Saturday, December 17, 2022

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy- Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 17, 2022



DECEMBER 17, 2022

Presiders: Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP, and Joan Pesce

Readers: Mary Kay Staudohar and Andrea Seabaugh

Prayer Leaders:  Maryal Gagnon, Jack McKillip, and Jerry Bires

IT:  Peg Bowen, Cheryl Brandi, Jerry Bires

Zoom link:


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326


Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  We are called to live in freedom from all that separates us from living in the fullness of God’s infinite love. Spiritual transformation is about how to give away our lives changing, growing, serving and loving God and one another.

Whoever you are

Wherever you are

Just as you are

All are welcome here at this table

We have reached the last Sunday of Advent in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar.  As we light the last candle on our wreath, we remember all those who live in darkness for reasons beyond their control; and we hold them up asking the Spirit of Life to give them hope.  Elena will now lead us in prayer as we light the last candle of the advent wreath reminding us that the celebration is near.

Elena:  Lighting of the fourth candle

Holy Creator, the day draws near when the glory of Jesus will make radiant the night of the waiting world.

You continuously develop and expand the universe, at every moment giving birth to each of us and to all life on planet earth.

Help us to prepare the stable within our hearts for the birth of our Beloved Brother Jesus.

(Fourth candle is lit as the community prays)


ALL: O Holy One, as we light the fourth candle of Advent may we remember your luminous Goodness and Love.  Your divine presence  burns within every person on this earth.

May we kindle the light of your joy for all to see in your name.  Amen.

Theme: Wisdom

Today is also the beginning of the O Antiphons, prayers that go back to ancient times and are found in the “Book of Hours.” The first O Antiphon is:

“O Come, O Wisdom from on high,
who orders all things mightily,
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.”

Opening Song: “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli


Transformation Rite:

By Mary’s YES as she listened to the voice she heard and believed in the message and did not fear,


All:  Transform us O Spirit of Life

By Mary’s YES to give birth to a child in unusual circumstances believing the child would lead the world from darkness to light, WE LEARN THE MEANING OF HOPE

All:  Transform us O Spirit of Life

By Mary’s YES to protect the child within her, not knowing or understanding the journey they would make together, she was determined to be by his side supporting the person he would become, 


All:  Transform us O Spirit of Life

Spirit of Life, You are the source of our strength and visions with faith hope and love. We believe, as Mary did, the ministry of Jesus is in our hands.

Transform us, O Spirit of Life

During the Advent Season, we remember how Mary the Mother of Jesus was viewed by the early followers of Jesus as a Woman of Wisdom, a Leader within the community, respected and loved.  The following reading is taken from the inspirational writings of Clarissa Pinkola Estés


These are words to listen through your heart center more than your rational mind written by Clarissa Pinkola Estés:

During these painful and difficult times in our broken world literally millions of people across our world turn to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who is so unspeakably gracious with brilliant inspirations that pour into us—if we listen, if we watch for them.

Thus, there is such blessed reason to seek out and remain near this great teaching force known worldwide as Our Lady, La Nuestra Señora, and most especially called with loyalty and love, Our Mother, Our Holy Mother. Our very own.

She is known by many names and many images, and has appeared in different epochs of time, to people across the world, in exactly the shapes and images the soul would most readily understand her, apprehend her, be able to embrace her and be embraced by her.

She wears a thousand names, thousands of skin tones, thousands of costumes to represent her being patroness of deserts, mountains, stars, streams, and oceans. If there are more than six billion people on earth, then thereby she comes to us in literally billions of images. Yet at her center is only one great Immaculate Heart.

Continued reading…. 


In Mary’s view, all are lovable; all souls are accepted, all carry a sweetness of heart, are beautiful to the eyes; worthy of consciousness, of being inspired, being helped, being comforted and protected—even if other mere humans believe foolishly or blindly to the contrary.

If, following the pathways laid down in the stories of the “old believers,” if after the old God . . . who seemed to spend inordinate time creating and destroying, thence came to us in huge contrast, the God of Love—then Our Blessed Mother is the ultimate Mother Who Gave Birth to Love.

She is the Mother who ascended whole, the Mother who has lived through wars, conquests, conscriptions. The Mother who has been outlawed, done outrage to, squelched, carpet bombed, hidden, stabbed, stripped, burnt, plasticized, and dismissed.

Yet she survived—in us and for us—no matter who raised a hand against her or attempted to undermine her endless reach. She is written into every sacred book, every document of the mysteries, every parchment that details her as Wind, Fire, Warrior, Heart of Gold, La que sabe, the One Who Knows, and more.

And most of all, she is writ into our very souls. Our longings for her, our desires to know her, to be changed by her, to follow her ways of acute insight, her sheltering ways, her trust in goodness—these are the evidence that she exists, that she continues to live as a huge, not always invisible but palpably felt, force in our world right now.

These are the inspired words of Clarissa Pinkola Estés from her book, Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul.

And we affirm these words by saying:

ALL:  Let It Be So

Celtic Alleluia


Gospel:  A reading from the Gospel of the apostle called Matthew 1:18 (adapted from The Message By Eugene Peterson)

The birth of Jesus took place like this.  His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.  Before they enjoyed their wedding night, Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, and the pregnancy is not by man but by the Spirit of God. Joseph, though deeply upset, was a kind man who loved Mary.  He was determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.

While he was trying to figure this out, his heart grew heavy with sadness.  Exhausted, he fell asleep.  While sleeping, he had a powerful dream. In his dream he heard the voice of an angel sent by God, “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to marry Mary. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived.  God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant.  She will have a son, and you will call him Jesus. God is love and his son will bring hope to his people and free them from fear. 

As the prophets foretold: 

watch for this: 

A virgin will get pregnant and bear a son.  

And they will call him Emmanuel (Hebrew) – “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did exactly as God commanded in the dream.

These are the words of the one called Matthew and we affirmed them by saying:

All:  Let it be so

Celtic Alleluia

Shared Homily



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 who 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:  


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


We pray together our prayers of petition and respond to each intercession with deep faith:

ALL: Mary be our guiding light.  

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.

Mary be our guiding light.

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, RSV and the new strain of Flu.  We pray they may experience love and support as they heal.

Mary be our guiding light.

We bring to the table 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.

Mary be our guiding light.

We bring to the table the immigrant children and the countless families still being held in inhumane conditions by our own government.  During this Season of Giving, we pray that the attitude of so many Americans toward immigrants will change and be one of love and compassion

Mary be our guiding light

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

Mary be our guiding light.

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

JOAN MEEHAN: Sharing the request for prayer asked of our community

As we reflect on these concerns we express today we seek to find  new ways for us to serve the needs of the broken in our communities and in the world.  


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.

ALL: The Holy One is praised forever.

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.

We honor and give thanks for Mary, the Mother of Jesus who journeys with us during this sacred time.

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


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.

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.

(Please extend your hands over your bread and wine)

On the night before Jesus faced his own death, He 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.


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.  

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!


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 the bread and cup before you with the words “You are the face of God”

Communion Meditation/Song: Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming 

Piano by Linda Lee


Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power. We will do so. 

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

Holy One You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

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, Sally, and Georgia and all women who exemplified the gifts and faithfulness to their YES as they left a legacy of continuing the ministry of Mary. We remember, family members, friends, and members of MMOJ. 

(Pause to remember individuals you loved and admired) 

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: LET IT BE SO


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)


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.

Introductions -Thanksgivings - Announcements


Let us extend our hands in blessing one another.

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

May Mary’s example urge us to prepare to meet the reality of the day with faith and hope in our hearts and belief that the darkness in our world will shine with the light we share. 

May we recognize that Mary’s wisdom, comfort and joy is with us as we journey with her during this final week of preparation for the birth of her Son.

May we recognize that Mary sets a profound example and a source of strength that “God is always and forever with us.”

CLOSING SONG:   Halleluiah Halleluiah A New Song by Michael Smith and the African Children’s Choir

O Antiphons:

The O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation but also bring joyful conclusion to our celebration of Mary bringing Jesus into the world.

12/17.   O Wisdom: O Holy Word of God

12/18.   O Adonai: O Leader of the ancient house of Israel,

12/19.   O Root of Jesse: O Flower of Jesse's stem, sign of God’s love for all people.


12/2O.   O Key of David: Opening the gates of 

God’s eternal Kin-dom. 

12/21.   O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light 

12/22.   O King of all Nations, joy of every human heart

12/23.   O Emmanuel: God is with us and sets us free


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

Friday, December 16, 2022

Newsletter - Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada December Issue


The December 15th issue of Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada's online magazine, The Review, at, features the following original and linked articles:

Mary Tells Her Story

  • Women’s ordination and church governance are ‘big theological questions’
  • Synod Working Document:  Continental stage synod document
  • Are We Protagonists Yet? The place of women in the synod's working document
  • Catholics need to manage their expectations about the Synod
  • Is Pope Francis playing to the College of Cardinals?

Climate Change
  • Multifaith community mobilizes to preserve creation ahead of COP15

Comments to the Editor

The Interview
  • Excerpt from America Magazine interview with Pope Francis
  • Responses to the Interview
  • Sexist smoke and mirrors theology -- a tool of oppression
  • Primal fear of women
  • We are the Church
  • Is anyone more qualified to celebrate Eucharist than the woman who first said, "This is my body. This is my blood"? The "Marian principle" Francis mentions does not exclude women called to priestly, sacramental ministry
  • More responses to Pope Francis' interview

Reflections and Homilies on the Sunday Readings of the Roman Missal and the Revised Common Lectionary
RCWP Canada Bishop's Message:  What am I asked to birth?

Indigenous Relations
  • Indigenous Relations NEWSLETTER
  • #94 Calls in 94 Days
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • Church Renewal
  • Ecumenism and Interfaith
  • Environment
  • Indigenous Relations
  • Social Justice
  • Spirituality
  • Women's Flourishing

Christian Nationalism
  • 20 resources to resist Christian nationalism
  • A Native Catholic asks: What do we mean by 'heathen'?
Felix Kryzanowski
Editor, RCWP Canada's The Review