Saturday, December 31, 2022

Women's Ordination Worldwide responds to death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Today, Women’s Ordination Worldwide marks the death of Joseph Ratzinger, an academic who understood church history better than most and began his clerical life as a liberal theologian knowing  full well that women were equal founding leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. However, as head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office for decades, and later as pope, Benedict XVI caused immense harm through his fixation on the ‘crimes’ of  Catholics seeking equality, inclusion and justice.

We lament the fact that Pope Benedict died without apologizing for silencing his fellow theologians and women's ordination campaigners who dared to question his increasingly extreme positions on women’s ordained ministry. In particular, we call to mind Pope Benedict’s 2010 decision to classify the “attempted ordination of a woman” as a grave crime, on a par with the sexual abuse of a child, but with the punishment of automatic excommunication for women.

We extend our sympathy and solidarity to the survivors of abuse by clergy and note that Pope Benedict’s tolerance for the crimes of male priests was in sharp contrast to his determination to punish those who challenged his absolute intolerance for the equality of women.

We pray for the repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict and for the healing of divisions that his intransigent theology deepened within the church.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Get in touch with your deepest longings and life purpose this New Year

Getting in touch with your deepest longings can lead you into greater insight about the meaning of your life and the values you hold dear.

Where our deepest longings meet the world’s greatest needs is where we - with our unique gifts- will find our purpose - our vocation to make Christ visible in the world. 

My deepest desire is to be filled with Spirit-infused boundless love that will heal, renew and transform me and work through me to heal and serve others. 

My mission is to foster inclusivity, justice and equality by ordaining Catholic women as priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. We serve faith communities where all are welcome and invited to celebrate sacraments.

Phillip Newell writes:

“What does it mean that we are made of God rather than simply by God? It is to say that the creativity of God is deep within us , deeper than any barrenness in our lives or relationships, deeper than any endings in our families or our world.

Within us - as a sheer gift of God- is the capacity to bring forth what has never been before.”


May it be so each day on your journey!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

MMOJ Liturgy- Dec. 31,2023-World Day of Peace

 Zoom link:


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

World Day of Peace

Our Commitment to Nonviolence, December 31, 2022

Presiding: Mary Kay Staudohar & Michael Rigdon

Readers: Anna Davis & Jerry Bires

Prayer Leaders: Russ Banner, Suzanne Bires, Kathryn Shea

Welcome. Mary Kay. Welcome to our community gathering on this Saturday afternoon. We rejoice that we can celebrate together. We extend to one another words of welcome, peace, and thanksgiving assuring one another that all are welcome to this holy place. 

Theme. Michael. Our theme today isWe commit to nonviolence.” 

Next Saturday January 6th will mark the second anniversary of our democracy’s survival against a violent insurrection. Then we celebrate the life and teachings of Martin Luther King in mid-January. This World Day of Peace seems an especially good time for us to recommit to our shared vow of nonviolence for a third year!

Sign of Peace. Michael. Let us offer each other a sign of peace.

All: (Namaste pose 🙏🏿 toward camera) Namaste. The peace of Christ be with you! Namaste.

Gathering 🎶  Prayer of St Francis  (2:55)

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where there is injury your pardon, God,

And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. 

Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness only light, 

And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh God, grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled, as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. 

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 

In giving of ourselves that we receive, 

And in dying that were born to eternal life.

Make me a channel of your peace.

Transformation Prayer. Suzanne. We commit ourselves to respond to the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness and love will prevail.   All: Transform us, O Holy One!

Gloria. Kathryn. Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us and shares the Sacred Word with us. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace—peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus—Jesus who taught us how to live the Gospel, Jesus who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 

O Holy One, you are one with us. We will live a life of peace and faithfulness to you, committed to the Gospel message.

We depend upon the ever-present Spirit, Wisdom Sophia, to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  

All: Glory to the Spirit of Life!

Liturgy of the Word (Please pause for a moment of silence.)

Jerry. The first reading is from The Nonviolent Life by John Dear.

How can we become people of nonviolence and 

help the world become more nonviolent? 

What does it mean to be a people of active nonviolence? 

How can we help build a global grassroots movement of nonviolence 

to disarm the world, 

relieve unjust human suffering, 

make a more just society and 

protect creation and all creatures? 

What is a nonviolent life?”

[In my book] I propose a simple vision of nonviolence that 

every one of us can aspire to. 

I commend three dimensions of nonviolence: 

practicing nonviolence toward ourselves,

practicing nonviolence toward all others, all creatures and creation, 

and practicing active nonviolence 

by joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence

and suggest that to be a person of nonviolence, 

we each need to practice each dimension simultaneously 

if we are to become authentic practitioners of nonviolence.

Many of us do practice one, or maybe two, of these dimensions. 

We might be nonviolent toward ourselves and most others, 

but we are not part of the global movement of nonviolence. 

Or we might be committed activists involved in 

the movements for justice and peace, 

but filled with self hatred 

or mean toward those around us.

The nonviolent life in all its fullness demands 

that we practice all three dimensions at the same time! 

It is life straddling a tightrope, or juggling three bowling pins, 

or for that matter, walking on water. 

We are called to a new kind of centered mindfulness 

where we practice nonviolence in our private lives 

as well as work publicly and actively in the movements 

for disarmament, justice and peace through creative nonviolence. 

It means becoming in our own ordinariness 

new Gandhis, Kings and Dorothy Days.    

These are the inspired words of John Dear, 

and the community affirms our assent by saying, 

All: So be it!

Acclamation 🎶 Alle, Alle, Alleluia.     (0:32)

Mary Kay. The second reading is from the conclusion of The Nonviolent Life by John Dear. 

The historic student-led demonstrations in France in 1968 rung with a chant that is as apt today as it was then:

Be reasonable. Demand the impossible.”

Like those French protesters, practitioners of nonviolence are

reasonable people who demand the impossible.

With our spirituality of nonviolence and peace we 

trust in the God of peace, 

open our hearts in universal love, 

maintain a conscious mindfulness, see with a long haul vision, 

and willingly risk the cross and resurrection 

as the way to nonviolent social change. 

We root our life journey of nonviolence in the God of peace, 

the nonviolent Jesus, 

and the Holy Spirit of peace and love 

so that we become one with the universe, with heaven and earth, 

and all the saints and martyrs and peacemakers 

who have gone before us on the path of peace.

This spiritual framework, context and practice gives each one of us 

the strength to live a nonviolent life.

We have enough strength to step out into the world as 

people of peace, love and nonviolence, 

rooted and grounded in a whole new spirituality,

fashioned on Jesus himself.

These are the inspired words of John Dear, and the community affirms our assent by saying, 

All: So be it!

Acclamation 🎶 Alle, Alle, Alleluia.

Anna.  A reading from the Good News attributed to Matthew. 

Contemporary translation of the beatitudes by Eugene H Peterson.

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. 

With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. 

Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God.

He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

You're blessed when you care. 

At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. 

That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family

You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.  This is our Good News for today, and the community responds: 

All: Alleluia!

Acclamation 🎶 Alle, Alle, Alleluia.

Shared Homily. Michael & Community. Let us begin with moment of silence….      I highlighted John Dear’s reflection on three dimensions of nonviolence. Joining together to renew our vow of nonviolence, just as we proclaimed the last two years on January1st—This takes us into the third dimension, past nonviolence toward self, and nonviolence toward others and creation. We publicly join together with the grassroots movement of nonviolence worldwide. I think Dear believes this dimension is so critical because we start to receive support in our commitment to peace and provide that support and education to others. 

I propose that we proclaim our commitment to non-violence first, then share our experience of the readings and our common commitment. 

Vow of Nonviolence 

(All recite together)

Russ. Recognizing the violence in my own heart,

yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, 

I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus 

who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount: 

Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they shall be called the daughters and sons of God...

You have learned how it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy,but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven.”

Suzanne. Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, 

I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus, 

by striving for peace within myself 

and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life; 

by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it; 

by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence; 

by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart; 

by living conscientiously and simply 

so that I do not deprive others of the means to live; 

by actively resisting evil 

and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war 

from my own heart and from the face of the earth.

Kathryn. God, I trust in your sustaining love 

and believe that just as you gave me the grace and desire to offer this, 

so you will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.

Michael. Please share your experience.

Prayers of the Community

Mary Kay. As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware that the needs of our country and our world are many. As a community and as individuals we do our part to be the healing power of Christ for the world as we bring our prayers to the Eucharistic Table.


We bring to the table those who exercise leadership roles in all faith traditions.

We bring to the table those who are injecting the vaccines to protect everyone from covid and its new strains.

We bring to the table all those who are unemployed and underemployed, all migrants and refugees.

We bring to the table all those who work to promote justice by eradicating sexism, racism, and discrimination of every kind.

We bring to the table our desire to bring an end to the arms race and peaceful ways to resolve conflicts among nations.

We bring to the table our desire to be faithful to our pledge of nonviolence in every aspect of our lives.

Joan M. We bring to the table the concerns and prayers of our community etc.

Mary Kay. And for what else shall we pray? (Unmute to be heard, then mute again)

O Holy One, you know our needs even before we speak. Yet we must speak, if only to remind ourselves of our responsibility to care for the least among us.

May we act justly and love tenderly in addressing the needs of our world. And may we walk peacefully on the earth all the days of our lives. 

All:  Hear the voices of your people, Spirit of Compassion, that our commitment to nonviolent action will steer us forward to live that for which we pray.

Offering of Our Gifts at the table  

(Have bread and wine/juice on your table)

Michael. O Holy One, we bring you our gifts from creation, bread 🥖of the grain 🌾 and wine 🍷 of the grapes 🍇. We recognize that they are holy in you their creator. And we know that they will make us holy, one with you and one with each other. 

Michael. Please join in song to begin our Eucharisitc prayer.

Eucharistic Prayer  🎶 We Are Holy  (1:33)

Kathryn & All. We committed again today to be a community of nonviolence and peace! To support us, we count on each other and on the Spirit of Christ present among us, especially as we gather now for Eucharist. 

We commit ourselves to live the ministry of the Gospel as we speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the contradictions within our society, especially during these times of division and fear. We remind ourselves daily to remain faithful in our words and actions to our commitment to nonviolence. We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to be open to the new beginnings in our lives. We walk with Jesus seeking wisdom and peace.

(Hold your hand over bread and wine) 

Suzanne & All. Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us. 

During Jesuss life on earth, he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society.  Because of his ministry, Jesus was feared by the authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.

Mary Kay & All. On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet.  All lift 🥖 and pray the following:

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 

Take and eat, this is my very self.


Pause, then lift the 🍷 and pray the following:

Anna & All. He took the cup, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink. This is the new covenant. Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.  (pause)

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.

Kathryn & All. Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice, nonviolence and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope. We are the Christ alive today.

Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time

Instrumental 🎶  Sentinel Meadow, Mars Lasar

Suzanne. Sacred Spirit, 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 your Sacred Presence— Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs. We also remember family members, friends, and MMOJ members. We remember all those whose lives have been lost to covid, to war, to racism and other forms of exclusion and violence that exist in our world. And we remember those you wish to be remembered (we pause to remember our loved ones) All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us. And we respond together: 

All: So be it!

Kathryn: We pray our common prayer that Jesus taught us: 

All: Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, 

Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your will be done by all created beings!
May your beloved community of peace and freedom 

sustain our hope and come on earth. 

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen. 

(Adapted from The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.

This version of the Lords prayer was influenced by Maori theologians) 

Michael. Please share the gratitude you hold in your hearts.


Final Blessing. Mary Kay. 

Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux 1863-1950

You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle,
and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles,
and everything and everything tries to be round.

In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished. 

The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop,
and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. 

the circle of the four quarters nourished it. 

The east gave peace and light, 

the south gave warmth, 

the west gave rain and 

the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. 

This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.

The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. 

The moon does the same and both are round. 

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and 

always come back again to where they were.

The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, 

and so it is in everything where power moves. 

Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and 

these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop,

a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.

Final 🎶 Song of peace  (4:05)


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Christ be our light

Peace be with us.

🎶 Instrumental. Kerani, Lady’s Grace

(stop at 3:25)