RCWP Canada Monthly Review -- December 2017

  • Mother God
  • A Lost Treasure
  • Fort Frances, ON couple has uplifting experience at Spirit of Christ the Healer Catholic Community, Grand Rapids, MN
  • Three books about Christians on the Move
  • Roman Catholic Woman Transitions to Anglican Church and is Ordained a Priest
  • First Sunday of Advent at Church of the Beatitudes, Toronto
  • Calling on all people who want to see change in the Catholic Church
  • Take the Vatican Questionnaire
  • Bishop hopes Amazon Synod leads to married priests and woman deacons
  • Everyone Leads:  How to Revitalize the Catholic Church
  • The Emerging Church is not something we create or invent so much as name and join
  • Four free pdf downloadable books
  • Francis, the comic strip
  • Search function
  • Top and bottom of the page menu



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Calling on all people who want to see change in the Catholic Church: Your involvement is urgently needed

The time is now for all of us who want to see change in the Church take action. If you are a young person or someone who has children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, call on them to take action. Even if they have given up on the Church and moved on with their lives, they are the very people who could influence change for the good. The future of the Church rests in the hands of youth.

What exactly do we need them to do?  Take the Vatican Questionniare.




Take the Vatican Questionnaire

Hey Millennials, did you know Vatican operatives are trying to do an end- run around your parents?  Grab this Questionnaire and tell them what you really think.


To date, only 65,000 young people have responded to the Vatican questionnaire for youth. Of the vast number of baptized young Catholics in the world - whether they are in or out of the Church - this response is a pittance of the possible youth who could be speaking up.

Consequently, to give young people more time to respond, the Vatican has chosen to extend the deadline to the end of this year. This is a pivotal moment in the life and future of the Church. Your involvement is needed. Call on every young person you know to speak up and make their voices heard.

Given the Church's tradition of strict adherence to rules that many feel need to be reevaluated, there is widespread concern for her well-being. Many feel that the Church's future rests in the hands of young people which underscores the importance of this questionnaire.

Pope Francis has invited youth from all over the world regardless of whether you are Catholic or not, whether you attend Church or not. The questionnaire is purposefully anonymous so that young people feel free to offer an honest sharing of themselves.
Pass this email on and invite every young person you know to take the questionnaire.

Our fear, well founded based on research, is that the deck is being stacked with obedient "yes, father" youth to be the attendees at the Synod on Youth scheduled for October 2018. If there is to be any change in the Church, if we are to return to the spirit of Vatican II and the message of Jesus Christ that love is the fulfilling of the law [Romans13: 8 - 10], we need many more young people to speak up and respond to Francis's outreach. It is crucial that the voices of youth reach the special meeting called by the Holy Father next March in preparations for the Synod on youth in 2018.

Go now to the online questionnaire YOUNG PEOPLE, THE FAITH AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT and invite high school, college, and post graduate students, young people 16- to 29-year-olds from around the world to take the questionnaire - available in English, Spanish, French and Italian. Remind them that it is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief. Share this link on your Facebook Page and on your Twitter account. Click on or copy and paste this to send out:


https://surveysynod2018.glauco.it/limesurvey/index.php/147718.




Bishop hopes Amazon Synod leads to married priests and woman deacons

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Global Pulse | October 24, 2017

Attempts to solve the clergy shortage, such as bringing in outside priests, have not proven overly successful, says Bishop Erwin Kräutler. Vienna. 

A retired bishop who led Brazil’s largest territorial diocese for some 34 years says he’s hoping the 2019 special Synod for the Pan-Amazon region will lead to the ordination of married men to the priesthood and women to the permanent diaconate.  Bishop Erwin Kräutler, an Austrian-born missionary who headed the sprawling Diocese of Xingu in the Brazilian rain forest from 1981-2015, told Kathpress that the “horrendous” priest shortage has left the indigenous people of the Amazon deprived of the Eucharist.

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Everyone Leads:  How to Revitalize the Catholic Church


Paul Lakeland, National Catholic Reporter | August 30, 2017

Chris Lowney’s new book, this time applying his leadership skills to the current condition of American Catholicism, comes at a time when a lot of the energy for ecclesial reform seems to be taking a breather. On the more progressive wing, the grizzled veterans of Vatican II and Vietnam are just that, veterans, and their energies, like their lifespans, are not endless.

When we add the expectations that Pope Francis has aroused for a more compassionate if not a more liberal church, it is not hard to see why many of the reform groups seem to be relatively quiet for now, waiting for the changes that will satisfy at least some of their cherished hopes.

Among more conservative Catholic movements, it is the Francis papacy itself that seems to both bewilder and frustrate the exigencies of the Ratzinger era. The Benedict option, like the new evangelization, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so waiting out this pontificate might be their best option. But all American Catholics of whatever stripe are affected and afflicted by the sense that our church is retrenching, if not declining, and many of us think something should be done before ex-Catholics become simply the largest religious grouping in American society.

Everyone Leads is Lowney’s heartfelt affirmation of all of us who believe that the American church needs change. Waiting is not an option, and if change is to come, and it needs to come, then it is simply up to us. To all of us, progressive and conservative alike, advocates of change and of continuity, Thomists and Augustinians, lovers of Francis and fans of Benedict XVI, the message is clear. Get on with it; take up the reins of leadership that came with your baptismal priesthood.

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The Emerging Church is not something we create or invent so much as name and join

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation | November 26, 2017

I have come to set fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already blazing. (Luke 12:49)

Protestants and Catholics recently honored the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In 1517, when Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” or complaints to the church door in Germany, Western Christianity had become too focused on meritocracy and hierarchy, losing sight of the Gospel. The Roman Catholic Church itself admits it is always in need of reformation. Reformation is the perpetual process of conversion that is needed by all individuals and institutions. We appear to be in the midst of another period of significant turmoil and rebirth. . .

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Free pdf downloadable books:

195 Reasons Why Women Should Be Ordained

Women Priests -- Following the Call

My Journey From Silence To Solidarity

Catholic Women And Holy Orders: The Time Is Now




             Mother God
Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation | November 8, 2017

Why does it matter whether our image of God is masculine or feminine or even a non-binary gender? One reason is that it makes it easier for us to recognize the divine in us, whatever our gender. When we over-emphasize masculine traits of the divine, many women, transgender, and intersex persons feel less-than, that their voices and bodies don’t matter as much as men’s, that God’s image is not in them.

Marcus Borg points out many other good reasons to identify and honor the female (as well as non-gendered) images of God throughout the Bible:

Male images for God are often associated with power, authority, and judgment. When used exclusively, they most often create an image of a punitive God. God must be appeased or else.
Male images for God most often go with patriarchy—with male primacy and domination in society and the family.
Male images of God most often go with domination over nature. Nature is often imaged as female (“mother earth”) and domination over women extends to a rapacious use of nature.
Female images of God suggest something different. God is the one who gave birth to us and all that is. God wills our well-being, as a mother wills the well-being of the children of her womb. God is attached to us with a love that is tender and that will not let us go. And like a mother who sees the children of her womb threatened and oppressed, God can become fierce.


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A Lost Treasure

Victoria Marie, RCWP Canada | December 1, 2017

To you, Mary Magdalene
my thoughts keep returning
In my heart I feel kinship
grow from ember to burning

You, a women at the cross
understood his message and theology
Jesus included and loved women
a forgotten part of Christian cosmology

You walked with Jesus
first to see Christ risen
the disciples you tell
say you're histeria driven

You mistake Christ for the gardener
When Teacher calls you be name
with heart bursting, you know
You will never be the same

Apostle to Apostles, a title
Gregory the Great aimed to refute
In sermons, in art, future popes
keep on this defaming pursuit

Reclaiming your honour
A task women vigorously pursued
We celebrate your feast, your liturgy,
is for us faith-nurturing food

ln dismissing you, dismissing us
sadly, what our brothers forget
without you, without us
they stray from the path Jesus set

Recently, our Pope Francis
proclaimed your true worth
woefully, we living women
deemed less than from birth

We love our brothers and pray they
will discover our worth and our measure,
our hope, some day they'll admit
they've lost eons of God-given treasure.
Oh men, women are, amen.

[Victoria Marie is a priest who serves Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community, Vancouver]







Fort Frances, ON couple has uplifting experience at Spirit of Christ the Healer Catholic Community, Grand Rapids, MN

Jacklynne Guimond, Special to RCWP Canada Monthly Review | December 1, 2017

For the past eight years my husband, Gerry, and I have been part of the music ministry at Holy Trinity Episcopal church in International Falls, MN (the border town to ours, Fort Frances, ON). Yes, we require passports and have to pay a bridge toll to go to church!

After being "shuffled by the Spirit" out of three RC churches in the past 20 years, Holy Trinity very kindly offered us not only a home, but a paid ministry as well.  It is a small and aging (aren’t they all?) community, but it is an active parish, very immersed in the needs outside the church walls. The people are kind and warm and only once asked us if we would like to join the church.  When we gratefully declined, they understood—we are Catholics and will forever be Catholics!

So, a few weeks ago when Paula Gillman, an Episcopal priest from Grand Rapids, (115 miles south) was visiting the parish, we learned that there is a new catholic community in her town, pastored by Maria Annoni, RCWP, PhD, ordained less than a year ago. We learned that they use the sanctuary of the Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids for one 4:00PM Saturday mass a month—and the next scheduled mass was Nov.11.

We are gifted at Holy Trinity with one of the best homilists on either side of the border. Dr. Samantha Crossley, wife, mother of two girls, medical doctor and priest never fails to give us lots to chew on. So it’s not like we needed to travel two hours to celebrate with a woman priest; we wanted to, because as Catholics, we strive to witness Christ’s peace and justice in the form of a Vatican II liturgy whenever the opportunity arises.

Mother Nature provided a lovely day for driving and Mother God seemed to keep the deer off the road—thank you very much!

When we arrived, people were leaving the church after a funeral at which Paula, the Episcopal priest had presided.  People were coming and going….some to set up for the Eucharist in the morning, others preparing for the mass set for 4:00PM.  There was such a feeling of cohesiveness about it all…very comfortable.

We learned that Maria and life partner of 30 years, Kathleen Nuccio are both university teachers, with mega letters behind their names. While still at St. Joseph’s parish, Kathleen was a cantor and Maria was the Director of Music and Liturgy—quite a loss when they were forced to depart. At the time, Maria and Kathleen felt lost, as they wondered if they would ever lead a community in song again. It is said that when a door closes God will open a window. In the case of Kathleen and Maria, God came in the form of another Episcopal priest, Sally Cummings, who extended an invitation to lead worship music at Christ Episcopal Church, another small but vibrant community in Grand Rapids.

Kathleen is retired and Maria is still teaching music at the local college. As a recently ordained priest, Maria is looking forward to retirement from teaching so she can spend more time on her ministry. Both are musicians and together provide music leadership on Sundays for the Episcopal service. Amazing possibilities for collaboration are on the horizon for these two faith communities.

The musicians consisted of a keyboard player, (a Lutheran woman who plays at the Methodist church), a male cantor (a lifelong Catholic) who directs music at the Methodist church, along with Kathleen who led the music for worship that day.

About 30 people gathered—not just women either I am happy to say—mostly couples our age and older—all very welcoming to us Canadians!

The liturgy was so recognizably Catholic—no extra drama or fluff, just lovely, prayerful good liturgy. The only difference, aside from the gender of the presider, of course, was the beautiful inclusive language.  The focus of the prayer was centered on the goodness and generosity of God rather than on our sinfulness.

The statement of faith was one of Sr. Joan Chittister’s gems. Real bread, as well as gluten free wafers, was provided for communion and the meal continued after the service in the form of ‘potluck’ and good conversation. Maria’s homily on ‘being ready’ hit so close to home; I was so glad that we had made ourselves ready to travel the 2 hours to enjoy and be part of this celebration.

As well as their next Eucharist scheduled for December 9th, all were invited to a Gaudete party at Maria’s and Kathleen’s home on December 17th. Will we go to these? Perhaps we will. Of course weather plays the biggest part in making plans in the winter in our part of the world. It is certainly something we are considering.

In the midst of all the negativity in our world today, experiencing a taste of this new faith community was so refreshing. Half of their collection goes directly to the local food shelf; they feed people outside the walls as well.
The very real feeling of Christian fellowship present was pure gift and we are so grateful.





Three books about Christians on the Move

Editor, RCWP Canada Monthly Review | December 1, 2017

From Sand to Solid Ground: Questions of Faith for Modern Catholics
by Michael Morwood

Michael Morwood raises questions of faith that are on the minds of many Catholics and other Christians today. While Church authority will not permit Catholic academics to raise or discuss many of these controversial topics publicly, Morwood boldly delves into the issues with clarity, courage, hope, and inspiration from his extensive experience in spirituality and adult faith formation.


Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World: An Alternative History of the Reformation by Nicholas Terpstra

The religious refugee first emerged as a mass phenomenon in the late fifteenth century. Over the following two and a half centuries, millions of Jews, Muslims, and Christians were forced from their homes and into temporary or permanent exile. Their migrations across Europe and around the globe shaped the early modern world and profoundly affected literature, art, and culture. Economic and political factors drove many expulsions, but religion was the factor most commonly used to justify them.


The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian by Brian D. McLaren
 

McLaren's thesis is that the Christian story from the beginning of Genesis on is fundamentally about people on the move -- outgrowing the old, broken religious systems and creating/embracing new, more redemptive ways of life.






Roman Catholic Woman Transitions to Anglican Church and is Ordained a Priest

Editor, RCWP Canada Mothly Review | November 30, 2017

St. John the Evangelist Anglican Cathedral, Saskatoon, was packed with worshippers and well-wishers for the ordination to the priesthood of Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers and Sheldon Carr.

Many of the assembly consisted of Roman Catholic friends of Ternier-Gommers, several of whom commented in conversation later that it was too bad that this couldn't happen in our own church.  Ternier-Gommers is familiar to Roman Catholics as a leader of the Liturgy of the Word and Communion in the Abscence of a Priest, as a retreat leader, as a homily-writer, and as a person who gives a reflection on the Scripture readings of the Mass at the end of Mass, but not during Mass, the latter act being reserved only to men ordained in the Roman Catholic Church.  

Two Roman Catholic priests along with many Anglican priests
and several ministers of other denominations vested and took part in the liturgy's entrance procession and the laying on of hands.  Four other Roman Catholic priests attended without vesting.  Several Roman Catholic religious sisters and one religious brother were also in attendance.

Right Reverend David M Irving, presiding Anglican Bishop, welcomed all baptized Christians to the open Eucharistic table.  Many Roman Catholics availed themselves of this kindly stated invitation.

When asked if we are here witnessing what Richard Rohr and others call "the emerging church", a Luthern pastor commented that she has participated in similar liturgies with Roman Catholics for the past few years.



First Sunday of Advent at Church of the Beatitudes, Toronto

Pat Cook, priest, RCWP Canada, with the core group of Church of the Beatitudes, Toronto after First Sunday of Advent Liturgy.


Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | December 1, 2017
National Catholic Reporter




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