On Sunday October 16,2016 at The Retreat Center in Stony Point, New York, Marilyn Rondeau was Ordained a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church by Bishop Andrea Johnson of Roman Catholic WomenPriests, Eastern Region. Below is a picture of Marilyn with some of the Priests of the Eastern Region. We offer our blessings, prayers and Congratulations to Marilyn and RCWP, an international Movement that ordains prepared women to the temporary Diaconate and Priesthood.
The readings of the day were so appropriate to the occasion: Exodus 17: 8-13 shows that Moses was able to provide leadership in battle only with the support of Aaron and Hur. Without support all long and tiring battles would be lost. Women and men supporting women in the priesthood would tire without the strong support of the many men and women in our communities that hold up our arms as we respond to God’s call in the context of rejection due to the man-made rules of the church limiting the services women can perform(Canon Law 1028). Our Psalm 121 reminds us that God has our backs. Our loving God will guard us from all evil, will guard our very lives, now and forever. 2 Timothy 3: 14-4:2 tells us to be faithful to what we have learned and believed and known from the Sacred Scriptures. The Deacon’s charge is to proclaim these Scriptures and live the service that they ask of us. And regarding the status of women before our God we recall now Galatians 3:28 “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, for you are one in Christ Jesus”. The Gospel of the day, -Luke 18:1-8 shows the response of the unfair judge to the persistent woman. She finally got her justice. And we are assured that God will “secure the rights of God’s chosen ones who call out to God night and day”. One day even within the Roman Catholic Church our persistence will pay off, but thanks be to God, it has already paid off and we are already here. There are over 230 ordained women in the Roman Catholic Church and this number grows every moment as women respond to God’s call and step out on faith, with courage and love. Blessings on you dear Marilyn and on all who persist with courage.
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP-Eastern Region
The sin of misogyny has caused many of us to experience sexual assault or sexually abusive language that threatened our safety, dignity and well-being.
Christian leaders cannot condone such violent speech about women as a minor mistake or an innocent attempt to be “macho.” These excuses teach our young people that such language is acceptable and do further harm to those who have been abused.
We urge all religious leaders to preach, teach and help their communities heal from the twin sins of sexual violence and misogyny. While we are disheartened by Mr. Trump’s toxic words, we believe this moment presents an opportunity to teach our daughters and sons that they are loved, and to teach all Americans how to speak out against sexually violent language.Please take a moment to add your support via this link + forward on to other clergy + lay leaders in your network – http://tinyurl.com/XtianWomenCondemnTrumpRemark
(* Congregation names are for organizational purposes only)
Rev. Suzii Paynter, President, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Michelle Warren, Director of Policy, Christian Community Development Association
Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary
Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, President, Skinner Leadership Institute
Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D. Author, Educator, Spiritual Leader
Jennifer Danielle Crumpton, Femmevangelical.com
Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life
Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador, The Wesleyan Church
Rev. Jaqui Lewis, Middle Church
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, Author
Rev. Katharine Henderson, Auburn Seminary
Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary
* and a growing and flourishing coalition of over 700 highly motivated US clergy + lay leaders as of Thursday morning. Thank you for adding your support!
And many more by Thursday night-do sign on!
Rev. Dr. Judith Lee,Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers, Florida
Pastor Judy Lee
This is THE homily for the day. What is finally done speaks louder than words.
Today a very human woman was declared a saint. For the many thousands she served throughout her ministry she was already a Saint-literally and metaphorically lifting them up out of the gutters and loving them into peace and dignity. If our Good Shepherd Ministry had Patron Saints, we would have St. Teresa of Calcutta and Dorothy Day, (although the Church may not catch up with the level of understanding to beatify Day in the forseeable future). We are thankful for the official recognition of Mother Teresa, though it was not something she wanted or needed. It is both Mother Teresa’s depth of service and understanding and her humanness- full of doubts and real questions about many things that makes her a role model for us. One can not look at people condemned to the bottom without a righteous anger at things that are and the ability to speak truth to power, and this she did. One cannot help to lift the poor without knowing and carrying the many frustrations and pain of that deeply inside. Those of us close enough to touch the poor with love must experience as she did a “darkness of the soul”. And yet our eyes are on the Light. We can ask her prayers for us in this experience. The Gospel for today: Luke 14:25-33 is excellent for today’s Papal homily at the beatification. For St. Teresa the costs of discipleship were carefully counted and her cross was borne every day. Possessions meant nothing to her except possessing the love and light of Christ in the darkness that seeks to envelop those who suffer in silence. Her actions were their voice. For St. Teresa’s gifts of life, and her realness and endless love of Christ and the poor we say now: St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.
These are her words: Love is not words. It is action. Our vocation is to love”.
And of “residing in heaven” she said that she will not be there , she will be active in continuing to bring light to the darkness of the world, particularly the darkness that threatens to cover the poor and the sick.
Thanks be to God for the life and light of St. Teresa!
Rev. Dr. Judith Lee, RCWP Co-Pastor Good Shepherd Ministries, SWFL
Vatican City (CNN)Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India’s poor, has been declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican.
Francis: ‘May she be your model of holiness’
Inviting All to the Table, Article by Stephanie Wekly, Marin Independent Journal September 4, 2016. This article announces the priestly Ordination of Mary Alice Nolan, RCWP Western Region Deacon to take place in October, 2016.
San Rafael woman to break canon law to be an ordained Catholic priest
By Stephanie Weldy
firstname.lastname@example.org @StephanieWeldy1 on Twitter
Mary Alice Nolan will soon be ordained a Roman Catholic priest.
The 64-year-old’s ordination will not be acknowledged by the Catholic church, which only allows men to become priests, but the lifelong follower of the faith is not letting that stop her.
The San Rafael resident plans to press onward with the ordination, to be conducted by a female bishop of the Western Region of Roman Catholic Priest, in October at an Episcopalian church in San Francisco.
Though skeptical that in her lifetime she will see the church modify its rules of who can take the priesthood, Nolan said she hopes one day the church becomes more inclusive.
Q Why do you want to be a Roman Catholic priest?
I want to start using inclusive language. When I say Mass, I want to invite everyone to the table. I have been a nurse for 35 years and my specialty is end-of-life care. In addition to my nursing, I now want to administer to people in a spiritual way. Spirituality at the end of life is a really good healing tool. So now I will be able to anoint people when they’re sick andhopefully follow through with being able to do their funerals.
AQ What inspired you to want to become a priest?
A My husband and I went to see the movie, “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican.” It was a wonderful movie being shown in San Francisco. It was story about a woman who was a nun in South Africa who was the first doctorly prepared woman professor at an all-male seminary she taught at. She realized, “Wow, I’m teaching them how to preach, say Mass, what the liturgy means. Why can’t I do this?” Her story really inspired me. My husband said, “You can do this. You should go for it.”
Q As a “cradle Catholic,” do you have family and friends trying to discourage you from doing this?
A Actually, no. It’s interesting, everyone I’ve met has been incredibly supportive. I think it’s time for a change and people — they’re very optimistic for change. I think Pope Francis is responsible for helping that optimism.
Q If you were to be ex-communicated, how would you feel about that?
A(That thought) bothered me a lot. I had to work withmy spiritual director to work through that. So luckily, I don‘t work for a Catholic institution. If I were a nurse in a Catholic hospital or taught at a Catholic school, I would be fired. I’m the manager of the oncology department at Kaiser in San Francisco. So my Catholicism doesn’t affect my employment.
Q Would you be upset if you were ex-communicated?
A It makes me very upset.
It makes me very sad.
It’s an unjust punishment for an unjust law. It’s breaking canon law but ex-communication is an unjust punishment for wanting to serve peopleand it’s a shame actually.
Q If ordination is a detriment to your faith, why do it?
A It’s not a detriment to my own faith. I just thought instead of complaining about the lack of women leadership in the church, I would do something about it. So I’ve decided to take action to make a change. And I’d like to be a female role model for the priesthood.
And change happens from the ground up. So far there have been 150 women ordained in the United States and 225 across the world.
And we have to be role models for change.
Mary Alice Nolan will be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in October. The ordination will not be recognized by the church because Nolan is a woman, and only men are considered as priests by the church.
ROBERT TONG — MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL
Mary Alice Nolan baptizes Jasper, left, and Reid Gibson in Novato.
COURTESY MARY ALICE NOLAN
From The Des Moines Register: (Rev. Roy Bourgeois will be speaking in Des Moines on 8/26- please see below).
Struggle for justice, equality continues in Catholic Church
Thirty-five years ago, Bishop Maurice Dingman invited me to Des Moines. It was 1981 — exactly one year after the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and only a few months after the rape and murder of four women missionaries in El Salvador at the hands of the U.S.-funded El Salvador National Guard. I joined hundreds of laypeople, sisters, and priests in Des Moines as we rallied at the downtown Peace Garden. After our rally, we walked in silence to a memorial Mass at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Bishop Dingman opened the Mass with the words “We are one with the people of El Salvador.”
On Aug. 26, I will be returning to Des Moines for another event: the Des Moines Catholic Worker’s 40th anniversary. For four decades, this community has been an unfailing voice for peace and justice in the heart of Iowa. They have struggled daily to answer the questions that I asked the people of Des Moines 35 years ago: “Can we look at El Salvador through the eyes of the oppressed, Archbishop Oscar Romero and the four women missionaries who were assassinated there? How do we walk with the poor?” The Des Moines Catholic Worker is a voice for the poorest in our society, demanding a fair economy. They are a voice for peace, demanding an end to unjust wars. They are a voice for Catholic social justice.
The Des Moines Catholic Worker and I also have something else in common. In 2008, I participated in the priestly ordination of a woman, my friend Janice Sevre-Duszynska. I did this because of my biblically based, historically grounded conviction that women are called to the Roman Catholic priesthood. In 2012, I was dismissed from the priesthood for this act of solidarity.
In 2014, the Rev. Sevre-Duszynska celebrated a Mass at the Des Moines Catholic Worker. The current bishop of Des Moines, Richard Pates, sanctioned the community for their show of solidarity with women called to the priesthood. In response, DMCW affirmed “the equality of all people, regardless of gender, to be full members and disciples in any Church claiming to follow Jesus.”
The majority of U.S. Catholics support the ordination of women to the priesthood. At the 1978 meeting of U.S. bishops, Des Moines’ own Bishop Dingman, observing protests by advocates of women’s ordination, called for dialogue on the issue of female priests. Pope Francis himself has created a commission to study the possibility of female deacons.
On Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m., I will be speaking at Trinity United Methodist Church on “The Struggle for Peace, Justice, and Equality.” I will discuss the links between global social justice and the women’s ordination movement. On Aug. 27 at 4 p.m., I will participate in a panel at Trinity UMC on gender and the Catholic Church. On Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m., I will attend a Eucharistic liturgy with two Roman Catholic female priests at the Des Moines Catholic Worker. All are welcome to join us as we engage in fruitful dialogue about creating a church where the priestly gifts of all people are celebrated.
This is a lovely story of one of the members of RCWP-East , Rev. Eda Lorello who is visiting family in Billings, Montana, Eda, 83 is a priest of such depth, compassion and dedication that she is an inspiration to us all. In the picture below taken on an Annual retreat last October, Rev. Eda Lorello is on the left with our Priest from South America, Rev. Marina teresa Sanchez Mejia on her right.
A Woman’s Lifelong Journey to the Priesthood
By Susan Olp, Billings Gazette.com
The Rev. Eda Lorello is among a tiny minority of Roman Catholic women who have been ordained as priests.
The 2013 ceremony was performed through Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an international movement of women who have been ordained in defiance of canon law, at the risk of excommunication.
On Thursday evening, she will host a screening of “Pink Smoke over the Vatican,” a 2011 documentary about Catholic women who have been ordained. And she will participate in a Q&A with her audience.
Lorello has never been one to shy away from living out her convictions. The lifelong Catholic partially credits that to her parents.
“My mother taught me prayer, my father taught me justice, and both (attributes) have been extremely helpful in my life,” Lorello said Wednesday in a telephone interview from her home in Long Island, N.Y.
Lorello, who has been a peace activist, has engaged in civil disobedience. But she’s always seen that as a final option.
“I didn’t get up and say ‘I think I’ll be arrested today,’” she said. “That’s a last resort, otherwise it contributes to the violence you’re trying to prevent.”
Lorello, 83, has master’s degrees in theology and pastoral counseling. Both aided her in her lay parish ministry over the years.
Much of her work was in adult formation, at one church teaching precepts of the faith, especially in the aftermath of Vatican II. Then she moved to another parish and took on other roles, “but mostly in the teaching area.”
She earned a certification in spiritual direction and another as a midlife/long-life directions consultant.
“I did workshops on personal and spiritual growth in midlife and beyond not only locally but in other states,” Lorello said. “I even went to Ireland.”
Lorello, the mother of seven, has nine grandchildren, one great-grandson and another great-grandchild on the way. She never felt pulled toward the more traditional path for women — becoming a nun.
Lorello has many friends in different religious orders who are dedicated to their work, for whom she has tremendous respect. But it wasn’t for her.
“My call centered on bread, wine, oil and water,” Lorello said. “And those are the sacramental elements.”
The desire first arose in childhood. She struggled for a time not because of the call, but “I had doubt if this what God wanted me to do.”
Lorello put the thought aside during her teenage years. The turning point came while she was in college and she was given “The Seven Storey Mountain,” an autobiography by Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk.
The book focused on his journey through life in search of a faith, his conversion to Catholicism and his acceptance into the Trappist order. As Lorello read it, the book touched her soul on a very personal level.
And even though she never met Merton, who died in 1968, through his writings he became her mentor. It was after a visit to the Abbey of Gethsemani, where Merton lived, that Lorello finally knew the course she should take.
“It convinced me that my call was indeed a call from God for the priesthood,” she said.
Lorello called Roman Catholic Womenpriests and asked for an application, which she promptly put into a drawer. A year later, she submitted the paperwork, and she was ordained in 2013.
Lorello knew her ordination went against canon law, which states, “A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.”
“Ecclesiastically, that’s an unjust law,” she said. “According to Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, an unjust law is no law.”
Lorello knew that her actions meant she would no longer be allowed to work in a Catholic parish. But she viewed the choice as a different kind of civil disobedience, a last option.
“I’ve waited through five popes and I’m going to be ordained as a last resort, to do the sacramental work I was called to do,” Lorello said.
She is among the more than 200 women who have been ordained since 2002.
“We’re not a schismatic group,” Lorello said. “We’re about reforming the church, bringing inclusivity, bringing equality.”
Lorello presides over a weekly house church. She also teaches spiritual direction, visits the sick, and conducts baptisms and wedding ceremonies.
She was pleased that Pope Francis recently called for the creation of a commission to study the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic Church. It is uncertain what that study will conclude, but Lorello views it as a positive step.
“I won’t see it in my lifetime, the church ordaining women,” she said. “But it’s going to come, and this is a step in that direction.”
From time immemorial groups tend toward exclusivity, to shut their doors actually or metaphorically on those of difference and newcomers who are not yet trusted. The reading from Isaiah 66:18-21 today says that God sees it another way: God knows God’s chosen people and wants to include people of every nations and languages who have not known God to come to the holy mountain. Isaiah goes farther and says that God will “take some of these as priests and Levites”(verse 21). This must have been a shock to the religious of the time even as the calling and ordination of women as priests in the RC church today through the Roman Catholic WomenPriests Movement ( that began in 2002 on the River Danube) and the inclusion of a host of people formerly seen as outcast at the Table of Jesus shocks some of the faithful today. Yet that is the prophetic word-open the doors, God wants everyone to come in. Jesus says essentially the same thing in Luke 13:22-30. As Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP of Toledo, Ohio says in the homily below being a “church member” and hearing sermons and taking Holy Communion is not enough- we have to really get it, get the Gospel of love and justice and “walk the walk”. Jesus challenges us to walk the walk , to love God with ALL our hearts and beings and to love our neighbors as ourselves, the same challenge of the early Hebrew community. Jesus is also saying that God is happy to invite people from all over the world to come and recline at the Table in the kin-dom of God. Let us then be people of INCLUSION, let us leave no one out, let’s open the door!
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP Co-Pastor The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers, Florida www.goodshepmin.org
And now the insightful homily of Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle:
Four weeks ago we heard about God as our friend—
Luke’s parable about the neighbor
pounding on the door to borrow a loaf a bread,
and the door being opened,
even though it was the middle of the night.
Today we hear a different story,
one where it’s not so easy to get in
and take a place at the feast in the kin-dom of God.
This time there’s a gate, and it’s a narrow one.
Lots of people will try to get in, but they’ll be turned away.
But other people will get in.
They’ll come from the four corners of the earth,
like in that first reading from Isaiah,
nations of every language.
They will be the very people
thought to be the last ones to make it—
not the rich and the famous
but the powerless and marginalized.
Those “others” are the ones who will get in.
Jesus’ explanation is simple.
Sure, people listened to him, but that’s all they did.
They didn’t take his teaching to heart.
They didn’t change their lives.
So, even though they ate and drank with him
and hung around to hear the message,
they didn’t do anything else.
They didn’t put Jesus’ message into practice.
When I was growing up back in the 50s,
it was common to hear
that “outside the church there is no salvation.”
I remember my 5th grade classmate Judy.
Sister told us that we couldn’t talk with Judy except at school.
We couldn’t go to Judy’s house after school.
When I asked my mom about it,
she told me that Judy’s mom was divorced and remarried
and that put her “outside the church.”
So, except in class, we couldn’t have anything to do with Judy.
So we didn’t.
Then, when I was in 7th grade, my maternal grandparents,
pushing 60 and pretty much unchurched,
decided to be baptized at Grace Lutheran.
My mom wanted us to go.
The priest said no.
We stayed home.
Too often we Catholics were like those people
that Jesus called “evildoers” in today‘s Gospel.
We knew the rules, and we followed them.
We jumped through the hoops.
We thought our baptism would get us through that narrow gate.
We said prayers with plenary indulgences attached,
just so we could get a free pass into heaven.
It was all about saving ourselves.
People who didn’t follow the rules would just have to go to hell,
and it would be their fault.
Three years ago, when we had the same readings we heard today,
Pope Francis told us that
to get through that narrow door
we have to aim our whole life at following the Way of Jesus.
That means living and witnessing
in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice,
in doing good for others, especially the poor and the outsider.
It’s a lot more than just jumping through those hoops.
It’s not enough to get baptized and be labeled a Christian.
It’s not enough to share a meal with Jesus.
It’s not enough to just listen to what he says.
It is necessary to get to know God by following Jesus’ Way.
As Elizabeth Johnson put it,
we have to become a friend of God and prophets,
and do it now.
The banquet is ready.
Every day is full of chances to walk through that narrow gate
to feast in the reign of God.
We do it in company with the Syrian refugees
we help to settle here.
We do it walking side by side with our African American friends.
We do it standing on street corners with our peace signs,
handing out those tiny tree seedlings,
voting our conscience for the common good.
We do it in the love we show our family and friends and neighbors…
We pass through that narrow gate
by the way we live our lives.
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006