Visiting Israel

Kathie Ryan, ARCWP, and member of the Upper Room Community in Albany, NY, recently visited Israel.

Here are two pictures she sent from Israel:

The is the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Below is King David’s tomb and above is a mosque. Very inclusive.

sea-of-galileeSunrise on the Sea of Galilee

 

People’s Catholic Seminary – Course 401-Sacraments

People’s Catholic Seminary will begin a new on-line course the week of November 7. This course aligns with Unit 4 in the ARCWP Ordination Units and is free to ARCWP candidates and their program companions.
Registration closes November 1.
Many blessings,
Bridget Mary and Mary Theresa

http://pcseminary.blogspot.com

401: Sacraments
Facilitators:
Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Dr. Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP
The course opens the week of November 7, 2016 and concludes the week of December 19, 2016.
Cost: $200 (financial aid available)
Register now at peoplescatholicseminary@gmail.com

Course Overview

Course participants will engage in dynamic conversations about sacraments for the 21st century through on-line blog postings.
The primary text for the course is “Deconstructing Sacramental Theology and Reconstructing Catholic Ritual” by Joseph Martos. Other supplemental material for the course will be posted in the interactive blog. Class discussions will focus on the material presented in Joseph Martos’ book.

According to Martos, Catholic sacramental doctrine has lost much of its credibility. Baptized people leave the church, adolescents stop attending shortly after they are confirmed, supposedly indissoluble marriages regularly dissolve, few go to confession, and many do not believe in transubstantiation.

Drawing upon his decades-long study of the sacraments, Martos reveals how teachings that seemed rooted in the scriptures and Catholic life have become unmoored from the contexts in which they arose, and why seemingly eternal truths are actually historically relative.

After carefully constructing Catholic teaching from the church’s own documents, he deconstructs it by demonstrating how biblical passages were misconstrued by patristic authors and how patristic writings were misunderstood by medieval scholastics. The long process of misinterpretation culminated in the dogmatic pronouncements of the Council of Trent, which continues to dominate Catholic thinking about the church’s religious ceremonies. If the sacraments are released from their dogmatic baggage, Martos believes that the spiritual realities they symbolize can be celebrated in any human culture without being tied to their traditional rites.

Upper Room Blesses Mary Theresa on 3rd Anniversary of Ordination

The Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community of the NYS Capital Region celebrated Mary Theresa Streck’s third anniversary of ordination as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest.

Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP, led the Upper Room Community in the following blessing for Mary Theresa at the beginning of liturgy:


Let us take time now to bless this wise woman.

Mary Theresa, we call you to the center of this circle to honor you for the gifts you have given this community and in celebration of your anniversary of ordination. Come forth, good and faithful wise woman!
The gifts you have given so freely to our community have flourished and born fruit. We now anoint you with oil, symbolizing you are a wise woman.

 anointingmts-9-11-16

I ask the Community to join me in blessing Mary Theresa today. Please come forward and bless her as we pray together:
Divine Creator of the Universe, She Who Is and Will Always Be, we ask you to bless Mary Theresa today and every day.
May you have strength, courage and wisdom for the journey ahead.
May you be blessed with good health.

May your heart be filled with compassion in the work of justice.

May you be filled with hope, laughter and love.

May you know the comfort of community, good friends and family.
May the peace of divine wisdom live always in your heart and your home.

May you always bear witness to the love of divine wisdom in this world.
May Holy Wisdom bless you and keep you.

May She make her face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May She lift up her countenance upon you and give you peace!
This is our prayer and a blessing upon you Mary Theresa,

Wise and faith-filled woman.
And as community we say, amen!

Let it be so!

Nuns on the Bus Coming to Albany July 21

NETWORK

Come See the Nuns on the Bus

We’re Coming to New York!

In just a few days, NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus will be visiting your area on our journey to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In an election year, it’s crucial that our message to Mend the Gaps in income and wealth inequality in our nation be heard and heeded. We hope you’ll join us in New York!

Rally
Thursday, July 21, 12:00 Noon
New York State Capitol, West Capitol Park
State Street, Albany, NY 12210

Download our Rochester flyer Download our Albany flyer

Our goal is to bring a politics of inclusion to divided places, change the conversation to mending the vast economic and social divides in our country, and counter political incivility with our message of inclusion.

Pope Francis has said, “a healthy politics is sorely needed.” View our schedule and RSVP to join us on this journey.

Can’t make it? There are other ways to get involved:

  See you there,

Sister Simone Campbell
Executive Director

P.S. We’re sending these announcements to everyone in a state with a bus event or within two hours of an event — which means you may end up receiving more than one email. We’re sorry for any inconvenience, but wanted you to know about all our stops near you.

Join us for our Mary Magdalene Celebration 7-21-16 Upper Room Community

The Upper Room Community in Troy has accepted the invitation to host the 2016 celebration of the Feast of Mary Magdalene

Dear CTA and Upper Room Communities,

This year the Upper Room Community is honored to prepare the Mary of Magdala celebration. We will begin our celebration at 7:00pm. at the Upper Room in Troy, NY.  For this celebration, wear a colorful stole or scarf and we will celebrate Eucharist together.

The Upper Room is located next to Brown’s Brewery.   (map) Some of you may want to meet before or after for dinner.

Here is the address:

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community

415 River Street, Second Floor

Troy, NY 12180

handicap accessible

(Click the images below to enlarge)


Why Roman Catholic Women Priests

Dear Friends,
Last weekend, June 18, I joined the Call To Action witness at the Cathedral in Albany, NY. That morning four men were ordained for the Albany Diocese. During the witness, I held a sign that proclaimed: “Women Priests Are Here!” Some of you may wonder why Roman Catholic women are seeking ordination through the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. Hopefully the points below will help to answer your questions. I am happy to meet and discuss them with you or with a group who is interested in learning more about us.
The best way to contact me is through email at mtstreck@gmail.com.
Many blessings,
Mary Theresa
 

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

 

What do you think about Pope Francis and the new commission he called for to study the ordination of women deacons?

We are grateful for Pope Francis’ work to protect mother earth, his care for the poor, and advocacy for economic equality. However, he must make the connection between poverty and gender justice. Two thirds of the world’s poor are women and their dependent children. If the Catholic Church were to embrace women’s gifts as equals in the priesthood and in decision-making, just imagine the many blessings this affirmation would bring to a world where women suffer injustice and inequality every day. We hope that Pope Francis will chart a new path toward human equality in our church by opening all ministries to women. The commission on women deacons could be a first step toward the full equality of women in the church.

http://www.womenpriests.org/history.asp

How did your Movement begin?


The Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. An anonymous male bishop with apostolic succession ordained our first women bishops. Therefore, our ordinations are valid. We are disobeying an unjust man-made church law (canon 1024) that discriminates against women by prohibiting women’s ordination. Right now, there are seven sacraments for men and six for women. The Catholic Church cannot continue to discriminate against women and blame God for it.  Presently, the official teaching states that the Church has no authority whatsoever to ordain women because the priest acts in “persona Christi”, and must bear a physical resemblance to Jesus. Thus, only men can be priests.  Baptism makes us all spiritual equals, and opens the door to all the sacraments, including Holy Orders. Baptized into Christ, we are all spiritual equals (Galatians 3:27-28). We are following our consciences and leading the church toward justice and equality by ordaining women in apostolic succession in a new model of church that is inclusive, non-clerical and empowering for all.Â


In June 2016, Pope Francis has received our ongoing petition campaign from our international movement to lift our excommunications, stop all punishments against us and our supporters, and begin a dialogue with us.  See our petition to Pope Francis:

SIGN PETITION : CATHOLICS SUPPORT WOMEN PRIESTS. POPE FRANCIS SHOULD DO THE SAME., Groundswell Campaign

https://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/pope-francis-welcome-all-priests#

What is your vision/mission?

Roman Catholic Women Priests are a renewal, justice movement, within the Catholic Church. We are creating a bridge between our present institutional church and a new model of church, rooted in Jesus’ vision of an open table, and beginning a healing process of centuries-old  misogyny.

We are changing the church, one inclusive Catholic Community at a time. We offer hope that gender equality can be a reality now by living as companions in a blessed, mutual partnership of love, rooted in the teachings and example of Jesus. We are companions on the journey, an egalitarian partnership with the community of the baptized, facilitating inclusive liturgies and building loving communities of service in our local areas. Our mission is to serve especially those whom the Vatican marginalizes and to serve Catholics who are ready to embrace a more inclusive church. We have an open table which means everyone is welcome to receive sacraments: LGBTQI, divorced and remarried, etc. In our faith communities, everyone consecrates Eucharist, offers mutual blessing and shares in homilies and governance decisions. We are a community of equals, celebrating our identity as united in our diversity in the Body of Christ.

The real issue is the full equality of women in a renewed church where all are equal and all are welcome.  The Church that treats women as second-class citizens violates God’s will. Genesis 1:27: God created humanity in God’s image, in the divine image, God created them, male and female God created them.  Galatians 3:27.St. Paul reminds us that by our baptism there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ.

Now is the time for a loving “holy shakeup”, an explosion of grace, which will bring fresh hope for justice and equality for women in the church and world. As a new ecclesial movement we are blessing the church with new life in grassroots egalitarian communities where all are  equal and empowered.

Who is your target group?

We are serving inclusive Catholic communities where all are welcome to receive sacraments. Thirty-three million Catholics in the U.S. have left the church and we are welcoming them to our inclusive Eucharistic communities.

Are your orders recognized in the Catholic Church?

Roman Catholic Women Priests have valid orders. A male bishop in apostolic succession ordained our first bishops. According to recent polls, a growing number of people in many countries support women priests. Our international movement has ordained members in thirteen countries and on five continents.

Why don’t you get ordained in another church, rather than face excommunication and rejection?


We are faith-filled members of our church dedicated to making our church more loving, open, inclusive, just and equal. The church is our spiritual family and home. Jesus stood on the margins with the least and the last. He treated women as disciples and equals. He proclaimed that we are all the beloved of God, who is love. As followers of Jesus, we live the beautiful mystical, prophetic and sacramental tradition of our church.  Pope Benedict canonized two excommunicated two nuns: Theodore Guerin and Mary McKillop. Like these courageous women we spoke truth to power and suffered condemnation; we too are called to be prophets of gender justice for women in our church today.

How do you deal with excommunication?

We reject excommunication. No punishment can separate us from Christ or cancel our baptism. No church authority can separate us from God. This is our church and we are not leaving it no matter what the Vatican says or does (The Vatican’s official line is that our excommunicate is the automatic type, by your choice, you have excommunicated yourself).

Were women ever ordained in church history? The church teaches that Jesus had twelve apostles. How can women be priests?

Jesus called women and men to be disciples (Luke 8:1-3). Jesus did not ordain anyone. The Twelve symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel. Women were apostles: Mary of Magdala and Junia in Romans 16:7.  Paul calls Junia an outstanding apostle! So there were more than 12 apostles. Paul was an apostle, and Mary of Magdala and Junia were two women apostles. The early Church Fathers referred to Mary of Magdala as the apostle to the apostles!

The Risen Christ called Mary Magdala to be the apostle to the apostles. She was the first to proclaim the central message of Christianity, the Resurrection. Vatican hierarchy should follow Jesus’ example of Gospel equality and the early church’s tradition of women in liturgical leadership as deacons, priests and bishops.

What is the History of Women’s Ordination?

For 1200 years women were ordained (Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, Dorothy Irvin’s archaeological evidence etc., and see major scholarship “women can be priests” in many languages: http://www.womenpriests.org/).

In the early centuries of Christianity, ordination was the process and the ceremony by which one moved to any new ministry (ordo) in the community. By this definition, women were in fact ordained into several ministries. A radical change in the definition of ordination during the eleventh and twelfth centuries not only removed women from the ordained ministry, but also attempted to eradicate any memory of women’s ordination in the past. …However, the triumph of a new definition of ordination as the bestowal of power, particularly the power to confect the Eucharist, so thoroughly dominated western thought and practice by the thirteenth century that the earlier concept of ordination was almost completely erased. References to the ordination of women exist in papal, episcopal and theological documents of the time, and the rites for these ordinations have survived (Gary Macy, The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination).

The Vatican and Google have created a virtual tour of catacombs including two frescoes in St. Priscilla’s catacomb that provide evidence of ancient women deacons and priests in first centuries of church’s history. One fresco depicts a woman deacon in the center vested in a dalmatic, her arms raised in the orans position for public worship. In the same scene there is a bishop being ordained a priest by a bishop seated in a chair. She is vested in an alb, chasuble, and amice, and holding a gospel scroll.  The third woman in the painting is wearing the same robe as the bishop on the left and is sitting in the same type of chair. In another fresco in the Catacombs of Priscilla, women are conducting a Eucharistic banquet. This evidence portrays women in liturgical roles and vestments.

Why are you being ordained as deacons, priests and bishops? Do you support clericalism, a top down pyramid model in which the people are basically shut out of decision-making?

We are called by God to minister in a renewed priestly ministry that celebrates our baptismal equality in Christ.  We live a non-clerical, circular model of decision-making in our governance and in our independent, inclusive communities. In our liturgies, all are welcome to receive sacraments and fully participate as baptismal equals in celebrating liturgies.  In many of our communities there are dialogue homilies, everyone recites the words of consecration and offers mutual blessing. Until women are affirmed as equals at the altar and in decision-making, women will be second-class citizens in our church.

What is your response to sexism in the church today?

All the baptized are in “Persona Christi” who celebrate Eucharist as the Body of Christ.  In our present Roman Catholic structure, only male priests are officially recognized as in Persona Christi, and therefore, only male priests are called to preside at Eucharist. Roman Catholic Women Priests are visible reminders that women are equal images of God and therefore, are called to preside at and celebrate Eucharist as the Body of Christ. The Vatican hierarchy cannot continue to discriminate against women in sacramental ministry and in decision-making by insisting only ordained males are in Persona Christi. Our movement follows Jesus’ example of an open table where everyone is the Christ-Presence and all are welcome at the banquet table of God’s love.


How many are in your international movement and where are you?


The total number is approximately 225 for the entire Roman Catholic Women Priests international Movement which includes branches in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, U.S., South America and South Africa

Why are there two branches of this movement in the United States?


In the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement, there are two RCWP groups in the United States, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) and Roman Catholic Women Priests  USA (RCWP-USA). Like two religious orders RCWP and ARCWP offer different approaches to governance and program preparation. Our common mission is a renewed priestly ministry in an inclusive church.

Both ARCWP and RCWP-USA offer a new model of priestly ministry in a renewed church that lives prophetic obedience and Gospel equality in the Roman Catholic Church now. Both ARCWP and RCWP-USA communicate and share resources on a regular basis. We have a common listserv and national retreats. We collaborate on major reform movement events such as the celebration of liturgy at Call to Action National Conference..

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priest’s (ARCWP) vision is a renewed priestly ministry within a community of equals. ARCWP makes decisions by a consensus process that involves all members.


ARCWP is an international group without regional territories. Presently, ARCWP is in the United States, South America, and Canada.

Our website is www.arcwp.org

Media Contacts: Bridget Mary Meehan sofiabmm@aol.com, Janice Sevre Duszynska rhythmsofthedance1@gmail.com,

The Upper Room’s website is: http://www.inclusivecatholiccommunity-nycr.org

 

People’s Catholic Seminary – new course beginning in May


301: Moments with the Mystery: Deepening Connection with Your Creative Source
Facilitator: Dr. Eileen Knoff
May 30, 2016 – August 30, 2016
Cost: $200
register now at peoplescatholicseminary@gmail.com

Course Rationale

This course provides guidance to support you in reflecting on your moments of encounter with the sacred source/mystery within you with a goal of deepening insight into the meaning these experiences have for you now. It is designed to help you more fully embrace who you are, what your purpose/call/vocation is on this planet and to take a step closer to living creatively, and fully, into that call. We will make use of several texts, the primary ones being

Matthew Fox€™s work Creativity and Wayne Teasdale€™s The Mystic Heart. Other suggested readings included at the end of this description and are encouraged. You may want to read from specific mystics of the various traditions for special projects.

Course Design

This eight-week course is designed to take the form of independent study along with several conversation threads being shared via email with fellow students and the instructor. Between reading and posting online, you will be writing, reflecting on your writing, and reading from the suggested texts. The instructor will check and comment on postings weekly. You can read and add posts at any time, with the caveat that no one monopolize the conversation. Please make room for all participants to post and keep your posts to the point of the conversation.

About Eileen Knoff

Eileen studied at Seattle University in pastoral ministry and transforming spirituality, earning an M.A. in 2001 and several post-master€™s certificates in subsequent years. She completed a doctorate of ministry from Global Ministries University in 2012, including studies in mysticism, feminism, Celtic spirituality, and new models of ordained ministry. She earned a B. A. from the University of Michigan in 1976 and an M.A. from the University of California (1980) in English and literature, and served as a teacher, writer, and editor before entering spiritual ministry.

Eileen founded Brigid’s Circle as an online contemplative and compassionate conversation with roots in Celtic spirituality in 2008. The group later migrated to Facebook where they now share contemplative and compassionate spiritual conversation. Eileen founded and co-facilitates an interspiritual gathering called Brigid’s Table, in Kirkland, Washington, which currently meets monthly.

Eileen was ordained in 2011 by friends and colleagues who are part of diverse denominations and multiple faith traditions in Seattle. This ordination received the affirmation from both CORPUS and the Progressive Christian Alliance (PCA) and people from diverse Catholic reform groups. She remains an active member of the PCA, and CORPUS, which describes itself as €œa faith community affirming an inclusive priesthood rooted in a reformed and renewed Church.€

In 2011 she published a collection of reflections, including her own, called Seasoning the Soul. The book takes readers on a contemplative journey through the year by way of the Celtic calendar and a Celtic spiritual perspective on life and death and their integration. She is currently working on a collection of her own poetry and hopes to craft a memoir of her experience as an evolving Catholic. A working title for that story is €œDark Graces.

Homily, photos and videos of April 16 ordination

Yesterday’s ordination was a joyful public celebration of Kim Panaro’s and Jim Marsh’s call to priestly ministry. Follow the links below for homily, photos and videos.

ARCWP Ordination in Albany April 16

On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 1 p.m., the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) will ordain Kim Marie Panaro and Jim Marsh priests. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota, FL. The ceremony will take place at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 405 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12206. All are welcome.


Jim Marsh of Albany will be the first man ordained a priest by ARCWP. A graduate of Siena College, he trained with the Franciscan friars. After leaving seminary formation, he served his local church communities as lector, Eucharistic minister, religious educator, parish councilor and worked with youth and seniors. As an out gay man in the 80s, I experienced what it is being on the margins, he said, and I wanted to help people who were going through the same thing. So Jim established a DIGNITY Chapter in the Capital District region of New York and created an interfaith Eucharist table where all were welcome, including GLBTS. His work in establishing support services for AIDS victims and families was recognized by then Governor Mario Cuomo. Jim says he found home in Florida at the inclusive and egalitarian Mary Mother of Jesus Community. He is an active member of the Upper Room Community in Albany as well. I am humbled and grateful that ARCWP has invited me to participate in this great endeavor. As a servant leader priest, I will empower others to be good news and celebrate the holy within, among and around us.

Kim Panaro says her spirituality really started as a youth minister in CYO as a young teen. My spiritual path has been rich in women and men who teach and inspire me. For me, being a mom has been the greatest teacher. The better a parent you can be that’s where grace comes in, she said. Kim earned an undergrad in Religious Studies from the College of St. Rose and a MSW in Social Work from State University of Albany. She has served as a school social worker for many years. She is also a community peace and justice activist and has traveled to Nicaragua. Over the years she learned her spirituality is finding Christ in the margins. I always knew I had a calling in the church, she said. As a woman priest we don’t need to wait for permission to do what God calls us to be. As a woman priest I feel my ordination is to be a witness for Catholics who don’t feel comfortable in the church anymore. When I start talking to them about my priesthood, they are eager to listen and want to hear more. Kim is an active member of the Upper Room Community in Albany.

In this Holy Year of Open Doors we call on Pope Francis to move from condemnation to conversation with the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement. In response to primacy of conscience, we ordain women in apostolic succession as an issue of justice and equality in our church. As a gesture of good will we ask our brother Francis to honor primacy of conscience by dropping excommunication and all punishments against us and our supporters. As faithful members on the margins of our church, we believe it is time to share our stories of priestly ministry in in respectful conversation with Pope Francis and begin a journey toward healing sexism in our church.

God created women and men equal: There is neither male nor female. In Christ you are one. (Galatians 3:28) As spiritual equals, all sacraments should be open to women. God calls both men and women to the priesthood, but Catholic women who are called are rejected because of their gender.

We are a renewed priestly ministry within a community of equals. While we ordain in apostolic succession, our bishops do not have a hierarchical role, said Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan. Our communities make decisions in a circular manner. All are welcome in our inclusive faith communities including GLBT people, divorced and remarried, and non-Catholics.

As the body of Christ, we gather around the table to
co-celebrate the Eucharist (consecrate Eucharist, share the Word of God, and give mutual blessing).

From the first ordination on the Danube in 2002 we have grown from 7 to 222 in 13 countries in our international movement. In the US we have 177 serving 65 communities in 31 states.

Ordination of Kim Panaro and Jim Marsh

logo-rcwp
The Inclusive Catholic Community

of the New York Capital Region

Invites you to our

LITURGY OF ORDINATION

Ordination to Priesthood

Kim Marie Panaro and James Marsh

Ordaining Bishop: Bridget Mary Meehan

Saturday, April 16, 2016 – 1:00 pm

First Unitarian Universalist Church

405 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12206

Your presence is your gift.

**********************************

Ordination Dinner and Accommodations

Please Join Us for a Celebratory Dinner

following the ordination

Saturday April 16, 2016

5:00 pm

Italian American Community Center

257 Washington Avenue Ext.

Albany, NY 12205

Cost is $25 per person (all inclusive)

Cash Bar

Please make check payable to:

Inclusive Catholic Community

and send by April 4th,  2016 to:

Joan Chesterfield

12 Oakwood Blvd.

Clifton Park, NY 12065

jcc1941@hotmail.com or (518) 371-0605