Wednesday, December 7, 2016

People's Catholic Seminary and Holy Orders by Kathie Ryan, ARCWP

The People’s Catholic Seminary is currently offering a course on sacraments (  In our discussion on Holy Orders, Kathie Ryan, ARCWP wrote the following:

This assignment on Ordination brought up the question, once again, why be ordained? During my discerning process the "why?" kept creeping into my meditations.  After some time passed I realized asking "why" was not relevant.  The question became will I accept "the call?"

We have learned that the definition of ordination began to change with the Gregorian reforms of the 12th century.  I looked up a little more history of the time and was reminded of the power struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire.  The Vatican was a strong temporal power.  Bishops and Priests were married, owned property and wanted their children to inherit the land. Historically we know what happened the Pope, Bishops, and Priests, raised themselves to a level of importance that lead to very specific roles and power.

In the Busted Halo video  the moderator reminds us that "all Catholics are priest but the sacramental priesthood stands in for the person of Christ himself." This concept developed in the 12th century and continues today.  Catholic traditionalist use the developing definition of the 12th century to cite the reasons priests can not be married, and why we can not have women priests.

The definition of ordination prior to the 12th century was inclusive and focused on service. A person, man or woman, was ordained for a particular function in a specific community (Martos 248). They were designated and consecrated to serve the community as well as serve at liturgy.  Ordination was about sacred order not priestly power.

All of us are indeed ordained priests.  Priest who are servant leaders.  There is "real presence" not in the process of changing bread and wine to the body and blood but in the sharing of that bread and wine with each other.  Real Presence is in me and you as we live as servants for one another in community.  We all "stand in for the person of Christ" when we love one another.

Link below provides the History of Women's Ordination in the Church:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church Facts and Discoveries

Ordination  of  Women  in  the  Catholic  Church
Facts  and  Discoveries
  by Peggy Clough ( )
printed with permission and with gratitude!

v Genesis 1:27 states clearly "God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them." The New American Bible, Saint Joseph Edition 1968.
v There is abundant evidence that women were active supporters of the Jesus movement and the early church.  Over and over the New Testament shows that women believed in Jesus and he repaid them by treating them as equals.  It was a woman, Mary Magdalene, who was the most loyal to Jesus, and for this reason she has been traditionally called the "apostle to the apostles."  Mary Magdalene was a devoted apostle and a steadfast friend and she was the first to witness his resurrection and the first to spread the "good news."  Other women also accompanied Jesus on his travels, some of them providing for his and his disciples financially and devoting their lives to him.  The three synoptic gospels bear witness to the women followers of Jesus.  "Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources."(Luke 8:1-3)   "There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.  Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee." (Matthew 27:55)  "There were also women looking on from a distance.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.  These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him.  There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem." (Mark 15:40-41)  The biblical scholar Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza revealed the vital role played by women in the life of Jesus in her 1983 book, In Memory of Her:  A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins.  Tanenbaum, pages 76-78 and The New American Bible, Saint Joseph Edition 1968.

Hope Opens - Hope Transforms

With grateful thanks to Pamela Hawkins and Jan Phillips for these inspiring words about HOPE.

Hope Opens by Pamela Hawkins

Hope opens something in the human heart. Like shutters slowly parting to admit a winter dawn, hope permits strands of light to make their way to us, even when we still stand in cold darkness; but hope also reveals a landscape beyond us into which we can live and move and have our being. With hope, closely held interior thoughts are gently turned outward; deep desires, perhaps long hidden in secret corners of our heart, might be lifted up to the light.

Hope Transforms by Jan Phillips

Uploaded on Jan 8, 2012
Addresses the role of hope in radical transformation and visionary leadership. Script is from Jan’s book The Art of Original Thinking—The Making of a Thought Leader. Will connect the heart and the brain of any viewer. A kick-start to non-dualistic thinking.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Uncovering the Light Within
By Dr. Eileen Knoff

Today, in the 21st century, humans have come to realize that perhaps the most important connection we need to make is with our own interiority, where Divine light seeks to be received and embraced as being at the heart of our own complex psyche. Diverse faith expressions tell us that the human person carries an element of divine light within, a life that goes by many names.

It is our work to tend to that light, and to keep it lit, even when dark energies within and around us might seek to extinguish its flame. I have heard tell that a circle of Quakers coming together to discern the meaning of evil decided its essence was anything that sought to put out that inner light.

Perhaps so.

It is the gift of this winter season to hold open for us a time of emptiness, a womb-like space, inviting us to go deeper toward the place of our inner light. It can be the gift of dark moments that they lead us to an unexpected light within. I was graced with encountering such a light in the silent and dark moment of my own father's passing. That moment gave birth in me to new trust in the light at the heart of darkness.

As we allow ourselves to be more at home with that light within, we may discover within new thoughts about ourselves here on this earth – our value, our meaning, our purpose. We may begin to hear an inner sense assuring us of our in estimable value as an individual and as part of the human species.

Trusting we are of great value can encourage us to discover just what an inimitable reflection of divine life and love we really are. Then we can allow that light to shine from the heart of our being through gifts we have been given to bring hope and love into the world.

From Seasoning the Soul: Images and reflections with a Celtic flavor to
bless your year. (2012). p.24. Available in
 © Collected and edited by Eileen Knoff, D. Min. - used with permission.

"Eileen offers spiritual direction and has recently served as faculty for the People's Catholic Seminary. She can be contacted at"

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Update on the Vatican Persecution of Irish Redemptorist Tony Flannery

Correspondence between myself and the Papal Nuncio following the Meaning of Life programme of November 20 - Tony Flannery - priest & writer

Tony Flannery (born 1947) is a member of the 
Redemptorist congregation, a native of Attymon, 
near Athenry in County Galway, Ireland. 
He is the youngest of five children,
 the eldest of whom died at three years of age. 
His mother, Maisie, who died in 1995, 
was a teacher in her early life, and 
after marriage she worked as a seamstress. 
His father, Paddy, worked in the local Bord na Mona bog, 
and they also worked a small farm. 
Tony joined the Redemptorists at the age of seventeen
 in 1964, and was ordained a priest ten years later, 
in 1974. He spent his priestly life as a 
preacher of missions, novenas and retreats, mostly 
around Ireland. He has written a number of books, and 
numerous articles in a variety of publications, both 
religious and secular. For about fourteen years he 
contributed a regular column for the Redemptorist 
Reality. Three years ago Tony was part of the group
founded the Association of Catholic Priests, and 
he continues to act as one of the Leadership Team.
In 2012 it was brought to his attention that the 
Vatican objected to some of his articles in Reality 
 He was summoned to Rome by the Superior 
General of the Redemptorists, and this began 
a long process which 
culminated in him being forbidden to minister as a
 priest, a situation that continues to this day.  
He has written a full account of his dealings with the 
Vatican in his latest book, A Question of Conscience.
He is under instruction from his religious authorities to 
remain silent, but in early 2013 he decided to ignore
 that stricture and go public.  Since then he has been
 active in the reform movement around the world, 
and is currently giving a series of talks around the
 country entitled Repairing a Damaged Church.

The New Cosmology: "Look at your life in Jesus, believe it in Jesus, and love it in Jesus"

"Jesus reveals the whole pattern of creation and 
human history in condensed form. 
Perhaps, he is best seen as a Map! 
Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, 
we know ahead of time that the finalchapter is always 

Though so much of life is filled with suffering, 
disappointment, disillusionment, absurdity, and dying. 
God will turn all of our crucifxions into resurrections. 
Look at it in Jesus,
believe it in Jesus,
love it in Jesus,
and let it take shape in your own soul.
This is how the Christian movement was supposed to give 
hope to all of
history. "And it still can. (Richard Rohr)

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community 2nd Sunday of Advent December 3, 2016 Co-presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP and Sally Brochu, ARCWP Music Ministers: Mindy Lou Simmons and Russ

Sally Brochu ARCWP, Co-Presider Praying at Lighting of 
Advent Candles

Advent Candle Lighting Blessing Prayer
Presider: Like our ancestors, we honor the cycles and the seasons 
that remind us of the ever-changing flow of life of which 
we are a part. Ritual acts give life meaning – 
they honor and acknowledge the 
unseen web of Life that connects us all.
ALL: We light this second candle and remember our ancestors who 
feared death, evil and all the dark powers of winter. 
We, too, in our day, fear the darkness of war, discrimination, 
xenophobia and selfishness that threaten us and our planet 
to an eternal winter. And so we respond: Let us kindle the light of 
Presider: Indeed, let us welcome the light within each other.

Opening Song: “You Come, You come, Emmanuel 
(Tune of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” #38)

You come, you come, Emmanuel,
You gather all who stumbled and fell.
You share your life, you share your love;
Your dawn breaks forth in wondrous light above.
Rejoice, rejoice, O people of the earth!
In God’s great love we comprehend our worth!
You come, with grace, O Source of Light,
You teach us to find courage in the night.
Your way is justice, mercy and peace,
Your wisdom is the path to true release.
Presider: Nurturing God, you became human in Jesus and 
showed us 
how to live life fully. You know what it means to laugh and cry, 
to walk and talk, to love and be loved. We know that 
your mothering presence is always with us. May we, 
like Mary, rejoice as we give birth to God within us, and 
may we give birth to God in everything we say and do. 
ALL: Amen.

ALL: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on 

O loving God, we worship you, we give you thanks, 
we praise you for your glory. 
O Jesus Christ, holy Child of our loving God; You fill us with joy 
in your presence. You who are with our God, receive our prayer. 
For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are Messiah. 
You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ; with the 
Holy Spirit in the glory of God. Amen.


Marjorie Alaimo, Lector, first reading

First Reading: Isaiah 11: 1-10 R. Thanks be to God
Psalm Response: #56 Advent Litany “Maranatha, maranatha. 
Come, O God, and set us free”,

Karen Hylen, lector, 2nd reading

Second Reading: Romans 15: 4-9 R. Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! #44 “Litany of the Word“
Gospel: Matthew 3: 1-12 R. Glory and praise to you Jesus Christ

HOMILY for the Second Sunday of Advent, Year A, 2016

Janet Blakeley ARCWP
In this season of Advent we read from Isaiah of Israel’s 
for a long-expected savior who would restore justice and 
kindness to the land.   
Even though we believe that the savior has already 
come in the person of Jesus, we still read this.   
Paul tells us why:
“Everything written before our time was written for our 
that we might derive hope from the lessons of patience 
and the words of    encouragement in the scriptures.”   
(Romans 15:4)
True enough.  Although Isaiah wrote these words nearly 
3,000 years ago, they provide what we need for the year 
2016 as we enter 
into a new era – an era which promises to be chaotic 
at best, 
deadly at worst, and unjust at the very least.   
Isaiah identifies the very things we fear, 
but assures us that the Spirit of God will come to 
rest on us:

“Not by appearance will this one judge,
Nor by hearsay will a decision be made;
But the poor will be judged with justice,
And the lands afflicted will be given their rights.

There will be no harm or destruction on all my holy 
For as waters fill the sea,
So will the land be filled with knowledge of Our God.”

Reassuring words.   But, if the Spirit of God has already 
 how will the Spirit of God “come to rest on us”?   
Granted – anything is possible with God and we have 
imaginations, so the Spirit of God may very well 
come to rest
 on us again with a transformative power.

Having moved forward in our understanding, 
we might do well to abandon thrilling 
expectations of 
God’s descending on clouds or bursting out in 
Rather, we must look within ourselves for that 
indwelling Spirit, 
and listen for prophetic voices in others.   
For if our evolving understanding tells us that 
God is 
believed to be found within creation, that is where 
we must go.   
It is from creation – including our own, individual 
small selves – 
that the Spirit of God will be seen and heard – 
not judging by 
appearance, nor making decisions by hearsay, 
but judging the 
with justice and giving afflicted lands their rights.   
The call for justice must come from within humanity.   
Even as people in one place are trampled, people in 
another place 
must speak because we are not separate people.   
We are one Body.

These days we look less for a coming Messiah and hope 
more for the ability to see and hear the already present 
 If we implore the Messiah to “come,” we must mean 
something like 
“come into my awareness.”

We are are obliged, then, to find new ways to
 “prepare the way of 
Our God” as John the Baptist said.   
How do we prepare the way for a God who is already 
within us and 
What does it even mean to prepare the way?

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, 
breath of 
Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to 
build caring 
communities and to challenge injustices. 
We believe in the 
communion of saints our heavenly friends, 
who support us 
on life’s journey. 
We believe in the partnership and equality 
of women and men in our church and world.
We believe that all 
are one in the community of creation. 
We believe that God who calls us to live fully, 
love tenderly, 
and serve generously. Amen.

Presider: For a deeper coming of Christ in our world,
 let us pray.
Response: Nurturing God, hear us.
Presider: That we may experience the coming of 
God anew in 
our lives, we pray. R.
Presider: That people who suffer from destitution 
and despair, 
may experience the mothering comfort of God, we pray. R.
Presider: That the sick and suffering may receive the 
nurturing, healing love of God, we pray. R.
Presider: That those who have died may rest in God’s 
eternal embrace, we pray. R.
(Other Intentions)
Offertory Hymn: “Open Our Eyes, God, we want to 

see Jesus,
To reach out and touch him and say that we love him,
Open our eyes, God, we want to see Jesus,
Open our eyes, God, we want to see Jesus.
Open our ears, God, and help us to listen,
To reach out and touch him and say that 
we love him,
Open our ears, God, we want to hear Jesus,
Open our ears, God, we want to hear Jesus.

Preparation of the Gifts

Mary and Bob Murray
Roman and Theresa Rodriguez

Left to right: Janet Blakeley ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP, 

Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness 
we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. 
Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. 
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: God is with you. ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts. ALL: We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks and praise to our God.
(Please join us around the table of Life)
Voice One: Mothering God, you brought forth all creation from 
Life-Giving Womb. 
O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for 
joy i
n your presence.

Voice Two: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in 

Mary’s womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby 
wrapped in swaddling clothes. You embrace us with 
infinite love in every situation and relationship. 
You dwell in the depths of our hearts.

Voice Three: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness

 of your boundless love as we gather around the table of 
abundant life. With grateful hearts, we proclaim your praise:
ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, Creator of heaven and earth. 

All beings are pregnant with your glory. 
Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed are you who dwell in all things. 
Hosanna in the Highest.

Voice Four: Praise to you, all-giving God, born of Mary. 

You are the body and blood of woman. 
We glorify you, nurturing God for the dawning of the sacred 
promise of God’s Anointed, fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ.
Voice Five: We celebrate the birth of Jesus, our newborn 

Emmanuel , who came to give us the fullness of life. 
During this holy season we share the bread of freedom 
and lift the cup of salvation.
(raise hands toward bread and wine for Invocation of the 
Holy Spirit)
All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and 
in these gifts of bread and wine, that they may become 
the Body of Christ.
Presider: As Jesus gave birth to the New Covenant, 
he took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, and s
hared it with all those present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and eat it. This is my body.
Presider: Then Jesus took a cup of wine, blessed you, 
Loving God, shared the cup with all those present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from the covenant, 
poured out for you and for everyone. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our 
nurturing God:
ALL: Christ, by your life, death and rising, 
you have blessed us 
with abundance that will never end.
Second Invocation of the Holy Spirit: (

Place hands on each other’s shoulder)
All: God of all people, You call us “beloved.” 
Give us courage to accept your faith in us and to live your 
compassion in the world. You infuse us with Sophia,
 Holy Wisdom, to serve you in the last and the least.

Voice Six: As we wait with joyful hearts for the fulfillment of 

your loving presence in our lives, we remember the prophet,
martyrs and saints who have gone before us: 
Deborah, Isaiah, Mary of Magdala, Peter, Martha, 
Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Dorothy Kazel, 
Jean Donovan and all those we remember as heroes and 
heroines in our church who inspire us today. 
(Community names mentors whom they want to remember, 
living and dead.)
Voice Seven: God of our dreams, may we give birth 

to the Word Made Flesh in us everyday. 
May we give birth to the church of our dreams and hopes. 
May we give birth to a deep reverence for earth and live in 
harmony with all creatures on the earth.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, 

all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, 
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
ALL: Our Father and Mother …
Presider: As we do so well, let us share a sign of peace 
with one another as an expression of our recognizing 
the Christ that lives within each of us.  
Namaste and peace.

ALL: Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. 
We will do so. 
Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. 
We will do so. Loving God, You call us to be Your 
presence in the world. 
We will do so.
Presider: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us 

All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
ALL: May we be who we are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the 
Body of Christ!
 ALL: Amen.

COMMUNION SONG: Instrumental

Marie shares Communion with Mary

POST COMMUNION SONG: #54 “Christ Circle Round Us“ 
verses 1,3,6

Presider: God of new beginnings, thank you for nourishing 
your sacrament. May your tender presence continue to 
open our hearts to the daily miracles of life that 
surround us each day, through Emmanuel, God-with-us.
ALL: Amen.
Presider: Our God is with you.
ALL: and also with you.
(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL: May our loving God fill us with radiant joy. 
May our liberating God fill us with deep peace, and 
may our compassionate God bless us always with 
strength to serve the broken and excluded. Amen.
Presider: Let us birth Christ anew in our world today. 
Go in the peace of Christ. ALL: Thanks be to God.
CONCLUDING HYMN: #604 “Christ Be Our Light“

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, standing in front of Christmas 
tree at
St. Andrew UCC