Saturday, September 18, 2021

Homily for Albany Ordination of Julie Corron ARCWP, and Denise Hackert -Stoner ARCWP by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP




https://youtu.be/wLDsNAxEQMc

Bridget Mary


Today we rejoice as the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordains Julie Corron and Denise Hackert-Stoner as priests. We rejoice that the holy shakeup is alive and well in the Upper Room Community and in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Ten priests have been ordained in seven ordination in this sanctuary! (invite ARCWP and Upper Room Community to stand up or wave arms) as a witness to the birthing of the Spirit among us!


Now let us reflect on the unique prophetic vision of the 2 women we will ordain today:


Julie believes that just as our cells make up our bodies, we are all part of our God. As a result, we all have the privilege and obligation to care for each other. As a newly endorsed chaplain with the Federation of Christian Ministries, Julie lives this in her work as a hospital chaplain, being present with and bearing witness to the pain and joy and suffering and love of patients, families, and staff. Today, a day that sometimes seemed would never come, Julie answers her call to ordination with a joy-filled heart, grateful for her companions on this path.


Denise believes that we grow into our true selves not only in the momentous occasions of our lives, but also in the small, everyday occurrences, the chance encounters, passing fancies, and the choices we make on a daily basis.  For her, every moment offers the potential for growth, every day opens as a sacrament, filled with the possibility of Divine encounters.  It is in this spirit that Denise, who has recently earned a Doctorate in Ministry, has created a program of accompaniment for children in their spiritual growth.  In the spirit of celebrating our becoming the people we truly are, Denise answers her call to ordination with joy and amazement.


Julie and Denise chose our inspiring readings for today. 

In the Gospel of Mary, we encounter Mary Magdalene as apostle to the apostles. She is the one who teaches the male disciples what is hidden from them because Christ spoke within her. But Peter’s  words “Did he choose her over us?” echo through the centuries.


As Meggan Watterson writes: “There is no hierarchy in the spiritual world.  We are all equal and we are all equally trying, in our own crazy ways to love ourselves enough to see the good that is right here with us…Maybe we are all Peter. when we question how we could possibly deserve a love that is right in front of us. Maybe Mary was more loved by Christ than any other because she knew she wasn’t separate from his love in the first place. She is the woman who knew Christ by heart.” Meggan Waterson, Mary  Magdalene Revealed, pp.  185, 197


When we open ourselves to a love that is a power inside us, we can push through any darkness to bring forth a new birthing of Spirit-empowerment  in our words and actions each day. 

Visionary woman and activist, Valerie Kaur, said that when we breathe together and push together, we build a solidarity rooted in revolutionary love that liberates and transforms us. 

Since 2010, ARCWP has been pushing through the pain of the birthing process to create a new model of priestly ministry in a community of equals. As companions in this struggle, we are being set free, as we breath and push together through patriarchal resistance to birth inclusive communities where all are loved, all are blessed, and all are welcome.

We are pushing through a priest-dependent model of church in which “Father knows best” to create people-empowered ecclesial communities who minister to the needs of all and in which all voices are heard. In this sometime messy birthing process, we are learning to embrace the imperfections, the holy messes in our ever growing, evolving movement and faith communities. 

We are pushing away from a medieval theology focused on fear and sin, to discover a rich diversity of contemporary theologies that promote the love of the Holy One revealed in the teachings and example of Jesus. He taught that the God of justice and liberation sets us free to love and to set others free. The wise words of Jesus in the Gospel of Mary challenge us not to bind ourselves with rules and laws we don’t need: “Do not lay down any rules beyond what I determined for you, nor give a law like the lawgiver, lest you be confined by it”

 Like Mary Magdalene we are pushing through a centuries-old fear of women’s spiritual power, to create new models of spiritual leadership rooted in mutual partnerships in ministry. As Christ’s relationship with Mary Magdalene disturbed Peter, our women priests movement continues to threaten the hierarchy of the RC Church. On June 1, 2021, in the new Updated Code of Canon Law, Pope Francis officially placed the ordination of a woman in the same serious crimes category against the Church as the sexual abuse of a child. 

But the good news is that women priests in people- empowered communities will never stop pushing through the darkness of sexism in the hierarchical church to live Gospel equality now. 


Some people think women priests are a Catholic revolution because we are breaking the laws of the Church by ordaining women. I believe women priests in inclusive faith communities are a holy shakeup of love that is healing and transforming the Church, making us one heart in Christ!  Let us rejoice that together we are liberating theology, renewing sacramental ministry, turning the patriarchal pyramid upside down and creating a discipleship of equals! Amen, Alleluia!


Julie and Denise will continue our homily sharing now:


Julie: 

In our first reading, Robin Meyers proposes that we trade the certainty of orthodoxy for “a path that [is] not obvious, sensible or safe…not to save our souls but to restore them.” In an increasingly secular age, answering the call to ordination may not seem sensible, especially if you are a Roman Catholic woman whose ordination means immediate excommunication. Yet here we are, brimming with joy at the prospect. 

Meyers reminds us that in the beginning, it was experiential for the followers of Jesus. They didn’t have to read about the life of Jesus because they were actually there. And what does the gospel tell us that life was like? During his short life, Jesus healed the sick, he talked to women, he fed the hungry, he challenged authority, he taught that the Kin-dom of God was at hand. It can be that way again. It can be that way for us, right now, if we’re willing to let go of certainty and salvation. We can heal the sick. There are lots of kinds of illness and lots of kinds of healing. I can’t heal through the laying on of hands or by writing a prescription, but I can listen to a troubled soul. We can talk to, and show respect for, those who are not valued by society—refugees, minorities, the mentally ill, the homeless. We can feed the hungry and there are so many hungry these days. We can continually challenge authority and the bigots and the bullies around us. And we can live as though we believe that, in the words of one of my favorite songs, “Right now heaven’s right here.” Thank you for sharing that with us today. 


Denise:

In one of the oldest passages from scripture, the Exodus story tells us that “The prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’” Exodus 15:20-21

In this passage Miriam is described as a prophet, and she was a prophet.  But as it happens, she was also a priest.  On the muddy banks of the Sea of Reeds, the Egyptian slave drivers lying defeated at her feet, she leads her community in a liturgical celebration of song and dance.  She calls the people together to recognize as a whole community the great thing that has happened, so that before moving on to whatever may come next, they can fix that event in their hearts, mark it in their history, make it part of who they are becoming.  

Like Miriam, we as women priests are crossing a muddy marsh.  Hot on our heels are the centuries of fear and hatred that have kept us from our calling, kept us in our place.  In a Church which views only baptized males as worthy of priestly vocation we have by default been deemed unworthy.  Just this summer the Vatican reiterated this unjust claim.  

Nevertheless, here we are.  I would ask that all of the ordained men and women in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests present in this church right now please stand….. thank you.  It is on your shoulders and the shoulders of the 72 sister priests who have come before us that we stand today. And from our high perch as you hold us up we can see the shore.  And on that shore stands the Church as it is called to be:  a Church of people who walk the way of Jesus; who welcome everyone, who recognize and honor the gifts and vocations of all, regardless of gender, age, race, or sexual orientation.  And even though the mud and weeds of inequality still try to pull us down we keep our eyes on that shore.  And like Miriam, we have packed our tambourines and are leading the dance. 





Friday, September 17, 2021

Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, 25th Week of Extra-Ordinary Time, September 18, 2021, Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Anna Davis , Readers: Mary Al Gagnon and Jan LoGalbo ,Music Ministers: Linda Lee and Rick Miller

 Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85108095506       

ID 851- 0809-5506, Passcode 1066

Dial 1-929-436-2866 

Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506

Password: 1066                    

                     

  


        


                   

        Theme: “Suffer the Little Children Come unto Me”  


Welcome and Gathering 


Anna: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. 


-We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says “All.” 

-All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. 

-Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

-Our theme today is, “Suffer the Little Children Come unto Me”. 


Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are, 

Just as you are, 

You are welcome at this table. (Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)


Let us now take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, brought together at this time to transform ourselves and our world through love; love for our Holy One, love for our neighbors, love for ourselves, and love for our planet.  Let us begin our liturgy by expressing this love through song.  


            Gathering Song: Jesus Loves the Little Children

            


https://youtu.be/c5nr6kS4kMk


  




Opening Prayer


Kathryn: Oh Holy One, we are delighted to gather with You and one another today as we share this sacred space, and as we celebrate our oneness in and with You.  You told us on many occasions to “love one another, as I love you.”  In this time of great turmoil on our planet, we need to more fully embrace and act upon Your words.   As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to Be love for one another.  We give thanks for our Brother Jesus, who being both fully human and divine, showed us how to Be love.  He called forth the children around him saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, do not hinder them, for the kin-dom of God belongs to such as these.”  He showed us by example how to express tenderness, compassion, love, and forgiveness.  We rejoice that we have been given all we need to bring the true kin-dom of our Creator on Earth.  Holy One, we live with the comfort of knowing You walk with us on our journey and that You continue to teach us through Spirit Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  And to this, we say, AMEN.


A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lA5I0nODZI


Liturgy of the Word


Mary Al:  First Reading: On Children - A Reading from the book The Prophet, by  Kahlil Gibran


And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said
"Speak to us of children"

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you

You may give them your love but not your thoughts
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow

Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
You may strive to be like them
But seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday

You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite
And he bends you with his might

That his arrows may go swift and far
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness
For even as he loves the arrow that flies
So he loves also the bow that is stable


These are the inspired words of Kahlil Gibran and we affirm them by saying:  All.  Amen.


Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID5UGWcS6Ws


Gospel Prelude:


https://youtu.be/P9nUOCJ8rcU


Anna: First Gospel Reading:  Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and the disciples left the district and began a journey through Galilee, but Jesus did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Promised One is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”  But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.  And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Jan: Second Gospel Reading: Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

These are the inspired words of the Gospel writer, Mark, and we affirm them by saying, ALL: Amen

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID5UGWcS6Ws

Homily Starter – Kathryn Shea

Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith


Anna and ALL: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist. 

We believe in Jesus, messenger of God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 

We believe that we are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God's love, a source of God's wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God's peace in the world.

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 make it happen.


Prayers of and for the Community


Mary Al:  We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table.

 

Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers. 


We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)


Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers. 


For what else should we pray?

Our response is: All: Holy One, we know you hear our prayers. 


Kathryn: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. Amen


Liturgy of the Eucharist

Jan: Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us…you living in us and we, living in you.  As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, our call to protect our children, and our call to tear down the walls of hatred in its many forms.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us, your anointed disciples, gathered together in this time and place.  We also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today.

Let us rejoice as we sing: 

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orKBBIj5LZA


Mary Al: We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history -- and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions - he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for. 

Anna and All:  When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us 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 ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story.  Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.  We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing 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 that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.  

           [short pause]

Kathryn: 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 that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.

Jan: 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 faith.

Anna and All:  Jesus has died.  Christ is risen.  The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.

Mary Al: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters and our children, members of your Blessed Family.  We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..) 

Anna: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We believe that it is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever.  

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy76fpfkNsg


The Prayer of Jesus

Jan and ALL: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 


O Holy One, you are within, around, and among us.

We celebrate your many names.  Your wisdom come, your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us.  Each day you give us all we need.  You remind us of our limits, and we let go.  You support us in your power, and we act with courage.  For you are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen    Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS


Sign of Peace:


Kathryn: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.”  Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another by saying, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste”.


Anna: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:


Anna and All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.


Mary Al: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  


Jan and All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.                          


Please receive/share Eucharist now, saying: “You are the bread of life.” And “You are the cup of compassion.”


Communion Song:  Ancient Mother by Jan Novatka



https://youtu.be/PJSBqNoIqsM


Introductions/Thanksgiving/Announcements


Community Blessing


Kathryn: Please raise your hands in blessing: And together with our arms extended to one another we say: 


May our lives radiate the love of the Holy One.

May we live justice and equality in our church and our world.

May we be humble enough to be like children in receiving the kindom of our Holy One.  

May we be a blessing in our time and the Face of God to all whom we meet. 


ALL:  Thanks be to God.  Alleluia! 



Closing Song:  We Are the World


https://youtu.be/9tRLowGHh4c


If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to jmeehan515@aol.com



If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to

www.marymotherofJesus.org where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.


Please support our community, send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

% St Andrews UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34328 



Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pope Francis, Meet Your Priest: Ludmila Javorová with Miriam Therese (M.T. Winter), Women Priests Are Making Road to Full Equality in the Church by Walking it Now!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X44gIYt-8IU

The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement - in solidarity with our courageous sister Ludmilla Javorova- are making the road to full equality in the Church by walking it now. Bridget Meehan ARCWP


https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/simply-spirit/francis-visits-slovakia-international-crowd-celebrates-czech-woman-priest?fbclid=IwAR1mzo8gNez-R-bRXFwu8G0PF6cP9MvAWNfUkApK0IG2R4uCFB-gTPmajCw


WOC conversation with Sr. Miriam Therese Winter discussing the life and legacy of ordained Catholic priest Ludmila Javorova.  Hearing Miriam Therese recount the story of meeting Ludmila and getting her story, along with recounting the dangers Ludmila, Bishop Felix Davidek and the 500+ underground priests faced was both gripping and inspiring. 

Ludmila faced multiple dangers and betrayals throughout her life -- from the repressive communist regime to the Vatican who suppressed her ordination after her decades of courageous pastoral leadership.  Betrayed by officials in the Church, we want to ensure that her legacy and her selfless dedication is not forgotten. She is a priest forever, and the kind of priest that serves as a model for the church today!  Please spread the Good News about Ludmila Javorova, ordained priest, woman, and courageous minister in our church!  


Here is a link to Sr. Miriam Therese Winter's book, "Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova Ordained Roman Catholic Priest" on the publishers site:  https://crossroad.bookstore.ipgbook.com/out-of-the-depths-products-9780824518899.php?page_id=32&pid=CPC

Look for Sr. Christine Schenk's upcoming article on Ludmila Javorova and Miriam Therese's work in the National Catholic Reporter later today: https://www.ncronline.org/authors/christine-schenk

Finally, here is a link to register for our upcoming Catholic Organizations for Renewal presentation with Andrea Johnson, James Carroll, and Richard Gaillardetz on "Can the Catholic Church Rid Itself of Clericalism?".  https://www.catholic-organizations-for-renewal.org/

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Press Release: A Catholic Revolution in the Greater Capital Region

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and the Albany Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community Announce the Ordination of Denise Hackert-Stoner and Julie Corron As Priests

Ordination Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1pm

Contacts: Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP (703) 505-0004

Rev. Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP and Upper Room Community (518) 441-9649

Judith Stamp – Upper Room Community (518) 268-9147


 

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests announces the public ordination of Julie Corron and Denise Hackert-Stoner as priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan will ordain Julie and Denise on September 18th at 1:00PM in the Unitarian Church in Albany. They are the ninth and tenth priests to be ordained from the growing Albany Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community, a local gathering of Roman Catholics committed to following the message and example of Jesus in a Spirit empowered community of equals. Both women are members of the pastoral team in this community.


Julie Corron is an endorsed chaplain with the Federation of Christian Ministries who provides pastoral care at Albany Medical Center. 

Denise Hackert-Stoner recently earned a Doctorate in Ministry from Global Ministries University. She is creating a spiritual growth program rooted in contemporary theology for children. 


The Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community announces its move to a new location at 431 New Karner Road, Colonie, NY. It is a loving, inclusive community who recognizes, celebrates and honors the Divine Presence in everyone and everything. All are welcome to worship there. For information about the Upper Room, visit our website: https://www.upperroomicc.org/ 


For some, like the Catholic hierarchy, women priests are a revolution that is condemned in Canon Law, but for the Upper Room Inclusive  Catholic Community,  the time has come to bring new life, creativity and justice to the church and beyond. For more information about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priest, visit our website: https://arcwp.org/