Saturday, November 27, 2021

Early History of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida- Videos and Articles, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Early History of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community /Videos and Photos from Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

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ABC Video of House Church Beginnings in Sarasota, Florida, April 11, 2008

Early History of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida

(3 Videos)
This was the first liturgy we celebrated at St. Andrew UCC in March 2009.
Easter Vigil at St. Andrew UCC, April 2010 Michael and Imogene Rigdon on the right, Lee and Carol Ann Breyer on the left
Liturgical Dance by Sheila Carey in MMOJ House Church above Dec. 24, 2008
Photos and a glimpse of some highlights of our MMOJ Story

Mary, Mother of Jesus Catholic Community's Easter Vigil- March 22, 2008 in House Church

These photos provide a glimpse of the joyful celebration of our Easter Vigil on March 22, 2008. 

Over 30 people gathered in our House Church including members of Duffy and Gumbleton family.  My Dad,  Jack Meehan led the music with his saxophone with a lively version of Jesus Christ is risen today.
Our homily was a dialogue with many of the community offering insights. I I asked the community to share what they wanted to "go and tell "this Easter. 
Several shared that they felt that they felt hopeful that they are members of our House Church community where they experience the Spirit moving us forward together to live Christ's Easter message. They had lots to share that they would "go and tell". One family shared they would be going to Rome in the coming weeks and they would "go and tell "of their experience of a woman priest there too!

Mary, Mother of Jesus House Church Retreat and Liturgy on Dec. 6, 2008 (Carol Ann and Lee Breyer on couch, Margaret Smith in purple, Dad in blue with sax)


On Sat. Dec. 6th, 2008, members of Mary, Mother of Jesus community,(some of our snowbirds are not in Fl. yet) met for prayer, reflection and discernment. Our prayer and sharing led us to conclude that our ministry in the local church in Sarasota/Venice is to reflect God's love embracing all by living this vision of inclusivity and compassionate care and outreach to our sisters and brothers. We are called to "shepherd"-- to give comfort to God's people now.

We consecrated ourselves to be the hands and feet of Christ in our local communities. One of our prayers is that our brothers, priests, religious and bishops, will embrace Jesus vision of justice for women in the church and work for a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church as an inclusive, renewed discipleship of equals.

Tomorrow, Dec. 8th is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary, Mother of Jesus is the role model of our local Sarasota House Church Catholic Community. Our work for justice, equality and a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church is rooted in the prophetic vision of Jesus which is echoed in Mary's prayer for justice, equality and empowerment. Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, reflects the prophetic vision of Jesus who rejects domination and injustice and calls us to mutual service and empowerment. Mary prays to the Holy One who has done great things for her and portrays God as the liberator of the marginalized and oppressed. “God raises up the lowly and puts down the mighty from their thrones.” As we know, women continue to be the oppressed of the oppressed in our world to this day.

In praying the Magnificat, we stand with Mary, the simple teenaged, pregnant, but unmarried woman of faith, in her clairvoynat perception of God's relationship with us, through the strong language of her prayer. In this prayer, Mary is a symbol of strength, comfort, and power for the disinherited and powerless of the world. She is companion, champion, and change-agent for the righteous poor, who will triumph over oppression and experience the justice promised to them by God. (Praying with Women of the Bible, p.105)
Jesus, Mary's child, called women and men to be disciples. "With Jesus went the Twelve, as well as some women he had healed of evil spirits and sicknesses; Mary of Magdala, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Suzanna; and many others who were contributing to the support of Jesus and the Twelve with their own funds. " (Luke 8:2-3)

It is obvious from the archaelogical evidence that the early Christian community upheld Mary, Mother of Jesus, as mentor of women leaders and office holders in the early church. In St. Priscilla’s catacomb, there is a beautiful frescoe of Mary, dressed in bishops’ robes and seated on a bishop’s chair, present at the ordination of a woman priest. Mary is also depicted in a group portrait with Episcopa Theodora in a mural in St. Praxedis Church in Rome.

Mary, Mother of Jesus, may we live your prophetic call as witnesses to justice, equality, mutual service and empowerment.

Jack Duffy's Letter to Editor Published in Sarasota Herald Tribune January 2009

Jack Duffy (navy blue) seated next to Helen, his wife at Mary, Mother of Jesus liturgy

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