The Call to Action Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, last weekend, was a gathering of progressive Catholics who understand that the Holy Spirit guides us in our efforts to live into our baptismal call to be the people of God. Being a part of this gathering of people who share an openness to the Spirit and a willingness to work for justice, was inspirational, refreshing and affirming. The keynote speakers and the opening and closing liturgies stirred our hearts as we reflected on the theme of Justice Rising.
It was an honor and a privilege to be part of the committee who planned and facilitated a liturgy on Saturday morning at the conference. About 400 people gathered at 7:45 am on Saturday morning for an 45 minute eucharistic liturgy hosted by the Roman Catholic Women Priest movement. An innovative approach to the homily allowed us to prayerfully reflect on the scripture readings in a very short amount of time. In keeping with the theme of Justice Rising, the Gospel reading was about the bent over woman who was freed from her inability to stand up straight when Jesus laid hands on her and ministered to her. (Luke 13:10-17)
The homily was a four minute slideshow titled "Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly." The slideshow used the song "Standing on the Shoulders" from the album "Love Large" by Earth Mama. The creator of the album, Joyce Johnson Rouse, was present at the liturgy and allowed us to use her song in the slideshow as a gift to our movement. The slides were pictures of people like Mary Magdala, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. along with pictures of Roman Catholic Women Priests ministering and working for reform. The words of the song coupled with the pictures helped us prayerfully reflect on the brave women and men who have blazed trails for us in working for justice in our world. In reflecting on the connections between those who came before us and our present movement, the slideshow presentation prayerfully inspired us to continue in the footsteps of these social justice giants.
The feedback about the slideshow homily was very positive and some people even asked for a DVD of the presentation. In response to this feedback, coming soon, the ARCWP and RCWP websites will post the entire slideshow for your viewing.
By Donna Rougeux, co-creator of the slideshow homily