Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Come, Holy Mother" by Kathryn Christian

https://youtu.be/Mhsa4S5R7H4


Roy Bourgeois, Fr. Marek Bozek, Annie Watson ARCWP and Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP Co-Presiding at Liturgy at St. Stanislaus Catholic Community in St. Louis, Missouri , 4 pm Liturgy, April 22nd

https://evangelizadorasdelosapostoles.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/p-roy-bourgeois-p-marek-bozek-annie-watson-arcwp-y-janice-sevre-duszynska-arcwp-co-presidir-liturgia-en-san-estanislao-comunidad-c

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, April 22, 2017 , Second Sunday of Easter , Earth Day , Presiders: Kathryn Shea, ARCWP and Lee Breyer, Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska

Kathryn Shea ARCWP and Lee Breyer, Co-Presiders at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy




Lectors: Stephen Winners  and  Michael Rigdon

Theme: Let us honor Mother Earth

Welcome and Gathering Song: “Canticle of the Sun” #422 (verses 1,3,5)

Opening Prayer

All: God of life, wholeness and holiness, you who direct all creation to its fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ – open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice may guide our lives. Loving God, we pray that you impart your wisdom to all people, especially world leaders, to care for and protect our planet Earth. Loving God, bless all of us gathered here and all those of our community who are not with us today. We ask this of you, our brother Jesus, and our sister Sophia. Amen.



Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness

Presider: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will for us and we give thanks that you have called us to be your chosen people.



All: (with an outstretched arm): God, our Father and Mother, help us to hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them, and to receive the compassion to act on them with our brothers and sisters. Compassionate God, teach us the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn- learn to forgive our failures to care for one another and for our planet Earth. We ask this of you in the names of Jesus, our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our healer and comforter. Amen.



Glory to God

All: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth. Creator God, heart of the universe, we thank you for the breath of the Spirit sustaining everything that exists, everywhere in the cosmos. Through the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, you gave us the grace to know that you are always among us – and that we can experience you in our brothers and sisters. We give you glory and praise through Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.



Liturgy of the Word



First reading: A Reading from “The Orchid Thief” by John Laroche. All: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 104: Responsorial: Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. #806

Second reading: A Reading from “Messages From Mother… Earth Mother” by Mare Cromwell. All: Glory and thanks to our God.

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia

Earth Gospel: A Reading from “Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action”. By Andrew Harvey.





Shared Homily/Community Reflection



Profession of Faith

All: We believe in God, the Creator of the universe, whose divinity infuses all that exists, making everything, everywhere, sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who leads us to the fullness of humanity. Through him, we become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives – and the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our spirits may grow weary in our journeys. We say: Amen to courage, to hope, and to truth. We say: Amen to the partnership and equality of all people of different genders, races, and faiths. We believe in a world of justice and peace for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.



Prayers of the Community

Presider: We are a people of faith, believing in the power of prayer. We are always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for all of us. And so, we bring the needs of people – throughout the world – to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, respond: Compassionate God, hear our prayers.



Presider: Healing God, you faithfully listen to our prayers. We ask you to strengthen us in our caring for one another and in our works for justice, equality, and peace in a world without violence. As always, we make this prayer in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.



Offertory Procession: Song: “Morning has Broken” #638 (all verses)



Preparation of the Gifts

Presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, this grain that the 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, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, this fruit of the vine that human hands have made. It will become for us our spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.



Gathering of the Gifted

Presider: Jesus, who has sat at our tables, now invites us to be guests at his family table. Everyone is welcome around our family table.



ALL: Nurturing God, we are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who proclaims your mercy to all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. May we live as prophetic witnesses to the Gospel, supported by the vision of Jesus and the wisdom of the Spirit. Amen.



Presider: God dwells in each one of us. All: Namaste!

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.

All: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.

Presider: Holy Spirit, we realize your presence among us as we gather at our family table.

All: Fill us with reverence for you, for one another, and for all your creation.

Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

All: We lift them up to the Holy One, living in us and loving through us.



Eucharistic Prayer

Voice 1: Ever present and always caring God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. In you we live and move and have our very being. Your Spirit dwelling in us gives us the hope of unending peace and joy with you. And so, we sing your praise…



All: We are holy, holy, holy X3….we are whole



Voice 2: We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, Jesus burned with the vision of his mission and truth. He revealed you to us through his compassionate life well lived. Jesus showed us not only how we should live, but also for what we might die. Through him, you continue to breathe life into us.



Voice 3: (Place your hand on the shoulder of the person to your right) Compassionate God, let your Holy Spirit rest upon us, your people, converting us from the patterns of the world, until we conform to the shape of him whose food we now share.



All: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts that we gathered from the fields and placed on our table — this simple wheat and wine. May she have them become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.



(With an outstretched arm as we pray the consecration together. We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me. [Pause]



In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it. This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one blood, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me.



Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.



All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us and through us in the world today.



Voice 4: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread and this saving cup. May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move freely in our lives as well.



Voice 5: God, remember your church throughout the world, help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your people everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. Remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts. We remember especially….(mention names, if you would like to).



All: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever. Amen (sung).



All: Our Father and Mother ……..Amen.



All: Lord God, we have prayed that your kindom may come among us. Open our ears to hear it, our hands to serve it, and our hearts to hold it. Amen.



The Sign of Peace



Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here and ….



All: … grant us your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace throughout the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. Amen.



Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, as we join hands and sing, “Let There be Peace on Earth”. #532 (Substituting “Creator” for Father and “family” for brothers)



Litany for the Breaking of Bread



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice. We will live justly.



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.



Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.



Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.



Pre-Communion Prayer



Presider: Lord God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters.



Men: We cannot eat this bread and forget those who are hungry. O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for your people.



Women: We cannot drink this wine and forget those who are thirsty. O God, the very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.



All: We cannot listen to your words of peace and not grieve for the destruction of our precious earth.

Communion: Instrumental



After Communion Reflection Song: “Sing a Gentle Love Song” – Kathy Sherman



Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion



Presider: Eternal God, may this Eucharist in which we always share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and our unity with one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom. All: Amen.



Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements



Closing Community Blessing



Presider: O God of Compassion, Jesus showed us how to love one another and heal our hearts. Through the power of your liberating Spirit at work within us, we will give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all your holy people. As Jesus gave to us his peace, may we spread his peace to all peoples of the earth, everywhere; no exceptions. ALL: Amen



All: (with an outstretched arm in blessing) May we realize Emmanuel, God-in-us, and give generous expression to this wonderful gift that we all share. May our nurturing God bless us all gathered here and all those in our communities. We ask this in the name of the Creator, in the name of Mary’s child, and in the Name of our Wisdom as we minister to one another as the People of God. Amen.



Co-Presiders: As we all go in the peace of Christ, let our service continue in all that we do!

ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so! Alleluja!



Concluding Hymn: “New Heaven and Earth” (all verses) – Marty Haugen



A New Heaven And Earth

Words and Music by Marty Haugen



Refrain:

Spirit of God, come, burn in your people, Spirit of Love that brought us to birth; Kindle anew the flame of your justice, Grant us your vision: a new heaven and earth.



1. Now is the time, your Reign is upon us,

Now is the time, your great Jubilee;

Come, set your fire – burning within us,

So we may be all you call us to be.

Refrain

2. Bring in the day of God’s mighty justice,

Bring in the day of mercy and peace;

Servants of God; bring hope to the broken,

So weak shall find strength, and captives release.

Refrain

3. Heaven and earth could never contain you,

Much less our selfish yearnings and schemes;

Break down the walls that hold and confine us,

Come open our hearts and grant us new dreams.

Refrain

4. May we be servants one to another,

May we be servants, faithful to you;

Grant that your light shines ever before us

And we shall be just in all that we do.

Refrain








Women Priests Project Video by Giulia Bianchi, Photographer and Film Maker

https://youtu.be/yWZoomqhoA4


Friday, April 21, 2017

"Touch the Earth" Sung by Carmel Boyle, "God has given us the power to create the world anew, if we touch the earth together me and you."

https://youtu.be/BVvW5zFHhws

“MY JOURNEY FROM SILENCE TO SOLIDARITY” Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP To Speak in St. Louis Tonight


Left: Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP and Roy Bourgeois at Vatican
Witnessing for Women Priests in Catholic Church with Miriam Duigian of Women's Ordination Worldwide in center
“MY JOURNEY FROM SILENCE TO SOLIDARITY”
Fr. Roy Bourgeois, an excommunicated Maryknoll priest, human rights activist, Vietnam War Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient, and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee will deliver a presentation at St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church, 1413 N. 20th St. St. Louis, MO 63106 on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. 

Also speaking Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP), will present remarks about the women’s priest movement and her journey as a peace activist.

Bourgeois, the founder of the School of the Americas Watch (SOA) and 2011 American Peace Award recipient, and Sevre-Duszynska, an excommunicated activist priest, continue to champion causes of peace and social justice.

This event is free and open to the public.

What a Week! Que Semanita! by Silvia Brandon Perez ARCWP Links to movies and photos of Ordination as Priest, Response by Olga Lucia Alvarez ARCWP, Presiding Bishop

Link: https://www.facebook.com/silviabrandonperez/posts/10211006313785369

Telemundo:  http://trib.al/4bX1vjc


Silvia Brandon Perez ARCWP holding book, Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez ARCWP, Presiding Bishop at Ordination

I had in the subsequent week my first priestly foot-washing, and at the vigil in front of Livermore Lab, my first priestly arrest. (witness for nonviolence, peace and justice)


Querida Comunidad, hermanxs:

Es una necesidad compartir, los sentimientos que me embargan ante la ordenación de Silvia.

Para mi fue todo un acontecer profético, no porque sea una adivinanza, sino un testimonio de vida. Desde el convivir en su casa-comunitaria.
El compartir, disfrutar, sonreír y abrazar, orar, entre diferentes etnias, credos, tradiciones y plumas (incluidas las mías).

Sin violar el Rito Romano, para mi fue un disfrute, ver en vivo y en directo el canto y alabanza de mis hermanos indígenas Dakotas y Aztecas. 

Para algunxs, puede ser un escándalo, atrevido...para América Latina, no. Ha sido la oportunidad de esponjar el alma, en nuestros principios ancestrales ya reconocidos en Ad Gentes (Vaticano II), en los documentos de Melgar (1968) y el documento de Iquitos (1971) del CELAM.

En México, en la canonización de Juan Diego, el 31 de Julio 2002 presidiendo Juan Pablo II, los hermosos penachos aztezas y sus danzas y música, en dicha ceremonia se hicieron sentir.

La Iglesia como institución, todavía es muy recelosa, pero el pueblo de Dios, lo seguirá haciendo, porque es el deseo de su espíritu, que brinca, salta, goza, bendice y alaba a la Divinidad, en medio del incienso, flautas, acordeones, charango, caracoles y tambores, ese sentimiento ninguna norma legalista, lo puede impedir.

Alabo y bendigo a la Divinidad, que nos empuja, a no más escondernos o dejarnos acomplejar por nuestra identidad, aquí y allá, todxs somos hijxs de Dios, creadxs a su imagen y semejanza. 

"A Dios has de adorar...No ocultes las palabras proféticas de este libro, porque su plazo esta próximo" Apocalipsis 22: 9-10

Bendiciones, 


Olga Lucia 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Brief YouTube Movie about Mary of Magdala According to the Gospels with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

https://youtu.be/dD3htra0nHU

Irish Roman Catholic Bishop Signals Openness on Women Priests, How About a Cup of Tea and a Conversation in August?

http://www.irishcatholic.ie/article/bishop-signals-openness-women-priests

Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown has signalled an openness to women priests, though insisted that there is no possibility of women being ordained “at the present time”
On the issue of women priests, he said: “If that’s God’s will in our day, I’m happy to accept it.” However, he added that “there is no possibility at the present time women will be priests”.

Bridget Mary's Response: Three members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will be in Ireland in August. I wonder if we could have a cup of tea and a conversation with Bishop McKeown.

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Originally from County Laois, Ireland
www.arcwp.org


"Is an Empowering Church Possible?" by Abigail Eltzroth ARCWP


Yes.  The empowering church is alive and well.  You can find it living with, among, and through the members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. (www.arcwp.org)

The sole purpose of this organization is to form and ordain priests, concentrating its efforts to reach out to those who have been marginalized by the Roman Catholic hierarchy.   The movement has embraced and empowered woman, married men, and members of the LGBTQ community.

The women priest movement has grown by leaps and bounds.  Tracing its roots to the seven women who were ordained by male Catholic bishops on a boat on the Danube River in 2002, this movement now boasts more than two hundred fifty priests in ten countries.  

The male leaders of the greater Roman Catholic Church, 1.2 billion strong, treat the women priests as nuisances: slapping us away as buzzing, irritating gnats.  However, the incessant clamor for women’s rights within the Roman Catholic Church has already led to the establishment of a committee to examine opening the diaconate to women and the appointment of women to leadership positions which had previously been reserved to the all male clergy.  

These moves in the church, which are mini-baby steps toward full empowerment, are an indication that the persistent and pesky women priests have gotten under the skin of the leadership. 

The leadership will complain that the buzzing and stinging women priests are driving them to distraction.  However, women priests have burrowed in. 

In the short term, we can expect a lot of drama from the all male clergy, a lot of ineffective swipes and slaps.  But the hierarchy will find that the empowerment movement is impossible to remove.

In the long term, the leadership will recognize that the women priests are under its skin.  Women priests will make a memorable impression on the hierarchy.   The leadership will eventually reach a deep understanding of the important roles that all the baptized can preform in the church.  As a result, there will be profound changes in the theological understanding of what it means to be human.   

I envision a day when the hierarchy will grow to appreciate the women priest movement.  One day the church will proclaim that the women priest movement has had a strong positive effect upon the church.  

The woman priest movement is here to lead the church to that day.  The woman priest movement is the catalyst to the formation of an empowering church.

≈ Posted a week before my ordination as a Roman Catholic woman priest.

Abigail Eltzroth ARCWP

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Second Sunday of Easter, Beverly Bingle RCWP

The message of Easter, according to Fr. James Martin,
is that life is stronger than death,
love is stronger than hatred,
and hope is stronger than despair.
These days we hear that lots of folks
are walking away from the church—
pollsters call them “nones”—
N O N E S, not N U N S.
The thing I find interesting about these “nones”
is that most of them
practice some kind of spirituality,
but it’s not organized religion.
Something else we hear a lot about
is the “militant atheism”
of writers like Richard Dawkins.
The thing I find interesting about Dawkins
is that he equates religion
with a literal reading of the texts
and then uses that misunderstanding
as a basis for throwing everything out.
Dawkins is totally certain that he’s right.
He’s not like those “nones,”
who keep on seeking God
when religion stops making sense to them.
He’s not a “Doubting Thomas,” not at all.
_______________________________________
Thomas questioned and doubted,
but he stayed open
to experience of the divine.
When Thomas hears that his friends were hiding
and Jesus came to them
with a message of peace,
he doesn’t believe them.
Then, the following week,
when Thomas himself experiences
the same presence of Jesus
that the other disciples had,
his doubt turns to faith.
He never did put his finger in Jesus’ wounds.
_______________________________________
Even though scholars conclude that today’s gospel
does not report a historical event,
it’s true that the evangelist
is telling a real story of how faith works.
Just like the apostles can’t get away from Jesus,
we can’t get away from him, either.
_______________________________________
For many years I struggled with the faith.
That’s an experience
that many of us went through before Vatican II.
At one point of that journey
I found James Fowler’s descriptions
of the six levels of faith development helpful.
One of its pieces of wisdom is its description
of the reflective Stage 4 of young adulthood,
when people begin to examine their beliefs critically
and become disillusioned with their former faith.
This is the stage when people
who cling to the earlier stages of development
label the Stage 4 people
as backsliders and atheists
when, in fact,
the Stage 4 folks have started to move forward.
I remember well my spiritual director, Fr. Earl Loeffler,
and his patience with me through those years.
He walked with me
while I came to grips
with the loss of my childhood belief
and grappled with all those questions.
It took years.
I still smile when I remember the day he told me,
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Eventually I really did move on,
and somewhere in mid-life
began to return to the sacred stories
without getting stuck in a theological box.
_______________________________________
Richard Dawkins seems to be stuck in those boxes of literal faith,
unable to embrace an adult faith of any kind
and making money from heaping scorn on people
who manage to go beyond the understanding
of their childhood and teen years.
_______________________________________
The basic issue in this gospel story
is coming to believe
that Jesus is risen and alive among us,
and that’s always the work of the Spirit.
We don’t come to belief through proofs;
we come to belief through living,
questioning,
and seeking.
It’s a journey—
a path through life that has stops and starts,
racing and resting,
uphill and down.
_______________________________________
Anne LaMott said that the opposite of faith is not doubt.
It’s certainty.
Growing to a more mature faith
leads to accepting mystery
and living with questions and doubts.
So we have four gospels
with four different stories about Jesus’ resurrection,
and we still don’t know the historical facts
of what really happened.
We may wonder about it, speculate even,
but we don’t have to know.
We believe that resurrection is real.
We see new life again and again.
We experience hope after times of despair.
When we rise, we want to help others rise.
And that leads us, eventually,
into what Fowler calls the “universalizing faith,”
the final level of faith development
where we live our lives to the full
in service of others
without any real worries or doubts.
_______________________________________
In Evangelii Gaudium—The Joy of the Gospel—
Pope Francis describes it like this:
“Where all seems to be dead,
signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up.
Each day in our world beauty is born anew,
it rises transformed through the storms of history.
Values always tend to reappear under new guises,
and human beings have arisen time after time
from situations that seemed doomed.
Such is the power of the resurrection.”
Amen!
Public Domain

-- 
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday, April 13, 5:30 p.m. Mass of the Lord's Supper
Easter Mass of the Resurrection, Saturday, April 15, 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)

www.holyspirittoledo.org

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Miriam Picconi ARCWP and Wanda Russell ARCWP Baptize two Babies at Easter Liturgy in Palm Coast Area, Florida

 Women Priests:  on left: Miriam Picconi and on right: Wanda Russell hold babies they baptized at Easter Liturgy, www.arcwp.org






"Jesus is Risen" by Judy Lee RCWP

https://judyabl.blog/2017/04/16/jesus-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed/

Holy Thursday Ecumenical Eucharist at Nativity Episcopal Church with Jeni Marcus ARCWP and Steve Domenjiak, Episcopal Priest Pastor

This photo of Rev, Steve Domeniiak , Priest ,at Nativity Episcopal Church and Jeni Marcus presiding at the Eucharistic Table at a Holy Thursday Ecumenical Liturgy at Nativity Episcopal Church in Bloomfield Twp. MI . In attendance were ARCWP , Bishop Michelle Birch Conery , Rev. Barbara Billey , and Candidate Karen Kerrigan . Also in attendance we're members of the Nativity Episcopal , Heart of Compassion International and St. Jeanne de Arc Faith Communities.

Ecumenical Eucharist: Jeni Marcus ARCWP and Steve Domenjiak in Michigan on Holy Thursday

A famine of priests will alter parish life forever Not a single ordinand in his large diocese deeply worries Bishop Francis Duffy, writes Larissa Nolan, Irish Independent, Women Deacons and Priests Answer Call

Bridget Mary Meehan's Response to Bishop Duffy in Ireland: Since there are no male seminarians, it is time for a changes, women priest! 
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests continues to grow and flourish as does our entire international Roman Catholic Women Priests' Movement. ( our movement has grown from 7 in 2002 to approximately 250 in 2017) email me: sofiabmm@aol.com, 
www.arcwp.org





Deacon Elena Garcia ARCWP presides at grandson's baptism after her diaconate ordination on March 25, 2017





Bishop Duffy said there are currently no seminarians getting ready to be ordained in the diocese, which covers most of Longford, much of Leitrim and parts of Westmeath, Offaly and Cavan. (Stock image)1
Bishop Duffy said there are currently no seminarians getting ready to be ordained in the diocese, which covers most of Longford, much of Leitrim and parts of Westmeath, Offaly and Cavan. (Stock image)
Larissa Nolan
"The numbers of working Catholic priests in Ireland will halve in the next 10 years, a bishop has warned.
Bishop Francis Duffy has issued a letter on the severity of the vocations crisis to all 41 churches in his diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. He has told how a priest in each parish will be a thing of the past.
Bishop Duffy says a big factor in the decline is how a changing faith in Ireland is down to people becoming more private about their religion.
He told the Sunday Independent that the lack of those choosing to enter the priesthood did not mean that people were turning their backs on their religion.
"Faith is changing," he said as he prepared for Easter in this diocese.
"There is still a lot of faith in people, and they tend to use the word 'spiritual'. It is more private than public, and it is not always reflected in practice. It is a very personal issue, and I think that is important, and I say that when I am preaching. The more private dimension of faith is a strong thing.
"But I think the community is important, because it is where we live and work and interact and support each other. Community worship is vital."
The bishop's pastoral letter detailed how the numbers of priests will drop from 52 to 25 by the year 2030.
Bishop Duffy said there are currently no seminarians getting ready to be ordained in the diocese, which covers most of Longford, much of Leitrim and parts of Westmeath, Offaly and Cavan.
He said it means that by the time children born now are making their confirmation "the diocese will be a very different place".
He wrote: "Many of you will fondly remember when there were two or three priests working in your parish, where now there is only one.
"Three of our parishes do not have a resident priest. The trend of a declining number of clergy is set to continue. By 2030, over the next 13 years, 28 of our diocesan priests will reach the retirement age of 75. At the moment, we have 52 very dedicated diocesan priests in our parishes, but sadly no seminarians preparing for ordination."
Bishop Duffy said the decline is such that we needed to prepare for a future without parish priests.
Instead, the church will rely heavily on parishioners to help, he said in the letter entitled Sustaining Our Faith Community.
"From both a pastoral and a duty of care perspective, it is important that responsibilities our clergy now carry are shared with parishioners even more so than at present. This is not about closing churches but about reimagining how we worship and pass on our Christian faith," he said.
Vatican statistics show that the numbers of priests in Ireland dropped from 5,362 in 2002 to 4,688 in 2012.
With less and less seminarians, the maths show a major crisis on the cards.
This year, there were just three seminarians in Ardagh and Clonmacnois, and all three left, which he described as "unfortunate and disappointing".
There are many reasons for the decline, he said.
"There is a hesitancy to answer a calling. Some feel it is too demanding, some feel the celibacy is too big a demand and it will be a lonely life. Others aren't ready to take the risk.
"The horrendous and heinous crime of the abuse of children by clergy and how it was so badly managed, was also a big issue and had a huge impact on the view of the clergy and the church. A general mistrust of all institutions has left a lot of people questioning them." He believes parishioners can be instrumental in encouraging those who have a calling to take the jump.
"Some of my parishes took the initiative of parishioners talking at Mass about vocations and this helps. It is a different voice, a different angle.''
He said that both the issue of celibacy and of women priests are talked about a lot. But he does not believe Pope Francis has any plans to change either of those rules.
The Association of Catholic Priests has previously requested of the bishops to welcome women into the priesthood and to scrap the celibacy ban. Fr Brendan Hoban, of the ACP, said: "Doing nothing is not just irresponsible but a counsel of despair. We know who to blame if they do not bite the bullet on this one."
Bishop Duffy said parishioners already play a key role in church activities, and he is enormously grateful for their assistance, which he believes will save the faith.
He said: "We have an extensive list of men and women involved in all sorts of ways, directly in the parish, and that is a good thing. There is a strong sense of identity and belonging in parishes in rural Ireland. That is a strength that will help us re-imagine the future."
In the last census, some 3.7 million people identified as Catholic (78pc), 132,220 fewer than in 2011 when the percentage stood at 84pc.
One in 10 Irish people say they have no religion (468,421 people), a 73.6pc increase since 2011.
This makes 'no religion' the second largest group in this category behind Roman Catholics.
In his Good Friday prayer, Pope Francis deplored the suffering of migrants. "Shame for all the images of devastation, destruction and shipwrecks which have become ordinary in our lives," he said in an apparent reference to Mediterranean migrant disasters."
Sunday Independent

Monday, April 17, 2017

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