Thursday, October 27, 2022


  Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

October 29, 2022


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

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

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One tap mobile: 1-312-626-6799

Presiders:  Dotty Shugrue and Joan Pesce 

Readers:   Suzanne and Jerry Bires

Prayer Leaders:   Joan Meehan, Mary Montavon, Jack McKillip, 

and Maryal Gagnon 

IT: Peg Bowen; Cheryl Brandi

Welcome to all who join us today for the Celebration of All Saints Day here at Mary Mother of Jesus, our inclusive catholic community.  

Whoever you are,

Wherever you are,

Just as you are,

You are welcome at this table.

This liturgy theme is a celebration of all Saints. As we recognize the saints within our tradition, let us also call to mind all those women and men in our personal lives who have influenced us. 

Be sure you have ordinary bread and a cup of wine on your home table so you can fully participate in the sacred moment of Consecration. 


Opening Song:  Every Little Bit – Carrie Newcomer

First Reading:  Suzanne Bires

Our First Reading today is inspired by the writings of Julian of Norwich.  Thomas Merton writes:

At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion,
a point or spark which belongs entirely to God.

This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. 

It is, so to speak, God’s name written in us…

It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. 
It is in everyone…

These are the inspired words of Thomas Merton, and the community affirms them by saying: 




Gospel:  Jerry Bires

Our Gospel reading today is from the book of the writer known as Matthew.

On seeing the crowds of people, Jesus went up the mountain; and, when he had taken his seat, his disciples came up to him; and he began to teach them, saying, 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the realm of heaven. 

Blessed are the mourners, for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. 

Blessed are the merciful, for they will find mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted in the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the realm of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. 

Be glad and rejoice, because your reward in heaven will be great; this is the way they persecuted the prophets who lived before you.”

These are the inspired words of the writer known as Matthew, and our community affirms them by saying:


(from the work of Hal Taussig and A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-first Century.)


Homily Starter 

Statement of Faith: 

Prayer Leader Joan Meehan

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 the Divine Word,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's
prophets, mystics, and saints.

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

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine 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 the Community

Prayer Leader Maryal Gagnon:

As we prepare for the sacred meal, we bring to the table our prayers and intentions for all humanity.

We bring to the table all those impacted by the devastation of hurricane Ian that they may be strengthened in their work to recover.

We bring to the table the hope and blessing of peace to all borders especially Ukraine’s.


We bring to the table all women who are and will be affected by laws that seek to limit women's rights and freedom.

We bring to the table indigenous children and their families in both Canada and the United States as they continue to mourn children lost, and the impact of forced acculturation. 


Please voice your intentions beginning with the words, “I bring to the table” 

We ask for blessing on all of our spoken and unspoken prayers:


Presentation of the Gifts

Love Large – 

(video by Devan Horne and Mary Theresa Streck)

Presider: Joan Pesce

With open hands let us pray our Eucharistic Prayer together:

O Holy One, the first passion of Jesus was his passion for justice so that all may live in peace; so that all may be treated with dignity and respect; so that this broken world would be healed; so that tyranny would be overthrown, and peace and harmony would be born again.  We open our hearts in thanksgiving that Jesus set a new direction where harmony and peace would reign. In solidarity with Jesus, and with all the faithful women and men, saints, who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:

Holy, Holy, Holy:  Here in this Place by Chris Grundy

Prayer Leader: Mary Montavon

On this Celebration of all Saints, we remember in a special way, those brave women of ARCWP, who willingly and with love challenged the Institutional Church to change their attitudes of power and control and the exclusion of women in leadership. 

Holy One, we celebrate the life of our brother, Jesus. He lived his life and walked forward to his death knowing that this was his call to show the world that his conviction to the principles of all he taught would not be forgotten. We walk forward in his pathway.  We embrace his vision, his courage and his deep concern for others and the world as he stayed faithful to emulating his call to ministry.

Prayer Leader Jack McKillip

We are standing in the right place with Jesus when we make the beatitudes our own.  When we live by the beatitudes as we serve others in humility and truth.

We are blessed when we are gentle, nonviolent, courageous, and humble, like your saints. We pray to grow in awareness of our unity with all of creation and co-create with You our earth as a sanctuary of peace.

We rejoice, O Holy One, as we join the lineage of Your prophets of justice and peace. We, your daughters, and sons, continue to work with Your grace as we arise and walk forward in the footsteps of our peace-loving brother, Jesus.

We remember those women priests who have gone before us since the beginning of our Movement. They are our Saints as they take their place in Divine Presence. We especially remember:  Judy Beaumont, Michele Birch-Connery, Sally Ann Brochu, Adele Jones, Tish Rawles, Joan Throm, and Georgia Walker.  They now live in the fullness of Divine Life.

The Blessing of the Bread and Cup

Presider:  Joan Pesce

Please extend your hands over the bread and wine you have placed before you and pray:

We call upon you Spirit of life.  May this bread and wine be blessed. We recognize your presence in us at this Eucharistic table.  We are grateful for the bread and wine that reminds us of our call to be the light of Christ and to witness to the world our personal and continuing commitment to be faithful to the wisdom of the ages.  

Presider:   Dotty Shugrue 

On the night before he faced betrayal and death, Jesus shared supper with his 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. 


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 the Bread of Life.

Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink.

Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.

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. Let us share this bread and cup as we proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace.

Please consume your sacred bread and wine.

Communion Meditation/Song: “Come Whoever You Are”

Prayer Leader:  Mary Montavon 


Holy One, we trust you to continue to share with us your own Spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing that all honor and glory is Yours. Amen.

Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

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) 


Blessing -- Presider: Dotty Shugrue

To the home of peace,

to the field of love,

to the ancestors gone before us, to the saints in our past

and the saints in our lifetime,

those who have touched our hearts.

We look, O Spirit of Life,

with hearts breaking for our nation,

never giving up on its redemption.

We look with respect for one another,

with compassion for all forms of life.

Let us raise our hands, join together as we pray a blessing for each other: 

Open us to visions we have never known,

strengthen us for self-giving we have never made.

Delight us with a oneness we could have never imagined:

that we may truly be born of the Sacred and the Holy,

that we may be open to the wisdom

of those who have gone before us, and

may we recommit ourselves to be reflections of their lives, 

now and forever.

Bless us O Holy One as we go forth to serve one another.  

(In the style of John Philip Newell)

Closing Song:  All Saints Day by Carrie Newcomer


If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to

If you want to invite someone to attend our liturgy, please refer them to the day’s liturgy at

To support our community, please send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34238

New Vatican synod document mentions women's ordination, LGBTQ relationships, Now is the Time for Pope Francis to Drop Excommunication Against Women Priests

My Response:
It is good news that this newly released Vatican document for the next phase of Pope Francis' ongoing consultation process for the world's Catholics reckons with a number of topics once considered taboo in the Catholic Church, including women's ordination, LGBTQ relationships, children of priests, sexism and clergy sexual abuse. 

"What the Frascati document offers is a hermeneutic tool for a new container, one that allows us to create that bigger-tent church more capable of holding together diversity and disagreement in a generative tension."

So where to go from here to created a bigger tent?

Pope Francis could take a step toward a ealing process of centuries old sexism in the Church by dropping all ecclesiastical penalties - including excommunication- against women priests to create a big tent that includes everyone including women called to Holy Orders.

For twenty years, women priests have been serving inclusive Catholic communities in sacramental ministries and working with ecumenical and interfaith partners to create a more just Church that welcomes all especially the marginalized who no longer feel welcome on the Catholic family. 

I believe that all things are possible with God. 

Bridget Mary

Sexism, women's ordination

"The report dedicates significant attention to the role of women in church life, noting that it was a concern mentioned by every continent that submitted synod reports.

"Women remain the majority of those who attend liturgy and participate in activities, men a minority; yet most decision-making and governance roles are held by men," it states. "It is clear that the Church must find ways to attract men to a more active membership in the Church and to enable women to participate more fully at all levels of Church life." 

The document goes on to quote New Zealand's episcopal conference report, which states that the "lack of equality for women within the Church is seen as a stumbling block for the Church in the modern world."

The text also quotes from a report by the two umbrella groups who represent the members of the world's Catholic religious orders, who said that "sexism in decision-making and Church language is prevalent in the Church."

"As a result, women are excluded from meaningful roles in the life of the Church, discriminated against by not receiving a fair wage for their ministries and services," they said. "Women religious are often regarded as cheap labor."

Among areas for consideration, the document includes the question of the role of women in the church's governance structures, the possibility of women preaching, the female diaconate and women's ordination to the priesthood. 

On the question of ordination, the text states: "Much greater diversity of opinion was expressed on the subject of priestly ordination for women, which some reports call for, while others consider a closed issue."

The issue of the female diaconate is one that has loomed large ever since Francis launched a commission in 2016 to study the historical questions surrounding women deacons, which the pope said did not reach a consensus on the early status of deacons. Francis then formed a second commission, which is ongoing, following the 2019 Synod of Bishops from the nine-nation Amazon region, where the topic had been a dominant theme. 

The inclusion of the topic in the working document for the continental phase of the synod process indicates that the question is likely to once again be considered during the Rome gatherings in 2023 and 2024. 

When asked about the question of women deacons during the press conference, both Grech and Rowlands told journalists that the issue was included in the document because it was mentioned by a vast number of reports submitted from around the world. 

"It is there simply as a matter of fact," said Rowlands, adding that "it would have been dishonest had we not put that into the report."

What is this something new, this big-tent church? Inspired by “Evangelii Gaudium,” paragraphs 30-33 of the continental document note the two spiritual temptations facing a diverse church: on the one hand, to become trapped in conflict and polarization; on the other, to ignore the tensions that diversity brings, pretending they do not exist in a kind of fragmented coexistence. No one can read the reports and not find the people lamenting both of these in our church: Both polarization and fragmentation in the church today show that the containers we have are inadequate. What the Frascati document offers is a hermeneutic tool for a new container, one that allows us to create that bigger-tent church more capable of holding together diversity and disagreement in a generative tension.