Friday, June 5, 2015

LGBT ties don't defeat, but support marriage

By Juan Masiá Clavel, SJ (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Vivir y pensar en la frontera Blog
June 1, 2015

The result of the Irish referendum, in which support for the recognition of marriage equality prevailed, has raised concern and sadness among those who believe it means a defeat for the defense of the marriage institution.

Rather we should say the opposite: it is not a defeat or a threat to the institution of marriage but a source of support.

There are also those who reluctantly accept civil recognition of homosexual unions, but would impose the condition of not calling them marriages or equating them with heterosexual marriage.

(There are also those who force the argument, playing with the etymologies of "matrimony", "patrimony" etc ... We don't know whether it would reassure them to speak of "spousal ties" in both cases).

In any case, those who insist, rightly, on "doing everything possible to defend, protect and promote the institution of marriage and the family," should be reassured, because equal ties don't threaten but precisely support the institution of marriage by stressing social and legal formalization of the ties, rather than reducing them to the private sphere of more or less stable domestic partnerships.

It has been diagnosed, in the context of the so-called culture of temporariness, that divorce is increasing, as well as the lack of interest in socially and legally formalizing unions which are reduced to domestic partnerships with questionable stability. Precisely in this context, LGBT couples' interest, desire and demand for social, legal and cultural (which could and should also be religious) recognition of their marital unions, is significant.

As we have seen (in previous posts looking towards the Synod of Bishops), the Catholic definition of marriage as "a community of life and love open to life" could be applied to both heterosexual and non-heterosexual couples.

The biblical view expressed in the mythopoetic narrative of the primordial couple is mutual recognition as a "worthy partner." The parties promise one another faithfulness to "accompany each other on the road to building an intimate community of life and love that makes two people one."

Sunday Mass

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
June 7, 2015

Mark 14:12-16,22-26

Sociological studies highlight it with convincing data -- the Christians of our Western churches are abandoning Sunday Mass. The celebration, as it has been shaped over the centuries, is no longer able to nourish their faith or link them to the community of Jesus.

What's surprising is that we're letting the Mass "be lost" without this fact causing the slightest reaction whatsoever among us. Isn't the Eucharist the center of Christian life? How can we remain passive, unable to take any initiative? Why does the hierarchy remain so silent and inert? Why don't we believers express our concern more strongly and with more grief?

Disaffection with the Mass is growing even among those who participate in it responsibly and unconditionally. It is the exemplary fidelity of this minority that's sustaining the communities, but can the Mass stay alive only on the basis of protective measures that ensure compliance with the current ritual?

The questions are unavoidable: Doesn't the Church need at its center a more alive and incarnated experience of the Lord's Supper than the one the current liturgy offers? Are we so sure we're doing well today what Jesus wanted us to do in memory of him?

Is the liturgy we've been repeating for centuries the one that can, in these times, best help believers to experience what Jesus experienced at that memorable supper where how and why he lived and died was concentrated, recapitulated, and made manifest? Is it what most can draw us to living as his disciples at the service of his plan for the kingdom of the Father?

Today, everything seems to be opposed to the reform of the Mass. However, it will be more and more necessary if the Church wants to experience vital contact with Jesus Christ. The road will be long. Change will be possible when the Church feels more strongly the need to remember Jesus and live from his Spirit. That's why now too the most responsible thing is not to be absent from the Mass but contribute to the conversion to Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Women's Ordinations - May 2015

Time for a summary of the Roman Catholic women's ordination ceremonies for the month.

May 30, 2015 - Oak Park, IL


On May 30th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park, Illinois, Kathy Rolenc was ordained an RCWP deacon by Bishop Joan Houk. Prior to her ordination into the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement, Rolenc (first row, center) was a youth minister at St. Germaine Catholic Church in Oak Lawn, IL.

May 23, 2015 - Sarasota, Florida


In a ceremony at the Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests ordained Sally Brochu and Kathryn Shea as priests, and Lorraine Sharpe Meyer and Renee Dubignon as deacons. Here are the newly ordained:

  • Sally Brochu is a mother, grandmother, and even a great-grandmother who hails from Nokomis, FL. She has an MA in Pastoral Counseling from Emmanuel College in Boston. She is a Board Certified Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. She worked as Director of Pastoral Care for the Sisters of Charity Health System in Maine for 10 years. Rev. Brochu, who has been serving as a deacon in the Mary Mother of Jesus Community where she will continue as a priest, is especially glad to have found in ARCWP a different model of Church and to be able to serve those who are often left out of the mainstream church. Taking advantage of Florida's recent decision to allow gay marriage, she says, "after my priestly ordination I will officiate at a wedding of a gay couple who have lived their faithful commitment to one another for 35 years."

  • Kathryn Shea is a licensed clinical social worker and President and CEO of the Florida Center for Early Childhood in Sarasota, for which she was named Social Worker of the Year by the Sarasota/Manatee Unit of the National Association of Social Workers in March of this year. She is also Chair of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County. Rev. Shea has worked for and led non-profit organizations in New York and Florida for over 35 years and she has also been active in resistance against nuclear weapons and American foreign policy in Central America. As a priest, Shea will continue to serve in the Mary Mother of Jesus Community where she has been working as a deacon.

  • Lorraine Sharpe Meyer of Casselberry, FL has worked as a nurse and a chaplain and has specialized in care for people with Hansen's Disease, AIDS and dementia. She has also worked with the homeless in many areas of the U.S. and Thailand. She is the author of Dirty Feet: Stories of Really Terrific People, a memoir of some of her service experiences. She decided to become a priest because "as a lifelong Catholic, I so often witnessed male priests who, due to lack of proper training, were unable to comfort people requesting sacraments. Then, as a chaplain to people with dementia, I found that I was able to be a 'real priest' for them. When I discovered the Women Priest movement, I knew immediately that I belong to it."

  • Major Renee Dubignon of Holiday, FL, served in the US Army from 1980 to 2005 and worked concurrently for the New York City Police Department from 1982-2003 as a behavior modification consultant. Since her retirement to Florida, she has been a marketing executive with the TraVerus Travel Network through her own company, Major Adventure Marketing Group. She has an MSW from City University of New York-Hunter College and in 2009-2010 studied theology at the Episcopal Divinity School. Of her calling to ministry, she says, "My deep faith in God's love guided me in the pastoral care of those in need of liberation from the negative effects of crime and evil. I have a calming spirit that aids me in helping others heal. God uses me as a vessel to heal physical and psychological problems."


May 17, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN

On May 17, 2015, at Compassion of Christ Catholic Community in Minneapolis, Josephine Petermeier was ordained a priest by RCWP Bishop Nancy Meyer. Rev. Petermeier felt called to be a priest from an early age. Instead, she joined a convent, where she worked in the community's retreat center and retirement home for 9 years. She earned her BA in Theology from Creighton University in Omaha and then worked as a DRE for several years. She moved to Minneapolis and studied electronics and worked in that field for 15 years. Married with two sons, she has always been active in her parish as a lector and Eucharistic Minister and with RCIA. She volunteers with the homeless and a local food pantry. She has been a staff member at St. Louis Park Middle School and is working toward a Pastoral Ministry Certificate with Global Ministries University. Currently, she is serving at two RCWP-led communities, Compassion of Christ Catholic Community and Mary Magdalene, First Apostle. She was ordained a deacon in November 2014.

May 16, 2015 - Rochester, NY


On Saturday, May 16th, 2015, Myra Brown was ordained a Roman Catholic woman deacon at Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY. Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger from Austria performed the ordination at a ceremony in which the church's pastor, Rev. Mary Ramerman, and associate pastor, Rev. Jim Callan, also participated. Brown had been serving in the church as a lay associate pastor, welcoming new parishioners, leading the church's racial justice team, lending her voice to its music ministry, and helping with weekend liturgies. Of her ordination, the new deacon said, "I felt so lifted, loved and called by God and my community. These are my people, and I am their servant and friend. I'm looking forward to what God has in store for us next at Spiritus Christi."

May 15, 2015 - Tampa, Florida


On May 15, 2015, Annie Watson, Patricia Zorn, and "Catherine Aquinas" (catacomb name) were ordained priests and Jennifer Marcus and Silvia Brandon Pérez were ordained deacons by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Some of the ordinands are:

  • Annie Watson first served God as a nun and then as a teacher/advocate for special needs children and in various pastoral ministries within the Catholic Church in Danville, Kentucky. She is now helping her husband, Dr. Jimmy Watson, pastor of St. John United Church of Christ (Cumberland) in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his pastoral duties. Rev. Watson was ordained an ARCWP deacon in July 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Patricia Zorn was originally ordained a priest in 2005 by Bishop Michel Joseph Pugin, a former Roman Catholic priest who left to join the Catholic Apostolic Church which evolved into the American Catholic Church in the United States. The Spring Hill, Florida resident had been pastoring Holy Angels Catholic Community, a congregation she founded in 2006 and through which she has been part of a loose-knit group called the Catholic Diocese of the One Spirit. She has a degree in Spiritual Counseling from the New Seminary in New York City. She was ordained as an ARCWP deacon last fall.

  • Silvia Brandon Pérez has worn a variety of hats before becoming an ARCWP deacon. The Hayward, California resident who was born in Havana, Cuba, is a veteran activist for peace and social justice. She has run her own catering business, Paellas for Peace. She has a J.D. from Seton Hall and worked as an attorney until shortly before her third suspension in 2003. Fluent in Spanish, French, and Italian, she now works as a translator through her own firm, Precise Translations, LLC. All that and she is a published poet! Samples of her work can be found here and here and here...and, of course, there's her current blog...

We do not have any additional information about Jennifer Marcus at this time and "Catherine Aquinas" is an assumed name for a "Catacomb" woman priest, one who wishes to keep her true identity anonymous.