Saturday, October 10, 2015

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Ordain Two Women in Detroit On Saturday, October 10, 2015

Jennifer Marie Marcus was ordained a priest and Terese Rogodanzo-Kasper, a deacon today in Detroit. The ceremony took place at the Nativity Episcopal Church in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. More than 100 people filled the church to capacity. This was Michele Birch-Conery's first ordination as a newly-ordained Bishop. Her homily is below. Barbara Billey of Windsor Canada assisted Michele and Janice Sevre-Duszynska served as the MC.  Photographer, Guilia Bianchi captured the event. See Giulia's work at Nausicaa Giulia Bianchwww.giuliabianchi.com
Terese Rigodanzo-Kasper, deacon and Michele Birch-Conery

Jennifer Marie Marcus, priest and Bishop Michele Birch-Conery


Homily by Bishop Michele Birch-Conery, Ph.D.
We are especially graced in the privilege given to us, today, by the Reverend Diane Morgan in offering us sanctuary and hospitality, for our ordination, in the sacred space we engage here at First Nativity Episcopal Church. Diane continues in a line of blessed people who have found a place for us, while we are exiled from the sacramental spaces of our Roman Catholic Church.  Our first ordinations, in 2002, began on a river, the beautiful blue Danube, and thereafter, in North America, in 2005 and 2006, respectively, we ordained our women deacons and priests first, on the St Lawrence River and, lastly, on the Ohio River. Thereafter, we have been received most often by pastors from the United and Episcopal Churches, although we have been received, discreetly, in many other sacred spaces. Here, the generosity of rabbis, priests and ministers as well as good people, found in temples, inns and church houses has served us well.

What could be more ecumenical than the gifts offered from good heartedness of other holy people, who respond to God’s prophetic call when seen and heard? And so it is with you who gather with us today.  You have come to give witness to the ordination of Tee Kasper to the diaconate and Jeni Marcus, to the priesthood. But you are also participants in a Sacramental encounter with the Divine and it is from that presence living in us all that the complete anointing of these women begins.  The intensification of their spiritual journey forward, from within communities of the priestly People of God continues today. However, today marks a turn in their journey that will embrace the mystery of the Divine indwelling with us, well into the future.  And so we, in our international community of Roman Catholic Priests who continue the ordination of Roman Catholic women,  thank you for gracing us in this way.
In this Episcopal Church, we also stand on the holy ground of the prophetic women, who forged a new path for ordained women by responding to their call to ordination heard, from within the Episcopal Church. On the Feast of St.  Mary Magdalene, July 29, 1974, eleven women were ordained by a supportive Episcopalian bishop, who was unlikely to be in conflict with their next convention, when the issues about women’s ordination would come up again.  The ordinations took place in Philadelphia and the years leading up to it as well as the aftermath, tell a story that quite parallels our own. We, too, have gone ahead with ordination in prophetic obedience to the Spirit, breaking an unjust canon law. At the time of their ceremony a moment came where it was customary to voice reason why they should not be ordained. In answer, the ordaining bishop simply responded to objections by stating “We are acting in obedience to God, not men. The time is now.”

In 2014, these women celebrated the anniversary of their 40th year. They told of slow progression in the overall acceptance of ordained women, particularly in equity and credibility in leadership. They recounted problems finding pastoral positions to embrace the full scope of their talents and capabilities, above all, the spiritual gifts they bring. From their experiences, they bring energy and wise advice for those continuing the ongoing struggle. “We were privileged to take that step. Someone had to do it and it was our time, “stated Carter Heyward. “We were ready in every way, though the Church was not ready.” Her advice is to stay because of how the church does and does not empower women to be fully who they are. At the same time, she favors the celebrating every gain along the way.

We stand on the shoulders of such women and one such woman from our own Danube 7, ordained in 2002, is with us today. She is Dagmar Celeste from Ohio. Dagmar always brings with her a sense of the deeply graced originating power of our movement when she comes to our ordinations and other events. 
And so it is into the deeply graced reality of such women and our own women who have come before us that we gather. We are grounded in   mystical and spiritual realities of the Church since the origins of Christianity. We are grounded in the time of the prophets and holy women and men of the Old Testament and in the tradition of Holy Wisdom.  From this holy ground, we will ordain Terese Rigardanzo- Kasper and Jennifer Marie Marcus.
Jeni and Tee lie prostrate; Michele says prayer after Litany of the Saints

Tee brings a long dedication to music ministry.  She has responded to pastoral needs in several parishes, schools and hospitals and is completing theological study through the People’s Catholic Seminary. I have come to know Tee as a compassionate woman who brings a lightness of being and optimism that easily moves into humor and joy. These are personal gifts that enhance the quality of experiences in any community and I am grateful that she brings these to our Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) community.
Jeni, is a feminist who understands herself as a church reformer. She is a Civil and Employee Rights’ Attorney and a Political and Social Justice Activist.  She advocates for LGBTIQ equalities and has been a member of many change making groups, within and outside the Church since Vatican 2.  She is set to complete a Doctorate of Ministry degree with Global Ministries University.   I have come to know Jeni as an open- hearted forthright person, who generates passion for justice amongst us when we lag a bit, in focus and energy. Her energy and high spirits enhance our ARCWP community, just as she energizes many other communities especially amongst other denominations, in a true spirit of ecumenism.
I also know both Tee and Jeni in their extraordinary giftedness and alertness for hospitality, an attitude of heart rooted in the practical competencies that community hospitality often requires. In this they are humble and often unrecognized servants. In these gifts, their communities and ours are truly blessed.

In speaking for herself, Tee says: “In being grandmother, I embrace the Feminine Divine and the mystery of this unfolding.”
In speaking of herself, Jeni says: “ I have always believed and worked for social justice in accordance with Jesus’ gospel message of reaching out to the poor and marginalized. In ordination I am pleased to stand as a prophetic witness for positive change, within our beloved Church.”
Like Tee and Jeni, we in the ARCWP must embrace the prophetic witnessing realities of our difficult calling, at this time of change in Christianity and in our global and cosmic world communities. We are presented with mysteries that we must live into and for which we have no completed maps to follow. Our journey alone and together can only unfold from one day to the next.  Our strength is in our solidarity. We know that we must support each other’s growth and, in the less developed parts of ourselves, pastor each other as midwives of grace. We know that we go forward as companions in empowerment and that we are strengthened in the joys brought to us by living embedded within communities of equality.


People extend hands during consecration of Eucharist

We know that we stand for a renewed model of ordained ministry that is non-clericalist and inclusive of all. All are welcome the table. In liturgical practice, we encourage full participation of the community as much as possible in decision making about liturgy and about the development of the community. But we are still in a middle position regarding women’s leadership, in any community, and so need to be seen and heard at the table of worship and in the gifting of any Sacrament. We also know that we may have to relinquish much, while remaining true servants and leaders in where the future is to bring us.
In all of these changes, we know that we help in bringing about change for the poor and the marginalized and in particular for women, most immediately. Women and children represent 70% of the world’s poor. Positive change that challenges gender oppression is essential to redress centuries of female servitude globally.

Our brother Francis, in Rome is justifiably a popular servant of the people. He has referred to such service as entering the terrain of the “field hospital.”  In such a place, there is no doubt that the full range of what could be needed for broader societal change for the better would be uncovered.  Here is the place where those who have been  silenced and rendered invisible have dwelt for centuries. Here is also the place of our neighbor, down the street and those filling our hospitals, every kind of hospital and every kind of woundedness.  Here is the place where there is no shelter or safety and where we enter the realms of cosmic suffering. Here we find pain that cannot be easily assuaged. If we bring our priesthood and the priesthood of the people, fully into this space, we will engage a radical calling that embodies the gospel of Jesus, but to an extent we may never have conceived thus far in the widened, gaping awarenesses it would bring.

Here is where grieving and healing can abound. Here is the invitation to us and most especially to our women being ordained today. Tee and Jeni are called to know the sorrow of the suffering people, as well as the joy of the transformations that must come from the spaces we inhabit, from the spaces of the field hospital and this for the sake of the transformations of our cosmic universe begun already now.
I conclude with a short prayer from the Talmud:
Do not be daunted by the world’s grief
Do justly now
Walk humbly now
You are not obligated to complete the work

Neither are you  free to abandon it

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ordain Women, Vatican Gets An Unexpected Proposal from Canadian Archbishop, Will Roman Catholic Church Reclaim Ancient Practice of Women Deacons? ARCWP Will Ordain Six Women in October!

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3044980-155/ordain-women-vatican-synod-gets-an

  "That's because if the trial balloon floated by Quebec Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher flies, it would represent a historic breakthrough for the Catholic Church, and Catholic women, by giving them access to the kinds of offices that only priests and bishops can hold.

"The only way a woman can fully 'obtain' many church offices is by ordination — by becoming a cleric — and the ordinary way to enter the clerical state is by ordination to the diaconate," said Phyllis Zagano, a leading expert on women deacons and a researcher at Hofstra University in New York. Moreover, as Zagano noted in an email, women deacons could perform functions that male deacons currently do: preaching, baptizing, witnessing marriages and performing funerals. Celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and anointing the sick would remain the province of the male priesthood.
Durocher, archbishop of Gatineau and until recently president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, made his proposal in the three-minute window that each of the 270 bishops at the synod is allotted to spell out concerns and priorities for the church and the modern family.


Bridget Mary's Comment: The ordination of women is now on the agenda of the Family Synod.
This is a breakthrough moment that represents a surprise of the Spirit to everyone! 

Durocher focused on the role of women, first lamenting that "sad and dramatic reality" that women "continue to suffer discrimination and violence at the hands of men, including their spouses. He asked Francis and the bishops to state clearly that there is no scriptural justification for such bias, and in particular that passages in which the Apostle Paul speaks about wives submitting to their husbands "can never justify the domination of men over women, much less violence."He then asked that the synod recognize that women can be given "decision-making" posts in the church, and in the Roman Curia, the papal bureaucracy"

Bridget Mary's Response: Durocher makes the case not only for women deacons, but this is the same reason we need women priests and bishops! Discrimination in the church leads to abuse, violence toward women worldwide. The church cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it. The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time because women are equal spiritual images of God. Therefore, all vocations and positions of decision making in the church should be open to them. Finally, a bishop who gets it and has the courage to challenge the hierarchy on the issue of justice and equality for women in the church and in the world.  I hope he starts an avalanche that will topple patriarchy in the Catholic Church! An impossible dream! Women's rights in the church and women's rights in the world are connected including in third world countries where women are kept poor and pregnant by laws that uphold church teaching. If mothers, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers were ordained and had decision making power, these sexist laws would be gone! 

Finally, he said the synod should establish a process for opening the diaconate to women — a suggestion that quickly drew praise from church reformers and negative reactions from conservatives.
"If you've opened the diaconate to women, you are opening up the door to female priests," Chad Pecknold, a theologian at Catholic University of America, told The Washington Post.


Bridget Mary's Response: I agree! What is needed is a renewed priestly ministry in inclusive, empowered, communities of equals. Not the model of domination and clericalism that we have today! So lots of changes ahead, if we want to renew the Catholic Church.
The international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement has over 75 inclusive faith communities who are living a renewed priestly ministry in grassroots communities now. www.arcwp.org

Please Note: 
This Article appeared in Salt Lake Tribune:  On Oct 18, 2015, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain the first woman priest in Salt Lake City:  Clare Julian Carbone at 3 PM at First United Methodist Church 203 South 200 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 
In October 2015 the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain six women to serve the church. Visit www.arcwp.org for press releases and more information about each ordination. 


Upcoming ARCWP Ordinations

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain Jennifer Marie Marcus of Detroit a priest and Terese Rigodanzo- Kasper of Orland Park, IL – South Suburban Chicago a deacon. The presiding bishop will be Michele Birch-Conery of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at Nativity Episcopal Church, 21220 W. 14 Mile Road, Bloomfield Township, MI 48301. All are welcome.  A dinner will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the church social hall.

Jennifer Marie Marcus of Detroit is a feminist, progressive Church reformer, Civil and Employee Rights Attorney, political and social justice activist – advocate and member of the LGBTIQ community.
Jennifer has been an active member of many lay church ministries since the Second Vatican Council.
While in law school in 1973, she was a delegate to the First Archdiocese of Detroit General Assembly under Cardinal Dearden.
She is a current member and former board member of Michigan Call-to Action. With a background in theology, she is working on a Doctor of Ministry degree with Global Ministries University.
“I have always believed and worked for social justice in accordance with Christ’s Gospel message of reaching out to the poor and marginalized. I am excited to be ordained a woman priest and proud to stand as a prophetic witness for positive change within our beloved church. I ask for God’s gracious love and mercy to achieve that goal.”
Terese Rigodanzo-Kasper of Orland Park, IL-South Suburban Chicago tkasper@arcwp.org has a life-long  history of music ministry, volunteering and employment within Catholic parishes and schools.
She volunteers in hospital Pastoral Care and parish Ministry of Care and worked professionally in Senior Care.
“Being a mother and grandmother, I embrace the Feminine Divine and the mystery of this unfolding ministry.”
Tee is completing her theological studies through the People’s Catholic Seminary and is a member of the ARCWP Web Team.
Media are invited to schedule interviews during the time leading up to the ordination and at 1 p.m. at the church on October 10. Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 859-684-4247rhythmsofthedance1@gmail.com

"Pope needs a wife and a couple of daughters and so do the men at the Vatican Synod of Bishops on Family Life." by Maureen Logue McGill, Pensacola, Florida

 October, 2015
 The Pope needs a wife and a couple of daughters and so do the men at the Vatican Synod of Bishops on Family Life.   The old men at the Vatican can talk all they want about families but they do not have a clue about family life.  They do not have families.  Sure they may have grown up in a family but at that time they were children.  Being the adult in a family is altogether different.  Ask any parent.  He or she can tell you the difference.
My daughters are grown and have children of their own.  Nevertheless it remains fresh in my mind the lessons I learned in prayer, fasting and humility while waiting for my teenage daughters to come home from a date.  My husband and I prayed, resisted the temptation to devour a half gallon of ice cream but were helpless to get the girl home.   That is humility in a nutshell.  Because we did not have any sons, I cannot speak of the experience of parents of boys while the parents were waiting for them to get home from a date.  My assumption is that it was equally anxiety producing but I cannot speak definitively on that.
So I would like to say to the dear prelates, “Do not tell me that you know about family life from hearing about families from members of your congregation.   Unless you have the experience of parenting or being in a committed open relationship with another adult, you do not know anything about family life.”
The decision makers of the Synod on the Family should consist of women and men, straight, gay, transgendered and a few current Roman Catholic pastors.  Let’s not forget to include women priests who are validly, although according to church law, specifically Canon 1024, illegally ordained.   Canon law is manmade law.   If anyone is wondering where or when the church recently experienced women priests, I refer to the event on the Danube River in 2002 when 7 women were ordained to the priesthood by a Roman Catholic Bishop in good standing with the Vatican.  That bishop chose to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from the Vatican.   A few years later several women were ordained bishops by a male Roman Catholic bishop also in Apostolic Succession.  Therefore, these women bishops have continued to ordain other women validly as deacons and priests.
Marriage is no longer restricted to a man and a woman.  Gay couples can be legally married thanks to the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court.  Oh but the church says, gay couples cannot procreate children.  This is the twenty first century and in vitro fertilization is a reality but then the church has outlawed that too.  In any event, gay couples can adopt children and there are plenty of children available through the foster care system in Florida.  I served as Circuit Director of the Guardian ad Litem Program in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1992 until 2006 and later as General Magistrate in the Family Court.  I speak from experience on that issue.
The Roman Catholic Church is structured as a medieval monarchy at best.  History shows that the Roman Catholic Church assumed its power, what little is left, in the fourth century as the Roman Empire was gasping its last breaths.  Roman law was based on Pater Potesas, translated the father’s power, in other words, “father knows best and fathers can do as they choose with their wives and children.”   The church took its structure from Roman law.  In the ninth century, the church grabbed further power from the secular monarchs as the Popes insisted that they preside at, and actually crown, the various European kings.  This precedent was established when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Emperor.  In the mid to late nineteenth century, due to the rise of nationalism in Italy, the papacy was reduced to its current size, Vatican City, population approximately 500.  The only power that the Roman Catholic Church yields is that of the guilt and fear it places on its members by barring the disobedient from the sacraments of the church.
Before closing I want to set forth my credentials in support of my opinion.  I have 12 years of Roman Catholic school in the dioceses of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Rockville Centre, N.Y.  My Bachelors Degree is from St John’s University, in N.Y., a Roman Catholic University.  My Juris Doctor Degree is from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. and my Masters in Pastoral Studies was obtained from Loyola University, New Orleans, LA.    
                                                            Maureen Logue McGill, Pensacola, FL
       October, 2015


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sign Petitions Asking Synod on the Family to Move Towards Gender Equality in Roman Catholic Church: Ordaining Women Deacons, A First Step

http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/ask-the-synod-on-the-family-to-consider-greater-roles-for-women-in-the-church
Ordaining women deacons would make for “a more widespread and incisive female presence” in many aspects of Church life and ministry. Women deacons would be able to preside at baptisms and weddings as well as proclaim the Gospel and preach at Mass.
Having women ordained to serve in these roles would help bishops meet many of the Church’s ministerial needs in the face of the present priest shortage. Additionally, the presence of women in these roles would bring an urgently needed female perspective to our public worship and reflection on the Scriptures.
Ordaining women to the diaconate would not be new. Recent scholarship has shown that women were ordained to the diaconate in the Church in the West for 1200 years and to the present in the East. Women deacons number among ministers named in the Bible and manuscripts of medieval texts used by bishops include prayers and rituals for ordaining women to the diaconate. It is time to restore that tradition.

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/10/07/ordain-women-vatican-synod-gets-unexpected-proposal/
Still, even that suggestion — made by a Canadian archbishop on Tuesday (Oct. 6), near the start of the closely watched, three-week synod called by Pope Francis — was considered eye-popping.
That’s because if the trial balloon floated by Quebec Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher flies, it would represent a historic breakthrough for the Catholic Church, and Catholic women, by giving them access to the kinds of offices that only priests and bishops can hold.
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he arrives in procession for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Oct. 19, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service.
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he arrives in procession for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct. 19, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service.

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.
“The only way a woman can fully ‘obtain’ many church offices is by ordination — by becoming a cleric — and the ordinary way to enter the clerical state is by ordination to the diaconate,” said Phyllis Zagano, a leading expert on women deacons and a researcher at Hofstra University in New York.

..."On the other hand, Francis is a pragmatist, and he noted in a talk to bishops on the last day of his visit that when the Apostles realized they couldn’t take care of the needs of all the widows and orphans, the Holy Spirit inspired them and “they got together and came up with deacons.”
Perhaps the pontiff will feel that same inspiration, this time blowing toward women deacons."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Catholic Mothers and Grandmothers are the Experts on Family Matters, not the Celibate Bishops! What do you think?

Bridget Mary Meehan's Comment:   On family matters, I think the experts are  Catholic mothers and grandmothers, what do you think? If Pope Francis took a poll, I bet the bishops would get a no-confidence vote!
http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/synod-system-stacks-deck-against-women

 ...I still have not figured out why there are three women and ten men delegates when there seem to be more members of women’s congregations in the world than of men’s. But of course there is no logic to sexism. The matter has nothing to do with democratic representation. It simply has to do with power. Women are excluded. This is what proponents of women’s ordination are talking about since only ordination confers jurisdiction. Women want to make decisions commensurate with the responsibility we take on. Period.
My own view is that clericalizing women, especially women who are members of religious congregations, would be a big mistake. Such a move would simply shore up a system that is rigged against the vast majority of the community — in the case of this Synod, those who live the very family issues under discussion. So adding a few women clerics is no solution. But there is something so profoundly unfair about rigging a meeting like this, having three women religious and 17 married couples listening and commenting around the edges while male clerics make decisions, that it rankles the soul. Much as I think ordination as currently conceived is flawed for everyone, if it takes ordination for women to have decision making power, so be it.[Mary E. Hunt is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Md.]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/catholic-woman-hope-their-voices-will-be-heard-during-vaticans-synod-on-the-family_561432afe4b0f91bb3b7165e
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Women don’t have a vote at the meeting of 270 Catholic bishops on family issues that began this week, but they hope their voices will be heard.
Divorce, cohabitation and gay relationships are just some of the issues up for discussion at the Vatican synod, which continues through Oct. 24. It follows a questionnaire consultation with Catholic groups after a meeting on family issues a year ago.
Some critics say that more women should have been included in the process. Only bishops can vote at a synod, but about 30 women have been invited as auditors.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/10/06/archbishop-urges-pope-franciss-synod-on-the-family-consider-allowing-women-deacons/
“I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons,” he told CNS he had told the synod. He also said he had recommended the synod “clearly state that you cannot justify the domination of men over women — certainly not violence — through biblical interpretation,” particularly what he called incorrect interpretations of Scripture that women should be submissive to their husbands."
http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4407/Theologians-at-USF-Santa-Clara-Undermine-Church-Teaching.aspx
But Macy reportedly claimed at the women’s ordination conference that the reason there is a lack of evidence of women priests in the early Church is that, “quite frankly, priests just were not that important for the first millennium of Christianity,” according to the heterodox National Catholic Reporter. Instead, Macy reportedly argued, ordination in the early Church was not necessarily tied to liturgy, and ordinary people—including women—could celebrate the Mass for the Church’s first 1,100 years.
He concluded, according to the Reporter:
So one can see that communities who now choose their own leaders, and whose leaders lead the liturgy because they are their leaders, are actually following an ancient custom of the [C]hurch. In a time when new leaders are emerging, particularly from communities that don’t have ordained leaders, we should consider seriously the models that the first thousand years of Christianity present to us.
- See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4407/Theologians-at-USF-Santa-Clara-Undermine-Church-Teaching.aspx#sthash.vQW7oIpQ.dpuf

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Women Deacons May Be Discussed at Vatican's Synod on the Family/First Step on Road to Gender Equality?

Bridget Mary Meehan: Women have been the elephant in the room for Pope Francis. He has spoken eloquently about equality in the world and has turned a blind eye to discrimination in the church.
I hope this is not some kind of smoke screen that looks promising but winds up a dead end. 
On the other hand, the Synod of Bishops could take a positive step toward gender equality by restoring the diaconate. Now this would be a holy shakeup for the Roman Catholic Church! This step will open the door for priesthood and episcopacy. 

An impossible dream, perhaps!

  It is time for the institutional church to embrace change and affirm the gifts of half of its membership.

 It is also time for the hierarchy to admit that discrimination against women is the sole reason for the prohibition against ordination. 

Will Pope Francis apologize for centuries of sexism in which women were treated as second class citizens?

 When will women to take their rightful places as leaders and decision makers in all positions in the parishes, dioceses, and in the Vatican?

They already do most of the pastoral work in many parishes in the United States and elsewhere. 

In women priests led, inclusive faith communities, women are equals and partners. So change is already happening! 

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain six women  in 4 different cities on 3 weekends in October. Women are answering God's call to ordination in a renewed priestly ministry  and living Gospel equality and inclusiveness now. www.arcwp.org Bridget Mary Meehan, sofiabmm@aol.com


Contact: 
Miriam Duignan: UK (+44) 7970 926910 m_duignan@hotmail.com
For Immediate Release
6 October 2015
Response On Women Deacons Discussed at Vatican Synod 
Month Year


Rome, Italy:  Recent statements made by Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec during the Vatican's Synod on the Family suggests an emergence of a discussion about including women in the ordained permanent diaconate.  We applaud Archbishop Durocher for raising the suggestion to the exclusively male-voting body, and furthermore, for highlighting the relationship between the "degradation" of women in Church and society and violence against women around the world. 



We call on our Church leaders to state clearly that "domination" over women is never acceptable, and until women are empowered as equals our Church perpetuates an inequality contrary to the Gospel. We pray that women's voices will not only be heard in forthcoming discussions, but given an equal vote.   

Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) supports the restoration of the sacramentally ordained diaconate for women in its true form. Including women in the diaconate would not be something new. Instead the Church would be returning to its ancient roots when both women and men were deacons.  While the women's diaconate continues in some parts of the Eastern Church even until today, we also now know that in the West, it was suppressed only on account of the prejudice against women. 

Though restoration of an ordained women's diaconate would not alone be a satisfactory progression to including women in all realms of Church leadership, governance, and sacramental ministry - only ordination to the priesthood and episcopacy could begin to accomplish this - WOW supports restoration of the diaconate. It is long overdue. The so-called changing 'reasons' that have been used to try to justify the exclusion of women from ordained ministry rest squarely on the shoulders of prejudice alone. 

The hierarchy deprives people of the pastors God calls for them and of the leadership gifts found in women who would serve the Church; upholding this discrimination, as though it were the will of God, is simply indefensible. 

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Response to Most Frequently Asked Questions


Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, www.arcwp.org, www.bridgetmarysblogspot
ARCWP has valid orders. Our first women bishops were ordained by a male Roman Catholic bishop with apostolic succession. Therefore our ordinations are valid.
We are disobeying an unjust law, canon 1024, that prohibits women’s ordination.  In order to change an unjust law, we must break the law. As MLK said “injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.” We are “Rosa Parks” of the Catholic Church.
We are leading the church, not leaving the church. Women Priests are needed in church to give women voice and vote in church decisions in all areas of church life. Women priests at altar are visible reminders that women are equals images of God. (Genesis,  Gal:3:28)
Disconnect between Pope Francis promotion of equality in the world and institutional church’s practice of discrimination against women in the church.
It is not about what the priesthood does for women, but what women do for the priesthood. We make the connections between discrimination against women in the church and poverty, abuse, violence and injustice toward women in the world.
70 percent the world’s poor are women and their dependent children. The church’s condemnation of artificial birth control plays a major role in keeping women poor and pregnant. Women are free, responsible, moral agents who must control own fertility.
We are not clerical, but a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals.  
We are serving inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. Including divorced, LGBTIQ, former Catholics, non-Catholics.

Our communities are egalitarian. Everyone is invited to participate in the preparation of liturgies, and in the the governance of the community and celebration of the Eucharist:
Everyone consecrates Eucharist, gives mutual blessing and dialogue homilies.

 We preach the Gospel from women’s experiences which have been missing in our church for centuries. We use inclusive language and feminine images of God in our liturgies.
Our mission is to serve all, especially those whom the Vatican marginalizes. (33 million Catholics have left the church in the U.S.  According to a February 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of US Catholics said women should be allowed to become priests.
Excommunication does not cancel our baptism.. We call on Pope Francis to lift all excommunications and honor primacy of conscience. Excommunicated today, canonized tomorrow.

__._,_.___

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests to Ordain Detroit’s 1st Woman Priest and a Deacon

October 6, 2015

From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) 
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 859-684-4247

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004

There was much to celebrate as Pope Francis visited the US.  On Sept. 18-20, 500 women and men gathered in Philadelphia for the third Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference. While Francis met with the US bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on September 23, some women priests and male supporters did nonviolent civil disobedience and Francis caught sight of their banners which read: “Pope Francis: Ordain Women Priests,” “Women Priests are Here,” and “Primacy of Conscience.” Because of the continued growth of our movement, on September 24th ARCWP ordained three women bishops at Pendle Hill.  As the Synod of Bishops meets, the National Catholic Reporter says in an editorial: “The church can wait no longer to embrace gender quality in the church.” See http://ncronline.org/news/people/editorial-are-we-prepared-be-surprised-spirit

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain Jennifer Marie Marcus of Detroit a priest and Terese Rigodanzo- Kasper of Orland Park, IL - South Suburban Chicago a deacon. The presiding bishop will be Michele Birch-Conery of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at Nativity Episcopal Church, 21220 W. 14 Mile Road, Bloomfield Township, MI 48301. All are welcome.  A dinner will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the church social hall.

Media are invited to schedule interviews during the time leading up to the ordination and at 1 p.m. at the church on October 10.

Jennifer Marie Marcus of Detroit (248-568-8662) jsmaurelius@aol.com is a feminist, progressive Church reformer, Civil and Employee Rights Attorney, political and social justice activist - advocate and member of the LGBTIQ community.  Jennifer has been an active member of many lay church ministries since the Second Vatican Council. While in law school in 1973, she was a delegate to the First Archdiocese of Detroit General Assembly under Cardinal Dearden.  She is a current member and former board member of Michigan Call-to Action. With a background in theology, she is working on a Doctor of Ministry degree with Global Ministries University.  “I have always believed and worked for social justice in accordance with Christ’s Gospel message of reaching out to the poor and marginalized. I am excited to be ordained a woman priest and proud to stand as a prophetic witness for positive change within our beloved church. I ask for God’s gracious love and mercy to achieve that goal.”

Terese Rigodanzo-Kasper of Orland Park, IL-South Suburban Chicago tkasper@arcwp.org has a life-long  history of music ministry, volunteering and employment within Catholic parishes and schools. She volunteers in hospital Pastoral Care and parish Ministry of Care and worked professionally in Senior Care. “Being a mother and grandmother, I embrace the Feminine Divine and the mystery of this unfolding ministry.” She is completing her theological studies with ARCWP’s preparation program and People's Catholic Seminary.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend Retreat: "Meeting Jesus"with Barbara Beadles, RCWP



Retreat Session One:  7:30 p.m.
Meeting Jesus
Our Image of Jesus
            Why does it matter?
            Connection between our image of Jesus and how we see Christian Life
                        --it shapes the way we see Christian life
                        --It makes our Christian life credible or incredible
            Popular image of Jesus
                        Divine Savior
                        Who was Jesus, what was his mission, what was his message
                        Jesus came to earth to die for our sins; he is the divine savior we must believe in
                                    Him; primary dynamic is faith
                        Jesus as Teacher
                        Not so much believing in Jesus as following his teaching about loving each other                                              and following the commandment to love God and love each other
                                    Primary dynamic is moralistic

Christian life is about a relationship with God that involves us in a journey of transformation
What is my relationship with Jesus?  Share my personal reflection from Jesus of my childhood to Jesus now.

Reflection time:  On a piece of paper write Jesus and Me on paper; recall images that spoke to you early in life; how you images may or may not have changed         


Directions:  We will gather in Chapel at 8:15 for Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer 
Presider:
            +Our help is in the name of our God (three candles are                                       lighted)
All:   Who made heaven and earth
Presider: Jesus our brother is light of the world
All:  A light no darkness can extinguish
Presider:  Blessed are you Abba God who wipes away our tears
All:  Blessed are you Abba God
Presider:  From the beginning you have comforted us like a mother-                 hen,  giving refuge in the shadow of your wings.
All:  Blessed are you Abba God
Presider:  In the course of time you gave us Jesus whose feet were         bathed by a woman’s tears and whose head was anointed for          his Passover with a woman’s perfumed oil.
All: Blessed are you Abba God
Presider:  Today we are anointed by your Spirit of great abundance to stand with all who challenge lies and work for justice.
All:  Blessed are you Abba God

Blessing of Oil and Anointing of Hands     
(All extend hands over oil)
All:  God of all creation, you give us this oil as fruit of the earth; we ask to bless it for our use.  May it gladden our hearts and confirm us in your grace.  May it be a sign of the bounty you provide in our lives. We make this prayer in the name of your beloved son.  Amen.

(Presider begins with first person in line) Each person comes forward and takes oil to bless the person behind her.  (No words are needed; last person blesses the Presider.)

Psalm 103
Side one:  My soul give thanks to our God, all my being, bless God’s holy name.  My soul , give thanks to our God and never forget all God’s blessings.
Side  two:  As for us, our days are like grass; we flower like the flower of the field; the wind blows and we are gone and our place never sees us again.
Side one:  But the love of our God is everlasting upon those who fear God.  God’s justice reaches out to all when they keep the covenant in truth, when they keep God’s will in their mind.
Side two:  Our God’s throne is set in heaven and God’s realm rules over all. Give thanks to our God all you angels, mighty in power fulfilling God’s word, who heeds the voice of that word .
Side one:  Give thanks to our God all you hosts, you servants who do God’s will.
Side  two:  Give thanks to our God all that exists, in every place where God rules.  May my soul give thanks to our God.
All:  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end.  Amen.

Scripture Reading:  Matt. 26:7, 12-13

Closing Prayer:
Presider:
            God of the covenant, our days end and often we have wandered from you.  In the evening darkness, call to us, and with rejoicing, we shall rest again in your arms, welcomed, made whole, anointed.  We make our prayer in the name of your beloved one, Jesus, the anointed one.
All:  Amen.
Presider:  May our God grant us a peaceful night.
All:  Amen

(Entire service adapted from  A Prayer Book for Remembering the Women, J. Frank Henderson, Liturgy Training Publications.









Day Two,   Session Two  9:00 am
Elizabeth Johnson’s Eco-feminist Theology
            We are responsible for caring for our earth
                        in the context of a humble creation theology, two dimensions of faith that need to        be passed on in our day are a faith that reverences the incomprehensible mystery of God            and a faith that loves the earth
            In our social justice we must incorporate our care for the earth
                        the world has its own intrinsic value, being loved by God for its own sake
                        at creation, God gave humankind the earth to care for and tend; God put us in             relationship to the earth; not to control and dominate not to destroy by carelessness and        greed; we need a renewed understanding of our relationship to the earth, our home
           
Ecology is a spiritual practice
            to remain silent in the face of evil is to be an accessory to the fact; by contrast naming the evil as an injustice is an act of spiritual practice
            the preferential option for the poor must now include the vulnerable, voiceless nonhuman species and the ravaged natural world itself, all of which are kin to humankind
                        countering the sins of ecocide, biocide, genocide we must take action on behalf of        justice for the natural world, promoting care, protection, restoration, and healing, even if            this goes counter to powerful economics and political interests. . . and it does
                        in our time the global struggle of millions of people for peace, human rights, equality and sufficient material good for a decent life makes clear that discipleship also calls for action to establish social justice by transforming structures that create the miseries of war, oppression, and massive poverty to begin with
            when a species suffers, god suffers because God is with us even while God is                           beyond us
            when a species dies (350 die around the planet each day) we take their birth; be                                  are breaking off branches of the tree of life
            we need a new perspective, no longer one from the enlightenment of previous centuries, no longer the dualism of the ancient Greeks, we need now to contemplate the glory of our God flaming out in the natural world
            we need to realize that the world itself is a revelation and a sacrament:  revelation because the invisible grandeur of God can be seen and know experientially in the splendor of the universe
            and sacrament because the mystery of divine, self-giving present is really mediated through the richness of heaven and earth
God’s purpose in creating the world
            the resurrection makes clear God’s purpose in creating the world.  while death is a part of all life, in the end, we and the cosmos are destined not for death and destruction for transformation into new life
            the creator Spirit is the unceasing dynamic flow of loving power that sustains the worl, brings forth life, weaves connections between all creatures and repairs what gets damaged, all the while being profoundly present at the heart of all things.

Our reflection question for today is How can I make a difference in the repair and renewal of our earth?  How can I become involved in saving our home?  What attitudinal changes must I make to make ecology a spiritual practice in my life?

Morning break
Reflection
Lunch

Session 3  Working toward a spirituality for the 21st Century
            The perception people have of the sacred or divine influences their spirituality.  If, for example, God is “out there,” or “up there” or far away, a person is less likely to believe God is close to them.  God may be the all-knowing creator sitting in judgment, watching our every move, waiting to catch us, waiting to correct and chastise us.  Borg calls this root image of God “supernatural theism.” Such a spirituality is about keeping the rules, having correct beliefs, being good now in order to get to our eternal reward later.  This also encourages judging others and making it one’s business to keep others in line as well. Being different is not encouraged and can lead to exclusion from the group of believers. This spirituality does not permit change in understanding the sacred at work in transforming people and all of creation into something new.  It denies Christ’s words:  “Look I am making everything new (Rev.21:5).”  Isaiah too, before Christ, foretold, “Behold, I [YHWH] will do a new thing! (43:19).”
            Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century will need to be a “broad notion encompassing personal and/or institutionalized relations to the divine, a notion that at once includes and transcends religion.”A useful spirituality for people today must make “the transition from believing in secondhand religion to expressing firsthand a relationship with the sacred.”How we conceptualize God affects every aspect of our lives.  It affects how we relate to one another, how we relate to creation and to our planet as part of the universe.” If a person believes in and worships a God who is separate from the universe, who worked six days then stood back, brushed off the dust and said, “I’m done here,” why would anyone be concerned about one another or our common home?  When, instead a person believes in and worships a God who is Emmanuel (God-with-us) and whose Spirit helps create and re-shape everyone and everything, we want to be an active participant in helping make all things new.
            Pope Francis, in his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si, reminds us that “When human beings place themselves as the center, they give absolute priority to immediate convenience and all else becomes relative.” An authentic spirituality for the Twenty-First Century will have to include concern for and care of all creation, including in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, our Sister, Mother Earth.
            Sr. Joan Chittister, in her book, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, maintains we are a throwaway society whose mantra is progress and whose character is change. She proposes that “part of spirituality is learning to be aware of what is going on around us and allowing ourselves to feel its effects . . . and learning to hear what God wants in any given situation.” In the world today, possessions, position and power seems to be the great goods many people seek.  Contrary to the wishes of the commercial world today, the spiritual life, the life connected to the divine is “a grace with which we must cooperate, not a prize to be captured.”15
            A theology to help us cooperate with this grace is “a humble creation theology that reverences the incomprehensible mystery of God and a faith that loves the earth.” Karl Rahner points out that in every epoch we have different catchwords for God.  One he uses is “holy mystery.”  He notes, “Rather than being the most distant being, holy mystery is profoundly and personally engaged with all the realities of the world around us, including each questioning and yearning person, being concerned especially with the desperate and the damned.” Caring for the earth as we contemplate the God-creator who is with us, allows us to “gaze upon the beauty, intricacy and dynamism of the natural world as revelatory of divine Spirit.” Christian people, and others connected to the divine are “generating a new, natural theology quite different from the Enlightenment type based on philosophical differences.”
            Connecting with creation is important in any spirituality for the Twenty-First Century.  Caring for our planet “becomes a matter of intense religious concerns for human beings are rapidly fouling and even destroying the primary statement of God’s glory.” Pope Francis further reminds us “Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structure of nature itself.”
            In 1963, by convening Vatican II, Pope John XXIII recognized that the church’s fear of worldly progress (e.g., condemning modernism) loomed as a pastoral disaster.” Thomas Merton spoke of our connection to God through creation saying “The world reflects who we are and what we think we are in relation to God . . . We are not asked to create an alternate world or to reject this one but to divinize it from within.”

Questions for reflection:  what do you see as a need for spirituality in the 21st Century?  What type of community ministry would you envision?  What would be practical ways people could engage in this type of spirituality?

2:30 Break

2:45 Reflection

4:30  Prayer Service and Blessing of Stones (gather in chapel, select a stone and take it with you)












Prayer Service and Blessing of Stones

Winter is a lesson about the fine art of loss and growth. 
Its lesson is clear; there is only one way out of struggle
and that is by going into its darkness,
waiting for the light and being open to new growth.

                                                                                    Joan Chittister

A Winter Blessing

Blessed are you, winter, dark season of waiting,
you affirm the dark seasons of our lives,
forecasting the weather of waiting in hope.

Blessed are you ,winter, you faithfully guard a life unseen,
calling those who listen deeply
to discover winter rest.

Blessed are you, winter, frozen and cold on the outside,
within your silent, nurturing womb
you warmly welcome all that longs for renewal.

Blessed are you, winter, your bleak, barren trees
preach wordless sermons
about emptiness and solitude.

Blessed are you, winter, you teach us valuable lessons
about waiting in darkness
with hope and trust.

Blessed are you, winter, season of blood red sunsets
and star-filled long, dark nights
faithfully you pour out your beauty.

Blessed are you, winter, when your tiny snowflakes
flurry through the air,
you awaken our sleeping souls.

Blessed are you, winter, when ice storms crush our hearts and homes,
you call forth the good in us
as we rush to help one another.

Blessed are you ,winter, your inconsistent moods
often challenge spring’s arrival,
yet how gracefully you step aside
when her time has come.


Reflection on Stones

Characteristics of stones: 

Sturdy, providers of strength, firm foundations ,ancient tools  because of this, stones are a chosen symbol for the season of winter.

Stones stand strong and endure in all kinds of weather.  Likewise people with endurance stand strong in their winter season of life.  They have the courage to wait patiently in the silent fallowness of winter’s empty months.  They trust that they will have the strength they need to journey through the apparent bleakness and austerity of this season.  They walk through winter’s darkness with a firm belief that this space of life is a time of creative waiting, holding the nurturing energy that will one day birth within them.


Courage Stone
Your moments of courage may not seem like big ones to someone else.  They might not be things like experiencing cancer or filing for divorce.  Your story of courage may be the steps you take each day in trying to be kind to a family member, saying yes to getting well, offering forgiveness to someone who has treated you badly standing up for what you believe, risking some new behavior, being a volunteer for a program that’s new to you, or anything requiring an act of courage and strength from you.

Sit with your stone and reflect on a “courage moment” in your life.

Share the “courage moment in small groups.

Blessing each other’s stones

Your stone will now journey around your group so that each person can bless it.

(Pass stone to the left--everyone--each person hold the stone they receive for a brief time.  Warm the stone by wrapping both hands around it, silently placing a blessing of courage on it.  Pass stones again to the left, continuing this process until each person gets their own stone back.)

Naming and Thanking our Human Ancestors

Hold the blessed stone in your hand.  Think of someone who has helped you to be courageous and resilient in one of your winter times.  (After a brief time to recall who this person might be, each one in the circle speaks the ancestor’s name)

Receiving the Courage Stone’s Blessing

(Stone to head) May you believe in your resiliency when you are                                                wintered.
(Stone to shoulder)  May you have the strength you need to bear                                                life’s burdens.
(Stone to heart)  May you trust the love and mystery within yourself                                         to uphold you.

(Stone in hands)  May your winter times of darkness become fruitful                                        sources of growth, gifts to be given to you and to                                our wounded world.


(Entire service adapted  from Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr, The Circle of Life, The Heart’s Journey through the Seasons, Sorin Books, Notre Dame, IN.Used with permission of the Author.)


Dinner

7:30 Viewing of Pink Smoke Over the Vatican

Small group sharing

Day Three

8:00 Breakfast

9:00 Eucharistic Liturgy

            Liturgy of Ordinary Time, Living Water Eucharistic Format, RCWP East
           
            Readings of the Sunday and homily

            Gluten free bread, non-alcohol wine, all invited to the table

11:30
            Session Four
                       
            Questions, sharing of reflections

            Sources:

                        Abounding in Kindness, Elizabeth Johnson
                        Ask the Beasts, Elizabeth Johnson
                        Meeting Jesus for the First Time, Marcus J. Borg

Faith Based Climate Action Groups:

Catholic Climate Covenant

Franciscan Action Network/Climate Justice

Greenfaith

            http//www.greenfaith.org/about