Sunday, February 26, 2017

Irish Priest Dancss Traditional Irish Set at Liturgy/Recessional on Cruise of Irish Stars

Diarmuid O'Murchu offers a selection of Eucharistic Prayers at his website

Diarmuid O'Murchu offers a selection of Eucharistic Prayers at his website:

Scroll down on the site above to view the Eucharistic Prayers.

Former Nun From Colombia Ordained A Roman Catholic Priest

On Saturday February 25, 2017 the faithful of many cultures, races and walks of life gathered as  Maria Elena Sierra Sanchez of Cali, Colombia was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest by Bishop Andrea Johnson of Roman Catholic Women Priests-USA-East in Fort Myers, Florida. She was welcomed as a Priest with loud applause and much joy. Ann Palmer, 87 a lifelong ,cradle, Catholic who recently had eye surgery making walking difficult, struggled to come forward and bless our new Priest, later saying how glad she was to live to see this ordination.
The Mass was in English and Spanish and all participated in saying Jesus’ prayer in Spanish as they held hands.  Rev.Caryl Conroy Johnson of Pennsylvania participated as International Program Coordinator,  while her mentor Rev.Dr. Judy Lee presented her along with her dear  Colombian friend and colleague, Rvda. Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia. Assisting as well were Rev. Judy Beaumont co-Pastor of the host community, Rev. Maryrose Petrizzo, also on the Program Team and Rev. Judith McKloskey of Kansas City, Missouri who was our Minister of Music along with Hank Tessandori of the church of the Good Shepherd where the Ordination took place.
In the pictures below Maria Elena is prostrating , surrendering her life to God in Priestly service in the Roman Catholic Church and, after the Bishop blesses the new priest , the people give their blessings.
All who participated in a process that took two days in which a variety of community members in Estero and Fort Myers welcomed Rev. Maria Elena Sanchez Mejia to the priesthood were moved by her humility and courage. On Friday 2/24/17 Ellen and Jack McNally ,leaders in Call To Action of Southwest Florida hosted us at their home. As we broke bread with Maria Elena we also learned of her life as a peacemaker in a poor area of Cali where she is also a Elementary School Principal and pastoral counselor.
This is our summary of why Maria Elena Sierra Sanchez will make an excellent priest, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit:
Maria Elena Sierra Sanchez is a 51 year old former Vincentian Sister who has carefully discerned her call to be a priest. She was with the Vincentian Sisters from age 16 until 1997 when she left to assist her family and also then faced her own serious illness. Her father was handicapped, blind from birth and had a trade that was no longer needed by 1997. He also was grieving the loss of his wife, her mother, who died of cancer.  So Maria Elena was dispensed of her vows and went home to care for them.
Her formal degrees obtained while she was a religious sister ( her Licentiate) are in Primary Education and the assessment of children and youth. She also has an advanced degree in technology. She has done extensive mission work in the poorest communities rural and urban and always worked with youth and families. Her theological and liturgical formation was with the Vincentians in the beginning (her vows after formation were at age 23) and at various times over sixteen years of vowed religious service.
In 2007, she also was ordained as a priest in the Fraternidad de la Eucaristia, a movement founded by two ex Salesian RC priests in the Apostolic Catholic tradition. She received theological training and formation from Fr. Alfonso Cabrera and Fr. Dario Soto of the Fraternidad. Fr. Soto is respected as a renowned theologian. Maria Elena was an  active and devoted priest with full communities in Cali.  Maria Elena,along with other women from Cali learned about Roman Catholic Women Priests in 2012. In 2013 she  applied to discern with RCWP but her process was slowed down by a diagnosis of advanced LUPUS and later a need for surgery. She also was burdened with the care of her father and concern for her young niece, Laurita, the latter of whom later died tragically of   Leukemia. During this difficult time she continued with her ministry in her community serving 40-50 community members and meeting with groups for prayer services at their homes.
These are pictures of our visit to Maria Elena’s school in Cali in June 2015
In Maria Elena’s discernment she reflected much on our priestly healing roles in the community of the faithful. She described praying with the elderly, the sick and the dying and those in need of reconciliation including a moving description of a youth who was shot in the violent warfare in Colombia. She was nearby and ran to his side. He was so thankful that she was with him praying for and with him as he lost his young life. She noted that she was blessed with the capacity to listen and to put herself in the shoes of others, no matter who they are or what kind of lives they led. She also described the three month vigil with her own mother as her life ebbed away. They would sing and recite scriptures and the rosary together and it was almost as if her mother was lifted to heaven as they prayed.img_0557
Above, Maria Elena is welcomed as Priest
As a Grammar school Principal she is on the front lines in the violence experienced in her poor community. In the Litany of Saints she listed three children under the age of seven who died violently. Her way is to live and teach love and peace. Her school, that we visited in 6/15, was indeed a testament to love, peace, and joy. Beyond being the Principal she is accepted by the children and their parents as the Pastor they turn to at school and in their lives. That very day a mother sought her pastoral counsel. Maria Elena is a priest called forth by her people and she will continue to be a tireless servant priest in her community.  We are blessed to welcome her to RCWP.
In thanksgiving,
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP

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Homily by Richard Vosko for 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time A, 02/26/17- We Cannot Forget One Another

Today’s reading from Second Isaiah describes the anxieties of the Israelites during the Babylonian exile. They felt abandoned by God. God rejected the Israelites’ complaints and promised to give them a new start in the City of Jerusalem. In this passage Isaiah presents a strong yet tender image of God, who, like a mother, would not forget her children. 
Many people are feeling abandoned today because of actions taken by the government in this country. Students, teachers, farm workers, fast-food workers and others are now in exile and their futures are at stake. One freshman from Austin, TX said, “the fear is starting to become more evident. The uncertainty and anxiety is real….” Like the Israelites did, immigrants, refugees and those seeking asylum, fleeing poverty, oppression, torture and death could legitimately wonder, “where is God.”
During these past few weeks we have been listening to excerpts from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Sometimes the teachings of Jesus, often couched in metaphors or parables, can be confusing. 
In last week’s gospel, for example, Jesus is quoted as saying, “offer no resistance to someone who is evil.” Really? How can we sit back when so many injustices prevail in our country not to mention our own local communities? 
Today’s gospel offers what seems to be another utterly impossible challenge for many. “Do not worry about tomorrow, it will take care of itself? Really? Who here does not worry about their children or their elderly parents? Who among us does not have concerns about the environment, tax reform, health care or job security?
Written by a tax collector, the gospel starts with a well known line, “You cannot serve Godand wealth at the same time.” In other words, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too,” or, we cannot have more than we deserve or is reasonable. These proverbs urge us to choose what guides our everyday actions and decisions. 
The second reading prods us to unravel and respond to the often perplexing challenges of God’s words. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego did just that recently when he took a public stand against evil. Bishop McElroy spoke boldly and radically about resisting the administration in Washington that, according to church historian Massimo Faggioli,  is now very clearly opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ on a number of moral and social issues. 
The Bishop addressed the deportation of undocumented persons, fear of Muslims, anti-Semitism and of potentially damaging health care and nutrition laws. He also said, “We must disrupt those who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor … those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”
What do we do? How do we respond to God’s challenge? Just last week Pope Francis wrote:“As Christians and all people of good will, it is for us to live and act at this moment … since certain present realities … are capable of setting off processes of dehumanization which would then be hard to reverse.”
Here at St. Vincent’s we gather weekly around this table to celebrate the gifts of God, to be nourished and then to return to the streets and neighborhoods to continue to resist what is unjust. That’s our Christian calling. Worship here provides us with renewed energy and it has the power to interrupt us and wake us up when we become too complacent.
We also trust, as today’s gospel suggests, that God continues to love the human race, dancing with us in joyful times and, like a loving parent, providing for us in times of trouble. Our faith in God comes alive when we grasp each other’s hands on those difficult journeys in life.
As you know Lent starts in a few days. It is a season to refresh our convictions, to recommit ourselves to our baptismal promises. It is a time to prioritize what matters most in our lives and to do what is right to advance God’s kin-dom on earth. God, who did not forget the Israelites held captive by injustice, will not forget us. If we believe that then we cannot forget one another.

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Beverly Bingle RCWP

In our tradition Lent is the time
to remember Jesus' life and passion and death.
It’s a time of self-examination and penance.
It’s a time when we concentrate on re-shaping our lives
to learn what we can do without
so others can have something to do with.
Let’s start by remembering our unity with all creation,
each of us a part of God’s immense universe.
Let’s remember that we, like all of creation, are important.
Let’s remember that sometimes, though, we think we’re in charge,
that all too often we act like we’re the center of the universe—
as if everything is here for us,
for us to use, even to use up.
Lent calls us to remember that we live in, and through,
connections with all that was and is and shall be,
and that we are responsible for taking care—
care of ourselves,
care of our family and friends and neighbors
and enemies and all humankind,
care of animals and plants,
care of water and sky,
care of the whole planet, our common home.
So we are called this Lent to ask God
to show us where we live in the illusion
that we are separate and apart from the rest of creation.
We are called to ask God
to show us the old, ingrained habits we need to get rid of;
to show us the ways we need to change;
to show us the new practices
that we need to get into the habit of doing.
This is the real work of Lent.
It’s not about guilt or shame.
It’s not meant to make us crawl
or beat us down
or make us suffer.
The real work of Lent
is to renew our sense of connection,
restore our dignity,
and call us to a place where we choose life
and shoulder our responsibility to act co-creatively with God.
So let us answer the call
and take the first step on our Lenten journey.
Call to the Lenten Journey
Priest: Lent calls us to journey along the edge.

All: Lent calls us to the cutting edge,
where the wheat falls to the ground and new life comes forth.

Priest: Lent not only calls us to give up something
but also invites us to participate
in the mystery of God-with-us.

All: God of all creation,
by your grace, call us from grief into gladness, from despair into hope,
from estrangement into right relations with you and with each other
and with the earth.

Blessing and Imposition of Ashes
So we begin.
We declare the fast, call the assembly,
listen to God’s voice, and act on it.
We’ll find the one thing that we can do
to change our lives this Lent—
and doing that, no matter if we stumble at it,
we will change the world.
We will now bless these ashes,
and all will be invited to come forward
to receive the sign of the cross on our foreheads
as our communal act of penance—
the sign of dying to something negative in our lives
and preparing to rise in new and positive ways.
Let us embrace this opportunity to change our lives,
to embody our values,
and to walk humbly with our God.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Roman Catholic Women Priests Draw Support in Exhibit Hall at Los Angeles Religious Education Conference

Women Priests Draw Support at Exhibit Hall of Los Angeles Religious Education Convocation
Congratulations to Jen O' Malley RCWP and Suzanne Thiel RCWP for drawing support for women priests at Los Angeles Religious Education Congress,
thelargest gathering of Catholic Educators in the United States!

People's Catholic Seminary: Eucharist, Sacred Heritage and Personal Encounter at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida with Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

"The liturgy is primarily the celebration of the love of God and the love of Christ as revealed in scriptures. 

Whenever we take care of others, whenever we put their needs ahead of our wants, whenever we act selflessly, rather than selfishly, our behavior is modeled on the biblical example of God’s love.

 ..So, if the liturgy is a celebration of the paschal mystery, it has to celebrate the paschal mystery that has been experienced by the participants in the celebration."

"When we care for others (preparing meals for a family, help a child learn to read etc, we ourselves feel somehow energized and spiritually enlarged after doing it. Jesus recognized the phenomenon and talked about it in terms of losing life and finding it. " 

Joseph Martos, Deconstructing Sacramental Theology, Reconstructing Catholic Ritual. pp. 274-275 

Bridget Mary Meehan

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community 8th Sunday of Extraordinary Time – February 25, 2017 Co-Presiders: Janet Blakeley, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWPMusic Ministers: Mindy Lou Simmons & Russ Banner Lectors: Roman & Theresa Rodriquez

GATHERING SONG AND GREETING: # 618 “Isaiah 49” – verses 1,2
Presider: In the name of God, our Creator, of Christ, our liberator, and of the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. ALL: Amen.
Sally Brochu ARCWP and Janet Blakeley ARCWP (left to right)

Presider: My sisters and brothers, God is with you! ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Creator God to whom all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and from whom no secrets can be hidden, cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Holy Wisdom.
ALL: We take your Word into our minds and hearts. Open them to new understanding.
Presider: We ask for the grace to continually acknowledge our need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves, for others and for our earth, and all the while to be Jesus for others and to meet Jesus in others.
ALL: We accept your love and understanding of the frailty of our human nature.
Presider: And we join with you, Jesus the Christ, believing the strength and insight of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedication to justice, equality and peace in our world. ALL: Amen.
(All raise hands extended in prayer)
Presider: God, our Father and Mother of Mercy and Love,
ALL: Through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. May you, Loving God, give us pardon and peace, and may we forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth in the name of you, our Creator, of Jesus, our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen.
ALL: (sung) Glory to God, glory, O praise and alleluia. Glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God. (3x)
First Reading: Isaiah 49: 14-15 (Response: Thanks be to God)

Responsorial Psalm 62 “In God alone be at rest, my soul”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (Response: Thanks be to God)
Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! (sung)
Gospel: A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 6: 24-34 (Response: Glory and praise to Jesus, the Christ)

Janet Blakely (homily starter)

Homily Starter:
Today’s readings reflect about 3,000 years of our spiritual ancestors’ image of God –  as their all-powerful protector.   Jesus refers to God as a father who will provide for all our needs.   Isaiah speaks for God and promises us that God will never forget us.      And the Psalmist, before that, calls God his “stronghold, a fortress” – a place where he can seek refuge.

This weekend, church communities around the world will hear these same readings and the same message:  that we are not to worry about what we are going to eat or drink tomorrow.   Rather, we are to seek God’s righteousness – God’s reign and God’s justice – and everything we need will be given to us.   (pause)   Really?!

I see the wailing woman in Somalia who is the lone survivor of a family of eight.   Everyone, young and old, has died of starvation.   And the Mexican father who is abandoned by his guide in the middle of an unfamiliar desert, who dies trying to find his way to the American border.   Or the immigrant who leaves for work, wondering how long it will be before he is picked up and deported, unable even to say goodbye to his family.

“Do not worry about what you will eat or drink tomorrow.”   But tomorrow comes and where is this God who promises never to forget us?   who is a source of living water that promises life?   who is our fortress, our stronghold, our protector?

Sometimes God does not show up.  Yet, in spite of that, people have continued to believe in the God who will rescue and protect them (pause) … until the holocaust.   That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, that seemed to burst even the long-suffering Jews’ bubble.   “Enough!” they said.   “Who needs you?!?”   Many felt so let down that they refused to talk about God.   Some openly proclaimed that God was dead.    Just a few found the courage to sit in silence before the mystery of God.   They couldn’t even bring themselves to ask “why?”

To those who humbly acknowledged their inability to understand,  the catastrophe of the holocaust slowly revealed that their image of God was too limited.   They came to see that God, although mighty, can be vulnerable;  that God is among us and suffers WITH us; that God lives WITHIN us and experiences what we experience.   We now believe  that if there is suffering that needs to be alleviated, God is suffering and from within us and through us wishes to alleviate the suffering.

So the mother in Somalia watches her family die, the Mexican father dies of dehydration in the desert, and the immigrant worker grieves that he may never see his family again.   What of the God who does not forget, is a source of living water and life, a stronghold and a fortress where we can seek protection?  Where is that God?

We are God’s hands and feet, we are all the Body of Christ, but how is heaven’s name do we be the God these people have cried out to?   My mobile home park would not allow non-residents to live there.   I can’t go to where they are.   I don’t have money to give them.  (pause)   I do worry about their tomorrows.

Some people may mobilize and bring about change.   I seem to be obliged to sit in silence before the mystery of God.   What about you?

Profession of Faith:
ALL: I believe in God, the creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, child of God, born of Mary, human like us. I believe Jesus came to teach us God’s love, to heal our minds, our bodies, our spirits, to bring hope and a new vision, to show us how to live in the fullness of grace. I believe that Jesus threatened the establishment. Jesus called for God’s people to focus on the kin-dom within. I believe because of the message that Jesus proclaimed, Jesus was condemned to die. Jesus was put to death through crucifixion, buried in a borrowed tomb. I believe that the women, faithful to Jesus, went to the tomb to anoint his body. I believe that the body of Jesus was gone, and Jesus overcame death through the resurrection. I believe in the Holy Spirit, eternally living in our hearts, present in our world, in our universe. I believe the holy Catholic Church is the people of God gathered in worship and song. I believe that all God’s children will one day be with God experiencing life everlasting. Amen.
Presider: We are people of faith. We believe in the power of prayer. Some of us struggle to understand why there is so much suffering in our world, of one person’s inhumanity to another. Yet, we believe that we send blessings to those who are struggling and who need to experience hope, to those who are grieving and need to be comforted in their loss, to those who are facing medical challenges that they be granted hope and healing. We bring the needs of people throughout our world to our gracious God.
After each intercession, the response is: Loving God, hear our prayer.
For what else shall we pray?
Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. Strengthen us as we strive to respond to the needs of your people and work for justice and positive change in our world. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.
Offertory Song: # 624 “God of the Hungry”
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS – (Please join us around the altar)

Sally Brochu ARCWP and Janet Blakeley ARCWP

Presider: Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Pray my friends that as we celebrate this breaking of bread and blessing of wine we accept more fully the mission of our Church by actively living our response to God’s call.
ALL: May our gracious God accept these gifts for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good, and for the good of all our Church.
Presider: God is always with you. ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Together, we lift up our hearts. ALL: To God and one another we lift them.
Presider: Together, we give thanks to our gracious God. ALL: Indeed it is right to constantly give thanks and praise.

MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Eucharist

Voice 1: Gracious God, source and sustenance of life, redeeming presence to the pain and brokenness of our world, Holy Spirit who enlivens all that exists, we beseech your healing power upon us and all for whom we pray today. We join together with our community, with all creation everywhere, with all those who have gone before us and live in the eternal now (Names of our loved ones…………)
Let us sing:
ALL: We are holy, holy, holy (x3), we are whole. (You, I, We) By Karen Drucker
Voice 2: We ask you to enliven anew in our hearts the empowering grace of your abundant Spirit, who infuses for us these gifts of bread and wine with the transforming energy of life, to nourish and sustain us in all times and especially in times of need.

(Please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together.)
ALL: Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, Jesus took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples and said: take this, all of you, and eat it; this is my body which will be given up for you.
ALL: When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup. Again he gave You thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said, take this all of you, and drink it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
ALL: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Voice 3: (Please place your hand on the shoulder of the person to your right)
As we gather around this Eucharistic table, we recall God’s blessing and love from ages past, and we celebrate anew the gift we share among us at this Eucharistic feast. May the Spirit of life and wholeness, who transforms the gifts we present, transform us too, that we may be refreshed in our inner being and be empowered to bring mercy, love and healing to those whose lives we touch and who are Jesus to us.
Voice 4: Remember gracious God, your Church throughout the world; make us open to receive all believers. We join with all God’s people, with our community, with Bridget Mary our Bishop, and with Francis our Pope.
Voice 5: So grant that, in union with all peoples living and dead, we may strive to create a world where suffering and pain are diminished, where justice and peace are restored, and where all people can live without fear, in health and wholeness. May we all be united in acclaiming the God of Life, whose abundance is offered to each and to all, ‘til the Kin-dom arrives in the fullness of time.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, gracious God, forever and ever. Amen (sung).
Presider: Let us join hands and raise our voices as we say the Prayer Jesus taught us:
ALL: Our Father and Mother…….
Presider: Deliver us, God, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us holy in your sight and protect us from all anxiety and fear. We watch and wait, discerning signs that You are continually with us.
ALL: Amen.
Presider: Jesus, You said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all and grant us the peace and unity of your kin-dom where you live forever and ever. ALL: Amen.
Presider: May the peace of our gracious and loving God be always with you. ALL: And also with you. Let us offer each other a sign of peace.
Presider: Loving God,
ALL: You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
Presider: Loving God,
ALL: You call us to be the presence of Jesus in the world. We will love tenderly.
Presider: Loving God,
ALL: You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.
Presiders: This is Jesus, our strength, who liberates, heals and transforms our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. ALL: We are the Body of Christ.
Communion: Instrumental by Mindy
After Communion Reflection – “Bread For The World” (Bernadette Farrell)
Presider: May wonder, gratitude and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion fully fill our hearts, that you may heal the numbness that continues because of our society’s injustices. May we each know that we are loved and may we continue to be the face of God to each other. Amen.

Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions, Announcements
Presider: May God be with you. ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us call upon our gracious God as we share blessings with each other. We bless one another and pledge to live the Gospel of Christ. ALL: Amen.
(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)
ALL: May our gracious God, bless us all gathered here, in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our strength, in the name of the Holy Spirit our Wisdom, as we care and minister to one another in love, for we are the Body of Christ and the face of God to the world. Amen.
Presider: Go in the peace of Christ. Let our service continue!
ALL: Thanks be to God.
CLOSING HYMN: # 617 Rain Down” – verses 1,3