrament. May your tender presence continue to open our hearts to the daily miracles of life that surround us each day, through Emmanuel, God-with-us. ALL: AMEN



Presider: Our God is with you.   ALL: and also with you.
BLESSING (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL: May our loving God fill us with radiant joy. May our liberating God fill us with deep peace, and may our compassionate God bless us always with strength to serve the broken and excluded. Amen

Presiders: As we leave here in the peace of Christ and the joy of God, let us be the joyful and compassionate people that God created us to be. And let our service continue!
ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!

Let your light shine on us
Let your light shine on us
Let your light shine on us, and we will be light for the world. 2x
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your heart beat in us
Let your heart beat in us
Let your heart beat in us, and we will be love for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your joy sing in us
Let your joy sing in us
Let your joy sing in us, and we will be hope for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your peace live in us
Let your peace live in us
Let your peace live in us, and we will one for the world.
We will be one and the kindom will come.

Let your light shine in us
Let your light shine in us
Let your light shine in us, and we will be light for the world. 2x
We will be one and the kindom will come.