Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Gathering with Jack Duffy as He Begins his Transition into Eternal Life

I visited Jack Duffy  who is beginning his transition from earth to heaven today. The wonderful Duffy family  and Ann  Cooke gathered in person and the rest of the family gathered on Zoom -around his bedside-  to say goodbye and share their gratitude and loving memories with their Dad.
Amidst tears and laughter we prayed, sang , and  played his favorite hymns as we accompanied Jack  to heaven’s door.
 Jack and his wife, Helen  were among the first members of our Home Church- Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. They called me to serve MMOJ Catholic Community as their priest.
On Sunday, the family and I celebrated a Catholic Mass/ liturgy and Jack received the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Sunday: at Liturgy with Sacrament of Anointing the Sick

(Pics below)


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

A Tribute to Peg Farrell Bowen, My Soul Friend- Love Will Carry Us by Bridget Mary Meehan

Peg Bowen, my soul friend- died on Sunday ,July 2nd. 2023. We were close friends for 43 years.  I will miss her more than words can say.

Two of my precious memories are the time Peg stayed up all night with me at my mother’s  wake in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church ,and the time she packed my suitcase and booked a flight reservation- when I was presiding at an Ordination in Atlanta -so I could fly home that night to be with my Dad before he died. 

Peg and I knew each other's families, belonged to the same circle of friends, prayed  and worked together to foster spiritual development in the faith communities we belonged to. We shared the comings and goings of our lives in regular talkfests that sometimes lasted for hours . 

More than once we closed down Panaro’s!  I remember one of our sessions at Chili's  - we began  with dessert, ate a salad and 3 hours later finished up with  hors d oeuvress -all washed down with a Margarita!

Peg had a deep commitment to women's equality and was a major supporter of Roman Catholic Women Priests. She helped to organize the press conference at the first U.S. Ordination of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Pittsburgh in 2006 . After I finished an early morning interview on CNN, she took my phone and told me to get ready for the ceremony. She then handled the major media blitz that followed.

When I celebrated my first Mass on Aug. 15th in my backyard,  Peg fixed the chairs in a semi-circle, placed a statue of  the Blessed Mother next to a card table that she transformed into a beautiful altar. She then escorted those who came to their seats and took care of assisting the National Public Radio interviewer with positioning the recording equipment.

 Peg was a brilliant events planner with an eye for detail and ambience that would enhance the most drab hotel settings.  At the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests retreats each year, she organized lists of  everything from reservations, attendee rooms,  menus,  conference room setup, and communications with hotel staff.  She regularly transformed a standard hotel conference room into a warm gathering space for multiple uses including the creation of a beautiful chapel-like  space with candles, sacred symbols, and beautiful flowers. Peg  also worked her magic touch on the  hospitality room - coordinating volunteers to shop for and arrange an abundance of delicious snacks and beverages for our enjoyment.

 I am grateful for the great blessing that Peg has been in my life  and the many blessings she brought to her family, friends, colleagues and to the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 

I will miss Peg more than words can say. I will miss little things like hearing her voice on the phone when she would pick up saying "This is Peg." I will miss hearing her wise advice to slow down and rest before I take on another major project! I am comforted by the awareness that Peg is present to me in a new way. I "see" her in the arms of  Love that is beyond imagination. 

I believe that Peg and I will continue to be connected in the Communion of the Saints. In my morning prayer, I hold  Peg-  and all my loved ones who have passed away- in the fullness of joy and love.  In the worlds of Dougie MacLean's music - "This love will carry me. I know this love will carry me."