Friday, May 29, 2015

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community May 30 2015 Trinity Sunday: Called to Relationships Honoring those who served in the military Eileen Miller and Katy Zatsick ARCWP, Co-Presiders,Mindy Simmons Music Minister




Gathering Song: #647 “God of Our Fathers” please change to “God of all People”

Co-presider: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our energy for relationships      All: Amen.

Co- Presider:  God, Loving Creator be with each member and family of our community especially families with members who have served in the military or are serving in the military.

ALL:  And with all.


Opening Prayer:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, you have created all things and you continue to call us to new life ever deeper into relationship with you.  Teach us to reverence in one another the gift of life that we share.  Give us a hunger for your Word, and let us walk in union with your Spirit all the days of our lives. Glory to you, Source of all Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen

Rite of Healing      (Pause briefly and reflect on the need to grow more in loving relationships  with others and with creation)
Prayer for healing in our community: (All raise hands extended in prayer and recite together.)

See in us, O God, the face of your Christ and heal our brokenness and wounds.  Give us the courage to love in spite of loss and mercy to forgive all who have injured us in any way.  We ask forgiveness for when we have hurt others in our relationships with them.  As always we pray in our Brother Jesus’ name. Amen.

Liturgy of the Word:


First Reading Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Lector: The Word of God. ALL: Thanks be to God  
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
All: They are happy whose God is the Creator, the people God has chosen
Second Reading from Celebration “Trinity is our home” by Angie O’Gorman
“…the quark is the smallest subatomic particle; the fundamental building block of everything only comes in threes.  In other words, it only comes in relationship.  From this quantum discovery it is not a difficult leap to believing that our God, the creative force behind everything, also and only exists as a threesome.  Whether one is Creator or created, being in relationship is primary, and threesomes are apparently where it’s at. ..
We have, through no merit of our own, the gift of life so that we might grow into conscious loving for eternity.  Relationship allows both the life and the growing to happen.  Relationship is at the heart of things, in the material world and the Divine…The Triune God loves us before we even know what the word means, and keeps drawing us into that love, and drawing us.  Our home is the Trinity.”  The inspired word of Angie.
All: Thanks be to God.
All: Alleluia sung while book is being carried to the lectern.
Gospel :  Matthew 28:16-20
Lector: This is the Good News according to Matthew  All: Glory to you, O God. 
Lector:  This is the good news of our salvation. (At end of Gospel)
All: Praise to you Living God, our Brother Jesus.
All:  Alleluia sung after gospel is read and book set in its place.

Blessings for those who have served in the military:

(Will the members of the community who have served in the military please rise; let us raise our hands in blessing)


Loving God we ask your blessings for these men and women of Mary Mother of Jesus who have served America with their military service.  You are the men and women, who saluted our flag, who served under our flag and who will be remembered under America’s flag for standing for our nation's freedoms and the Common Good. We thank you for your presence amongst us.  You are living reminders of willing sacrifice for the values we hold dear as Americans.  We offer you our ongoing support as men and women of whom we are proud.  May your lives be long and filled with peace. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Dialog homily: Remembering those who have served the USA in the military


Profession of Faith: All: We believe in God, the fountain of all relationships between persons, with all life on earth, between planets and within our galaxy.  God’s very self energy creating, sustaining and receiving all that exists. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who reflects the face of God and the fullness of humanity. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos, who calls us to love and serve in relationship with others without counting the cost. We believe in our global communion and relationships with all in the circle of life including our planet earth. Amen to loving actions on behalf of justice, healing, compassion and equality for all in our world!

General Intercessions:
Presider: Always mindful of God’s love and care for us, our relationships with others and all creation, we bring our needs to our loving God.
Response after each petition: Loving God, hear our prayer
Presider: Healing God, we trust that you hear our prayers.  May we celebrate our oneness in our relationships with others through our works for justice, equality, and peace. We make this prayer through Jesus, our brother, in union with the Holy Spirit.
ALL: Amen
Offertory:  (Procession with gifts: instrumental music)
Co-presider: Blessed are you, God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made.  This bread is our faith community seeking knowledge, becoming conscious in right relationships with others and all life.  May we individually and as a community live your vision of peace, justice, equality and healing for all.  This bread will become for us the bread of life. 
All:  Blessed be God forever.
Co-Presider Blessed are you, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. This drink is our desire to be in right relationship within our families, our communities and the nations of the world.   This wine will become our spiritual drink.  All:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Pray that we become one with all in the blessed Trinity of human and planetary relationships.   
ALL:  We are gathered as a community to celebrate the gift of life. May we be faithful to the call of healing and building compassionate relationships with others. Amen.
Eucharistic Prayer: (Please gather around the altar)
Presider: Our Triune God who stirred the waters of creation dwells on earth and throughout creation-in our hearts and in the galaxies,
ALL: And in every living being.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts.

ALL: We lift up our hearts to our Creator who desires healing and right relationships for all humanity and our earth.


Presider: Let us give thanks to the Source of life.
All: It is right to give our triune God of relationships who is present   everywhere and in everything, thanks   and praise.
All Sing:  We are holy…You are holy…I am holy…We are holy.
All: Holy One, we bring you these gifts that they and we may become the Christ Presence. Triune God infuse these gifts with you Presence of relationship amongst all through the power of your Holy Spirit Sofia.

(All Extend Hands) All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his disciples, friends and family Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of

All: In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”
The Mystery of Faith:
All: This bread is  you, this bread is me. We are one body, a reflection of God’s treasures, in communion with all peoples and creation.
Voice 1: Creator of the Cosmos, we thank you that there are 18 galaxies for every person, that our bodies are made of stardust. Every place we turn, you are present, loving us. You call us, “beloved” and invite us to join the dance of creation in a mystical celebration of our oneness with all living things in your divine love.

Voice 2: Jesus Christ of the Cosmos, we rejoice that You, who are More than we can imagine or dream of, dwell in Mystery of relationship beyond all comprehension. We remember that it was you, who said: “Anything I have done in the name of the Creator, you can do, too…and even more.”

Voice 3: Sofia Spirit Energy of all Creation, we remember all within our world and church who are working for environmental healing, human rights and justice for all. We remember women and men who are leaders in our church and world especially (mention names of those who have served in the military and those who taught us to be peacemakers )

Voice 4: Father and mother of the Cosmos, we remember Mary, mother of Jesus, faithful disciple. We remember our sisters and brothers, the great cloud of witnesses who have cared for earth’s      creatures and have blessed our world with their loving service in relationship with God’s people.  We praise you in union with them and give you glory by working for a more just and peaceful world.


ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, all glory, honor and praise to you, God of relationships forever and ever.

Great Amen: Sung

Prayer of Jesus Sung: “Our Father and Mother”
Sign of Peace: Peace…Hope…Love is Flowing like a River

Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:
All: Christ of the Cosmos, we will live in relationship with you and all creation. Christ of the Cosmos, we will work for healing of the earth. Christ of the Cosmos, we will celebrate justice rising up in your global communion everywhere.
Co-Presiders: This is the Cosmic Christ in whom all creation lives and moves and has its being. All are invited to partake in this banquet of love and to celebrate our relationship with all living beings and our Earth.  ALL: We are the Body of Christ.

Communion Song:  You are the Face of God
Prayer after Communion:
ALL: Lover of the Universe, we are full of awe at your extravagant love flowing through all living things and your gift of relationships with all of creation. We immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature that surrounds us each day.  We  are one with our brother Jesus in union with the Holy Spirit.   All: Amen
Community Prayers of Thanksgiving/final thoughts
Announcements for the community:
Concluding Rite
Presiders: Christ of the Cosmos is with us All: And loves through us.

Blessing: (with hands extended in prayer):

All: The blessing of God is upon us as we go in the peace of the Cosmic Christ to build loving relationships with all whom we meet! Thanks be to God.


Presider: Go in the peace of our Compassion Christ,   let our service continue!   ALL: Thanks be to God.

Closing Hymn and Recessional:

“I am Willing” by Holly Near

refrain All: “I am open, I am willing;

                    to be hopeless would seem so strange.

                    It dishonors those who go before us.

                    So lift me up to the light of change” 

Pope Francis Upcoming Encyclical- Integral Ecology

Irish Bishop: Referendum Not ‘Defeat for Humanity,’ But Increases Human Happiness

Bishop Willie Walsh gets the Irish's hierarchy's "wake up" call about marriage equality! I am glad that this Irish bishop had the courage to speak out and challenge the Vatican doom and gloom view of "disaster for humanity." Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Bishop: Referendum Not ‘Defeat for Humanity,’ But

 Increases Human Happiness

Bishop Willie Walsh
An Irish bishop criticized Vatican Secretary of State 
Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s claim that Ireland’s passage of marriage equality
 was a “defeat for humanity,” saying the comment 
was inappropriate and not likely approved by Pope Francis.
Bishop Willie Walsh, Emeritus of the Diocese of Killaloe, spoke with Irish broadcaster RTE and contested Parolin’s conclusion as inconsistent with Pope Francis’ more inclusive style. Walsh told the interviewer:
“I was quite uncomfortable with that statement. I mean there has been lots of disasters in the world but I certainly would not support the belief that the referendum was among them.
“To suggest that over a million people who went to the polls and voted yes were so false in their judgment that it was a disaster for humanity is not something I can accept . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way MAY 27, 2015 New York Timesby Frank Bruni

"Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

They don’t share a continent, obviously.  Or a language.  But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.  And all of them belong to the vanguard of 20 nations that have decided to make same-sex marriage legal.

In fact, countries with a Catholic majority or plurality make up half of those where two men or two women can now wed or will soon be able to.

Ireland, obviously, is the freshest addition to the list. It’s also, in some ways, the most remarkable one. It’s the first country to approve same-sex marriage by a popular referendum. The margin wasn’t even close. About 62 percent of voters embraced marriage equality.

Irish voters nonetheless rejected the church’s formal opposition to same-sex marriage. This act of defiance was described, accurately, as an illustration of church leaders’ loosening grip on the country."

But in falling out of line with the Vatican, Irish people are actually falling in line with their Catholic counterparts in other Western countries, including the United States...
Catholics in the United States appear to be more, not less, progressive about gay rights than Americans in general are. In an especially ambitious survey conducted over the course of 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute, about 60 percent of Americans who called themselves Catholic said that they approved of same-sex marriage, versus about 30 percent who didn’t. The spread among all respondents was 54 to 38, and the group that clearly stood in the way of same-sex marriage wasn’t Catholics. It was evangelical Protestants..."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Irish Lead Social Revolution for Human and Spiritual Rights of Gays in Vote for Marriage Equality by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP plus link to excellent article by Mary Hunt

Bridget Mary's Response: The Irish are leading the social revolution for gay rights by approving marriage equality. Their vote affirms everyone's holy union. It is  a victory for humanity, and an affirmation of justice, compassion and equality.  
The Vatican is on the wrong side of history again. Cardinal Pierlene's statement that the Irish vote supporting gay marriage as a "defeat for humanity,"reflects the Vatican's failure to understand that the spiritual equality and human rights of LGBT persons is the main moral issue in marriage equality.   
 Perhaps, it is the young adults in Ireland who are leading the Catholic Church forward at this time in history. The values of Gospel living and loving are lessons they have obviously learned well. 
In the words of an old song : "It's a great day for the Irish and I am proud of my homeland!" Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

Mary Hunt's excellent analysis:
The photo on the front page of the Washington Post said it all on the day after Ireland’s landmark same-sex marriage referendum. Two elderly Carmelite nuns in full habits were pictured leaving their polling place in Malahide, not far from Dublin. The caption read: “Roman Catholic leaders have led the opposition, but opinion polls signaled approval.”
 "But the Irish referendum means that a top-down, clergy-heavy model of church heard its death knell in Dublin. As it reverberates around the world the Gospel message might get a little more airtime. As the Irish say, it will make a glass eye cry—with joy."

Vatican Gloom and Doom View on Irish Referendum Approving Gay Marriage

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican's secretary of state has called the Irish vote to legalize gay marriage a "defeat for humanity," evidence of the soul-searching going on in Catholic circles after the predominantly Roman Catholic country overwhelmingly rejected traditional church teaching on marriage.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said he was saddened by the landslide decision, in which more than 62 percent of Irish voters said "yes," despite church teaching that marriage is only between a man and woman.
In comments to reporters Tuesday evening, Parolin referred to remarks by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, that the results showed the church needed to do a "reality check" since it clearly wasn't reaching young people with its message.
"I don't think you can speak only about a defeat for Christian principles, but a defeat for humanity," he said.
The Catholic Church in Ireland has lost much of its moral authority following widespread sex abuse scandals and a general secularization of society. Martin himself called the vote part of a "social revolution" that required the church to look at whether it had "drifted completely away from young people."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eucharist: A Meal of Mutual Empowerment "EUCHARIST IN TURMOIL"Eucharistic Prayers by Diarmuid O'Murchu

"EUCHARIST  IN  TURMOIL"Eucharistic Prayers by Diarmuid O'Murchu
"The attached Eucharistic Prayers (hence EPs)seek to honour the second interpretation of Eucharist as a ritual of the open, egalitarian table, to which all are welcome regardless of class or status, and from which nobody should ever be excluded. The priest is a ritual facilitator, very much in keeping with the role of the mother in Jewish Shabat meal, the original model used by Christians in developing Eucharistic celebrations, but also honouring the oldest definition of Priesthood known to all Christian Churches, namely the vision of the priest as theservus servorum Dei (the servant of the servants of God). In this Eucharistic context, the Priest has no power other than that of being a facilitator for empowerment in the ritual context. 

The primary power in every Eucharistic celebration resides with the living Spirit of God, not with the priest or people. From earliest times the Church has honoured this fact through the notion of the Epiclesis: the invocation of the Holy Spirit. When I studied theology, I was told by my Jesuit professor, that the Epiclesis is the heart and soul of the Eucharistic prayer. It was several years later before I fully internalized that truth.  

The Catholic Church uses a double invocation of the Holy Spirit, which I have retained the attached EPs, firstly invoking the Spirit over the gifts of bread and wine, and secondly over the people of God to reinforce their unity as a Christian people. The first invocation comes before the words of Consecration, indicating that the real power for change in the Eucharistic elements (however we understand it) is activated through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and not through any special words uttered by the priest. The second tends to be located as the second paragraph after the Eucharistic acclamation. 

Other Christian traditions combine the two into one, with the primary emphasis of invoking the Spirit upon the people, thus making the people of focus of the Spirit’s transformative power. Some commentators (e.g Crockett 1999) suggest that this may have been the original emphasis when the concept of the Epiclesis was first developed. I rather like the notion of the double Epiclesis as it truly highlights where the emphasis should rest. The Holy Spirit, who is the agent of all creativity throughout the length and breadth of creation, logically becomes the primary agent for change and transformation even in the Eucharist itself. 

Who is meant to invoke the Holy Spirit? My impression is that theologians are quite clear on this matter but may not always state it forthrightly: the baptized people of God gathered in worship. It is both their privilege and responsibility, and should not be taken from them to fulfill clerical power or control. Ritually, it would therefore be ideal for the gathered body to pray aloud and together the two paragraphs related to the Epiclesis. Gestures can also be added and in my experience they enrich the underlying meaning. For the first invocation all can be invited to extend their hands over the gifts of bread and wine. And for the second Epiclesis, with the emphasis on the unity of the gathered group, people can be invited to link hand to shoulder with the person to their right or left. 

In theological terms, what is needed primarily for a valid Eucharist Prayer is the invocation of the Holy Spirit (Epiclesis), whether done as one articulation or in a two-fold expression. What then of the words of Consecration? These words certainly belong to the inherited tradition, and carry a primordial memory of what Jesus said at the Last Supper, and probably at several other meals as well. In praying these two paragraphs, we are touching into the power of sacred memory. Perhaps, therefore, instead of retaining the words exclusively for the priest, they should be prayed by those in the worshipping group who carry responsibilities around the ongoing life of that particular community, e.g., a parish council in a parochial setting, the staff of a school or Retreat Centre, the leadership team of a religious community..."   

Homily: "When the Spirit Comes to Town”, Acts 2:1-21 May 24, 2015 Priest Annie Watson, ARCWP

Pictured left to right are: Fr. Ryan Cox, Annie Watson, and Fr. Daniel Kostakis at Bloomington Inclusive Mass on May 24, 2015. Annie celebrated her first liturgy as an ARCWP priest.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. This is the day when the Spirit blew into town. The Spirit is like that . . . blustery and unpredictable. Remember how Jesus describes the Spirit in John 3? “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.”

That’s what happened on the Day of Pentecost. The followers of Jesus, dozens of men and women, including the Apostles, were still hiding out in Jerusalem, fifty days after Passover and the death and resurrection of Jesus. “Pentecost,” in fact, means “fiftieth.”

This may be the most ironic day in the history of Christianity, the day we celebrate the birthday of the church. The reason why this day is so ironic is because the Spirit came to town on the day the people were celebrating the Law!

Pentecost commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai. It is the holiday that celebrates the Jewish Law. There were more than the Ten Commandments, by the way. There were 613 commandments or laws in ancient Israel, known as the Halakha.

The Halakha did not distinguish between religious and non-religious laws. Laws that pertained to religious life and laws that pertained to day-to-day living were all lumped together. Pentecost, the celebration of Jewish Law, was very important to them. It was the basis of their national unity and civilization.

What perfect timing, then, for the arrival of the cantankerous Spirit! This is like Jesse James coming to town and crashing your wedding!

Law and Spirit have always had an awkward relationship. They live in tension with one another. Whether we realize it or not, much of our lives are spent trying to discern when to act according to “the letter of the Law” and when to act according to “the spirit of the Law.”
Law is necessary, of course. We can’t have civilization without laws. Some laws are made to be broken, as people like to point out, but not all laws. Without Law we have total anarchy, and no one wants to have total anarchy.

And yet, isn’t the Spirit a higher way? When the Spirit comes to town, aren’t we elevated in some way? Without the Spirit’s input, the Law can be inflexible and oppressive. The Spirit, on the other hand, likes to shake things up a bit.

For example, the Law says, “Everyone needs to speak the same language.” The Spirit says, “Everyone can speak their own language.” Does that sound familiar?

We see this in Acts chapter 2. The Law-abiding citizens of Jerusalem and the pilgrims who were there to celebrate the Law of Moses were confounded by the fact that multiple languages were being spoken. This was so irritating to folks that they began to claim these people were drunk, even at 9 a.m.

People seem to prefer uniformity and order. In our own time and place, law-abiding citizens also scream for unity of language. “Speak English or go back home!” we say. This is the voice of Law, not Spirit.

When the Spirit is absent, people are encouraged to speak the same language and think the same way. Liberty of conscience is discouraged. Freedom of thought is frowned upon. When the Spirit comes to town, however, people become free to prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams—in their native language of course!

It’s not that the Law strictly prohibits those things. It’s just that the Law just doesn’t encourage those things. The Law has to work harder when people are prophesying, seeing visions, and dreaming dreams. Society becomes “less manageable” when the Spirit comes to town.

Again, it is ironic that the Spirit came to town on a day in which people were celebrating the giving of the Law. It’s like there was a new sheriff in town, and yet a sheriff that operates beyond the limitations and contradictions of the Law—a sheriff that operates according to the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law.

In terms of our understanding of the Bible, we can say this more playfully: the spirit of the law creates more “wiggle room.” And wiggle room makes some people uncomfortable.
I read the following on Wikipedia so it must be true: “When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording.”

The same could also be said for the rules and laws of one’s religious institution. The Catholic Church follows what we call “canon law.” There are 1,752 canons or laws that govern the Catholic Church. Among other things, canon law limits who can prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams by setting strict parameters around the definition of those who can receive Holy Orders.

When Canon Law comes to town, limitations are drawn up that favor those who are “in charge.” When Canon Law comes to town, the powerful are supported by coercive forces. When Canon Law comes to town, women, married priests, and the LGBT community are silenced.

Canon Law 1024 states that only a baptized man can receive sacred ordination. Of course, they must be heterosexual, unmarried and celibate as well. When asked why this cannot change, the Church claims their hands are tied.

The Church does not have the authority to ordain women, they say, because Christ chose his apostles only from among men, because this has been the practice of the Church since the time of Christ, and because the Church has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for “His” Church.

The Catholic Church is very adept at following the letter of the law, but not so adept at following the spirit of the law. In fact, the church often ignores the fact that the Spirit has already come to town and thrown a party for equality!

Although the Apostle Peter himself claimed that our sons and daughters will prophesy and the Spirit will be poured out on both men and women, there are still places in Christianity today, 2,000 years later, that are debating whether or not women can be priests or pastors. Religious institutions that follow the letter of the law more skillfully than the spirit of the law can kill the spirit.

And yet when the Spirit comes to town, the nature of power changes. Power becomes much more democratic. Rules evolve, if not dissolve altogether. Peace and harmony replaces law and order as that which keeps the community together.

In Acts 2, Peter himself is quoting from the prophet Joel, who predated him by a few hundred years. Joel is the one who states that our sons and daughters will prophesy. Why, then, are we still debating the Spirit’s calling of women?

Last week, as you know, I was ordained a priest by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. We were all gathered together in one place, a modern day Jerusalem called Tampa, Florida. And while we all believe in and adhere to certain laws, rules, and customs, we were open to the Spirit paying us a visit.

The Spirit came to Tampa, the wind blew where it chose, and five women were ordained to the priesthood and diaconate. It was our Day of Pentecost, a week early in terms of the lectionary calendar, although the Spirit hardly sees the lectionary calendar as a “legal boundary.”

As I stand here this evening, I recognize that the Spirit has also come to Bloomington, Indiana in general and to this little congregation in particular. The Spirit is blustery and unpredictable. And it’s ready to throw a birthday party for the church. Don’t shut the windows!

Women Priests Mary Weber & Annie Watson celebrated a Mother's Day/Pentecost liturgy this past weekend in House Church in Indianapolis, Indiana

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Mary Weber and Annie Watson Co-Preside at Pentecost/Mother's Day Liturgy in House Church in Indianapolis area on May 24, 2015.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Conversation With My Brother, Patrick, A Vietnam Veteran on Memorial Day

Last night, along with millions of others, I watched the PBS Memorial Day Concert in DC.
I usually watch each year.
For years, our family watched together.  We went to a friend's picnic, Dad played with other wonderful musicians and we watched the Capitol Concert on TV at the Mall in DC.
Last night, the focus was on wounded veterans. The stories told touched my heart and my eyes filled with tears.
Bridget Mary and brother Patrick

I called my brother, Patrick, who served in Vietnam to thank him for his service.
 He was drafted after high school.

I entered the convent in 1966, and was learning the ropes of nunhood 101, but , like thousands of other soldiers, Patrick was in harms' way thousands of miles away.

Patrick wrote a few times from Vietnam.  I could tell it was pretty bad. He was with the 101st Airborn division. He got hit once with sharpnal, but it was not a serious injury. He served his complete tour.

 I wrote to him assuring him that the nuns were praying.

At that time,  nuns did not watch TV or get the daily newspaper, so I was not exposed to the daily horrors of war. 

Fortunately, he came home without any visible scars. It was not until years later we found a medal of honor in a box in our garage. Patrick rarely said anything about the war to me or to my parents. He served his country honorably . After returning home,  he  went on with his life, married Valerie, and stayed close to family and friends. 

Later we learned of his exposure to Agent Orange. 

Today when Patrick and I finally  connected on the phone,he said that he watched the concert last night.  With a catch in his voice, "In wars, no one wins, both sides suffer and die."
I thanked him for his service. We said, "I love you. "

We will see each other in a few weeks. 

But for many families, that will not be the case.

 So today, I am remembering their sacrifices. They paid the ultimate price. 

In other cases, the  physical and emotional scars take many years to heal, and sometimes never heal. 

So sad.

Let us pray for and work for peace and justice, but never forget those who have given everything and suffered  losses and grief that last a lifetime.  


Community Blesses Newly Ordained Catholic Women: Deacon Lorraine Sharpe Meyer ARCWP, Priest Kathryn Shea ARCWP, Priest Sally Brochu ARCWP, Deacon Renee Dubignon, ARCWP

Left to right: Deacon Lorraine Sharpe Meyer, Priest Kathryn Shea, Priest Sally Brochu, Renee Dubignon
ordained by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests,
Community lays hands on newly ordained at Ordination Rite on May 23, 2015 in Sarasota, Florida

Dr. Michele Birch Conery ARCWP and Dr. Barbara Billey, ARCWP Petition Windsor, Ontario City Council to Adopt Charter for Compassion/Video Clip

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ireland on its way becoming first country to legalize gay marriage
"Saturday vote counts of the Irish referendum on gay marriage show that the historical Roman Catholic stronghold is ready to embrace same-sex marriage with open arms.
From The New York Times:
Both proponents and opponents said the only remaining question was the size of the victory for approval. Ronan Mullen, an Irish senator and one of only a few politicians to oppose the measure, predicted the win would be “substantial.” The official results will be announced this afternoon.
The referendum changes Ireland’s Constitution so that marriages between two people would be legal “without distinction as to their sex.”
That the vote even came to pass barely two decades after Ireland decriminalized homosexuality, accentuated the cultural change afoot and the church’s declining influence after a series of scandals.."

Blessed Oscar Romero Beatified

In El Salvador, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to be present for the beatification of the former Archbishop Oscar Romero, including Vatican officials, clergy throughout Latin America and visitors from around the world.

ARCWP Movie Clips from Ordination of 4 Women in Sarasota, Florida on May 23, 2015