Thursday, April 22, 2021

Lament for the Universe by Edwina Gateley - a poem for Earth Day

Lament for the Universe 

Once upon a time God said:  

“I will create.”

And from a multitude of brilliant stars

 a great fire – ball exploded

into the universe.

Over billions of years

it birthed galaxies, planets,

the moon and the sun

and the beginnings of life.

And God watched in delight.

Land and seas emerged

Spanned by the great canopy 

of the sky.

From the energy of soil and sea

living things appeared  -

swimming, creeping, wriggling,

crawling and flying in vast 

and brilliant diversity.

And God was very pleased.

Plants, bushes and thick forests

pushed forth from the rich soil,

mountains arose

And valleys unfolded

fed by rivers and streams.

And God said “It is good.”

Then God called forth

The ultimate wonder of all creation:

Humanity evolved - 

walking, exploring, discovering,

playing and thinking

on its journey into consciousness 

And fullness of creation.

And God was very, very proud.

But, as humans developed – 

growing strong and powerful

and self-aware,

they came to believe

that all God had created – 

all that had gone before

for billions of years

in intelligent design -

was theirs - 

to possess, use, cultivate,

consume or destroy.

And God hoped.

Then humans forgot their place

as a single piece

in the great cosmic jigsaw.

They set-about rearranging

the earth’s intelligent design – 

Re-organizing, displacing, consuming

and destroying

for profit and greed – 

until the winds blew hot and violent,

the oceans turned to acid,

the rains dried up the soil turned to dust

and the forests disappeared.

The natural and balanced seasons

fell into disarray

and billions of living, flying,

crawling and swimming creatures

Lost their habitats and died.

And God grieved.

But humanity

did not see nor understand,

for they had forgotten their place

and who they were

in the unfolding and inter-connectedness

of all creation.

And God wept and watched

as humanity began to sicken

with the destruction

of the home God had created for them…

And God whispered – 

“Don’t die

Don’t die…

Don’t let my creation die…”

And God pleaded with humanity – 

“Please, Please – 

Don’t let my creation die.”

~ Edwina Gateley

from Edwina's newest book of poetry:  Soul Whispers (pg 49)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Response to Chauvin Verdict- Calls for Systemic Justice and Accountability

The guilty verdicts in the case against Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021 felt like victory.  The tears of relief and vindication shed on the streets of Minneapolis were shared in many cities and towns all over the country and the world.  We the women and men of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) share these feelings and reflect them in our own tears and prayers of thanksgiving for accountability in this case. But we recognize that accountability in one case is a far cry from justice for all.  Because if this verdict is victory, it is a victory of one lap in a very long race.  Accountability for one man’s unjust death.  Accountability attained in the face of highly incriminating evidence provided by a teenager with a cellphone.  Accountability brought to bear only after another attempted cover-up of police malpractice.  Real justice remains elusive for so many marginalized people as they interact with the system.  

Justice for all will only become reality in this country with the passage of real criminal justice and police reform.  ARCWP stands in solidarity with all who are working to dismantle every system of inequality, oppression and domination of people of color, LGBTQI and other marginalized people. We pray, along with Franciscan Father Richard Rohr, that we as a nation are ready to “clear the field to be ready for new seed.” (Richard Rohr, 4/20/21) In the meantime, we continue the race.  And we say their names.

We Must Restore the Powerful. Witness of Women Leaders

Monday, April 19, 2021

Trauma Warrior, Despair Whisperer by Mary Sue Barnett ARCWP


Let us walk-

if you like,

I can hold your hand

In step together,

feet on soil,

gently in sync,

At Sunrise. Its

soft hues greet 

your angst, Its 

warm glow meets 

your pain, Its 

low-lying fog gives

you fragile light,

a tentative beginning,


Squeeze my hand-

if you will, that

our shared energy

becomes a citadel 

of concealment,

for any moment

you must flee

inside yourself.  

Inside yourself, is

where you are—a

fortress of silence 

protecting your face,

your life. 

In step together,

feet on soil, we are

gently in sync, as I

hear your trauma. 

In perfect stillness,

like a barred owl 

calling from its 


your screams careen

but leave no echoes. 

Though apathetic 

the world, your piercing cries

resound in my being. 


Feet on soil,

under a wide, bright sky

I watch you—with love,

as a calm, warm wind,

wraps you round.

At Midday—as if the universe

shifts, you speak;

I tried to tell

but was shushed

I tried to tell 

but was hushed

I tried others, blank stares

I tried once more, told

it was my fault. 


Feet on soil, the day

grows long, our path

stretches out—when a mist 

falls, At Evening, 

onto our bodies,

a natural Evensong

of comfort—for the

silencing, for all

the betrayals.

We clean wounds,

we bind pain,

we share hurt,

we carry the burden. 

From bloodstains,

I do not look away. 


On a blanket—of

soft Spring grass,

we rest, At Sunset,

aglow in dusk aura. 

I look into your eyes,

no longer do you shudder. 

Deep Night

We walk together,

the darkness—gathered tightly 

around us. 

If during the night,

your stomach aches,

your bowels squirm— your wounds 

are laid open,

a universe of kindness 

is present to behold you. 

The doors of

the citadel of protection 

will fling open

You and I,

wrapped in a cloak

of deep breathing, 

sprinkled with

Evensong mist, 

our footsteps one—

you can flee 

inside yourself, where

the light is. 

We are gently,

in sync—my being

interwoven with yours.

At Deep Night,

in the soil of your 

good and beautiful heart,

you are safe.

Rev. Mary Sue Barnett

Hospital Chaplain

Founder of Louisville CEDAW

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month 

April 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community , Third Sunday of Easter, April 17, 2021 Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Diane Burroughs ARCWP Music Minister- Linda Lee Miller, Readers Mary Al Gagnon and Joan Pesce


Image from Pinterest

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community , Third Sunday of Easter, April 17, 2021  Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and  Diane Burroughs ARCWP Music Minister- Linda Lee Miller         

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

ID 851- 0809-5506

Passcode 1066


The Divine Spark Dwells Within Our Hearts

Welcome and Gathering

Bridget Mary:  Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome. 

-We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says “All.” 

-All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. 

-Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Gathering Song: Companions on the Journey by Carey Landry

Opening Prayer

Diane B:  Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, walking with the Risen Christ, we are in awe of the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts. We let go of our anxieties in this time of uncertainty and loss and rejoice that we are companions on the journey called by Christ to break bread and serve our sisters and brothers in a suffering world.  

All: Amen

Communal Reconciliation Rite

Bridget Mary: We pause now to remember the times we have let anxieties sap our energy to live our mission to be the Christ Presence in the world. Let us place our concerns and issues in the loving hands of  the Holy One, and open ourselves to recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts. (Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart)

Bridget Mary and All:  Let it be so, Yes,  Alleluia

A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller

Liturgy of the Word


Pat MacMillan: First Reading: “Beyond Hope” by Barbara Reid

“No words are capable of expressing what happened to Jesus at Easter or what happened to the first disciples who experienced him as resurrected. The only adequate response is contemplative  awe, yet we need to try to say something of what this experience means to us. 

In the Gospel story today, two of Jesus’ disciples are talking and debating as they walk away from Jerusalem, the place of pain and confusion, trying to make meaning of it all. As Jesus joins them, he first elicits from them their own interpretation. The recount the truth of his brutal murder. They speak of what their hopes were, but these now seem dashed. 

Then as now, Jesus first asks disciples to try to say what they (or we) have experienced and how we understand what has happened. 

To go to the next step on the journey it is necessary to turn to the Scriptures… Immersing ourselves in the whole story, from Moses through all the prophets, we understand a little more of Jesus’ prophetic life and mission. We see too how we‘re asked to conform our lives to this journey of prophetically embodying good news for the most vulnerable and being prepared to accept is cost. Essential for this journey is the abiding presence of the risen Jesus. As did those first disciples, we too implore him to stay with us. And he does. He continues to open our eyes by unfolding the Scriptures to us and by making himself know in the breaking of the bread.

No words adequately express our experience of what it is like to have him risen among us. Resurrected life far exceeds all our hopes and is from more than a happy ending to a tragic story. It is not only what happened to Jesus, but it is already lived by us, whose lives are “hidden with Christ in God”, as Paul says. It is not only the end of a life’s journey, but is tasted already now, all along the way. It is beyond all that we had hoped, and even now sets our hearts burning within us.

These are the inspired words of Barbara E. Reid, scripture scholar and author of  Abiding Word and we respond to them by saying.

Thanks be to God.

Joan Pesce: Responsorial Psalm: 144

Blessed are you, O Radiant One,

You, who are hidden within our hearts,

Even as we are hidden within your Heart!

For You are the Breathing Life of all,

the infinite and eternal within our hearts.

Response: Let us recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts.

Inflame us with compassion so we nurture ourselves and others with healing and forgiveness.

Empower us with wisdom and knowledge,

That we might being forth the Divine Plan.

And let us recognize the Truth that clear vision might unfold.

Response: Let us recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts.

Let us sing a new song to You,

O Beloved; with drums and flutes let us express our joy!

You who are Divine Love, receive our devotion,

that we may walk in beauty,

May our heart’s ears heed well the Divine Word written in every heart, that integrity and justice may dwell within us.

Response: Let us recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts.

Let each one be receptive to the Spirit that inspires, allowing our will to respond with  action.

Thus will we recognize oneness with The Divine Spark 

dwelling within our hearts, fanning it to illuminate the way.

Gratitude and inner peace will abide in every tranquil soul, 

blessing the universe that lovingly cares for us.

Response: Let us recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts.

(Psalm 144, adapted from Nan Merrill, Psalms for Praying)

Joan Pesce: Second Reading: 

A Reading from the First Letter of John 5:1-6

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Anointed One has been born of God. Everyone who loves the parent, loves the parent's child. In this way, we know that we love the children of God because we love God and follow God’s commandments. For the love of God is this: that we fulfill the desire of God’s heart for the world.

God’s commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God overcomes obstacles in the world. Our faith is the victory that conquers all fear. Who is it that conquers evil in the world but the one who believes that Jesus, who died and was raised to life, is Born  of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus the Christ, not only with the water, but with the water and the blood.

And the Spirit is the one that bears witness, for the Spirit is Truth.

The Word of an Early Church Theologian.

Thanks be to God.

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?

They just stood there, long faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the one in Jerusalem who hasn’t’ heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

He said, “What has happened?”

They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God an all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.

Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that that the prophets said? Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening: the day is done.” So he went in with them. He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us.”

These are the inspired words in the Gospel of Luke and we respond to them by saying:

All: Thanks be to God.  

Homily Starter: Diane Burroughs

I have a personal experience I would like to share as a reflection on today’s readings. 

As a Resident Chaplain in a trauma hospital, there’s no asking for back up, you’re in training to learn how to handle whatever occurs.

This particular evening there was a 16-year-old boy who had an accident on prom night.  It was about 2 o’clock in the morning, and he had been taken to surgery for a minor repair.  Everything was expected to be fine.   In the surgical waiting area, there was the boy’s immediate family, extended family and half the school who had heard about the accident.  

The charge nurse comes out, calls me aside and informs me that the boy died.  He bled out in the operating room.  We looked at each other not knowing how we were possibly going to handle the crowd in the waiting room, as well as the staff in the operating room that hadn’t expected the young man to die.

At that point, a gentleman and his wife get off the elevator and approach me.  The man asks if I’m the chaplain.  I said yes, and he told me he needed to talk to me.  I asked if I could get back to him, explaining that I was with another family at the time.  He said it would only take a moment, that his wife told him to come in and find the chaplain. He wasn’t sure why, but he always did what she told him. 

I look concerned and thought I couldn’t give him time then, as my stress level was climbing.  He continued by introducing himself as Reverend so-and-so, the local pastor, and his wife, the youth minister at his church.  He asked if there was something that I needed help with.  I then realized his presence was an answer to prayer.

I informed the charge nurse of what was happening, and she left to care for her staff.  I took the Reverend and his wife into another room and briefed them about what had happened.  We quickly divided the work among us and, as a team, we were able to offer support and care to all who were present.

Do you ever remember not recognizing the presence of Christ standing before you?

When have you been the Christ presence for another in need?

Community Sharing: What can help us recognize the Divine Spark dwelling within our hearts?

Communal Statement of Faith

Mary Al: We believe in one God, 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 God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 

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

We believe that God's 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 and for the Community

Bridget Mary.: We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table

 Our response is: All: Your love fills our hearts.

We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Katy shares)

For what else should we pray?

Diane B: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. 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.  

Diane B.:  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.

Jim B.:  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

Cheryl B.: Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, accompanies us on our journey through life in good times and in sad times. With hearts burning within us, we affirm the Divine Spark dwelling in the great cloud of witnesses, holy women and men of  every age, race and culture throughout history, as we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

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

We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x , You are Holy, Holy, Holy, I am Holy, Holy, Holy, We are Holy, Holy, Holy

Jan: O Risen One, Your Spirit moved through the disciples on their way to Emmaus to recognize You.  Your Spirit moves through us as let go of our fears and trust in your loving presence within our hearts. You inflame us with compassion to embrace the vulnerable and serve those in need. You empower us with wisdom to recognize your Divine Plan and to act with courage to make it a reality. 

 Please extend Your hands in blessing.

Bridget Mary and All: Pour out Your Spirit Sophia anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence on earth.

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.”                         (pause)

Diane B. and All: 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.”

Manny:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ has died in all those who have passed away.

Christ is rising in all those working for the well-being of humanity and  the healing of our earth

Christ comes each day in hearts burning with love and working for justice and equity for all people.

Jan:  Embracing Presence, we cherish the companions who have accompanied us on our faith journeys:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, the Emmaus disciples and all holy women and men in the communion of saints. We pause now to remember our personal “saints” whom we have known and loved.

(Presiders 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 of infinite love, tender compassion and passionate justice burning within us, healing and transforming the world. 

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller


The Prayer of Jesus

Diane B: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

Diane and All:  O Holy One, you are 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 your 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

Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

Sign of Peace: Peace is flowing like a River by Carey Laundry

Bridget Mary and All:  Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 

(Let us place our hands in front of us, palms up, as we sing, “Peace is flowing like a river by Carey Landry

Peace is flowing like a River- Linda Lee Miller and Rick Miller


Diane B.: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread All:

Diane B. and 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 Christ’s table.  

Bridget Mary and All:  We are the Body and Blood of Christ for the world.                         

Please receive/share Eucharist now.

Communion Song: Come Be Beside Us

© Jan Phillips

Come be beside us.

Come be around us.

Come be within us.

Come be among us.

Bridget Mary : Thanksgiving: Please unmute yourself if you have a thanksgiving to share. Introductions, and Announcements                      

Concluding Rite

Diane B.:   The Holy One is within you. 

Diane B. and All:  And also within You.

Bridget Mary: Go forth to be Divine Sparks of Love! 

Bridget Mary and All: We rejoice that the Divine Spark dwells within us.

We celebrate the Divine Spark everywhere. 

We go forth to set the world ablaze with love!

Closing Song: 

Recessional: Let your Light by Kathy Sherman

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to

If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.

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Liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan