Saturday, August 18, 2018

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Responds to Pennsylvania Report of Criminal Sexual Abuse of 1000 Children by 300 Priests

Press Release from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

From: Janice Sevre-Duszynska (media) 859-684-4247
 Bridget Mary Meehan , (703-505-0004)

MEMBERS OF WOMEN PRIEST COMMUNITY RESPOND TO the Pennsylvania Report of horrific the SEXUAL ABUSE of more than 1000 Children by 300 Priests
The New York Times reported that the  Vatican in a statement said "it felt shame and sorrow over the findings that more than 1,000 children had been abused by hundreds of priests over decades while bishops covered up their crimes. The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” 
On August 14th the attorney general of Pennsylvania released a 1,300-page report documenting the abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300-plus priests over 70 years, with the number of victims believed to be even higher.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) joins theologians, educators and leaders in our Church calling for the resignation of the bishops who have covered up decades of horrific sexual abuse of children. It is time to embrace a whole new healthy model of egalitarian ministry that is accountable and transparent. 
“If we had women as equals and partners, women ordained in the Catholic church, the church would not be in this mess, because we would have parents who would minister and who would make sure children are protected,” said Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, a former nun.

“Women priests would not cover up abuse of our children,” said Mary Theresa Streck, a former nun, widow, and co-founder with Bridget Mary Meehan of People’s Catholic Seminary. “We would work for justice for our children as we are working for justice for women in our church.”

Dotty Shugrue: “This is not about the ‘sexual orientation or identity of male priests. One of the many gifts women offer the Church is their natural intuitive gifts, their sense of something going awry, that motherly instinct to protect the children entrusted to their care. Refusing to have women as equal partners in all aspects of ministry and leadership in the Church continues to create a breach of the heart. Women offer a perspective that is essential. It is time to recognize Roman Catholic Women priests as equal partners.”

Jim Marsh: “The sexual abuse of minor children and others by Catholic clergy at all levels of our church is beyond horrific! As a healthy gay male who is an out, loud and proud gay Catholic priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I strongly state that sexual abuse is never about sexual orientation. In addition to implementing transparency in dealing with this crisis at all levels, I also see a strong need for our Church to develop a theology of sexuality and sex that is wholesome, healthy, and holy regardless of where one may fall on the continuum of sexuality.  The notion of male-female complementarity is not wholesome and healthy because it labels anyone and everything that doesn’t fit into the box as disordered and sinful. We must see sexuality and its expression within the context of blessing— ‘the Holy One desires a fitting companion for all the earth creatures … it is not good to be alone.’ [Genesis]

Just as we need to listen to the stories of those abused by Catholic clergy, we also need to really listen to the lived experiences of gay and lesbian families who are raising children and recognize that these families are holy and good! Next week, the Pope will be attending the World Meeting of Families in Ireland. It’s unfortunate that so many people have been excluded from participating in this gathering, such as women priests and LGBTQI persons.”

Diane Dougherty cites theologian Sister Ilia Delio on the need for structural change from a top-down clerical model to a community of equals model:

"In the past clerical power came from the laity, the “unlettered,” who submitted to the authority of the priest, as if submitting to the power of God. In the future ecclesial power will come from the community of gathered persons who will be set free by the power of God within; who will resist patriarchy in all forms, who will rise up in a new church concelebrated by women and men, inclusive of all gender types, all races, all languages, all colors, all broken and divorced hearts, all those in search of healing, mercy and compassion; a church that will empower the present for a new future of life. “The days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a new church which will not deceive as a finished church but as the unfolding of My Life in an unfinished universe. For my work is loving the world; the Living Christ is still coming to be.”

Statement of Catholic Theologians, Educators, Lay Leaders, & Parishioners on Clergy Sexual Abuse in the United States // Declaración de teólogos católicos, educadores, líderes laicos y feligreses sobre el abuso sexual de los clérigos en los Estados Unidos, Sign-on Statement

Petition for bishops to turn in resignations as  prayer and penance...


To add your signature to the 1000+ signatures below, visit:/Para agregar su firma, visite: The opinions of the undersigned do not represent those of their institutions. Las opiniones del abajo firmante no representan las de sus instituciones.
Lea la carta en es español aquí.
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God has shown the strength of God’s arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
God has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
(Lk 1:51-52)
Statement of Catholic Theologians, Educators, Parishioners, and Lay Leaders
On Clergy Sexual Abuse in the United States
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a comprehensive grand jury report documenting the sexual abuse of over 1,000 children by 301 priests across six Pennsylvania dioceses. The document chronicles, with nauseating clarity, seven decades of clergy sexual abuse and systematic cover-ups by bishops and others in positions of power. The report comes in the wake of last months’ revelations of decades of sexual predation by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and in the long shadow of the sexual abuse crisis in Boston and beyond.
The crimes detailed in the grand jury report evince a horror beyond expression. The report summarizes the situation thus: “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.” We are brought to our knees in revulsion and shame by the abominations that these priests committed against innocent children. We are sickened in equal measure by the conspiracy of silence among bishops who exploited victims’ wounds as collateral in self-protection and the preservation of power. It is clear that it was the complicity of the powerful that allowed this radical evil to flourish with impunity.
Today, we call on the Catholic Bishops of the United States to prayerfully and genuinely consider submitting to Pope Francis their collective resignation as a public act of repentance and lamentation before God and God’s People.
We urge them to follow the example of Chile’s thirty-four bishops, who resigned collectively in May of this year after revelations of widespread sexual abuse and corruption were brought to light. Through prudent discernment, Pope Francis ultimately accepted three of these thirty-four resignations. It should be noted that the active bishop-to-Catholic ratio is almost the same in Chile and the United States, and that the geographical scope of the crisis in this country appears to surpass that of Chile. After years of suppressed truth, the unreserved decisiveness of the Chilean bishops’ resignations communicated to the faithful a message that Catholics in the United States have yet to hear, with an urgency we have yet to witness: We have caused this devastation. We have allowed it to persist. We submit ourselves to judgment in recompense for what we have done and failed to do.
Some will feel that the resignation of all bishops is unjustified and even detrimental to the work of healing. After all, many bishops are indeed humble servants and well-intentioned pastors. This is an urge we recognize, but it is not one that we can accept. The catastrophic scale and historical magnitude of the abuse makes clear that this is not a case of “a few bad apples” but rather a radical systemic injustice manifested at every level of the Church. Systemic sin cannot be ended through individual goodwill. Its wounds are not healed through statements, internal investigations, or public relations campaigns but rather through collective accountability, transparency, and truth-telling. We are responsible for the house we live in, even if we did not build it ourselves. This is why we call on the U.S. Bishops to offer their resignations collectively, in recognition of the systemic nature of this evil.
If we are to say “never again” to this catastrophic epidemic of sexual violence within the Church, then structural change on a scale previously unimaginable is required. Many have offered sound proposals for specific reforms that would begin to convert this ecclesial culture of violence into one of transparency, accountability, humility, safety, and earned trust. These are proposals we wholeheartedly support, beginning with external investigations of every ecclesiastical province in the United States akin to the one just completed in Pennsylvania. At the same time, we recognize that truth-telling and repentance are prerequisites to conversion. This is as true of institutional conversion as it is of individual conversion. As a collective body, the bishops have given the faithful little indication that they recognize and take accountability for the breathtaking magnitude of the violence and deceit that has continued unabated under their leadership. Thus, we call on them to follow Christ’s example in offering to the people a willing abdication of earthly status. This is a public act of penance and sorrow, absent of which no genuine process of healing and reform can begin.
We, the undersigned, teach in Catholic schools, colleges, universities, and graduate programs. We work in parishes, retreat centers, and diocesan offices. We are parishioners, lay ecclesial ministers, liturgical musicians, catechists, pastoral care workers, youth and young adult ministers, chaplains, parish workers, community advocates, students, teachers, professors, librarians, and researchers. We are mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, sons and daughters, vowed religious.
We are the baptized.
We stand in solidarity with the thousands of victims, named and unnamed, whom predatory priests, protected by the willing silence of many bishops, have raped, abused, brainwashed, traumatized, and dehumanized. We stand with those driven to alcoholism and drug addiction, to mental illness and suicide. We grieve with their families and communities.
We grieve in a different but no less profound way for our students, children, families, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and all of those we love who have left or will leave the Church because they have found its leaders unworthy of trust. We grieve for our parishes, communities, schools, and dioceses. We grieve for our Church.
The call we issue today is neither liberal nor conservative. It does not emerge from a particular faction or ideology but rather from the heart of a wounded Church. It is an expression of fidelity to the victims, to Jesus Christ, to the Church in whose service we have devoted our lives.
Thus, we call on you, Bishops of the United States, to consider this humble and public act of penance on behalf of us all. Let it be the first of many steps toward justice, transparency, and conversion. Only then might the wrenching work of healing begin.
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Él hace proezas con su brazo:dispersa a los soberbios de corazón,
derriba del trono a los poderosos
y enaltece a los humildes,
(Lucas 1, 51-52)
Declaración de teólogos católicos, educadores, parroquianos y líderes laicosSobre el abuso sexual de los clérigos en los Estados Unidos
El martes 14 de agosto de 2018, el Procurador General de Pensilvania Josh Shapiro se publicó un informe exhaustivo del gran jurado que documenta el abuso sexual de más de 1,000 niños por parte de 301 sacerdotes en seis diócesis de Pensilvania. El documento narra, con una claridad nauseabunda, siete décadas de abuso sexual por parte del clero y encubrimientos sistemáticos de obispos y otros en posiciones de poder. El informe siguió los pasos de las revelaciones de los últimos meses de décadas de depredación sexual por parte del cardenal Theodore McCarrick y en la sombra de la crisis de abuso sexual en Boston y más allá.
Los crímenes detallados en el informe del gran jurado muestran un horror incomprensible. El informe resume la situación así: “Los sacerdotes estaban violando niños pequeños y niñas, y los hombres de Dios que eran responsables de ellos no sólo no hicieron nada; lo escondieron todo. Durante décadas.” Nos vemos arrodillados en repulsa y vergüenza por las abominaciones que estos sacerdotes cometieron contra niños inocentes. Estamos asqueados en igual medida por la conspiración del silencio entre los obispos que explotaron las heridas de las víctimas como garantía de autoprotección y la preservación del poder. Está claro que fue la complicidad de los poderosos lo que permitió que este mal radical floreciera con impunidad.
Hoy, llamamos a los Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos a genuinamente y con oración considerar someter al Papa Francisco su dimisión colectiva como un acto público de arrepentimiento y lamentación ante Dios y ante el pueblo de Dios.
Los urgimos a los obispos que sigan el ejemplo de los treinta y cuatro obispos chilenos, que se dimitieron colectivamente en mayo de este año después de que se habían traído a la luz las revelaciones de abusos sexuales y corrupción extendidos. A través de un prudente discernimiento, el Papa Francisco finalmente aceptó tres de estas treinta y cuatro dimisiones. Cabe señalar que la proporción de obispos-a-católicos es casi la misma en Chile y en los Estados Unidos, y que el alcance geográfico de la crisis en este país parece superar al de Chile. Después de años de verdades reprimidas, la decisión sin reservas de las dimisiones de los obispos chilenos transmitió a los fieles un mensaje que los católicos en Estados Unidos aún no han escuchado, con una urgencia que todavía tenemos que presenciar: hemos causado esta devastación. Hemos permitido que persista. Nos sometemos a juicio en recompensa por lo que hemos hecho y no hemos podido hacer.
Algunos sentirán que la dimisión de todos los obispos es injustificada e incluso nocivo para el trabajo de curación. Después de todo, muchos obispos son en verdad siervos humildes y pastores bien intencionados. Este es un impulso que reconocemos, pero no es uno que podamos aceptar. La escala catastrófica y la magnitud histórica del abuso dejan en claro que este no es un caso de “algunas manzanas podridas”, sino más bien una injusticia radical sistémica manifestada en todos los niveles de la Iglesia. El pecado sistémico no puede terminarse a través de la buena voluntad individual. Sus heridas no se curan a través de declaraciones, investigaciones internas o campañas de relaciones públicas, sino a través de la responsabilidad colectiva, la transparencia y la verdad. Somos responsables de la casa en la que vivimos, incluso si no la construimos nosotros mismos. Es por eso que llamamos a los Obispos de los Estados Unidos a presentar sus renuncias colectivamente, en reconocimiento de la naturaleza sistémica de este mal.
Si queremos decir “nunca más” a esta epidemia catastrófica de violencia sexual dentro de la Iglesia, entonces se requiere un cambio estructural en una escala previamente inimaginable. Muchos han ofrecido propuestas sensatas para reformas específicas que comenzarían a convertir esta cultura de violencia eclesial en una de transparencia, responsabilidad, humildad, seguridad y confianza ganada. Estas son propuestas que apoyamos incondicionalmente, comenzando con investigaciones externas de cada provincia eclesiástica en los Estados Unidos similar a la que acabamos de completar en Pensilvania. Al mismo tiempo, reconocemos que la verdad y el arrepentimiento son requisitos previos para la conversión. Esto es tan cierto para la conversión institucional como para la conversión individual. Como un cuerpo colectivo, los obispos han dado a los fieles pequeños indicios de que reconocen y toman responsabilidad por la impresionante magnitud de la violencia y el engaño que no han disminuido bajo su liderazgo. Por lo tanto, les pedimos que sigan el ejemplo de Cristo al ofrecer al pueblo una voluntaria abdicación del estado terrenal. Este es un acto público de penitencia y pena, sin el cual no puede comenzar ningún proceso genuino de sanación y reforma.
Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, enseñamos en escuelas católicas, colegios, universidades y programas de postgrado. Trabajamos en parroquias, centros de retiros y oficinas diocesanas. Somos feligreses, ministros eclesiales laicos, músicos litúrgicos, catequistas, trabajadores de la pastoral, ministros de niños y jóvenes, capellanes, trabajadores parroquiales, defensores de la comunidad, estudiantes, maestros, profesores, bibliotecarios e investigadores. Somos madres y padres, tías y tíos, hijos e hijas y religiosos consagrados. Somos los bautizados.
Nos solidarizamos con las miles de víctimas, nombradas y sin nombre, a quienes los sacerdotes depredadores, protegidos por el silencio complaciente de muchos obispos, han violado, maltratado, lavado del cerebro, traumatizado y deshumanizado. Nos solidarizamos con los que se han caído al alcoholismo y la adicción a las drogas, a las enfermedades mentales y el suicidio. Nos afligimos con sus familias y comunidades.
Nos afligimos de una manera diferente pero no menos profunda para nuestros estudiantes, niños, familias, padres, abuelos, amigos, vecinos y todos aquellos que amamos que han dejado o dejarán la Iglesia porque han encontrado que sus líderes no son dignos de confianza. Lloramos por nuestras parroquias, comunidades, escuelas y diócesis. Lloramos por nuestra Iglesia.
La llamada que emitimos hoy no es liberal ni conservadora. No surge de una facción o ideología en particular, sino del corazón de una Iglesia herida. Es una expresión de fidelidad a las víctimas, a Jesucristo, a la Iglesia a cuyo servicio hemos dedicado nuestras vidas.
Por lo tanto, les pedimos a ustedes, Obispos de los Estados Unidos, que consideren este humilde y público acto de penitencia en nombre de todos nosotros. Que sea el primero de muchos pasos hacia la justicia, la transparencia y la conversión. Sólo entonces puede comenzar el doloroso trabajo de curación.
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To join the 1000+ signatures, visit The opinions of the undersigned do not represent those of their institutions.  *Please note that it may take a few hours for signatures to appear.*
Para agregar su firma, visite Las opiniones del abajo firmante no representan las de sus instituciones.

My Response: I signed this statement.
When I was president of FCM-the Federation of Christian Ministries, I flew to Dallas where the bishops met after nationwide revelations that 80% of bishops covered up sexual abuse by priests. I was interviewed on CNN and called for the resignation of the bishops who covered up sexual abuse. While safe practices and monitoring of priests was eventually initiated, the bishops were in charge and continued to protect the Church as their first priority. They were never held accountable for the worldwide cover-up. Neither was the Vatican, Pope John Paul 11, Pope Benedict or Pope Francis. Finally, we are seeing Catholic theologians, educators, calling for action- the bishops resignation. Until the clerical culture is changed and we have a more accountable community model, significant change or healing will not happen. And this includes new models of ministry- married priests and women priests- in a renewed "discipleship of equals."  Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Pope warned by male priests that Catholic Church in Ireland will 'disappear' unless priests can marry and women ordained. The calls for radical reform of the Church are outlined in an extensive survey conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests

My Response: I agree with the Association of Catholic Priests' assessment of the challenges facing the Church in Ireland and around the world. I commend my brother priests for their courageous call for women priests and married priests. Their calls for radical reforms is the only way to save the Church and offer genuine reform. I think it is time for a new Vatican Council led by mystics and prophets on the margins and the people in the pews!  Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

Pope Francis has been given a stark warning that the Catholic Church in Ireland “is going to disappear” unless priests are allowed to marry and women are ordained.
The calls for radical reform of the Church are outlined in an extensive survey conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests.
The influential group, representing over 1,000 clerics across the country, held four regional meetings last month in which priests and parishioners were quizzed about their concerns about the Church ahead of the historic visit to Ireland by Pope Francis next weekend.
The newly-published findings will make grim reading for both the pontiff ahead of his two-day visit to this country this week, with ACP representatives reporting a grim outlook for the Catholic Church unless radical steps are put in place.

Mary McAleese hits out at 'right-wing' World Meeting of Families, Irish Examiner

Ms McAleese has also revealed that she has made a formal canonical complaint to Pope Francis about Cardinal Farrell's banning of her speaking at the Vatican in March of this year.
She was talking to Brendan O'Connor on The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning ahead of the Pope's visit to Ireland next weekend.
Ms McAleese told Brendan that Pope Francis puts the defence of the institution first as a result of his formation as a priest and as a Bishop.
She said: "It's not only systemic, it was directed from central command and control, which is the Vatican.
Mary McAleese - former president of Ireland
"I was astounded by what happened in Chile, because I did believe that this Pope was different, because he said that he was going to be.
"When he went to Chile in January and denounced victims, accused them of defamation, he accused them of being liars essentially and believed the briefings that he got from Bishops, when we know that he also got other briefings.
"He got briefings from Marie Collins, he got briefings from the victims...he chose to believe one side and that was the side that protected offending Bishops and priests."
Speaking of what has been going on in Pennsylvania, Ms McAleese believes that the Pope would have been very well aware of what was going on.
She said: "One has to assume that... these would have been well known certainly in the latter days when all of these cases had to be sent to Rome, that he would have been briefed on them.
"You would like to think that he would have been briefed on them, these are so significant when you are talking about 300 abusing priests in six dioceses in the United States."
The report into the clerical abuse in Pennsylvania faulted Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former long-time bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, for what it said was his part in the concealment of clergy sexual abuse.
Ms McAleese said it is ironic that Cardinal Wuerl is welcome at the World Meeting of Families.
The former President of Ireland told Brendan that she had hoped that next weekend's meeting in Ireland would be different from previous other meetings.
She said that her banning from speaking at the Vatican in March was very much in keeping with the ethos of the World Meeting of Families to deny the voice of someone like her who has been very vocal in support of same-sex marriage and gay rights.
She said: "It's always been essentially a right-wing rally... and it was designed for that purpose, to rally people to get them motivated to fight against the tide of same-sex marriage, rights for gays, abortion rights, contraceptive rights."
She told how she had been devastated when she realised that the images for LGBT families had been removed from World Meeting of Families material.
However, she spoke of the insult being personal to her, but didn't think it was a personal agenda that Cardinal Farrell had against her saying, "I don't think how there could be anything personal".
For three months, Ms McAleese did not know that it was Cardinal Farrell who had banned her from speaking.
She tried to resolve the issue diplomatically "with the help of the Archbishop of Dublin and we could not get it resolved".
She told Brendan that she made a formal complaint to the Pope about Cardinal Farrell's actions.
To date, she has received neither a reply nor an acknowledgement.
Ms McAleese said: "I made a formal complaint against Cardinal Farrell, to the Pope, the Pope is the only person as his superior who could rectify and deal with and judge that complaint, so I made a formal canonical complaint to the Pope about Cardinal Farrell's actions.
Having received neither an acknowledgement or a reply to date, I can only presume 
that since the Pope is his immediate superior that this was done with his approval.
"They claim there is a process for dealing with such complaints, I'm six months down the road of that complaint and I haven't had the letter back that says we've received your complaint."

Pray and Play in Mystical Ireland in 2019 with Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Dear Friends,
As many of you know, Bridget Mary and I just returned from Ireland with Joan, Dennis and Jeanne. We had a wonderful time touring areas around Dublin and Killarney.  Our trip is documented on Bridget Mary's blog from August 1 to August 14. 

Next year, Bridget Mary and I will host a tour through Celtic Tours. After researching a number of tour companies, Celtic Tours had the most reasonable cost for 8 nights in Ireland. The cost was approximately $1900 without air. Air from NY would be approximately $600. This is a great price for the suggested itinerary below. Separating the airfare cost allows you to extend your stay before or after the tour.

We will be contracting with Celtic Tours soon and you will be able to begin payments in installments. This makes it so much more affordable. 

Please consider coming with us as we "PRAY and PLAY IN MYSTICAL IRELAND.  Let us know if you are interested and we will send updates. Send personal emails to

Suggested Itinerary:

Sept 16-25, 2019 Celtic Spirituality Tour: Pray and Play in Ireland

· Accommodations for EIGHT NIGHTS (8) nights at the following hotels or similar:
DUBLIN:              Fitzpatrick’s Castle       3 Night(s)              2-Dinner, B & B/1-B & B
KILLARNEY:        Killarney Towers           2 Night(s)              2-Dinner, B & B
GALWAY:             Salthill Hotel                 2 Night(s)              1-Dinner, B & B/1-B & B
DUBLIN:              Carlton Airport Hotel    1 Night(s)              B & B
· Full Breakfast daily, except day of arrival.
· Five (5) Hotel dinners and One (1) Dinner and Celtic music and dance show in Dublin
· Visits/Admissions: Panoramic city tour of Dublin, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College-Book of Kells, Hill of Tara, Monasterboice, Newgrange/Knowth, St. Bridget’s Shrine, Glendalough, St. Bridget’s Cathedral and Well, Rock of Cashel, Cobh Heritage Centre, Blarney Castle, Gobnait’s Well, Gallarus Oratory, Dingle Tourist Centre, St.. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney, Bunratty Folk Park and Castle, St. Bridget’s Well in Liscannor, Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey and mass, Clonmacnoise and Malahide Castle.
· All transportation and sightseeing via deluxe touring motor coach with the services of a professional driver/guide throughout
· Tips and taxes on items included.                                       NOTE: Tip to driver / guide is not included.
· Porterage of one suitcase per person
· Celtic Tours flight bag and Portfolio of travel documents


Monday, Sept 16, 2019-Depart on your overnight flight from Newark, NJ to Dublin Ireland. Dinner served shortly after take-off.

Tuesday, Sept 17, 2019 Dublin
You will meet your Irish Driver/Guide in the arrivals hall of the Dublin airport and he will escort you to the waiting motorcoach for your tour. Depart the airport and travel into the capital city for a panoramic city tour. You will then visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before moving on to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. Then some free time in Dublin to take in one of the museums of wander the streets. You will meet back up with your driver and he will take you into the Dublin suburbs to Fitzpatrick’s Castle for the first of a 3-night stay. Dinner at your hotel this evening.

Wednesday, Sept 18, 2019 North of Dublin
After a full Irish breakfast, you will depart for the Hill of Tara. Then on to Monasterboice for some photos. And continuing on to Newgrange/Knowth to view the passage tombs. Afterwards, you will travel north to Dundalk to visit St. Bridget’s Shrine. Then enjoy some local touring in counties Louth and Meath before returning to the castle for dinner and overnight.

Thursday, Sept 19, 2019 Wicklow County
Today after breakfast, you will depart for some local touring of the Wicklow county area. Stopping at Glendalough and then on to St. Bridget’s Cathedral and Well. Return to your hotel this afternoon for a little free time. Tonight, you will have time to wander the town of Dalkey and enjoy dinner on your own.

Friday, Sept 20, 2019 Killarney
This morning after your final castle breakfast, we will be heading to Killarney. Stopping on the way at the infamous Rock of Cashel to see the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. Then on to Cobh to visit the Heritage Centre. This museum has wonderful artifacts from many lost ships that sailed from this port before their final demise. Continuing on to Blarney where you will visit the Blarney Castle and have the opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone. On the way to Killarney, you will have the opportunity to stop in Ballyvourney to visit Gobnait’s Well before heading into Killarney for the night. Dinner and overnight in Killarney.

Saturday, Sept 21, 2019 Dingle
After a buffet breakfast, a delightful day takes us along the Kerry coast to the Dingle Peninsula, which offers magnificent coastal scenery. Beyond Slea Head, we see the Blasket Islands, the last outpost of Europe. You will visit the Dingle Tourist Centre in town. And also Gallarus Oratory to see some BeeHive Huts. A full day tour returning to Killarney, where we enjoy dinner at our hotel this evening. Overnight in Killarney.

Sunday, Sept 22, 2019 Killarney – Burren – Galway
This morning, eat an early breakfast than walk over to St. Mary’s Cathedral for an 8am Mass before departing for Adare. Take some time to stop here and take some photos of some thatched roof cottages before moving on to Bunratty. Here you will stop to visit the Bunratty Folk Park and Castle to see how life was in medieval times. Then onto Liscannor to visit St. Bridget’s well before stopping for a visit at the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Continue onto Galway for dinner and overnight.

Monday, Sept 23, 2019 Connemara Touring
After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the Connemara region. Including a stop at Kylemore Abbey. We can even arrange a mass in the Nun’s Church at 11am (for no additional cost). If you want, you can stop at the Celtic Crystal Factory and Connemara Marble-but there is shopping at both these stops. They are complimentary though, if you are interested. Then into Galway for a panoramic city tour and some free time to enjoy dinner on your own in town. Back to Galway Bay for your overnight.

Tuesday, Sept 24, 2019 Galway to Dublin
Enjoy a leisurely morning with breakfast. Then a later start to Dublin. Stopping along the way in Athlone to visit Clonmacnoise. Then on into Howth to visit Malahide Castle and Gardens. Check into your Dublin airport hotel and then onto a dinner and show for your final night.

Wednesday, Sept 25, 2019 Dublin to US
If flight time allows, enjoy breakfast at the hotel tonight before heading to the airport. Return to the US same day.
Optional Travel Protection Insurance is available

Mary Theresa Streck, Ed.D., D.Min.
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
People's Catholic Seminary

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Twentieth Week in Extra-Ordinary Time August 18, 2018 Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Anna Davis Music Minister: Linda Lee Miller

Theme: Be filled with the Spirit
Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Anna Davis co-preside at liturgy


Welcome and Centering Prayer

Presider:  We have all been created by the same Great Mystery.  We have all been shown by the example of Jesus of Nazareth how to live. We are all supported and strengthened by the Spirit on our journeys. In many important ways, we are all one. And at this time, we come together to share stories of Jesus, break bread, and express gratitude for all that we have and all that we are.    

Gathering Hymn:  Table of Plenty #310 vs. 1,3,4
Table Of Plenty by Dan Shutte sung by John Michael Talbot
Come to the feast of heaven and earth!
Come to the table of plenty!
God will provide for all that we need,
here at the table of plenty.

O come and sit at my table
where saints and sinners are friends.
I wait to welcome the lost and lonely
to share the cup of my love.

O come and eat without money;
come to drink without price.
My feast of gladness will feed your spirit
with faith and fullness of life.

My bread will ever sustain you
through days of sorrow and woe.
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness
to flood the depths of your soul.

Your fields will flower in fullness;
your homes will flourish in peace.
For I, the giver of home and harvest,
will send my rain on the soil.

Opening Prayer

All: O Lover of all, in our journeys into the heart of compassion…and that is you -- we celebrate the love that you continually unfold for us by your being in us -- in each one of us.  Help us to recognize and honor the “you” that is in the “me” of everyone.

You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with all of creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone with whom we come in contact as your presence among us. In communion with Jesus, our brother, and with the power of the Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day. Amen.

Community Reconciliation, Healing, and Transformation

Presider:  Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden.  Our desire is to be continually conscious of this in our own lives and recognize this in all we do with others.

All (with an outstretched arm):  May we reach deep within ourselves to hear Wisdom’s many messages, to faithfully understand them, and to respond to them with compassionate actions to our brothers and sisters.  May we emulate the virtues of pardon and peace that Jesus taught us so that we may- in turn - be more forgiving in our care for ourselves, for one another and for our planet Earth.
May we gather strength through the Divine Presence within us, to extend your merciful and forgiving presence that is your gift – through us – to everyone, everywhere - with whom you share your unending love.  Amen.


Presider:  Let us give glory to our loving Holy One.
All (Sung):  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:  Proverb 9:1-16                  All:  Thanks be to God.
Psalm 34. Responsorial:  O taste and see that our God is good.
Second Reading:  Ephesians 5:15-20               All:  Thanks be to God.
Acclamation:  Celtic Alleluia 
Gospel:  John 6:48-58               All:  Glory to you, O God.  

Shared Homily and Community Reflections
Homily Starter
Kathryn Shea, ARCWP
Let me start by saying that today is an extra-ordinary day.  We will never again, in our lifetime, experience this date; 8/8/18!  Perhaps we should all buy a lotto ticket after liturgy and give half to MMOJ and ARCWP. 
So, our theme today is “be filled with the Spirit”.  I chose this as our theme because, of everything in the Readings, it just really jumped out at me, and I think it is so pertinent at this time.  I want to focus briefly on two questions today.  The first is, “What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?” And the second is, “How do we stay filled with the Spirit?”
Regarding the first question, I think it starts with being filled with joy, deep gratitude, and humble love.  I think it also means being filled with a boldness to witness and speak out when evil is taking place around us, for as we heard, “these are evil days”.  Spirit also calls upon us to be mindful of our own selves; our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  It’s impossible to be “filled with the Spirit” when our hearts are filled with envy, hate, egocentrism, and greed.  I want to take just a moment to differentiate between hate and anger.  Hate is an extreme emotion of hostility usually deriving from fear, anger, or loathing.  I don’t hate anyone. 
Anger, on the other hand is a normal emotional response aroused by a wrong, wrath, or ire.  We should be angry at what’s occurring in our world.  It’s an appropriate response that should move you to action and not let it fester in you soul.  There are several stories of Jesus getting angry in the Scriptures.  He got angry at hypocrisy and greed.  He overturned tables in the Temples. It’s okay to be angry. 
We heard in both the first and second readings that we must not act like fools, but as wise and thoughtful people so that we may live and walk the path of understanding.  This is to walk the path of Spirit. 
In response to the second question, I think being filled with the Spirit is a continual process, not a one-time thing, like “Boom” you’re Spirit filled!
First, we must remain open to receiving Spirit and then inviting Spirit, knowing Spirit will never deny our invitation.  And then…making sure our bodies, hearts, and minds are clean and healthy for Spirit to enter.  I don’t think this is easy, at least it is not always for me in these very trying times when we have people in power acting like fools. 
We are further instructed not to drink wine.  I’m not so sure I agree with that one, just saying.  I would agree, we should not get drunk on wine.  And I think today we might also hear Jesus say, “Don’t get drunk on the Kool-Aide either!” 
The instruction of “Do not continue in ignorance, but try to discern the will of God,” must guide all us all every day.  I am encouraged and hopeful about some recent news.  In July the Senate unanimously approved, I repeat UNANIMOUSLY (98-0), a resolution warning President Trump to not hand over any American diplomats or any other officials to the Russian government for questioning.  And just this week, the Senate again unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that the media is not “an enemy of the people”.  These are two important steps in speaking truth to power. 
I will close with some adapted readings in Galatians 5:16-24.  “So, I say, walk by the Spirit…If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” So let us focus on “being filled with the Spirit, meditating on psalms and spiritual songs, singing and making music to God in our hearts.” 
So, I’m wondering what it means to you to be filled by the Spirit and how do you stay filled with the Spirit?

Profession of Faith
All:  We believe in the Divine Mystery, beyond all description and understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist in the expanding universe. 

We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, the human Jesus, an enlightened soul who carried the message of God’s Word, who brought the ability to show us how to heal ourselves and others, who is the heart of God’s compassion.  He is the bright star in the firmament of God’s prophets, mystics, and saints. And it is through him that we become a new people with One story of salvation.  We are here to share his message;  that we are all holy, we were born holy, and we shall be holy forevermore. 

We believe in the Spirit, the one that inspires our innermost life.  She keeps the Anointed One present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives.
She strengthens our call to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God’s love.  She is the one who helps us reach within ourselves so that she can heal and energize us when our spirits may grow weary in our lives.

And we believe that God’s kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to take it to share with those around us.  
Prayers of the Community

Presider: With heads and hearts mindful of God’s unconditional love embedded in each one of us, let us bring our needs and those of our community forward.  After each intercession, we respond:  We awaken to your call.    (Intentions are mentioned here.)

Presider:  That those who suffer abuse, may be healed and empowered, we pray.
R. All:  We awaken to your call. 
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be set free, we pray.  R.  
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray.  R.   
Presider:  That those who have gone ahead of us and dwell forever in their heavenly home, we pray. R. 
Presider:  And for whom else do we pray at this time?  Other Intentions followed by R.

Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts and take them with us when we will gather around the Banquet Table. 

Offertory Song:  In This Place. #308 vs. 1,2,4

Presiders: Blessed are You, God of all creation.  Through Your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer, gifts from your creation, the earth, together with the work of human hands. They will become for us our spiritual food and drink. All:  Blessed be God forever.

Presider:  Lift up your hearts.  
All:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.

Presider:  Let us give thanks for all that we have.
All: It is our joy to be grateful for our many blessings as we gather at our family table.                       
Eucharistic Prayer

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

Voice 1:  Gracious God, you have set the banquet table and have invited all of us to the feast of unending delight. Here we celebrate your divine love beyond what words can describe.  Your divine compassion connects us to the young and the old, the least and the last, to everyone, everywhere, on our journey into the heart of your mercy.  And we, your holy people, celebrate our oneness with you as we sing…

All: We are holy, holy, holy (3x), we are whole. You are…I am… We are (Karen Drucker)  

Voice 2:  We thank you, Holy Mystery, for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history –and the gift of Jesus in faith. You brought him from among your people to baptize us in your Spirit.  His life was moved by his vision of your presence in himself and in his mission, and he recognized you in everyone he met.  He showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what was worth dying.

Voice 3:  And when his time on earth had come, to a close, 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, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in the ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the Spirit that lived in Jesus is resurrected in all of us who decide to live the new story.  Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.

All:  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 and shared it with 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.  When you do this, remember me, and all I have taught you.   (pause a moment, then continue….)

All: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, 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.  When you do this, remember me, and all I have taught you. 

Presider:  Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread.  The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of our faith.
All:  The Anointed One lives in us and through us in the world today.

Voice 4:  God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world.  We, your people, desire to grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and with everyone we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society.    We remember also 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:  We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we can ever ask or imagine.    Amen. (sung, x times)

The Prayer of Jesus

All (sing): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…...                                                  

The Sign of Peace

Presider:  God, we know that you give us peace and unity beyond what any words can express.  You are here with us as we join hands in a circle of love and sing our prayer: “Let there be peace on earth.” (#532)

Litany at the Breaking of the 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 calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread and wine on the altar of the world. All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love. 

All:  When we share in this meal, we, whom you created as worthy, commit to live your teachings, dear Jesus, and to tell your stories that allow Spirit to rise up within us and empowers us to bring the kin-dom of God to this world.  This is the good news of salvation.   

Presider:  Let us share and spread this good news!  ALL:  Amen.  (As we share this sacred meal, we say to one another with the passing of the bread, You are the love of God in the world.  When we share the wine we say, “You are the Face of God in the world.”)

Communion Music:  Instrumental  

Post Communion Meditation Hymn:  Abide-by Carrie Newcomer

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

Presider: Holy One, may our participation in this meal, in which we share Jesus’s healing love, deepen our oneness with you and with one another.  May we share our bountiful blessings, knowing that God who embraces us always, always gives us all more than we need.  May we be grateful daily for all of our many blessings.  And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge and understanding as we experience the infusion of your love and compassion in us, your sacred people. May we always be “filled with the Spirit”.   
All:  Amen


Closing Prayer

All:  May we give and receive abundant love.
May our belief in love enrich and sustain us.
May we find wonder and miracle in the ordinariness of life.
May we experience joy in the Light burning within us.
May we know true peace in our minds and in our hearts.  (Michael Morwood; Prayers for Progressive Christians)

Closing Community Blessing  

All (extend an arm in mutual blessing):  We come together at this special time, moved by a light within us and within all people.  We believe that this light, this love within is the light of the Great Mystery.  It is the light we name God, Love, Creator, Infinite Spirit, Yahweh, Breath of God.  We, as a sacred community, bless one another, and all of our sisters and brothers, who are called to this Light and are led by Spirit.  May our Loving God be with us as we continue on our paths and follow in the footsteps of Jesus-for we are the face of God to the world.  Amen.

Closing Song:  We Are One in The Spirit- Peter Scholte, F.E.L.

We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.
We will work with each other,
We will work side by side.
We will work with each other,
We will work side by side.
And we'll guard each person’s dignity
And save each person’s pride.


We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand.
We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand.
And together we'll spread the News
that God is in our land.



Presiders: May we go forth and be filled with the Spirit of God in our world.  May we be compassion to the world.  May we be the light in the world for others. Let this be our mission…and let our service continue!
All:   Thanks be to God; let it be so.