Archive | September 2016

Today’s News: St. Teresa of Calcutta-Our Model of Holiness, Compassion, Humanity and Mercy

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

CNN Article

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.

Pope Francis delivered the formula for the canonization of the Albanian-born nun — known as the “saint of the gutters” — before huge crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday morning.
Applause broke out before he completed the formula of canonization, in which he declared “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint.”
India renamed the city of Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001 to match the Bengali pronunciation. But the church uses the spelling of Calcutta in its references to Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa declared a saint

Mother Teresa declared a saint 01:04
Speaking in Latin, Francis said that “after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church.”
Catholics — including hundreds of blue- and white-robed nuns from the Missionaries of Charity sisterhood founded by Mother Teresa — had gathered from around the world to attend the canonization of the church’s newest saint, just 19 years after her death.
A huge portrait of Mother Teresa, whom the church credits with having performed two miraculous cures of the sick, hung from St. Peter’s Basilica during the colorful ceremony.

An image of Mother Teresa hangs from the facade of St. Peter's in the Vatican.

Francis: ‘May she be your model of holiness’

Pope Francis then delivered a homily, in which he praised Mother Teresa — “this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life” — for her charitable work.
“Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded,” he said.
“She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity. She made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.”

Pope Francis praised Mother Teresa as a model of compassion to Catholics worldwide.

For the newly-sainted Teresa, he said, “mercy was the salt which gave flavor to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.”
She was an example to volunteers around the world, he said. “May she be your model of holiness.”
In a departure from his scripted remarks, he noted that people “may struggle” to refer to her as “Saint Teresa.” “With great spontaneity, I think we will continue to call her Mother Teresa,” he said.
Prayers were then delivered in a number of languages, including Albanian, Mother Teresa’s native tongue, and Bengali, the language of Kolkata, where a special Mass was celebrated at the Missionaries of Charity Sunday. A prayer was delivered in Chinese for persecuted Christians around the world.
About 1,500 homeless people from across Italy were bused into the Vatican to be given seats of honor at the Mass — and be served a pizza lunch by nuns afterward.

San Rafael Woman to break Canon Law and Be Ordained a Roman Catholic Priest

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 @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.


Mary Alice Nolan baptizes Jasper, left, and Reid Gibson in Novato.