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

Friday, November 26, 2021

Roman Catholic Women Priests in Colombia Were Present at Women's March for Peace in Colombia by Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP



Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea ARCWP*

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP wearing red stole

Lucero Manco Arias ARCWP wearing red stole and carrying banner

Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP


Unidas al Colectivo de las Matrias (mujeres adultas mayores, solteras, viudas, madres víctimas de la violencia) en juntanza=unidas con la juventud y muchas otras organizaciones como Mujeres Tejedoras de Caldas, Mujeres que Crean, Estamos Listas, Villa Comunitaria “La Vid”, Convivimos, Funsared, Colectivo “Débora Arango”, diferentes grupos indígenas, afros de las diferentes regiones del país y muchos más que se me pueden escapar, nos unimos al viaje de la fiesta y alegría, anunciando la VIDA y la PAZ entrando en aquel territorio donde “no se mueve una hoja” sin permiso de los grupos armados. Más de 3.500 mujeres pacifistas irrumpimos exigiendo el respeto a la vida, en el grito profundo de nuestras entrañas: “Las mujeres no parimos hijos e hijas para la guerra”, “Para la Paz todo, para la guerra nada”, “Mujeres feministas por la Paz”.


Nos acompañaron tanto en el avance de la Ruta, como en el acto de manifestación celebrado en el Parque principal de Caucasia, presencia de instituciones como Defensoría del Pueblo, la Guardia Indígena OIA y otras más.


Dejamos que las imágenes hablen por si solas. Agradecemos todo el apoyo a quienes organizaron, con coraje, ética y disciplina desde el Colectivo Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, tan transcendental manifestación histórica lograda en nuestro país, tras las conversaciones de más de 6 meses con los diferentes grupos armados, para convenir el acuerdo de hacer de la vía de la Ruta un “corredor humanitario” atravesando por todos los pueblos y caseríos, afectados por la violencia. Gracias, Gracias, Gracias.

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2021, Co- Presiders: Dotty Shugrue ARCWP and Joan Meehan, Readers: Ann Cooke and Anna Davis, Prayer Leaders: Beth Ponce and Joan Pesce

Meeting ID: 851 0809 5506
Passcode: 1066


Co-Presider:  Dotty.  Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of the Liturgy for the first Sunday of Advent.  Let’s pause and remember who we are as the community of Mary Mother of Jesus.  We are inclusive, as all are welcome to be with us.  We are committed to Gospel values in all that we do.  We welcome active participation in our Liturgies.  There is but one rubric, please unmute when you read or share and then remember to mute again when you are finished.  So let us begin.

The Blessing and Lighting of the Wreath

Co-Presider:  Joan M.   As we begin the Season of Advent Christians create a wreath with four candles.  Advent candles readily demonstrate the strong contrast between darkness and light, which is an important biblical image. Jesus referred to himself as the "Light of the World" that dispels darkness: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).  You are the light of the world let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to the Cosmic Christ. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Holy One, we believe that your Sacred Presence fills every space in the universe.  All life is your life with us.  Together we pour forth blessings on this Advent Wreath.  We light the first week candle and we pray that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, born anew in us, Amen.

Theme:    A Time for Dreaming – Believing - Preparing

Co-Presider:  Dotty.   As we gather in this circle to begin another Advent, let us share our dreams, our beliefs, and our ways of preparing for the Child of humanity, the Christ within.  We prepare to bring the Christ, to give birth to new hopes.  We dream and we believe that power lives within us as together we build the City of God.  

Opening Song:   A Million Dreams (from The Greatest Showman) - One Voice Children's Choir

Transformation Rite:

Prayer Leader:  Joan P  

Called to dream of a world that recognizes the presence of the Divine in all those we meet as we commit to consistently bring Christ into our world.

Transform me Holy One

Called to believe that our younger generations have vision and new perspectives in what the future holds and embrace the power we have to create peace.

Transform me Holy One

Called to prepare during this Advent Season to recognize that the Christ is born anew within us every day as we celebrate this profound Gift.


Transform me Holy One

Reader:  Anna Davis   This first reading is recorded in the Book of the prophet Jeremiah. 

The days are surely coming, says YHWH, when I will bestow on Israel and Judah all the blessings I promised them.  In those days and at that time, I will raise up a righteous branch from the line of David, who will bring justice and integrity to the land.  In those days Judah will be safe, and Jerusalem will be secure. They will call the land, “YHWH is our Justice.”

These are the inspired words of the prophet Jeremiah, and the community affirms them by saying: AMEN

Reader:  Ann Cooke   The second reading is excerpts from “The Reed of God” by Caryll Houselander.

This time of Advent is essential to our contemplation.  If we have truly given our humanity to be changed into Christ, it is essential to us that we do not disturb this time of growth.  It is a time of darkness, of faith. We shall not see Christ’s radiance in our lives yet; it is still hidden in our darkness; nevertheless, we must believe that He is growing in our lives; we must believe it so firmly that we cannot help relating everything, literally everything, to this almost incredible reality. This attitude makes every moment of every day and night a prayer.

This Advent awareness does not lead to a selfish preoccupation with self; it does not exclude outgoing love to others—far from it. It leads to them inevitably, but it prevents such acts and words of love from becoming distractions. It makes the very doing of them reminders of the Presence of Christ in us. It is through doing them that we can preserve the secrecy of Advent without failing to offer the loveliness of Christ in us to others.

When a woman is carrying a child, she develops a certain instinct of self-defense.  It is not selfishness; it is not egoism. It is an absorption into the life within, a folding of self like a little tent around the child’s frailty, a God-like instinct to cherish, and some day to bring forth, the life. A closing upon it like the petals of a flower closing upon the dew that shines in its heart.

This is precisely the attitude we must have to Christ, the Life within us, in the Advent of our 

contemplation. This dependence of Christ lays a great trust upon us. During this tender time of Advent we must carry Him in our hearts to wherever He may never go unless we take Him to them.

These are the inspired words of the mystic Caryll Houselander, and the community affirms them by saying: AMEN

Celtic Alleluia

Reader:   Joan P.  The Gospel is taken from the writings of the apostle called John. 

In the beginning the Word was and the Word was one with God; and the Word was God; through the Word all things came into being and nothing came into being apart from the Word.   That which came into being in the Word was Life and the Life was the light of humanity; and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness never overpowered it.

These are the inspired word in the gospel of the apostle called John and the community affirms them by saying: AMEN

Celtic Alleluia


                                    Shared Homily

Co-Presider:  Joan M.  Let us pray our beliefs as we profess our faith:

We gratefully believe in a God who feels our deepest struggles and celebrates our greatest joys. A God who both dances with us in celebration and holds us when we cry. This God is not "other" to us, but shares our breath in every moment, and promises we are never alone.

We believe in a God who believes in us--believes that we are precious and incredible gifts, worthy to claim image and likeness to the divine.

We hold fast to our God who journeys with us, who continually calls us to choose the shape of our days through the choices we make. This God accepts us as we are and shares each hope we have for our becoming.

This is the God in whom we believe, our Creator, our Mother and Father who became human in Jesus, our brother, and has always lived in human hearts.

Our God is the Spirit of Life, the voice that continues to speak love, and asks us to answer.

In this God we choose to believe.  And together we say:  Amen. 

(Joan Meehan has shared this Creed with us. It is written by The Friends in Faith)

Prayer Leader:  Beth Ponce   We pray together our prayers of petition:  

As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware that just as Mary awaits the birth of her child, we too are waiting for the healing power of the Christ in us and in our world. We voice our intentions today as we pray….

We bring to the table our grave concern about the continued spread of the Covid virus. We pray for those persons in our country, in our world who suffer from disease especially from Covid 19.  We pray they may experience love and support as they heal.

We bring to the table our our elected officials that they will remember their duty to create programs and structures that serve the needs of all Americans as well as those who seek refuge in our country.

We bring to the table the immigrant children and the countless men and women still being held in inhumane conditions by our own government.  We pray our elected officials will act to create those procedures that will right this terrible wrong.

We bring to the table all members of our MMOJ community that any personal suffering will be healed, that they may fine strength in the love we share with one another.

(For what else do we pray?  Share any of your petitions)

Co-Presider:  Joan M.   Holy One, blessed are we as we gather around our tables to celebrate the memory of Jesus.  He lived among us teaching us to dream of a world healed and made whole, to believe in the power of Divine Presence within us and to prepare for the birthing of the Christ within. With this bread and wine, we pledge ourselves to the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels.  We accept our call to be present to all people in our world. We are committed to the teachings and the ministry of Jesus.

The Holy One is praised forever.

Prayer Leeder:  Beth Ponce  Please join in praying the Eucharistic prayer:

O Holy One, you are always with us. In the blessed abundance of creation, we gather to celebrate Your nourishing gift of life. May our hearts be open to You as You invite us to participate in the wise and wonderful work of co-creation.

May we be ever aware of Your Spirit within and among us as our world unfolds amid pain and beauty into the fullness of life.

May we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus as we focus on this Advent for the Christ born again within each of us. 

We are grateful for Your Spirit whose breath inspired the primal waters, calling into being the variety and abundance we see around us. Your Spirit sustains us and gives us hope in our every endeavor, inviting us to act in wisdom and in truth. 

In gratitude and joy, we lift our voices to proclaim a song of praise:

Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy

Co-Presider:  Joan M. 

As your people, we gather in the power of your Spirit. As followers of Jesus, we seek to live as wise and holy Spirit-filled people: courageous, prophetic, ever hopeful and hope-filled as we answer your call to serve one another.

[Please extend your hands over your bread and wine]

We invoke Your Spirit upon these gifts of this Eucharistic table, bread of the grain and wine of the grape, that they may become gifts of wisdom, light and truth which remind us of our call to be the body of Christ to the world.

Co-Presider:  Dotty  On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly, he bent down and washed their feet.


[lifting bread]

When he returned to his place, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and offered it to them saying: Take and eat; this is my very self.  


[lifting cup]

Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered the wine saying: Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you. Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you

This is the bread of life and cup of blessing. May our eating and drinking strengthen our hope!  

Co-Presider:  Joan M. 

What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Receive bread and cup now with the words “You are the face of God”

Communion Meditation/Song: Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming – Piano by Linda Lee

(Pause after music)

Prayer Leader: Joan P.   Sacred Spirit, we remember Mary, the Mother of Humanity, who birthed Jesus into our world. We rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with the Sacred Presence: Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets, and martyrs.  We remember our sister priests, strong extraordinary women: Adele, Judy, Tish, Joan, Michele, and Sally.  We remember, too, family members, friends, and member of MMOJ. (Pause to remember names) We remember all those whose lives have been lost to Covid, to war, to racism and all other “isims” that exist in our world.  And we remember those you wish to be remembered…. All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us.

And we respond together: So Be It

Prayer Leader:  Beth Ponce.  Let us pray the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is 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 our 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  

                                         (Miriam Therese Winter)

Co-Presider:  Joan. M.   Holy One, your transforming energy is ever present, moving within and working through us. With joyful hope, may our lives glorify you at this time and in all ways. Amen.

Community Prayers of Gratitude----Announcements

Co-Presider:  Dotty. Let us extend our hands in blessing one another.

May the Holy One bless us as we dream in infinite possibilities.

May we let our dreams urge us to prepare to meet the reality of the day with the dream and hope of tomorrow. 

May we recognize the Holy One in our lives, the Divine Presence within us as we bring our dreams to fruition.

DREAM, DREAM, DREAM of ways to enlighten humanity to recognize that “God is always and forever with us.”

Closing Song:  The Power of the Dream by Celine Dion

If you would like to add your intercession to our 

MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to

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