Saturday, December 3, 2022

MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy 2nd Sunday of Advent: Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Cheryl Brandi, Readers: Pat and Bob Ferkenhoff, Prayer Leaders: Jim Brandi and Pat Ferkenhoff, Music: Linda Lee Miller, IT: Peg Bowen

                Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive 
Catholic Community Liturgy

Second Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2022

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

Theme: Prepare the Way of Love

Welcome: Bridget Mary
Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy for the Second Sunday of Advent. All are welcome to participate in our liturgies on Zoom. Please unmute when you share and then remember to mute again when you are finished.  Our theme is prepare the way of love. 

Lighting of the Wreath
Prayer Leader:  Elena Garcia  

Opening Song: 
"I Hope" sung by Meah Pace with The Resistance Revival Chorus –

Transformation Rite: 
Cheryl: Called to see our own shadows or dark sides, we recognize our complicity in creating a world invested in money, white privilege, angry culture wars, competition and violence. 

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Cheryl: Called to believe in God’s limitless forgiveness of all sin and evil, we open ourselves to the “love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5)

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Cheryl: Called to be the hands and feet of Christ, we respond to the cries of the impoverished and oppressed longing for equity and justice in our midst. 

Jim and All: Transform us Holy One

Opening Prayer: Bridget Mary
Emmanuel, God -with-us, we long to quiet our minds and recognize your endless disguises in the people we encounter each day. May we, like John the Baptist, live in right relationships, love passionately, do justice, and follow the inclusivity that Jesus models. 

Bridget Mary and All:  May it be so. Amen

Gloria-Linda Lee Miller

FIRST READING: Pat Ferkenhoff
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 11:1-10 
A flower shall come out from the root of Jesse, a wild shoot shall grow out from the roots. 
The spirit of God will be at work in that flowering, the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and strength,
the spirit of knowledge and wonder. 
The joy of that child will be in God. 
Not by appearance will the child judge, nor by hearsay decide. 
Instead, you shall judge the poor with justice,
and defend the meek of the earth with equity. 
Righteousness shall be the belt around your waist, and faithfulness will gird your loins. 
The wolf will nestle with the lamb. The leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a young child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze in the same pasture, 
their young lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play over the hole of the asp, 
and the weaned child put its hand on the adder’s den. 
None will hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain. 
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters fill the sea. 
On that day, the flower of Jesse will be a sign for all peoples. 
All nations will seek it out, and it will be glorious. 
These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah and we respond by saying 
All:. May it be so.

Responsorial Psalm: Love, Make Your Way by Alan Levandoski

O Love, O Love, grow inside of us.
O Love, make your ways.
O Love, show the world that it bears your holy name. 

SECOND READING: Bob Ferkenhoff
A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans 15:4-13 
Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by perseverance and by encouragement from the scriptures we might have hope. 
May the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you live in harmony with one another, in keeping with the spirit of Christ Jesus, so that together you may, with one voice, glorify the God and Creator of Jesus the Christ. 
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ Jesus has welcomed you. 
Do so for the glory of God. 
For I tell you that Jesus became a servant to the circumcised, the Judeans, to confirm the truth of God's promises to their ancestors; and he became a servant to the Gentiles, so that all might glorify God for the divine compassion shown to all. 
As it is foretold in scripture, 
"I will confess You among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your Name"; and again, it says,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with God's people" and again, 
"Praise the Holy One, all you Gentiles, Let all the peoples praise the Holy Name"; and again, Isaiah says, 
"The root of Jesse and Ruth will sprout. The one who will rise up and call forth the Gentiles will come. In that One, the Gentiles shall hope." 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
These are the inspired words of the Apostle Paul and we respond by saying: 
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so. 

Alleluia: Jan Phillips
GOSPEL: Cheryl
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-12 
“A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of God, make straight the paths.’” 
While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kin-dom of heaven is at hand!” It was of John that the prophet Isaiah had spoken: 
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time, Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to John and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their offences. 
When John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to receive his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but after me comes one who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
These are the inspired words attributed to Matthew, and we respond to them by saying:
All: Thanks be to God. May it be so.   

Alleluia, Jan Phillips:
Homily Starter: Bridget Mary

As we prepare the way of Love, we reflect on impossible dreams of universal reconciliation, healing and justice. Isaiah envisions a time when wolves lie down with lambs, leopards with goats, calves with lions, babies and vipers play together.

The Gospel of Matthew depicts John the Baptist as an eccentric prophet – living in the desert- dressed in camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey and attracting large crowds from all walks of life who came to hear him and to change their lives. His message of repentance challenged everyone to take responsibility for their wrong-doing and change their unjust, unkind and cruel behaviors. He excoriated religious leaders for their adherence to dogmatic laws and outmoded practices.  

Like Isaiah we are called to dream new dreams of reconciliation and healing for everyone Like John, we are called to be passionate voices for justice and equity in a world that too often puts greed and profits over people and the planet. Like John and Jesus, we are called to challenge toxic teachings, policies and agendas that promote discrimination on the basis of race, class, caste, religion and gender. 

In an interview published in America Magazine on Nov. 28, 2022, Pope Francis was asked if a woman can be ordained a priest. His response was: “And why can a woman not enter ordained ministry? It is because the Petrine principle has no place for that. “

Let's examine the meaning of the Petrine Principle in the Bible: 

Scripture scholar John Meier concludes that Jesus gave his movement no authority structure. St. Augustine concluded that the Petrine Principle in Matthew16:18 -19 -referring to Jesus giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter and the passage on binding and loosening in Matthew 18:18- indicate that Peter is given the keys as a representative of the community. In the early gatherings of the followers of Jesus, the entire community had the authority to decide who to include and who to exclude. Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp. 80-81.)

While Francis claims the Petrine principle, we claim the Mary Magdalene principle to promote the full equality of women and all genders as the will of God by ordaining women now in the Catholic Church. We are walking in the footsteps of Mary of Magdala, Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia, Theodora, Leta and many empowered women of faith through the centuries who were prophets and visionaries dreaming new dreams!

You, my sisters and brothers in our MMOJ community, are prophets living the inclusion that Jesus models where there are no limitations to God’s forgiveness, healing and transformation, and where- all who come are accepted, loved and invited -to celebrate sacraments as equals in Christ

We  have been preparing the way of love as a community by making a yearly commitment to non-violence. advocating for the end of the death penalty, demonstrating for LGBTQ rights in our local area ,tithing to non-profits to care for the needy. 

During the past 3 COVID years, we have become a Church without walls on Zoom no longer separated by physical distance. As we gather next week for our annual meeting to make decisions together about our future, let us pray for wisdom to discern the path ahead to prepare the way of love by living justice in a companionship of equals.  In conclusion, we pray: 

O Love make your way. O Love, grow inside us. O Love, show the world your love through us as we live in harmony with one another in the spirit of the Universal Christ. O Wisdom-Sophia, guide us. And "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  May it be so. Amen.

Community Sharing: How can we prepare the way to better reflect the way of love, inclusion and justice?

Prayers of the Community: Jim B.
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our prayers and concerns for the community. Please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….”

(Joan M. offers prayers from our intentions book)
(Spontaneous Prayers are offered.

Jim B: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 


Bridget Mary: Blessed are You, Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread, to share, the Bread of Life. 
Pat and All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Cheryl:  Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 
Jim and All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Bridget Mary:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence calms our deepest fears and emboldens us -like John the Baptist- to be prophets for justice and equity- no matter what persecution or ridicule we encounter.  
Bridget Mary and All:  Amen, may it be so. 

Bob: God dwells among us. 
Pat F and All:  And in all people everywhere.

Bob: Lift up your hearts. 
Pat and ALL: We lift them in the joy of Christ embracing all.

Bob: Affirm the power of love within you and within all.  
Pat F and All: Alleluia

We Are Holy: by Karen Drucker -played by Linda Lee Miller 


Pat.: We gather during this Advent season to be bearers of good news preparing the way to celebrate Love Incarnate in our midst. 

Bob: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in the message of John the Baptist, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, and in all who work for a more compassionate, peaceful and just world. 

Bridget Mary: We ritualize the Christ Presence born anew each day in us and in the entire cosmos as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of blessing as we pray together:

(Community raises hands and prays the following Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

Bridget Mary and All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.

(Community holds bread and prays together)

All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.” 


(Community holds cup up and prays together)

Cheryl and ALL:  In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”  

Cheryl: Let us proclaim the sacred presence dwelling among us:

Jim and All: Jesus, by your baptism in the Jordan, you invite us -like John- to be passionate and courageous in the face of ridicule, rejection and condemnation. 

Pat F.:   We are mindful of our call to serve those who come to us in need of comfort and strength. We are mindful of our call to challenge all forms of discrimination that oppress the poor and the unwanted members of society. 

Bob F:  We remember the prophet and saints who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Joseph, John the Baptist and all our beloved family and friends in the communion of saints whose lives have inspired us to love tenderly, live justly and walk humbly with our God. 

(hold cup and plate up)

Pat F. and ALL: 

Through Christ, in Christ, with Christ, in your Spirit, we celebrate your dwelling with- us and within us forever. 

The Great Amen with Linda Lee Miller (Sung)

Bob and All: We pray together as Jesus taught us.

Our Father and Mother,

Source of all that is,

your vibrations radiate throughout the cosmos.

Make us a resonant space for your vibrations.

May your sphere of influence come.

May your heart's desire for unity and harmony

penetrate every part of the universe as it does on earth.

Give us what we need each day in bread and insight

Loosen the cords of mistakes and sins that bind us,

as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt.

Let us not be deluded by surface things,

but free us from what holds us back from our true purpose. Amen. 

(English translation of the original Aramaic)


Bridget Mary. Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in the circle of life as we sing 

“Peace is flowing like a River” by Carey Landry


Cheryl and ALL: 

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do so. 

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

Bridget Mary: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. 

Cheryl: Let us share the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing saying:

You are the Christ Presence in our world today!

COMMUNION Song: God is Holding Me Now
by Michael Hatfield with Karen Drucker


Bridget Mary:

Protector of the Vulnerable, we awaken to your love born anew in lives characterized by justice, compassion and kinship. May we prepare the way of Love by living responsibly and lovingly in service to our sisters and brothers across all boundaries. Through Emmanuel, God-with-us, 

ALL:  may it be so, Amen.

Thanksgiving, Introductions, Announcements


Cheryl:  Emmanuel – God with us – calls us to live compassionately, love tenderly and do justice.

Jim and ALL: Amen. May it be so. 


(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing and pray)

Bridget Mary and ALL: 

May Love grow inside of us.

May Love direct us to follow Jesus.

May Love guide us to dream impossible dreams. 


Cheryl: Go in peace to prepare the way of Love in our world. 

Jim and All: May it be so, Alleluia!

Closing Song: 

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord-Godspell


This Liturgy was created by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

If you want to add a prayer intention to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to Joan Meehan

To support our community, please send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

St Andrew UCC,

6908 Beneva Rd,

Sarasota, Florida 34238

Thursday, December 1, 2022


Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, FL


Manasota Chapter of Pax Christi USA

(Roses delivered by Mary Kay Remington on 11/30/22. 

A rose for each martyr.)


42ND ANNIVERSARY— December 2, 1980-2022  

Jean Donovan's Grave in Sarasota Cemetery

The following information is in preparation for our Zoom Graveside Service scheduled for 4:00 pm Friday afternoon, December 2, 2022

To connect to Zoom, please follow the instructions below:

You can join the meeting between 3:45-4:00PM 

To connect via the internet:


Meeting ID: 826 5160 6691

Passcode: 688693


One tap mobile:  1-305-224-1968,

Meeting ID: 826 5160 6691

Passcode: 688693


Beth: In 2005, the newly formed Manasota Chapter of Pax Christi USA was formed by nineteen people from the surrounding area of Manatee and Sarasota counties.  One of its first undertakings was to honor the Salvadoran Martyr, Jean Donovan, who—it was discovered—was buried in Sarasota Memorial Cemetery alongside her beloved parents.  It was later revealed that an earlier Pax Christi Chapter in Sarasota, [1980’s?] also honored her grave, perhaps very close to the original burial date.   They continued to do so for a number of years.  When the Chapter died out, individuals continued to show up on Dec 2, including our own Helen and Jack Duffy.  

It was in 2005 that members of the Manasota Chapter met with the Duffys, and a service was carried out by a large number of participants.  Services have continued each year to this day.  


Beth: We warmly welcome you to our inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus based in Sarasota, FL.  Since the time of pandemic, we have become a community without walls or boundaries, thanks to the technology of ZOOM.  While everyone will be muted for most of the Service today, we invite you to join MaryAl in the parts designated All  and to sing aloud our closing song [while on mute, of course].  All readers previously designated will unmute” for their part.  We hope you enjoy this special ZOOM event, a special offering of the MMOJ Community and the Manasota Chapter of Pax Christi USA.  And, again, thanks for coming! [pause]

Our Opening Song will be  Courageous Women by Jan Novotka, Video by MT Streck (Jean is featured as one of the Courageous Women)

Michael: Today we honor a dedicated lay woman, missionary and martyr whose memory will not be forgotten.  As the great Ignatius of Antioch once said, “It is in the blood of martyrs we find the seeds of faith.”  Let our faith be nourished as we gather before the earthly remains of our sister, Jean, and our desire be enkindled to follow in like commitment…to the death.

MaryAl//ALL: [together] Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.

Michael: Jean Donovan received a masters degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University, and then took a job as management consultant for an accounting firm in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was on her way to a successful business career.

MaryAl M/ALL: [together] And anyone among you who wishes to be first must serve the needs of all.

Jerry: “What do you want?” Jesus asked.

Michael: But Jean was not content and began a search for some deeper meaning in life.  While volunteering in the Cleveland Diocese Youth Ministry with the poor, she heard about the diocesan mission project in El Salvador.  It was what she was looking for.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] You must serve, as if enslaved, just as the Promised One came not to be served but to serve.


Candlelight gathering in Sarasota Cemetery 

Joan P: “Can you drink of the cup I am going to drink?” Jesus asked.

Michael: After her training, including a stint at Maryknoll in New York, Jean arrived in El Salvador, July 1979.  It was a time when repression by government forces was intensifying against rebel forces and the church had become a major target.  Jean became Caritas coordinator for the Cleveland Diocesan mission program.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.

Lee: “Can you drink of the cup I am going to drink?” Jesus asked.

Anna: In addition to keeping the books, Jean worked at the local parish in La Libertad with Dorothy Kazel, an Ursuline sister from Cleveland, distributing food for the poor and the refugees as well as carrying out family education programs. 

MaryAl/ALL: [together] Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.

Jerry: Can you drink of the cup I am going to drink?” Jesus asked.

Anna: Jean’s time in El Salvador led her to those fundamental challenges of the meaning of life, of faith, in a world torn by injustice and violence against the poorest, the most vulnerable.  It was a personal challenge.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] And anyone among you who wishes to be first must serve the needs of all.

Joan P: “Can you drink of the cup I am going to drink?” Jesus asked.

Marchers with Romero pictures

Michael: Her mother Patricia in Sarasota said of her daughter’s work, “Jean took her commitment to the compesinos very seriously.  She was strongly motivated by St. Francis of Assisi and by Archbishop Oscar Romero.  She translated God’s teaching into clothing for the poor, feeding the hungry, and caring for the wounded refugees—mainly children who had lost what little they had.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.

Lee: “Can you drink of the cup I am going to drink?” Jesus asked.

Salvadoran Martys poster

Michael: Jean was very devoted to Msgr. Romero, often coming the cathedral on Sundays to hear his homilies which at that time were the only source of news and truth left in El Salvador.  After his assassination, Jean and Dorothy were among those who took turns keeping vigil at his coffin.  They were present in the cathedral when the overflow crowd in the plaza attending his funeral on March 20, 1980, was attacked by security forces of the government, resulting in a panicked stampede.  This massacre left 44 laying dead and hundreds of wounded here and there.  As Jean sat crowded among the desperate people who fled into the cathedral for safety, she fully believed that she might die that day.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] You must serve, as if enslaved, just as the Promised One came not to be served but to serve.

Jerry: “Very well,” said Jesus, “you will drink of my cup.”

Jack Duffy at granite headstone

Michael: The repression touched her in other very personal ways.  Friends were killed by death squads.  She witnessed one such killing.  Many of her friends tried to persuade her to leave El Salvador, but she comforted them with the quip, “They don’t kill blond-haired, blue-eyes North Americans.”

Two weeks before she was murdered, with the bloodbath already begun, she wrote to a friend in Connecticut: “Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador.  I almost could except for the children, the poor bruised victims of this insanity.  Who would care for them?  Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and helplessness.  Not mine, dear friend, not mine.”

Helen Duffy places roses on gravesite

Michael: The destinies of Maryknoll sisters, Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan were joined together in just the last months of their lives.  Murdered together by National Guardsmen in El Salvador on December 2, 1980, their deaths became martyrdom for a church of the poor in El Salvador and for thousands in the United States.  Their deaths are understood as martyrdom because the women did what Jesus of Nazareth did, and what he told us we should do to show we are disciples in this world—they loved the poor, and laid down their lives for them.  In this way, they became “friends” of Jesus.

MaryAl/ALL: [together] May they rest in peace, may she rest in peace, may the martyrs reign on high!  Alleluia!

Closing Prayer offered by Lee Breyer

Compassionate God of the Universe, tonight we remember!

We remember Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel; we remember lay missionary, Jean Donovan; we remember Maryknoll sisters, Ita Ford and Maura Clarke.

They believed in Christ and they dedicated their lives in serving the poor.  We have told their story and brought to mind the sacrifices they made for the people of El Salvador.

Help us, Liberating God, to realize that—just like these martyred churchwomen—we have a responsibility to light the way for justice in the world.

Help us, like Dorothy, to be with those who wait, hope and yearn for peace.

Help us, like Jean, to endure hardships that prepare us to meet and love you more fully.

Help us, like Ita, to seize opportunities to be evangelized by walking with others who suffer.

Help us, like Maura, to believe you are present even in your apparent absence.

You, O Holy One, are our Healer and our Hope.  May your blessing be upon us who are gathered here tonight remembering our beloved martyrs of El Salvador.  For their lives continue to challenge us as we try to hear the urgent cry for justice in our world, and to make our lives paths of truth and peace.

God of surprises, we rely on your promise to be with us on our journey as we seek daily to follow you.  Be with us, guiding our lives every step of the way.

MaryAl/ALL: Amen

[Any closing comments by Lee, or others at this graveside via ZOOM]

Final Song: ”I Hope" sung by Meah Pace with The Resistance Revival Chorus –Lyrics added


Jean Donovan and Sr. Dorothy Kazel, OSU.  Both worked together at Immaculate Conception parish in La Libertad, El Salvador. 

Both died with two Maryknoll Sisters at the hands of Salvadoran national guard. 

Dorothy is buried in Cleveland, OH, with members of her Ursuline Community, and—of course—Jean is with us here in Sarasota Memorial Cemetery with her parents.