Interestingly, both women are former nuns -- Mary Weber was a member of the Sisters of Providence and Annie Watson, of the Sisters of Mercy -- who left the consecrated life to become wives, mothers, and grandmothers. Weber is now retired but prior to her retirement, she worked as a licensed social worker, an accredited hospital administrator and as a pastoral associate. She is now a volunteer chaplain at a nursing home where she has ministered for 10 years. She plans to establish a house church and assist at an inclusive community already established in Indianapolis. Annie Watson is a retired special education teacher and advocate for special needs children and adults in Kentucky. She has served as a religious educator, youth minister and pastoral care minister.
Bishop Meehan based her homily on the Beatitudes. "In the Beatitudes," she said, "Jesus reveals that God is a God of compassion who calls us to be the compassion of God. The Beatitudes are a call to action to serve the excluded and oppressed and to transform unjust structures that cause poverty, abuse and inequality in our world. Jesus led a paradigm shift away from a religion that focuses on rules and rituals to one that emphasizes living compassion and doing justice. Jesus led by example, crossing boundaries and creating a community of empowerment that included lepers, tax collectors, women, children and the walking wounded of his time. He embraced all especially the poor, the hungry the grieving, the oppressed, while promising abundance, liberation, comfort, and peace in God's tender love."
And after reviewing the RCWP tradition into which the two women were being ordained, Meehan issued a challenging call: "As you are ordained today, Mary and Annie, may you be the compassion of God as you live the Beatitudes. May you foster vibrant, mystical and justice seeking communities of faith. May you reflect the feminine face of God, healing, loving, and serving the people of God. May you be the power of love, embracing all in the cosmic dance of creation."
Photos courtesy of Bridget Mary's Blog