Thursday, February 10, 2022

MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, 6th Sunday in Extraordinary Time, Feb. 12, 2022, 4:00PM, Presiders: Joan Meehan and Lee Breyer, Readers: Ann Cooke and Anna Davis, Music Ministers: Lind Lee and Rick Miller, IT: Peg Bowen

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Theme: A Walk on the Earth with the light of the sun and the blessing of the Son

Welcome and Gathering

[LEE]….Welcome everyone, Spirit Warriors and friends, Chosen Ones - all - as we “Walk on the Earth.” We welcome you to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. Although many of us are located in various places, homes or elsewhere on the earth that we walk, we are all together in this “Zoom Room” to share the compassionate presence of God with one another in this liturgy. We will share the message of Jesus as we break the bread and drink the fruit of the vine that we brought with us this afternoon, and we will express our gratitude for all that we have been, for all that we are now, and for all that we can be when we share our signs of mutual love.

[JOAN]….During this liturgy, we certainly invite everyone to pray the liturgy all the time. However, at the start, everyone will be muted (silenced) so that they do not disturb everyone else during the service. The presiders and the readers will be unmuted (able to be heard) so that they can be easily understood by the community. Also, during the shared homily and prayers, we invite you to unmute yourself to contribute your ideas, then to mute yourself when you have finished. And please have your bread and wine or juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic Prayer.

Let us take a few minutes now to collect ourselves as we focus our minds and hearts on our celebration Then we will open our ceremony with a song.

Gathering Song: All Belong Here by The Many

Opening Prayer

[ANN C] Nurturing God, in your goodness, you blessed the whole of creation and made it all sacred in your everlasting care. We are grateful that you graced our planet Earth with your presence in Jesus of Nazareth and, later, in us before we were even born … as we celebrated in our liturgy last week.

[LEE} Jesus - through his life, teachings and examples - showed us how to live as fully as you, Creator God, would have us do. Through Him, you showed us the experiences of joy and sorrow, success and failure, effort and exhaustion, and life and even death…all the events and challenges that we would encounter in our lives, and the very things that we ask you for your support and strength through your Spirit. What we ask of you now, Loving God, is to bless all of us celebrating this sacred liturgy and to open our spirits and souls to the messages of the life and messages of Jesus, today and always. Amen.

Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness

[JOAN] Creator God, to you all hearts are open, no desires are unknown, and no secrets are hidden. We ask your help so that we can better understand Sophia’s messages and be truly faithful to them – and, then, that we may spread Her graceful concern, compassion and care among all your people – wherever we may meet them while “walking on the road.”

[LEE] Jesus, grant us the courage we will need to spread your example of universal love. Help us to grow in our understanding of it as we live and share your messages that bring the grace of peace to every everyone we will meet in our futures. Loving God, we ask you to pour out your healing mercy on us here today—and especially on those who may be in difficult settings where forgiveness and compassion are so badly needed.

We know that you understand the frailties of our human nature. Grant us that, despite our weaknesses, we may increasingly develop our abilities to extend the forgiveness that You grant to us with …and to share that with all our brothers and sisters.

(Pause…please extend your arm toward the others with us today.)

[ANNA D] Loving God, the Father and Mother of mercy, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, He bonded the world and all creation to you. He sent the Spirit to give each one of us the strength and compassion of love that we may share it with one another. Loving God help us understand the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- learn to forgive those others for our failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this of You, our healer and comforter. Amen.

Glory to God

[LEE] Let us give glory in song to our loving Holy One, the One who “knew us before we were born…and set us apart”” (Jeremiah 1:5)

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

Liturgy of the Word

[ANN C] Our first reading today is from Paul’s first letter to his church in Thesolonia. That community was thoroughly believing that Jesus, who had died, was coming back. So each moment was full of hope, expectancy, and preparation for that time. And that was the setting for today’s reading…the First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 3, verses 11 to13 And this will be presented to us by [JOAN].

[JOAN] And now brothers and sisters, may our God and Father and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may love be so strengthened in your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before Our God at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

And for this piece of Paul’s message to his community, we say:

Amen, it is so…Amen, Alleluia.

[ANNA D] And today’s gospel reading is taken from the First Letter of John, chapter 2, verses 3 to 11. As we can surmise from the many readings we have heard from John, he was strong in his belief and teaching that God and Love were intricately related…for all teaching purposes, they were one and the same. And that is the context of this selection for today. It will be proclaimed to us by [LEE].

[LEE] Now, by this we may be sure that we know Jesus: if we obey his commandments. Whoever says” “I have come to know him”, but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, then truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him, and that whoever says,” I abide in him” ought to walk, strongly and truthfully.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment in the sense that it is true in him and in you … because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. And that commandment is this: Whoever says “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or a sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness

And this is the pretty clear message of John to his readers. And for that, we all say:
Amen, Amen, let us walk in the light of the Son Alleluia.

Shared Homily and the Community Reflections and Responses
Lee Breyer

Profession of Faith

[JOAN] We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells with us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and supports us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.

We believe in that God who is the Creator of an unfinished world in an ever-evolving cosmos and whose divinity infuses all that is in it and makes everything in the universe is sacred.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, our peace and our light. Through His incarnation, we are a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vison present to all those persons who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She heals and energizes us when we grow weary on our journeys; she is our rest on our Walk on the Earth.

We believe that God’s kindom is here with us now and will always be there for those who have eyes to recognize it, minds to understand it, and hearts and hands to make it known to their brothers and sisters wherever they may be.

And, in all this, we surely believe in a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions.

Prayers of the Community

[ANN C] And now, let us now bring to God’s blessing our concerns for our brothers and sisters. We are a people of faith and we believe in the power of prayer. We now present our intentions to God for healings and blessings. After our mention of that, our response is:….

Compassionate God, bless our petitions.

We pray for those many broken families, torn apart…suffering their separations and unsure of their futures …. may they be comforted and brought back together.

Compassionate God, bless our petitions

We pray for those who are bound by hatred, hostility and violence, may they be freed.

Compassionate God, bless our petitions

We pray for those who have gone on ahead, especially those victims who suffered in the various forms of the coronavirus

Compassionate God, bless our petitions.

And for whom else or what else do we pray at this time?

For each one: Compassionate God, bless our petitions.

[ANNA D] O Holy God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns and care for one another here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in the world. As we always do, we make these prayers to you, O Creator God, in the names of Jesus, our Brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

[ANN C] Ever living and loving God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

It is through you that we live and move and have our very being. That Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is the foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven; she is at that home to which you promised us to be at when we end of our walk on earth. Her dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with You. And so, in gratitude, we sing with thankful praise:

Song: Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker)

[ANNA D] We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, he burned with the constant vision of his mission. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well-lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what we might die.

[JOAN] And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny—gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught… his conviction that love is stronger than death. He even provided an example of this wisdom for all people in all ages to come. He did so by opening wide his arms on a cross…and then died. The Spirit who raised him from the dead showed us, by Her action, that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Jesus, the Christ, lives with us today…as he will through the end of time…and beyond.

O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon the simple pieces of wheat and wine or fruit of the vine) that each of us has with us now. May she transform them so that they become – for each of us, through our Consecration – the Body and Blood of Jesus.

[LEE] We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friend 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.

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.

[JOAN] 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 the mystery of faith.

And to this, we say: Jesus has died. Christ is risen. the cosmic Christ lives through us in the world today.

May all who will share this sacred meal today be strengthened in their unity by the Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom that moved in Jesus, move as freely in our lives as She did in that of Jesus.

[ANN C] Gracious God, we ask you to remember your church throughout the world. Help us grow in love together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere—especially those who live on the margins of church and society. We remember, as well, the entire Communion of Saints, both those living with us on earth and those with you in the eternal Now who touched our lives ad left you footprint on our hearts. We remember especially …(pause here to mention anyone you wish…._

Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ is the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory on honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever. Amen

The Prayer of Jesus

[JOAN] O Holy One, You are within, around and among us. We celebrate your many names.

May your wisdom come and your will be done, both 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.

You are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us. Now and forever. (Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

The Passing of Peace

[ANNA D] Jesus said to his disciples: “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.”

Let us, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, spread that peace throughout the world that we walk, to everyone we meet, everywhere, with no exceptions. Amen.

Let us now sing a song of peace.

SONG: Peace is flowing like a river.

Community Communion Celebration

[JOAN] (At this time, please consume the Communion we have consecrated).

We cannot eat this bread – the Body of Christ — and not think of those who are hungry.

We cannot drink this wine – the Blood of Christ—and not think of those who are thirsty.

O God, your world is one world and we are just stewards of its nourishment for all your people. Creator God, may we be your face in the world. Amen.

Introductions…Prayers of Gratitude…Announcements

Closing Community Blessing

[LEE] May we all go in the peace of Christ, and let our services to our brothers and sisters be those of the blessed people that each one of us were created to be… and may we do so following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Amen, and we all say “thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Closing Hymn: The Garden (He Walks With Me)-

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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

German Bishops Call for Women Priests , See Video of Women Priests by Donna Panaro ARCWP


                                  (Music: I Am Willing by Holly Near, Video by Donna Panaro ARCWP)

Twenty years ago, 7 women were ordained as Roman Catholic Women Priests in a historic ordination on the Danube. 

For 20 years, our prophetic movement for justice and equality has offered the Church a new renewed model of priesthood in inclusive, people-empowered communities and ministries.

 Now, 20 years later, in a gathering of a worldwide Synod, the German Bishops are calling for women priests! 

"…On the second day, they supported texts calling for the ordination of women priests, for priestly celibacy to be optional in the Latin Church, and lay involvement in the election of new bishops.

On the last day, participants endorsed a total of four documents.

The text “Magisterial statements on conjugal love” was accepted for further consideration by 169 votes to 30, with 6 abstentions. 

The document, which also calls for alterations to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, says: “Spouses take responsibility for the timing of becoming parents, for the number of their children as well as the various methods of family planning. This is done in mutual respect and personal conscience.”

“In this sense, in the Catechism should be amended: 2366 and 23672396 (conjugal fertility), 2368-23702399 (regulation of conception).”

The last text approved on Feb. 5, the “Basic order of serving in the Church,” appeals for reform of employment laws in the local Catholic Church, which is the second-largest employer after the state in Germany. It passed its first reading by 181 votes to 13, with 11 abstentions.

Archbishop Nikola Eterović, the apostolic nuncio to Germany, addressed the assembly on Saturday.  

He said: “The Pope often speaks of synodality and the positive aspects associated with it, but equally encourages avoiding a false understanding and errors.” 

“As characteristic aspects of synodality, the Bishop of Rome mentions above all: synodality is a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is the way towards an ecclesial community whose task is mission, the evangelization of the world today; the synodal Church requires the participation of all, albeit at different levels.” 

“At the same time, Pope Francis warns against parliamentarism, formalism, intellectualism, and clericalism.”

Peace with Russia Demonstration by Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP

When I heard that Putin was sending more troops and weapons to the border with Ukraine, like others, I sensed the insides of my stomach tighten. Would he really invade? If it happened, could it lead to a nuclear war? I remember seeing photographs of the nuclear shadows of Hiroshima which were scorched into the city by the blinding light of the atomic bomb detonated August 6, 1945.

On television, I witnessed the arrival of young US soldiers arriving in a snow-laden Europe. Dread rose up in me as I recalled memories of Vietnam veterans who smoked incessantly through Professor Joe Chang’s Shakespeare class at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Mitchell Hall. Another flashback was of Uncle Henry’s horrifying annual saga of the Battle of the Bulge told to me and my cousins every Christmas Eve in our grandmother’s [busia’s] house. This was a startling scene, as he was quite taciturn.

So, Max and I followed the lead of CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin and joined an anti-war demonstration in Baltimore on a very cold and windy February 5. I produced two signs for us -- “Peace with Russia” and “Yes” to Peace, “No” to War” – with little hesitation. I also brought with us the “Stop the War Machine, Export Peace” banner. Sadly, the Pentagon budget dwarfs spending on social services, and at about $730 billion tax dollars is close to 60 percent of the discretionary federal budget. Like Rev. William Barber, I believe the federal budget is a moral document. In this case, it is immoral to waste tax dollars on war-mongering and to short-change health care, education and environmental protections. This is a very difficult time as we are dealing with a pandemic and climate chaos, but unfortunately our legislators are bought by the weapons contractors.

We were joined by others equally concerned about the madness of a war with Russia, including members of Women in Black, Veterans for Peace, CPUSA-Baltimore club and Johns Hopkins University students. Despite the gloomy setting, lots of passersby showed their approval. And afterwards, some of us enjoyed a community meal and conversation at a nearby restaurant. I thought it was a wonderful way to relax despite the ominous clouds of war

Janice Sevre-Duszynska- ARCWP

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

People's Catholic Seminary announces new course: PCS 604 - Introduction to Pastoral Care - Part 1

NEW PCS COURSE - REGISTER NOW: PCS 604 Introduction to Pastoral Care (Part 1) Cohort Class begins March 22, 2022

with Pacific Institute of Essential Conversations

This 12-week course will introduce you to the basic elements of pastoral care.  You will explore and discern the use of both clinical and practical skills of a pastoral caregiver.  Topics such as deep listening, grief and loss, empathic distress, and much more will be explored.  At the end of this course, you will have an enhanced understanding of the field of pastoral care and some ideas about where, how, and with whom you can offer pastoral care.

COMING SOON: PCS 605 Introduction to Pastoral Care (Part 2)

with Pacific Institute of Essential Conversations

This 12-week course builds upon the basics learned in Intro to Pastoral Care Part 1.  In this course, we will go deeper in our exploration of the foundations of pastoral caregiving.  This course will also provide a framework by which you can begin to further develop your individual pastoral caregiving ministry.  There will be a greater emphasis on applied pastoral care skills and possibilities for a supervised practicum.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Brazilians installed as catechists by Pope Francis say recognition strengthens their work Feb 7, 2022 by Lise Alves, Associated Press

By formally installing catechists as lay leaders in an official, public ritual, Pope Francis , in this surprising move, is beginning a process of dismantling clerical control over sacramental celebrations, and empowering lay-leadership in sacramental ministries.  This formal recognition of their call to pastoral service  in their communities is a really a big deal, not only for the catechists, but for their faith communities who have called them forth.

Even though the catechists are technically under the authority of local bishops and priests, the reality is -in their ecclesial communities- they will function in ministries previously reserved to  deacons and priests. And even though they are not  ordained to "officially" preside at Masses or hear confessions, they will preach and conduct Communion Services and Reconciliation Rituals that will be sacred encounters.  These newly- minted pastoral lay ministers -chosen by their communities- and officially installed by the Pope- are pioneering a new path to a more  vibrant, participatory community-empowered Roman Catholic Church and to a renewed sacramental theology in which the people- not the clergy alone- celebrate sacraments. 
Bridget Mary Meehan

Catechists attend Pope Francis' celebration of Mass marking Sunday of the Word of God in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 23, 2022. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)
Catechists attend Pope Francis' celebration of Mass marking Sunday of the Word of God in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 23, 2022. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

SÃO PAULO — Formally installing catechists and lectors into their roles as lay leaders in the church is especially important as a recognition for women and men in places like the Amazon region, where many are de facto religious leaders in remote communities that suffer from a severe shortage of priests, said a Brazilian recently installed as a catechist by Pope Francis.

"The (2019 pan-Amazon) synod and now this designation will help us even further to 'go after those who left the church and to listen to them.' This is what the pope wanted — to show, through laypeople, that the church is welcoming, that it can hear its followers," Regina de Sousa Silva told Catholic News Service.

She and Wanderson Saavedra Correia, both catechists for the past 11 years in the Luziânia Diocese, were among those Pope Francis formally installed in their roles during a Mass at the Vatican Jan. 23, marking Sunday of the Word of God.

In Brazil, women and men have long served as lectors and catechists, but now those formally installed in the ministries are recognized as having a specific vocation to leadership in their communities and will serve in what the church defines as a "stable" manner.

For Silva, being a catechist is "an essential service for the life of the church," but she said the ceremony at the Vatican gave her a boost.

She said one of the highlights of meeting Pope Francis was when he told the new catechists, "I need all of you."

"I was a little unmotivated last year, I struggled to take the word of God to the communities. With this recognition and the affection shown by the pope, I gained greater strength, a greater motivation. This achievement wasn't just mine; it was everyone's," said Silva.

"This designation shows the importance of laypeople in the Catholic community," Correia told Catholic News Service. "The pope showed with this decision that laypeople have power to teach faith to the community."