Friday, March 1, 2019

Obituary: Helen Marie Duffy- a Woman of Deep Faith and Joyful Presence, Thank You !

Helen Marie Duffy

MCFARLAND-Our hearts are quite a bit heavier, and Heaven quite a bit brighter, as Helen tap danced her way into Heaven on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.  We are sure she is sitting at the right hand of Her Savior, Jesus Christ, at a table set with linen napkins, lit candles and a vase of fresh flowers.  Words can’t describe how much we will miss her infectious smile, selfless love, constant support, and just simply the positive way she made us all feel.  Survived by her beloved Jack, her First Mate for 61 years. She was truly the Wind Beneath his Wings!

Helen was a proud graduate of Loyola University, where she earned her teaching degree.  She met her partner for life, Jack Duffy and embarked on a beautiful voyage, which included traveling around the country and the world as a proud Army Officer’s wife.  Helen perfected her ability to raise a houseful of children, dote on her grand and great-grandchildren, entertain with grace and style, volunteer, sing, and dance while always smiling. She had a strong faith and led by example. One of her famous lines was “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. She started every day with a song.  “Good Morning to you…” and made everyone feel incredibly special and loved. She was ahead of her time in so many ways.  Helen joined a tap-dancing group in Nokomis Florida and loved every moment when kicking up her heels.  She worked at Head Start, volunteered for many organizations and opened her heart and home to those in need.  She helped launch bible studies, book clubs, churches and was so involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Helen created so many family traditions: trips to Folklore Village, Santa Lucia Day, Camping, Natures Villa, Candles on the Christmas tree, Saint Patrick Day traditions and special Birthday meals.  She was a fixture at every child’s sporting/musical, forensic, 4H or theatre events, often busy knitting instead of watching and worrying.  Helen was famous for her incredible meals and entertaining, which included gourmet feasts on many family camping trips and stops at roadside rest stops with homemade sandwiches and a thermos of drinks.  Helen (Mrs. Duffy) won the hearts of countless neighbor kids on Hwy AB by serving the best hot chocolate after everyone came off Lake Kegonsa ice on cold winter days.  Helen never asked for much in return… except for her coffee…Jack learned early that a happy wife is a caffeinated wife.

Helen leaves behind her incredible legacy of seven children, John (Regina), Bridget (David), Matt (Sue), Kathleen (Kevin), Patrick (Leslie), Tom (Kathy) and Brian (Tommi); and her “fabulous wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who can do no wrong”, Danielle (Ben) and their children, Benjamin, Carter and Addie; Matthew and his children, Liam, Audrey and Eloise; Jared (Lindsay) and their daughter, Annabelle; Keara; Lindsay and Erin Strand; Kyle, Sarah and Coley; Molly, Abby and Samuel; Alexis and John Ryan; Hayden, Eily and Teddy; and nine Belgian Grand Draft Horses.  She is also survived by her siblings, Rita (Larry) Daniels, and John (Nancy) Quinlisk; and a number of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Helen Quinlisk; and brother, Thomas Quinlisk. 

Helen’s last years of life were made incredibly special and peaceful as a result of the love and compassion of her loving caregivers Joan Gooden, and Maggie.  We appreciate the loving care she received from the wonderful team at Agrace HospiceCare.  She was our Sunshine.  Our only Sunshine.  She made us Happy when skies were grey.  She’ll never know dear how much we loved her… now she is our Sunshine forever and a Day!

A Celebration of Helen’s Life will be held at HOLY WISDOM MONASTERY, 4200 Cty Hwy. M, Middleton, at 1 p.m., on Saturday, March 9, 2019, with a luncheon to follow the service.  Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Friday, March 8, 2019, and at the church from 12 noon until the time of the service on Saturday. Memorials may be made to, Agrace HospiceCare and/or Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.
(608) 221-5420

I give thanks for Helen Duffy, who was with her husband, Jack, founders of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. We will always remember Helen's joyful presence and laughter every Saturday when she welcomed everyone through our doors with Imogene Rigdon (now also dancing with the angels in heaven). 
Helen, you were a blessing of love to all of us. We know that you will continue to walk with us on the journey to the full equality of women in our Church and we are grateful for your courageous support of women priests! Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community will celebrate your life when dear Jack returns to Florida!
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

Vatican Meeting Shows a Church Incapable of Holding itself to Account by Maeve Lewis

Pope refuses to create a Vatican tribunal to try bishops who ignore or cover up abuse

My Response: I agree that Pope Francis' resistance to holding the bishops accountable is unacceptable. 

Pope Francis, cardinals and bishops at the opening of a global child protection summit for reflections on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, February 21st at the Vatican. Photograph: AFP/Getty

"It is more than 30 years since the scandal of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church began to emerge across the English-speaking world.

At first a few isolated survivors told their stories, soon followed by an avalanche of revelations. Regardless of the location, the same patterns appear: disclosures followed by cover-ups, priests relocated to abuse again. The church’s response has been abysmal, and it is only through investigations by the civil authorities that we now know the full truth. In Ireland, the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports each revealed the same dismal pattern: children were recklessly endangered to protect the status of the church.

While bishops’ conferences in some countries have put in place good child safeguarding procedures, both they and the Vatican have struggled to develop an adequate response to the bishops and cardinals who were part of the cover-up. The recent long-delayed defrocking of American cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the conviction of Australian cardinal George Pell for sexual offences show that sexual predators exist in the highest echelons of the church, but there has been little effort to hold accountable those leaders who concealed sexual crimes by priests under their authority.

When Pope Francis was elected, many survivors hoped for a fresh and vigorous approach to child protection. From putting in place a Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014 to calling a Vatican Summit on Child Protection last week, hopes were high that an era of zero tolerance had begun.

Sadly, the reality has been different, from failing to implement the recommendations of his own commission to calling Chilean survivors liars. The Pope has refused to create a Vatican tribunal to try bishops who ignore or cover up abuse. In November the Pope forbade the American bishops’ conference from holding a vote on the introduction of penalties for senior churchmen.

It is still not mandatory for dioceses across the world to have a child safeguarding policy in place.
Australian journalists face threat of jail in wake of Pell case
Timeline: The rise and fall of George Pell
Vatican treasurer George Pell found guilty of child sexual abuse

The Pope has made several important statements over the years abhorring the sexual abuse of children, including during his visit to Ireland in August 2018. He has apologised to survivors again and again. But he has never proposed any tangible changes in Vatican law or policy that would tackle sex offenders and their protectors in a meaningful way.

This culminated in the Pope’s astonishingly defensive closing address to the Vatican summit on Sunday. Almost half the speech focused on the prevalence of child sexual abuse in families and communities, as if to minimise the incidence of clerical abuse. He is correct: fewer than five per cent of abused children are assaulted by clerics. And the high prevalence of sexual abuse within families is a major and largely hidden tragedy that we have so far utterly failed to tackle. But this is hardly the point at a summit specifically dealing with clerical sexual abuse; when we know that literally thousands of Catholic priests and religious across the world have sexually harmed children.

Dealing with priests who sexually abuse is one thing. They can be brought before the courts and offered treatment to reduce their level of risk.

Dealing with those who protect them is quite another matter. The Vatican has thousands of files in its archives which it consistently refuses to release to civil authorities across the world. It has declined to fully co-operate with State inquiries, including the Murphy inquiry which investigated Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese. It has refused to name the senior churchmen who suppressed evidence against abusers. McCarrick was elevated to cardinal despite years of allegations piling up against him. Will we ever know who protected him and to what purpose?

Perhaps the most reprehensible section of the Pope’s speech on Sunday was when he castigated those who are demanding that bishops be held accountable as “exploiting, for various interests, the very tragedy experienced by the little ones”. With all due respects, Your Holiness, our only interest is to keep children safe.

Civil authorities across the globe were historically complicit in colluding with the Catholic Church to conceal crimes of child abuse, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledged during the Pope’s visit. But that climate is changing. Pell, occupying the third most powerful position in the Vatican, is spending his first days in prison in Melbourne. French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is currently on trial for covering up sexual abuse in the diocese of Lyon. Following the Pennsylvania grand jury report last year, several US states are planning similar investigations. They will all reveal the same familiar truths.

Despite real progress in the Irish church and elsewhere, it is time that we acknowledge that the Vatican is incapable of true accountability.

After decades of Vatican procrastination, we must accept that it is only when the civil authorities intervene through inquiries or criminal justice proceedings that the Catholic Church will be held to account. The summit on child protection was regrettably another missed opportunity to keep children safe from sexual harm.

Maeve Lewis is executive director of One in Four.

"Exploring the Meaning of Mary Magdalene" by Bishop Jane Kryzanowski, RCWP Canada 
(See topics below for RCWP Canada Newsletter)
Bishop Jane Kryzanowski, RCWP Canada

"This winter I am taking an on-line course from the Center of Action and Contemplation on Mary Magdalene led by wisdom scholar, Cynthia Bourgeault.  Through years of study and practice in contemplative prayer, Bourgeault has come to know a depth of spiritual wisdom and insight into the meaning of Mary Magdalene in her day and for us today.

With the canonical gospels in one hand and the wisdom writings of the Nag Hammadi and the Gospel of Mary in the other she peels back layer upon layer of suppression, distortion and misunderstanding of Mary Magdalene, not just as “Apostle to the Apostles” but the deep river of conscious love that flowed between Mary Magdalene and Jesus that brought her to stand at the cross, remain in vigil at the tomb, and be the one to witness the resurrection. 

She shows how systems and attitudes of patriarchy, sexism and misogyny have been at work from the early days of Christianity to create a “master story” that eroded the place of women in the mission and ministry of Jesus.   Contemporary biblical, archeological and historical scholarship, especially that undertaken by those who adopt a feminist hermeneutic, are revealing much of what has been hidden as evidenced by the expansive end-notes for each chapter of her book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the woman at the Heart of Christianity, which we are using as a resource. 

As she breaks open for us the story of early Christianity that has marginalized Mary and other women in the gospels a Path of Conscious Love is revealed – like putting together pieces of a puzzle.  The relationship between Jesus and Mary of Magdalene is the story of the soul drawn into a sacred oneness – the feminine and the masculine made whole. In her considerations, Bourgeault dares ask the question: “Was the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene one of voluntary celibacy or Eucharistic sexuality?  This is an eye-popping question!  How could one even think that Jesus wasn't celibate? That has been the premise of Christianity from its earliest days.

Bourgeault was introduced to the startling term of Eucharistic sex by an Australian priest and filmmaker, Michael Bernard Kelly. She writes, “Once I got over my initial shock, I realized he had hit the nail on the head. ‘Eucharistic sex’ basically equates to: ‘This is my body, given for you.’  Along a Fifth Way path, sexual expression is characterized by two overarching qualities: total transparency and total self-outpouring” (143).  

It is hard to think about Jesus being anything but celibate.  The ingrained thinking is that had he known erotic love, Jesus could not possibly have also been the full embodiment of divine love and would been disqualified as the divine redeemer.  Bourgeault points out that the celibacy of Jesus is not a tenant of faith, although we tend to think so, but rather an assumption superimposed over the centuries (86). Celibacy's evolution during the early centuries of Christianity corresponded with the movement of leadership from charismatic elders to the threefold sacramental ministry (bishop, priest, deacon).  By this time women had already come to be viewed negatively and increasingly both Jesus and the apostles came to be seen as the prototype of a celibate priesthood.  This idea became a justification for a male, celibate, priestly theology which gained credibility as this view was passed from generation to generation by the male, celibate, priests and became the tradition of the church.  

Bourgeault explores what she calls “Myths of Celibacy” as a superior way to holiness.  Then, Weaving threads of singleness (unitive being), kenosis (self-emptying), and abundance, into a “wedding garment” (125), Bourgeault reveals the path of conscious, “substituted love” (148) as the most inclusive of all spiritual paths leading to ultimate oneness with the Divine.  These elements can be experienced in both a genuine celibate life and a committed marriage relationship.  At the heart of mysticism, the feminine and the masculine come together in an alignment and a purity of heart that allows for unitive consciousness whereby one “sees” God.

 She offers that this is a path of “mystical marriage” which Jesus and Mary Magdalene knew, in which two souls experience in their relationship total transparency and total self-outpouring which nourishes one another and propels each of them hastening their personal spiritual journey. Human love is not inherently different than divine love.  In describing “Conscious Love,” Bourgeault uses the term “Love” to emphasize the life-affirming and implicitly relational nature of the path, and the word “conscious” make clear that the touchstone here is transformation, not simply romance.  Conscious love is “love in the service of inner transformation – or if your prefer, “inner transformation in the service of love.” This is exactly what Jesus is about. (112)

Allowing ourselves to consider various possibilities regarding Jesus and Mary Magdalene, we can come to know the Path of Conscious Love as the true nature of their relationship.  This also opens for us new ways of seeing our personal relationships as means of growing into the fulness of divine love.  Bourgeault quotes John Welwood (Journey of the Heart, 13): “Embracing relationship as a path also gives us practice: learning to use each difficulty along the way as an opportunity to go further, to connect more deeply, not just with a partner, but with our own aliveness as well.” 

I find Bourgeault work intriguing. It will take me a lot more time to contemplate what she says.   Following are some resources for your own exploration, if you wish.  They give you direct access to some of her writings and presentations. "

Article in The Gospel of Mary Magdalene 

Article in Cosmic Intimacy

Youtube video: Meaning of Mary Magdalene
Youtube video: Way of the Heart

Latest articles at

Cynthia Bourgeault, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity (Shambhala: 2010)

John Welwood, Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love (Shambhala: 1990)

+ Jane

[Jane Kryzanowski, Regina, SK, is bishop for RCWP Canada\

The March 1, 2019 issue of  The Review is at   There you will find original articles and links to the following:

  • ‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out
  • It is time to completely debunk a number of ideas that float around about the “sin” of homosexuality
  • New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women
  • Creative Re-imagining Needed to Resolve the Crisis in the Church
  • Prohibition on women priests could bring about 'slow death' of church
  • The Pope Video
  • This is not a real church
  • Ceremony to acknowledge and honour Elders
  • Puanani Lalakea of Honolulu Ordained a Priest for RCWP-USA Western Region which includes Hawai'i
  • Pope offers 21 proposals to fight abuse at start of summit
  • Visitor Countries to The Review this week
  • Featured Link
  • Tech Tip
  • Archives temporarily suspended
  • RCWP Canada Bishop's Message
  • Dignity of Catholic Women – Perspective through A Muslim Woman’s Eyes
  • Comments to the Editor
  • Francis Comic Strip
  • Form for Comments to the Editor
  • Links to RCWP Canada website and other progressive websites and blogs