Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SILVIA BRANDON PÉREZ to be ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in Berkeley, CA

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
La Asociación de Presbíteras Católicas Romanas
joyfully invites you
les invita con júbilo
to the / a la




Ordaining BishopLa obispa que ordena
Olga Lucía Álvarez Benjumea

April 8, 2017 – el 8 de abril de 2017
11:00 AM / a las 11 a.m.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
en la Iglesia Presbiteriana de San Juan
2727 College Avenue
Berkeley, California 94705

All clergy are invited to wear stoles with the color of their choice.

Roman Catholic Woman Deacon to be Ordained in Sarasota Florida

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Invites you to the

Diaconate Ordination

Elena Garcia

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
Invites you to the

Baptism of Elena’s Grandson

Brohdi Lucas Courtney

Presiding Bishop: Bridget Mary Meehan

March 25, 2017 
4:00 PM

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ
6908 South Beneva Road
         Sarasota, FL 34328

One of Pope Francis' Cardinals Visits Fresno, Speaks on Social Justice and Enviornment


Ash Wednesday Prayer Service of Repentance Outside the White House

When: Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from Noon-1:00 p.m. Where: White House (north side on Pennsylvania Ave.) "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel." (Mk.1:15) "A Church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of […]

News Article from Ireland from Tony Flannery: "Cardinal O'Connell is Dead"


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Upper Room Liturgical Celebration - February 19, 2017

Lindy Sanford, ARCWP and Deb Trees led the community’s liturgical celebration today.

Opening Prayer

Presider 2: Holy One, You are with us in our space today, as we move through our lives seeking your nourishment to love with all our hearts. You fortify us to walk in courage as we take up the challenges before us. We live in gratitude and listen with open minds and hearts to your sacred inspired words shared here now.  AMEN.

First Reading:
First, You Shall love the Lord your God with all your  heart, and with all your soul,  and with all your strength.'  "The second is this, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."  Mark 12 /verses 30 & 31
These are the inspired word of Mark


Second Reading:
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.
These are the inspired word of Teilhard de Chardin

Lindy’s Homily Starter…
Jesus was a man who stood out in his community because he was dedicated to sharing the joy he found in the only commandments he found important. No matter the cost he shared with anyone who would listen how loving the Divine with our whole being, and to treat others the way we want to be treated changes us and the world around us.
He reminds us over and over that all we need is already here.  Being aware that She always provides what we need gives us the strength we need to overcome anxiety in our lives, and fills that empty space within our hearts with peace and joy.  It opens us up, too.  That love the Holy One pours out on us soaks in.

         As we absorb that love and return it with our whole being we, too, radiate it out onto all Creation.  We see that Paul was right when he was inspired to write in Galatians “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We begin to yearn for equality and justice for everyone. Striving for inclusivity and justice is one of the greatest acts of love.  Treating all our global neighbors as we would like to be treated is the great challenge in the 21st century...
 What do you hear in these readings?

Closing prayer
Presider 1:  As we go now, help us live our lives as Your Daughters and Sons, centered in knowing Your love for us, giving that love to others in every thought word and deed, honest, just, and kind.

Presider 2:  Hold us in the palms of Your hands as You show us where we can best go, how we can best serve, who we can best help, what we can best say, when we can best listen, to pour out Your Love. Amen

LEADING: Newsletter about Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests


Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP: "Colombian Post Conflict Women Have the Worst Part"

Let's not lie to ourselves.  Between December 16, January and February of this year (2017), and we are only on the 17th day of February, five female leaders have been vilely murdered!  Their deaths have been neither for reasons of "passion" because of jealousy, nor because of family violence, nor because of fights between neighbors or couples, nor because of accident.  Yes, the hands of the murderers have been male, no doubt of that, by the way they were found and assassinated.  Young and mature women, wives, mothers, grandmothers.  Their crime was to be defenders of life, protectors of life, protectors of "the common house."  Women who thought differently, ACTED differently, as to life, human rights and the environment.  They had no trial or sentence.  No one saw or heard anything.  Secrecy and impunity, the stone of corruption covers them, to ignore them and not study what happened.  How LONG will Colombia and her people keep silent?    How long are we going to continue believing that political groups, religious leaders, with their VICES, care about the people?  These are women who are the bearers of life, KEEPERS OF LIFE, OF THE HARMONY OF LIFE, why doesn't anyone care about this situation?  Why are the JAILS filled with women?  NOT ONE MORE WOMAN ASSASSINATED.  NOT ONE WOMAN LESS.  WE WANT THEM ALIVE AND WE NEED THEM to preserve life.  In only three months WE HAVE LOST 5 women leaders...  What are waiting for, a line by the end of the year?  Men and women, you have the word.  Does someone want to say something else, before this scandalous series of femicides?  Do it now, let's not remain silent.  Silence MAKES US complicit!

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy Katy Zatsick ARCWP and Elena Garcia Co-presiders Mindy Simmons music minister and Russ Banner Cantor

Feb 18 2017 
Opening Song #302 Gather us In verses 1-3
Presider:  In the name of God Fountain of Compassion, of Jesus our Brother who lived Compassion and of the Holy Spirit Sofia our courage to love boldly.   ALL:  Amen.
All:  We gather at the table to share the compassionate presence of God our Beloved Mother and Father, aware that “we are called to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God.”  The Compassion of God loves through us as we comfort all those who are troubled and confront injustices in the most practical and immediate ways. Amen.
Presider:  O God, may we see your face in all who are demonized so that the bullying and hate will stop. All:  May we open our hearts like Mary, to God’s mothering love, affirming fullness of life for all. Jesus the Christ, may we see divine reality in victims, especially in all who suffer violence, and discrimination. May we, like Mary, champion the oppressed and protect the abused.
Voice:  O Wisdom Sophia, may we see your face in our brothers and sisters who are ill, unemployed, uneducated, are hungry and homeless, anxious and stressed or in any way suffering mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  ALL:  Jesus heal our selfishness and heal all those whom we meet.
All: (extending your hand in blessing) God of love may each of us awake to know that we are your beloved daughters and sons.  Heal us of our ignorance of our own identity and our ancestry in the human story. We ask all our sisters and brothers to forgive our failures to serve them in works of mercy and justice. May we be your ongoing caring Compassion in the world. Amen.
ALL:  Glory to God, glory; O praise God alleluia, glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God, 3x (sung)
All:  Loving God, we give thanks for your infinite love and tender compassion always at work in our world.  We cry out today for justice for all who are impoverished and marginalized. May we work for their liberation and do all we can to advance their well-being.  Amen
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
All: Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103 Sing “Our God is kind and merciful. Our God is kind and merciful.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Gospel:  A reading from the Gospel according Matthew 5:38-48
The good news of Jesus, the Christ! All: Glory and praise to you, Jesus our Compassionate Brother!
Homily Starter Feb 18
Being the Compassion of God
by Katy Zatsick
Have you ever thought “I want to be like mom?” or “I want to be like dad?”
Today’s scriptures focus on spiritual identification with our God who is Mother and Father to each of us and to all of creation. The readings also focus on our behaviors as we live our roles of children of God.
  1. From the Hebrew scripture Leviticus: “Be holy, for I, Your God, am holy” …Love your neighbor as yourself! (they too are sons and daughters of your God) I am your God.”
  2. From 1 Cor “Are you not aware that you (each and every one of the 8 billion humans living today) are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Clearly our body and soul (identified as one by Jewish scholars without the Western dualistic split) is the place where God resides continually in human beings. “…for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple” Beloved Daughters and Sons all.
  3. And from the Christian scripture of Matthew “…love your enemies and pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are children of God…be perfect, as Abba God in heaven is perfect.” Even if other sons and daughters of God are behaving badly or hurting others, the command of Jesus our brother is to Love them as God loves them.
Do you accept and live “I am a beloved son/daughter of the living God of evolution?” and “I am called to live my life understanding my role in God’s evolutionary plan?”
Let us listen to what a scholar of Science and Religion says today. Ilia Delio writes “God is not an idea but the living wholeness of reality, seen not by the physical eye of the scientist but by the gaze of the mystic, the inner eye of love.” (p59)
“God is not above but beneath us—meaning that we do not find him(sic) as a suprasensible idea, but as another ourself which dwells in and authenticates our darkness…Transcendence no longer hangs over man; (sic) he becomes, strangely, its privileged bearer. To come to a new understanding of God in our age, a God who is the God of evolution, is to know ourselves as privileged bearers of transcendence” (p 62) (Thus The Unbearable Wholeness of Being-is Delio’s title for this work)
“The world is not God and God is not the world, yet God is the unlimited depth of love of all that is, a love that overflows into new life.” (p 67)
“Since love is the core energy of evolution and God is love, God is the core of evolution, the unstoppable urge of cosmic reality for more life. In this respect evolution has a religious core, a deep, inherent drive toward ultimate wholeness.” (p 71) and Delio writes “There is an ultimacy at the heart of being itself, an allurement of attraction that is more than any being can possess. This ultimacy of love is God.” (p 75)
Finally, Delio concludes in her chapter on “Christian Love” “Jesus was a “wholemaker,” bringing together those who were divided, separated, or left out of the whole. He initiated a new way of “catholicity,” a gathering together of persons in love…Jesus gathered together what was divided and confronted systems that diminished, marginalized, or excluded human persons. Jesus challenged others not by argument or attack but out of a deep center of love…Faith in Christ should move us to be loving and free, to create new wholes, and in doing so, to create a new future for the human person, for society, and for the whole earthly community.” (p131)
Is your faith ready to follow Jesus in creating the spiritual and physical world as he lived it?
In our time, Science and Theology have reached a new synthesis of who we are as humanity.
Do you accept that we bear God’s wholeness within us?
Do you accept that Jesus calls us to love deeply and by doing so we participate in the spiritual, cultural and emotional evolution of humanity?
Do you accept we shall continue to evolve until all of humanity understands and acts our spiritual reality as Sons and Daughters of Love, Abba God?
Do you accept our Oneness in human diversity across the world, time, cultures and religions?
Delio mentions that we need to change our perspectives and to understand God with the eyes of mystics. Let us now look at how a mystic experienced the presence of God’s Love and life within her. Julian of Norwich lived in the 15th century and experienced a series of 16 visions and one included this image (I have kept her language) Meditation:
“I saw the Soul so large as if it were an endless world and a joyful kingdom. And I understood that it is a beautiful City.
In the midst of that city sits our Lord Jesus, God and one of us, a beautiful person of large stature clothed as befit his role as Bishop and King.
And beautifully he sits, peacefully and restfully, in the Soul his most familiar home and endless dwelling.”
Julian continues in the same understanding:
“The soul that realized on earth that it is the home and kingdom of our Lord Jesus is made like him and oned to him in rest and peace by his grace. This is full pleasing to God and great profit to us.”

(Meditations with Julian of Norwich, A centering book by Brendan Doyle, 1983, p114-115)
Profession of Faith:
All:  We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus the Christ who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge exploitation and injustices.  We believe that all of humanity and creation are one in the Heart of God and all humanity is Beloved of God. We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives and heals us of any word or action if we but ask God’s mercy.  We believe that God calls us to be the saving presence of the Holy One in the world for we are temples of our Loving God. We believe that we are called to love those in need of God’s Compassion in the most practical everyday ways.  We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey in our communities of family, neighborhood, country and faith. Here we are called to dwell in loving relationships with our brothers and sisters and all life of Mother Earth.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel compassion. Amen
Presider:  Aware that God, like a fierce mother bear who protects her Beloved sons and daughters, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the needs of those suffering, in our church and world, before you. Response:  Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider:  For those who are being deported and families torn apart, those who have been rejected and demonized, our brothers and sisters who are LGBTQ, those persons of color and of the Muslim faith, we pray for acceptance and fullness of life.   R: Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider:  For the hungry, lonely, homeless and for all those without basic human needs especially in the lands at war. R; Compassionate Mother and Father hear our prayer.
Presider: We invite your intentions…
Presider O Holy One, we walk in our Christian faith knowing that for you nothing is impossible and we can care for others in need through the power of your Spirit Sofia working in us.   ALL: Amen
Song as we prepare the offertory “Get Together” by The Young Bloods (see final page)
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  This bread is your MMOJ faith community, your sons and daughters ministering with others to be your Compassion throughout our country, the world and for Mother Earth. Through your divine providence, we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life, acknowledging the presence of Jesus within us.   ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of the universe and all of humanity.  This wine is our desire to be justice makers for all our brothers and sisters who suffer in our country and throughout the world. Through your divine providence, we have this wine to offer. It will become our spiritual drink, our lives’ energy poured out in compassionate service for all.  ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Divine Presence, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with all who live as the Compassionate presence of God in our world ALL:  Amen.
(Join us around the table)
Presider:  God dwells in each of and all of us.  ALL:  And also works through us.
Presider:  Let us lift up our hearts and love deeply    ALL:  We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Compassionate Creator of all.
ALL: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.
Voice:  Holy One, it is right that we give you thanks and praise at this table of boundless compassion. Your empowering presence is revealed in the friendship meals where Jesus dined with tax collectors, lepers, sinners, and women.  All are accepted, loved, healed and forgiven. In joyful thanksgiving for your extravagant affection for all of us, we join with the angels and saints in an unending hymn of praise:
ALL: (sing) We are holy, holy, holy…, you are holy…I am holy…we are holy (Music by Karen Drucker)
Presider: Jesus taught his disciples how to love with a compassionate heart. Healing Spirit, we trust that your love flows through us as we feed your beloved children who are the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, assist the dying and work to change a system of injustice.
(Hold hand in blessing)
ALL:  As we come together in memory, Jesus we pray that Your Spirit will come upon these gifts of bread and wine and upon us, that we may become the body and blood of Christ blessed, broken and shared.  (pause as bread is lifted)
ALL:  We remember how, on the night before he died, Jesus was at table with those he loved.  He took bread and blessed you, God of all creation. He broke the bread shared it with his friends and said, “Take this, all of you and eat. This is my body. Do this in memory of me. “
(pause as wine is lifted)
Presider:  Then Jesus took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered us the wine:
ALL: “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”
ALL:  The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we comfort our suffering brothers and sisters. The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we counsel our sisters and brothers. The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we advocate for justice for our brothers and sisters. Amen.
Voice:  Heart of Love, we celebrate our worship and gathering in memory of Jesus our brother, who reminds us that we are the face of God, through whom the Spirit redeems and heals injustice by Compassionate caring for our sisters and brothers whom we meet each day in our world.
Voice: Creator of the Universe, your love flows through all beings to heal our earth.  As we work for environmental healing, your sacred energy transforms the cosmic Body of Christ.
Voice:  Energizing Spirit, we are one with the cloud of witnesses who have lived your works of mercy during their lives.  As we serve human needs with generous hearts, we are channels of your tender compassion.
(Lift up the bread and wine)
ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, all glory and honor is yours, loving God forever and ever.  Sung: Amen.
Presider: Jesus taught that we are One in God’s Love and Compassion so we pray with Jesus:
All: Our Father and Mother…. sung
Sign of Peace…Sung: Peace is flowing like a river, joy…. hope… Alleluia (by Carey Laundry)
Presider:  Loving God, we will serve the least and the last in our world including Mother Earth,   ALL:  Namaste  (translation: The Spirit in me greets the Spirit in you)
Presider: Loving God, we will care for our Beloved sisters and brothers who need our help. ALL:  Namaste
Presider: Loving God, we will advocate for non-violence and justice for all in our world. All: Namaste

Music by Mindy during communion.
Presider: There is room at the table for everyone.  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.
Song after Communion: “Nobody Can Stop the River from Flowing” by Kathy Sherman (see final page)
Prayers of Thanksgiving from the community, announcements
All:  Nourished at this open table where all are welcome, may we live the saving presence of God by doing works of mercy. Go, now and live the Gospel of Jesus!!
FINAL BLESSING (extend your hand in blessing)
All: Most Loving God you love justice and compassion. Help us to be open to your ways of mercy, compassion and truth that we may call forth in ourselves and in one another your ways of wisdom and love for all our Brothers and Sisters throughout our country and the world.   We love, bless and serve one another in the name of God our Creator, Jesus who is our brother of Compassion, and Holy Sofia our Wisdom living through all eternity. Amen.
Closing Song: “Peace throughout the Land” by Mindy and Ellen Bukstel (See final page)

Adapted from the liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan, 2017

Get together
Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on each other
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

Repeat chorus

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at you command

Repeat chorus
We are sisters We are brothers
We are fathers and we are mothers
And we all can work together
To make peace throughout the land

When the heavens roll with thunder
And we all cry out for shelter
reach out to each other
Every woman child and man

Let us learn to love our neighbor
Let us free our hearts from anger
Then fear will pose no danger
As we’re walking hand in hand

We are people from different cultures
Putting trust in one another
Working side by side together
We can do it yes we can

Nobody Can Stop the River from Flowing

Nobody can stop the river from flowing
Nobody can stop the river from flowing
Nobody can stop the river from flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
Nobody can stop compassion from flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
Nobody can stop the hope that is flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
Nobody can stop the peace that is flowing
We are going forward and we’re flowing like a river

Friday, February 17, 2017

Prayer Seeds - New Book by Joyce Rupp

Prayer Seeds
Prayer Seeds
A Gathering of Blessings, Reflections, and Poems for Spiritual Growth
Some of Sr. Joyce Rupp's most perennially popular books have been collections of her original prayers, blessings, poems, and reflections. In Prayer Seeds, the bestselling author and retreat leader offers almost a hundred new selections on a variety of themes such as the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year, compassion, ministry, difficult times, and important events-all suitable for personal or group prayer. Learn more.
"Joyce Rupp is one of the best Christian spiritual guides writing today."
-Rev. James Martin
Joyce Rupp
Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Praying Our Goodbyes, Open the Door, and Fragments of Your Ancient NameRupp is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community and codirector of the Boundless Compassion Program. She lives in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Spirit Continues to Guide and Encourage Us by Donna Rougeux, ARCWP

The Spirit Continues to Guide and Encourage Us
By Donna Rougeux

When I had only been living in Albuquerque, New Mexico a few weeks I participated in the Women’s Rally at the Civic Center. It was my first public action as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in this town. I was so excited to bring my sign, cards, and literature about our movement to the march to let everyone know that “women priests are here!”

I looked for a place to stand so that my sign was clearly visible to the crowd. Occasionally people would smile at me and ask to take a picture of my sign. Toward the end of the rally a man who was wearing a priest collar came toward me, smiled, said “thank you,” and asked if he could get a picture of both of us holding my sign! I was thrilled and asked if I could also use my camera to get a picture of the two of us holding the sign. After that I gave him my card and he left telling me that he would send me an email later.

When I left the rally I remembered that this priest was wearing a jacket that said “St. Marks” I assumed he was an Episcopal priest and I searched the Internet to see if there was an Episcopal church in Albuquerque with that name. I found St Marks Episcopal Church on the list and concluded that he was part of that parish. My experience thus far told me that a male, Roman Catholic priest would not be comfortable supporting our movement publicly. The only male priest I know who does this is Roy Bourgeois. I have always longed to find other brave, Roman Catholic male priests who are courageous enough to support our movement.

A week later I received an email from the priest and was amazed to find that he is a Roman Catholic priest on medical leave from his parish! The story from here oozes with synchronicity.

In his first email to me, Father Greg attached a write-up of his recent pilgrimage to Albuquerque that resulted our meeting at the Women’s Rally. (Included below) When I first read this, it seemed too good to be true so I did a little research about Father Greg on my computer. I found the website of the parish where he currently is an associate pastor in Wilmington, Delaware.

So how does a Roman Catholic Woman Priest from Lexington, Kentucky meet a progressive male priest from Wilmington Delaware at the Women’s Rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico? My only explanation is it was the Spirit! There is even more about this that will support my conclusion.

When I was reading things on the website of Resurrection Catholic Church in Delaware, I saw that Greg was a graduate from St. Meinrad’s Seminary in Indiana. So when I responded to his email I asked him if he knew Sr. Carmel McEnroy, who taught there and later was fired because she signed a document supporting the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church. Sr. Carmel began teaching a Lexington Theological Seminary after she was fired from St. Meinrad.  I was in a class she taught on the Vatican II documents when I was a seminary student in Lexington.

Low and behold Father Greg knew Sr. Carmel very well because she was his advisor and teacher at St. Meinrad! He knew all about her support of women in the church and he supported her.  Now many years later, at the Women’s Rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico he is supporting our movement and me!  Stay tuned for the amazing things that Sophia Spirit is guiding us toward as our movement continues to grow in Albuquerque.