Thursday, June 22, 2023

Celebration of Life with and for Peg Farrell Bowen, June 24, 2023 at 4pm EDT - Presider: Bridget Mary Meehan

Recording of Peg's Celebration of Life Liturgy 

Welcome and Gathering

Bridget Mary: A warm welcome to members of Peg’s family, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Roman Catholic Women Priests USA , Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community and all who have gathered with us today for this Celebration of Life to honor our dear Peg. A gentle reminder to unmute and mute when you read or share. During the service everyone will be muted. You are invited to fully participate in the prayers, songs and tributes as well as to have bread and wine on your table in this Eucharistic Liturgy.

(pause for Peg’s greeting)

Bridget Mary: We will begin our liturgy with our gathering song Standing Stones by Melanie DeMore. Standing Stones are Celtic symbols of comfort and support. 

Please join in singing this mantra to Peg: “I will be your standing stone, I will stand by you.” Peg, our hearts are one with yours as you journey into the fullness of love.

Gathering Song: Standing Stone by Melanie DeMore

Transformation Rite

Bridget Mary: We now place our hands over our hearts and send healing, transforming love to all we love, to all who need comfort and strength today.


Gloria: Linda Lee Miller

Opening Prayer

Bridget Mary: We rejoice that the Holy Mystery, the Lover of All, the Beloved, and the Breath of Love is with us, within us and beyond us. We trust in the divine presence always to embrace us and especially our sister Peg with deep peace and comfort.

All: Amen

First Reading – A reading from the Prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)

Read by Thomas Bowen (Peg’s stepson) 

On this mountain, the Holy One will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, food rich and succulent, and fine, aged wines. 

On this mountain, God will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, the shroud covering all nations, destroying all death forever. 

God will wipe away the tears from every cheek. On that day, it will be said, this is the One for whose liberation we awaited, the Holy One in whom we have hoped. 

These are the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah, and we affirm them by saying,

All: Thanks be to God.

Responsorial: Psalm 23  - Bobby McFerrin

Second Reading – A reading from the letter of Paul to the Philippians (1:3-6, 8,12) Read by Kathie Ryan (ARCWP)

I thank my God every time I think of you. In every prayer I utter, I rejoice at the way you have continually helped promote the Good News from the very first day. And I am sure of this much: that God, who has begun the good work in you, will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus. 

God knows how much I long for each of you with all the affection of Christ Jesus!

It’s my wish that you be found rich in the harvest of justice which Jesus Christ has ripened in you, to the glory and praise of God.

These are the inspired words of the author of Philippians and we affirm them by saying,

All: Thanks be to God.

Alleluia – Eightfold Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips

Gospel: A reading from the Gospel of John (14:1-3)

Read by Tom Farrell (Peg’s brother)

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.

You have faith in God.

In God’s house there are many dwelling places.

Otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you?

I am indeed going to prepare a place for you.

And then I will come back to take you, that where I am, there you may be as well.

These are the inspired words of the Gospel writer known as John, and we affirm them by saying,

All: Thanks be to God.

Homily Starter: Video Celebrating Peg

Bridget Mary: (shared gratitude for Peg)

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

Bridget Mary: As Peg was anointed with oil at her baptism and confirmation, we anoint her now as a sign of our love for Peg and for one another. 

Peg, you are a valued and beloved member of our families and communities.  You have gifted us with your gentle wisdom, quiet strength, untiring service and a ready smile. We surround you with loving thoughts as we bless you. 

I invite everyone to raise your hands in blessing as we pray:  

Bridget Mary anoints Peg

Peg, we place you in the tender embrace of our loving God and pray that you may have deep peace as we anoint you in an outpouring of infinite love.

May you find comfort in our love for you as you journey into the fullness of eternal life.


Communal Statement of Faith

Mary Al Gagnon: (MMOJ): Please join in our Communal Statement of Faith

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 for the Community

Joan Pesce (MMOJ): We now invite you to share special intentions that you want us to pray for today. Please remember to unmute and mute. You may begin your prayer with the words: I bring to the table …

Our response is : Holy One, love through us.

Joan Pesce (MMOJ): We pray for these and all the unspoken intentions in our hearts. Amen. 

Preparation of the Gifts

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

All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.  

Bridget Mary: Blessed are You, O Loving One through Your divine providence we have this wine to share, our spiritual drink. 

All: Blessed are, You, Holy One, forever.

Bridget Mary:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Christ, whose presence we are as we proclaim the liberating power of your Spirit Sophia, in our humanity and divinity, calling us to build the unity of Love in a more compassionate and just world.  All:  Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

Jerry Bires: (MMOJ): 

Extravagant Lover, in you, with you and through your endless outpouring of grace, we are blessed with joy amidst the wrong and suffering of our world. In you, we live and move and dwell in love beyond our deepest desires. 

Dotty Shugrue: (ARCWP and MMOJ) 

Generous Giver, you give us wise companions on our journey who work for humanity’s healing and well-being and for the flourishing of all creation .  

With thankful hearts, in the company of all holy women and men, your liberating Spirit rises up within Peg, within us, works through us, and we sing:

All: Holy, Holy, Holy (adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)

Suzanne Thiel: (RCWP)

Conscious of the oneness we share and the inequity that exists in our world, we pray that we may serve others with generous hearts especially the least and the last, the oppressed and marginalized.  The bread we break and the cup we share are symbols of the fullness of life that all are invited to share.

Bridget Mary: (ARCWP and MMOJ)

Please extend Your hands in blessing and pray together.

As we bless this bread and wine, we are ever aware of Your Spirit in us and among us at this Eucharistic table.  We remember our brother Jesus whose life and teachings reflected the depth of divine love beyond our hopes and dreams.  

Bridget Mary and All: On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with his family and the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in memory of me.”                         


Peg and All: (ARCWP and MMOJ)  After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying,

“This is the cup of the covenant of my love. As often as You drink of it, remember me.”

Jim Marsh: (ARCWP and MMOJ) and All: 

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

 Christ has died in all those who have passed away from violent hate crimes.

Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity, dismantling institutional sexism, racism and all that divides us.

Christ comes each day in our ministry, prayers and actions for a renewed world with justice and equity for all.

Joan Pesce: (MMOJ)

Embracing Presence, we remember all the companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who are rising up in loving service to heal our world.  We pause now to remember our family and loved one in the communion of saints. 


(all hold bread and wine)

Bridget Mary and All: For it is through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for the flourishing of life on for all people and for planet Earth. 

All: Great Amen (Sung) Linda Lee Miller

Communion Rite

The Prayer of Jesus

Bridget Mary: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. The following prayer is a contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer.

All:  Holy One, who is within, around, and among us, we celebrate your many names. Your wisdom comes. Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us. Each day you give us all that 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.

The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter

Bridget Mary: Sign of Peace: Please bow to each other with the words: Namaste


Bridget Mary: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread 

All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Bridget Mary: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to the Feast.

We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now: Receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing.

Communion Chant: May the Road Rise to Meet You and All I Ask of You

Concluding Rite

Bridget Mary: I invite you to raise your hands in blessing for our dearly beloved sister, Peg on her journey home into the fullness of love in God’s embrace.

Blessing Song: O Loving God by Paulette M. McCoy and Randall DeBruyn

Bridget Mary: Let us go forth alive with the Spirit and in loving oneness with our sister, Peg! 

Closing song: When the Saints Go Marching In

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Be Not Afraid” ~ a homily with Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community; 6/24/23; Elaine Pfaff ARCWP


Readings :  Rohr passage CAC “God has been trying through all of history to give away God … mind the gap … There's a space w/in us [where] God is as available to us as our breath … The Holy Spirit within us is the desire inside all of us that wants to keep connecting, relating, and communing .. It is as available as our breath.”

                   Matthew 10: 26-30 ~  Do not be afraid … There is nothing concealed which will not be

revealed … as for you, even the hairs on your head are counted.

I have a plaque at my front door with one of my favorite quotes from Carl Jung, one of the fathers of modern psychology.  It reads: Bidden or unbidden, God is present.  I believe that!  God is present whether or not I want God to be here …  “in our living and our dying” as our Opening Song says.  

What do we “do” with a God who insists on being as intimate as all that?  A God with whom there are no secrets … where “nothing concealed” won't be “revealed.!”  A God who is so familiar with me, that the “hairs on my head are counted!”

Well, maybe when we're afraid of being that well known, and that completely loved anyway, we operate “in the gap” that Rohr illustrates.  We make a space between us and the Holy Spirit who wants our wholeness. Growing toward wholeness will mean that I will feel it when something hurts.  Growing toward wholeness will mean that I will notice when something hurts people around me.  Growing toward wholeness will mean that I take on the response – ability to heal.

I had a dream recently revealing my fear of that healing process.  I think the dream calls me to trust this ever persistent, ever present, always-creating-me G*d !  I'm reaching for the words of Scripture that repeat “Fear Not” 365 times in the Bible.  An encouragement for each day of the year.  I'm hearing for myself Fear not that love and altruism is in its infancy.  Fear not that your aging body is the temporary receptacle of your growing soul.  Fear not that you will do greater things than I because humanity is created to become God.

Community life, such as we share in Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community, is the safe ground in which we can share our conscious fears and the unconscious fears that lie in our shadows.  We trust that our fears dissolve into light somehow as we present ourselves to God who is with us now as we are with one another.

Guided imagery for healing prayer: Release     

* notes on the Shadow to follow