Rev. Myra Brown , a daughter of migrant workers found the Roman Catholic Church at 16 when she and her musical family were invited to join the choir at St Bridget’s Roman Catholic Church, a black Catholic church in Albion, New York. Her sense of call to the priesthood came in young adulthood but unfolded as she joined and then ministered at Spiritus Christi in Rochester, New York. Her full ministry extended beyond her local church to doing workshops for Call To Action, the progressive Roman Catholic group, nation- wide on issues of racism and inclusion. Some of us met her when she gave a wonderful workshop in Fort Myers in 2015.
The first two African American women ordained priests in Roman Catholic Women Priests-USA were Alta Jacko of Chicago (now deceased) and Donnieau Snyder of California.
Local woman ordained as priest, becomes a part of history
by Ashley Doerzbacher
Saturday, January 28th 2017
Rochester, N.Y. — The sanctuary at Spiritus Christi was full of love and excitement on Saturday for Rev. Myra Brown as she became the church’s newest priest.
Rev. Myra Brown has been a part of the Spiritus Christi Church for the past 25 years. She was part of an original group that broke away from a traditional Catholic church and formed the independent Catholic church in 1998 in order to be inclusive of all.
A life full of service and devotion to the church, Rev. Brown said she got the call to serve at the age of eight. It wasn’t until she was 24, though, she thought of becoming a member of the parish staff.
“I heard the Lord say to me, when I was praying, ‘I called you to preach and teach my word’,” she said.
But being a woman, an African American and a Catholic, Rev. Brown never imagined the call would lead her to this moment.
“I didn’t understand why God would say that to me, but I trusted, and decided to walk with God. Whatever door God would open, I would walk through and meet God on the other side.”
Her church family, though, did understand. They were proud to stand in support of a woman they say has changed many lives in the community.
“She has just been an inspiration to us, given she has gone through so much herself and has come to this calling,” said Dawn Novak.
“She works to break walls down, to represent all of the people who are not being properly represented,” Kirsten Allen Reader said.
Rev. Brown said it was starting to sink in just how historic this day is; and not only for her.
“It’s important to send the right message to other African American girls and women, to follow their call, to let their voices me heard, to step into their place in the world, in society, in the church, wherever God is calling them.”
Rev. Brown will celebrate her first official mass Sunday morning. First at 7:30 a.m. at the Spiritus Christi Church and at 9:30 a.m. at the Hochstein Music School.
And from Bridgetmarys blog:
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests congratulates Rev. Myra Brown on the occasion of her ordination as a Catholic priest. Rev. Myra has been a member of Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY for the past 25 years where she served as youth minister, community activist, associate pastor and deacon.
ARCWP members, Jim Marsh, Joan Chesterfield and Mary Theresa Streck, along with Myra’s family and friends, joyfully watched as Bishop Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, a Roman Catholic bishop from Austria, ordained Rev. Myra.
Rev. Myra is one of three African American women ordained as Catholic Priests in the United States.
From twcnews.com BY Melanie Johnson, January 28,2017
Rochester Woman Makes History as 3rd African-American Female in US to Become a Priest
By Melanie Johnson
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 07:10 PM EST
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — One woman’s path to history brought tears of joy and calls of gratitude to the sanctuary of the Spiritus Christi Church.
“People are not only crying out of a sense of rejoicing,” said Jonathon Leach, a long time friend of the new Rev. Myra Brown. “They’re crying out of a sense of love. They’re crying out of a sense that ‘wow, this is finally happening’ and we cant believe that it’s happening to Myra someone we know.”
A journey that spans over two decades has finally come full circle for Rev. Myra Brown.
In front of a congregation of parishioners, close friends and family, Brown became ordained as the third African American woman in United States history to become a priest.
“It was so emotional because a long time ago they wouldn’t allow a woman on the pulpit so to see her come out through all of that, it’s a blessing,” Brown’s daughter Jasmine Latimer said.
For Rev. Brown, her trailblazing ordination to priesthood reminds her of how her purpose to serve was not always as clear.
“The call that I heard from God when I was 24-years-old, didn’t quite understand it and didn’t see how that would happen because I was black, a woman, and a Roman Catholic,” Rev. Brown said.
The Albion native looks to take her spot in history and inspire others to not only join a kingdom, but become a part of fighting against barriers that she has dedicated her life to breaking down.
Rev. Myra Brown will live out her childhood dream as a priest during her first two masses Sunday.
Spiritus Christi Church split from the Diocese of Rochester in 1998. The split resulted from Spiritus’s practice of blessing same-sex unions, giving communion to non-baptized members and allowing women to take clerical roles in the church.
History/Herstory on all Continents was made on Saturday January 21st, 2017 when a total of millions of women and men , young and old, of all races and religions marched peacefully FOR equality and justice for all in the wake of the January 20th inauguration of US President Donald Trump whose many Campaign comments denigrated women, immigrants, Mexicans, the disabled and many other groups and frightened people of difference in the LGBTI , Immigrant and Disabled and other communities. Here is a “collage “of the marches with RomanCatholicWomenPriests comments and sharing following The New York Times.com. .
The beautiful message is “we are here” “we are watching you” and “we are strong”.
• Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington on Saturday in a kind of counterinauguration after President Trump took office on Friday. A range of speakers and performers cutting across generational lines rallied near the Capitol before marchers made their way toward the White House.
• They were joined by crowds in cities across the country: In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the march that was to follow was canceled for safety. In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a river of pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathering crowd stretched itself out to march, it was more than a quarter mile deep on several streets.
• Begun as a Facebook post just after the election, the march is the start of what organizers hope could be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized America, unifying demonstrators around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights. The movement has also encountereddivisions.
• The singer and actress Janelle Monae highlighted the issue of police violence, leading the crowd in a chant of “Sandra Bland! Say her name!”, a reference to the high-profile case where a black woman died in police custody in Texas after being arrested in 2015.
She then brought the microphone to each of the women in “Mothers of the Movement” who had joined her onstage. One by one, they joined in the chant, each inserting the name of her child who had died at the hands of the police.
• The actress Ashley Judd delivered an uninhibited speech that ended with her referencing how Mr. Trump bragged, in a 2005 recording, that he could use his celebrity status to force himself on women, even groping their private parts.
They “ain’t for grabbing,” she said. “They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women.”
• Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon of the 1960s and 1970s, told the women in the group to get to know one another more personally.
“Make sure you introduce yourselves to each other and decide what we’re going to do tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow,” she said. “We’re never turning back!”
• “It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country,” said the actress and activist America Ferrera.“But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay.”
• After getting to the crowd to repeat a number to call Congress, the filmmaker Michael Moore urged people to run for office:
“This is not the time for shy people! Shy people, you have two hours to get over it.”
• The actress Scarlett Johansson told a story about how she had visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City after starting her acting career, and how a doctor there had treated her with compassion, “no judgment, no questions asked.”
“I feel that in the face of this current political climate, it is vital that we all make it our mission to get really, really personal,” she said.
“President Trump, I did not vote for you,” she continued. “I want to be able to support you. But first I ask that you support me. Support my sister. Support my mother. Support my best friend and all of our girlfriends.”
Otherwise, Ms. Johansson said, her own daughter, “may potentially not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have.”
What’s up with those “pussyhats” I’ve heard about?
In a sly allusion to the crude remarks Mr. Trump made in the recording, many marchers, men and women alike, wore pink “pussyhats,” complete with cat ears. The hats are described on pussyhatproject.com as a way to “make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.”
Mr. Trump seemed to go out of his way to ignore the march
Just after 10 a.m., Mr. Trump and his family headed in the opposite direction of the march in Washington for the National Prayer Service, an inaugural tradition, at the National Cathedral. When he spoke at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., in the midafternoon, he told his audience that they were his “No. 1 stop” on his first full day in office, because they were “really special amazing people.”
He also ruminated about how big the attendance had been at his inaugural speech, but he did not mention the large crowds of the women’s march, where demonstrators were challenging his administration on a number of policies, or even that the march was taking place as he was speaking.
Hillary Clinton tweets her support
Mrs. Clinton was not expected to attend the march in Washington, The Times reported on Friday, but her Twitter account sent a midmorning note anyway.
Elizabeth Warren: ‘Me, I’m here to fight back’
In a speech in Boston, Ms. Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, said fundamental freedoms, like abortion rights and gay marriage, could be at stake under Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court.
“We can whimper, we can whine or we can fight back,” she said, as demonstrators in pink hats waved American flags. “Me, I’m here to fight back.”
“We believe in science,” Ms. Warren said, adding, “we know that climate change is real.” A police officer patrolling the rally pumped his fists in agreement.
“We also believe that immigration makes this country a stronger country,” Ms. Warren said. “We will not build a stupid wall and we will not tear millions of families apart.”
“You know, I could do this all day,” she added, to laughs and cheers. “But we gotta march.”
John Lewis: ‘Don’t let anybody, anybody, turn you around’
Notable Signs: “Bend toward justice,” evokeing the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I’m ready to march again,” said Mr. Lewis, a Democratic representative of Georgia, who chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. “I’ve come here to say to you: Don’t let anybody, anybody, turn you around.”
Citing the demonstrations across the country, Mr. Lewis urged marchers, who flowed onto the street running near the Center for Civil and Human Rights, to “use this unity to organize” future political efforts.
”The next election, we must get out and vote like we never, ever voted before,” said Mr. Lewis, who was embroiled in a public clash with Mr. Trump recently.
Everyone wants to know: How many people turned out?
The crowds appeared to be huge in most places, with marchers in Washington, New York City and Chicago seeming to stretch to the horizons. Police departments, at times, decline to provide crowd estimates, and crowds are notoriously hard to estimate, even with a good satellite image. But some official and unofficial estimates have given a sense of the turnout.
Attendance in New York City was more than 400,000, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. The St. Paul police issued an official crowd count of 50,000 to 60,000 people. Attendance in Boston was 175,000, according to Nicole Caravella, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The Atlanta Police Department estimated about 60,000 people attended a rally there. The Department of Public Safety in Phoenix estimated that some 20,000 marched, while in Key West, Fla., a town of 25,000, police said more than 2,000 people marched.
Organizers in Chicago estimated the crowd there at 250,000, the Chicago Tribune said. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications there said late on Saturday morning that Grant Park, the sprawling area where the rally-goers had gathered, had been filled to capacity. Though the official march was canceled, many still chose to walk through downtown holding protest signs.
Although the mayor’s office in Washington and organizers declined to provide an estimate of the size of the flagship march, The Associated Press reported that the District of Columbia’s homeland security director, Christopher Geldart, said it was safe to say the crowd at the march there was more than the 500,000 that organizers told city officials to expect.
“The crowd was so heavy, we didn’t know which way to go,” said Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, a psychotherapist who traveled to Washington from Philadelphia with her 17-year-old child, Sanji, and a friend, Pallavi Sreedhar. “We were squeezed, touching.”
(March organizers offered a worldwide tally for the 673 “sister” marches, but when asked, could not provide an explanation of how the tally had been calculated.)
Here’s a rundown of scenes across the country. First up? Location: Washington. Time: 4:43 p.m.
Overheard Chant: “Yes we can” as people walked past the White House.
As the sun set downtown, protesters made their way to the White House and assembled in small groups in a park just across from the building’s entrance. There in an area surrounded by temporary gates, people walked single file through one open entrance and one by one laid protest signs across gates set up for inauguration several hundred feet away from the White House.
While the temporary gates made walking up to the building impossible, people stood shaking their heads in frustration.
Fontella Garraway, a 50-year-old retired Army veteran who drove three and half hours from her home in Rocky Mount, N.C., sat on a bench staring at the White House with a pin that read “girl power.”
“Even looking at the White House, it’s like I hope he’s looking out here at us,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I hope it’s penetrating to him that we mean business and we are serious.”
Moments later she lay a handwritten sign that read “Love trumps hate; Hear our voice,” on the a fence facing the White House.
”That’s his inauguration gift,” she said.
Location: Phoenix. Time: 1:01 p.m.
Notable Chant: “Tell me what America looks like! This is what America looks like.”
Notable Sash: “65,855,610 votes for a woman,” worn by Sara Powell, 61, of Phoenix, and nine of her friends.
Overheard: “My arms are tired. This is a good workout,” said Rima Borgogni, 50, owner of a Pilates studio in Sedona, Ariz., after holding a sign throughout the mile-long march.
Ellen Ferreira and her friends felt as if they were fighting for some of the same things they used to. They are mostly retired and many of them are veterans of past protests, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
“For our right to choose,” said Piya Jacob, 70, a retired elementary school principal.
“For equality,” said Mary Helsaple, 67, an artist.
“For healing justice,” said Gretchen Vorbeck, 72, who runs a nonprofit that buys grocery gift cards for public schoolteachers.
Carol Decker, 70, a retired magazine publisher, jumped in and said, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
Location: Washington. Time: 3:10 p.m.
Notable Chants: “We are the popular vote!”
Notable Shirt: A blue shirt with “Make Sexism Wrong Again” in the same style as “Make America Great Again” campaign shirts.
Just off 15th street, a block north of the parade’s official end point, a large flatbed float with big “TRUMP” letters arched along the back parked itself in the middle of the street, drawing the ire of the thousands of marchers, who berated the float with chants of “Shame!” and “We are the popular vote!”
Police officers formed a barricade around the float with more than a half-dozen sidecar motorcycles. The six or so men and one woman on the float all took pictures of the protesters.
Yet some of those who chanted to chase the float away weren’t surprised at its appearance at their march.
“I mean the inauguration was yesterday,” said Chrissy Fiore, 39, of Washington, though she said it was “crazy that they made it down here and that now they’re getting police escorted out.”
Officers wouldn’t let reporters approach those on the float or those driving it, but a magnet on the side said “Trump Unity Bridge.”
As the float headed east to move away from the parade, Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. of Milwaukee County, a Trump supporter, was seen walking along the sidewalk, taking in the scene but remaining silent. He did not respond to a reporter’s question about his opinion of the march or protest.
Location: New York City. Time: 1 p.m.
Chant: “Don’t take away our ACA” and “Who’s the boss? We are!”
Notable Signs: “Show us your taxes;” “you can’t comb over sexism;” “1459 days;” and “build a bridge not a wall.”
Overheard: One woman speaking at the rally told the story of having an abortion when she was young, making the minimum wage and could not support a child. She said she was fighting for equal pay “not just for white women.”
At the rally in Mr. Trump’s hometown near Trump World Tower, elected officials and celebrities assailed the president. Signs in the crowd mocked his bouffant hair and the size of his hands. The actress Whoopi Goldberg said it would be the first of many protests against the president.
“This is how people ended the war in Vietnam,” Ms. Goldberg told the cheering crowd.
Grace Huezo, 20, a student at Hunter College, marched with her twin sister holding a “Nasty Woman” sign. She said she was there to defend women’s rights after she was appalled by Mr. Trump’s comments about grabbing women.
“We’re here saying, no, people do not have permission to grab women without our permission,” she said.
She said she was buoyed by the huge turnout and the camaraderie.
“I’m hopeful to see so many people that are not giving up and they’re keeping their spirit,” she said. “We’re all just going to stick together over the next four years.”
Emma G. Fitzsimmons
Location: Denver. Time: 10:22 a.m.
Popular chant: “March! March! March!”
Notable signs: “I won’t stop til it rains glass;” “You can’t comb over misogyny” (accompanied by a drawing of Mr. Trump’s hair); “Flunk the Electoral College.”
Overheard: “I got to bring my high school punk rock out,” said Emily Hastings, 39, a woman from Denver wearing a black “eat the rich” T-shirt and carrying a “Don’t tread on women” sign. “Punk rock is all about resistance.”
The march began in a park at the center of the city with a group singing “You’ve got a friend.” Marchers blanketed the park nestled between the gold-domed state capitol and city hall, hauling strollers, wearing pink hats and often hugging and kissing.
Location: St. Paul. Time: 10:55 a.m.
Notable Sign: “Make America Compassionate Again,” and “I Love You”
Thousands of demonstrators gathered on a drizzly morning clad in rain boots, ponchos and pink knit “pussyhats” to march to the Capitol.
“What Trump has said is so based on exclusion and winning and being right versus taking care of everyone,” said Hilary James, 27, a musician from Minneapolis. “Even if he doesn’t listen to us, I feel it’s important to not sit back.”
Location: Boston. Time: 10:25 a.m.
Notable Sign: Make America Think Again
Gloria Cole, 66, had turned the protest into a family affair, traveling here with her wife, her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, and her brother and sister-in-law.
“I drew a line, it’s like, I’m an old woman — I’m not that old, I’m 66 — I have to stand up for equal rights for everyone, for human rights,” Ms. Cole said. “We’re here, and we’re not going away.”
Aili Shaw, 14, held a white sign that read, “Our arms are tired from holding these signs since the 1920s.”
Ms. Shaw had traveled here, by train and car, with friends from her home in Coventry, R.I.
“Women don’t have the rights they should,” she said.
Location: Washington. Time: 10:30 a.m.
Popular Chant: “Thank You.” Women were chanting this to the organizers of the march as they kicked off the day’s events.
Notable Clothing: At the corner of C and Third Southwest, many women (and some men) were wearing cat-eared “pussyhats” of all shades of pink. Organizers wanted to knit as many as one million hats for this event.
People were also getting creative with the signs they carry. Alan and Alison Lewis drove in from Astoria with their 20-month-old, Grace.
And from RCWP PRIESTS:
Photos from Annapolis, MD Women’s March Jan 21, 2017 From RCWP_East Bishop Andrea Johnson
There were over 600 men, women and children at the march which went up Main Street from the Market Square, where slaves were once sold, to the Annapolis State House, which had once served for 9.5 months as the Capitol of the United States before Washington, DC, was built. Spencer and I stood and listened to the speakers next to the statue of the late Justice of the Supreme Court of the US, Thurgood Marshall, an African-American Marylander, and a great friend of women. Carved in stone over the speakers heads was the inscription – Equal Justice Under Law. The last speaker finished by saying, “This is just the beginning.” E-mail addresses were collected for future actions.
From Morag Liebert, RCWP Scotland
To see video clips and photos of Women’s Marches in Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK look at:
Over 2,000 women turned up to a demonstration outside the American Consulate in Edinburgh (an actual march was not possible because of time scale) and 80 to 100 thousand women marched in London to Trafalgar Square. Not totally all women, there were some men! I was at the demo in Edinburgh. It was great! There were some wonderful placards and banners.
Enjoy the video clips and write ups! Morag.
From Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Women’s March in Sarasota, Florida Challenges Trump Administration on Women’s Rights, Advocates for Equal Rights for All
Pat Mac Millian and Bridget Mary Meehan from Mary Mother Of Jesus Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida at Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017
Anna Davis, Bridget Mary Meehan and Russ Banner from Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
at Women’s March in Sarasota, Florida on Jan, 21, 2017
From Suzanne Thiel RCWP Portland ,Oregon
38 degree Rain and Rain and More Rain but didnt stop us!
That is Becky Karver with me who is a strong advocate.
People clicking pictures everywhere and thumbs up and thanks-yous!
And getting info about us and our website!
And From Linda Spears, RCWP in Quebec, Canada
Our little ski resort town of Sutton marched in solidarity with women’s marches all over the world at 10 AM today. Out of a population of the 4000 (with part-time residents 8000) we were between 80 and 100 men, women, children and dogs. We were Anglophones and Francophones. Trump has certainly succeeded in uniting us, but not in the way he intended.
This is a song of celebration for the life of Sherry Hornbrook ,74,of Fort Myers, Florida who left this earth sheltered in the arms of Love and surrounded by her three beloved pets: her dogs, beloved big,shaggy, docile, sweet Annie,15, and Buddy, her little ball of fire and love, with her less than a year, and her very special cat, Tux, with her three years. The latter two were homeless pets that she opened her life to when I asked for her kindness, bringing them such security and joy. She was in her favorite company. She left quietly and peacefully in her sleep some time in the wee hours of January 19th, 2017 for her forever life with our loving God.
Sherry was a woman of faith though not a regular church goer as her favorite church was St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Sanibel Island. This was her family’s church for over thirty years after her parents moved there from Michigan. She had recently began to attend Iona Hope Episcopal Church in Fort Myers, closer to her home. Her faith was evident in the way she cared for her animals and for her friends and neighbors. The last I visited with Sherry was about two weeks ago when she brought me boxes of crayons to give to the children that I serve in our Mission church , the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community. She also cooked home made chicken noodle soup and her special banana bread for my life and ministry partner, Judy Beaumont as she battles yet another cancer with heavy rounds of chemo. Sherry never “wanted to intrude” but would just deliver her gifts to the door, and we let her know how very thankful we were. We spoke on the phone too as she liked to share how happy she was with the animals that I introduced into her life.This too was a great source of joy for me, as was her feeding of a few of the many stray kittys we have in our neighborhood. Sherry loved animals and they responded to her without fear.
On the morning of January 19th, the loud whining sirens from an ambulance and police cars rudely summoned the neighbors to the streets. The sirens stopped at Sherry’s house where her closest friends,Donna, in tears,and Joe by her side, told the police that she found Sherry in her bed, lifeless. Sue and Luther, her good friends from across the street joined them and I came a little later. We all held each other and cried as we realized that Sherry was gone. We would not hear her voice again though she dearly loved talking with each of us when she visited or was visited. We all described the feeling of emptiness we had as we looked at the house she loved,and responded to Annie and Buddy bewildered and confused at the fence. (Tux was under the bed and would not emerge). Joe and Donna shared that at first Buddy would not let anyone get close to Sherry’s bed. He was standing next to her,and doing his job of guarding her with all he had to offer in his compact small mixed terrier body. Joe was able to call him outside with Annie. The police officer asked about her relatives and for any knowledge of her health. As far as anyone knew, Sherry had no life threatening illnesses. She did not expect death, although she had let some of us know who would take care of the pets in the event of her passing. She was proud that she had made plans for them.
Her beloved Mother Eleanor Hornbrook, of Sanibel, Florida preceded her in going home to God by a little more than a year (in September of 2015). After working many years at a job she loved at Furniture World she retired and her recent life had been devoted to the care of her mother and her wonderful and vital pet family and with visiting her sister, Cynthia, who was in a rehab facility. She also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her grand-niece Sarah and Sarah’s wife, Rachel who now lived nearby and Sarah’s children. She had Thanksgiving with them and was thrilled by this. It was moving to see the love and respect Sarah and Rachel had for this newly found grand-Aunt as they assumed the care of her beloved pets. Her best friends were neighbors Joe and Donna Grohal. Joe, whom she knew for over twenty years, helped her with her grounds and did many tasks for her and she was so grateful to him. Joe and Donna shared holidays with her and the ups and downs of their lives. She had had a great Christmas with them. Joe shared that he and Sherry had coffee together the morning of the 18th and she was full of life and interest in all he was doing. We each regretted the times we could have visited her but got caught up with our own lives. And yet we recognized that we are all a part of each other’s lives. She was a gentle and caring woman who loved her home and her pets and her yard, especially the beautiful big trees in the yard. She built a wonderful large and safe enclosure so the dogs could run and play in the yard and so Tux could eat grass now that he became an indoor cat. Then, it seemed to us in the midst of life, she was suddenly gone.
Another neighbor, Sandra Kibbe joined us as we stood there remembering Sherry. She did not know Sherry well, but cared deeply that our neighbor was gone. I asked if the little group of neighbors and friends would like to pray together and the strong response was “yes, please” We held hands and stood in a circle and prayed for Sherry and her family of pets and people, and for each of us there who would miss her. Of different Christian denominations and faiths we joined in the faith of her eternal life with our loving God and in being so very thankful for the life she led among us.
Neither….death, nor life nor…. present things,nor future things…nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39)
“Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his faithful ones” Psalm 116:15
And precious to us forever is Sherry Hornbrook, who made 74 years on this earth and lives on in eternity. We are so blessed to be her neighbors and friends.
These are some pictures of Sherry taken in December of 2013 when I brought her cat Tux to live with her:
I wrote on December 22,2013:
A great joy this week was placing Tuxedo in a new home. This is a kitty who has been visiting me for a few months. He was terrified of human contact and would literally run so fast that he would disappear when we first met. In the past few weeks he became very friendly and did all he could to beg his way inside. I was so blessed to have a neighbor, Sherry Hornbrook who was willing to adopt him. He went to the Vet on Monday and was neutered and got all of his shots. He had to stay a little longer as there was a complication with his neutering and he had a pre cancerous condition that was so much better removed! He did very well with all of this and charmed everyone at Dr. Terry Sutton’s Three Oaks Animal Hospital. He was so ready for a home. On Friday Sherry picked him up and it was mutual love right away. He is adjusting to two older dogs who are very patient with him as they had a cat sibling before. What a lucky kitty to have such a loving family now. We are very thankful. (One of the beloved older dogs, Freckles, passed away in the next year or so and after a while there was room in Sherry’s heart for another little dog. )
This (below) is the little dog that Sherry accepted into her family last March. She renamed him Buddy because he became her special buddy and a buddy to Annie and Tux. (Buddy is with Pat Scorsone here who helped me bring him to Sherry. Pat had cared for him after he lost his home and had been hit by a car. Sherry told Pat that she could visit Buddy any time but Pat was just so pleased that he would have a home and big yard with Sherry.
Below this is Sherry (in the middle) with Sue Davis and myself out for lunch, Judy Beaumont is taking the picture.
And here the words of poet William Wordsworth also fit:
“she lived unknown, and few could know,
when Lucy ceased to be….
But O, the difference to me” And to all of her neighbors , friends and family four and two-legged.
REST IN PEACE DEAR SHERRY, you are our angel on Eastshore Drive now!
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe,a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her…and to give her any help she may need of you….” Romans 16:1-2 Here, the Apostle Paul instructs the Roman church to assist Deacon Phoebe-Can we do less?
Here is a way to take action in support of women deacons within the traditional Roman Catholic Church presented by the Women’s Ordination Conference:Please use the clicks below.
Show Your Love for Women’s Equality this Valentine’s Day
Dear Friends of Women’s Ordination,
Scholars from around the world are discussing the role and history of women deacons in the Catholic Church as part of Pope Francis’ new commission.
During this historic period of dialogue and study, the Women’s Ordination Conference needs you to join the conversation and share your passion for women’s full equality in the Church. Thousands of letters and postcards to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) can make a difference.
Take Action: Valentines For Equality!
Send a personalized letter to Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria, the president of the Commission on the Diaconate for Women, on
Share how much you love women’s equality in the Church, your story of vocation, and your hopes for the commission. For inspiration, check WOC’s talking points here. Make sure to include international postage.
Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
00193 Roma, Italia
Donate $5 or more to have WOC hand-deliver a Valentine to the Vatican’s CDF in Rome with your name and personalized message.
Spread the word! Leading up to Valentine’s Day, write your own love notes for women’s equality and use the social media hashtag: #OrdainWomen.
While the commission is not a solution to women’s inequality in the Church, we pray that the commission, similar to the Pontifical Biblical Commission of 1976 that concluded there is no scriptural barrier to women’s priestly ordination, will inform a new reality for women in our Church: one that models equality and inclusion.
With love for women’s equality,
Kate McElwee & Erin Saiz Hanna
Women’s Ordination ConferencePO Box 15057 Washington DC 20003
Marianne T. Smyth at her diaconate Ordination with Rev. Dr. Judy Lee. While over 230 validly ordained individuals in the RCWP movement serve throughout the world, we continue to await and take action toward the day when the traditional church takes a giant step toward affirming God’s call to all regardless of gender. IN the RomanCatholicWomenPriest Movement transitional deacons are ordained and in time they are ordained also as priests. Marianne Smyth is now a priest in Maryland.
It is a good thing to support the effort WOC makes available above. (JL)
This exciting article is from CBC News/Canada- January 11,2017
(The ordinations ARE valid meaning that a male bishop in apostolic succession and good standing with the Church ordained our first women priests and bishops. It is illicit as it breaks man-made canon law 1028 that says only men can be ordained. As Roman Catholic Women Priests we minister sacramentally as servant priests and serve in many ways and in many countries, numbering more than 230 ordained) and we do not accept ex-communication as we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. )
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP-USA-East
‘I have to do this’: Why some Catholic women are defying Church doctrine and becoming priests
The movement to ordain women is small, but its members’ conviction is firm
By By Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja, CBC NewsPosted: Jan 11, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 11, 2017 12:32 PM ET
Pat Cook, 70, is part of a small movement of women who have been ordained as Catholic women priests. Her ordination, which was held a United Church in Toronto, is not
The curtains are drawn as Marie Bouclin transforms the wooden coffee table in her modest living room in Sudbury, Ont., into an altar, lighting candles and filling a chalice with red wine.
A dozen of her parishioners sit in a semicircle around her. One woman is so worried she might be identified, she asks CBC to blur her face in any photos.
Bouclin, one of only two Canadian bishops in a small movement of Roman Catholic women being ordained outside the official Church, leads the room in a service that goes against 2,000 years of Catholic tradition and doctrine.
“In the early Church, people gathered in their homes,” Bouclin says. “Who can say that what we’re doing is not valid? Sometimes, we have to obey God and not men. And as much as some Catholics don’t want to hear this, the Pope is not God.”
Marie Bouclin, 75, centre, is one of only two Canadian bishops in the Roman Catholic female priest movement. There are 182 ordained female priests and 16 bishops worldwide. (Leonardo Palleja/CBC )
Bouclin, 75, became a nun when she was 18, but after seven years, she decided to leave the convent to get married and raise three children. She obtained a Master’s degree in theology from the University of Sherbrooke, focusing on the study of women who had been abused by clergy.
That led Bouclin to begin working with an organization called Women’s Ordination Worldwide. In 2007, she became a priest herself, and in 2011, she was elected by the other priests in the women’s ordination movement in Canada to serve as their bishop.
Bouclin is a self-described heretic.
“A heretic is someone who thinks differently,” she says. “So, yes, I suppose I am.”
Bouclin leads an underground service in her living room in Sudbury, Ont. One of the parishioners is so worried about possible repercussions from the Catholic church for attending the ceremony, she asked the CBC to blur her head in this image. (Leonardo Palleja/CBC)
Bouclin says she believes the Roman Catholic Church is sexist.
‘It’s the men’s Church. I think they are afraid of change. I feel they are afraid of women.’– Marie Bouclin, bishop
“It’s the men’s church,” Bouclin says. “I think they are afraid of change. I feel they are afraid of women. Women are the other. They are not to be trusted. They are going to take over. There seems to be that fear.”
When women in the movement get ordained, they are automatically excommunicated by the Vatican.
Still, Bouclin insists she loves the Catholic Church, as do many of her parishioners. Anita Corriveau, 70, drives almost four hours from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to Sudbury to pray with Bouclin.
“I feel like I’m hiding in the house. I don’t want to hide,” says Corriveau. “Open the doors.”
Female bishop serves communion at secret ceremony0:50
The female priest movement began in Germany in 2002 when a bishop in good standing with the Catholic Church, referred to within the movement as “Bishop X,” ordained seven women in secret.
Having a bishop within the Church perform the ordinations, members of the movement argue, allowed the apostolic succession — the line of bishops stretching back to the time of the apostles — to be preserved.
Bouclin says there are now 182 female priests and 16 bishops in 14 countries across the globe. Canada has 15 women who belong to the movement.
As one of a small number of bishops, it’s Bouclin’s mission to help find suitable candidates and ordain them.
Pat Cook, 70, is one such candidate. Bouclin met her at the ordination of another woman in 2015.
Cook, a retired teacher, says she was exhilarated by the ceremony and soon after began her own journey. She insists that if the priesthood had been an option when she was young, she would have chosen it.
“The call has been with me for a long time,” says Cook. “Genesis tells us that God created us all male and female alike. I think the Church is wrong in excluding women. I think women are capable of being leaders. I think women are capable of being priests.”
Pat Cook says she would have joined the priesthood as a young woman if it had been an option. (Leonardo Palleja/CBC )
Cook admits to being nervous about her ordination, but mostly, she says, she wants to get it over with so she can help the people in her Toronto community.
“I will follow the rules,” she says. “I just can’t help that I am a female. And I won’t apologize for that.”
A recent New York Times/CBS poll reported that 64 per cent of Catholics in the United States support women’s ordination.
Meanwhile, the Vatican remains opposed to the idea, saying that the ordination of any woman is invalid. At a press conference in November, Pope Francis reiterated the church’s long-held position and hinted that women will never become priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
Rev. Thomas Rosica, the English-language press attaché for the Holy See, says rules are rules and if women don’t play by the Church’s rules, they ‘can’t be a full part of it.’ (Nick Purdon/CBC )
Rev. Thomas Rosica is the English-Language press attaché for the Holy See. He admits it can be a challenge for the Church to explain why women can’t be ordained.
“We live in a society where people expect much for the language of equality,” he says.
‘My heart goes out to them, but I am sorry, we have certain rules.’– Thomas Rosica, Holy See press attaché
“If a man can do it, a woman can do it. If a man can run for president, then a woman can run for president. So, everybody thinks that equality is the determining factor, but that’s an equality that the world speaks of. The Catholic Church is basing its decision on a huge historical period, a huge tradition.”
Rosica stressed that there are many ways that women can contribute to the Church without becoming priests.
“My heart goes out to them,” Rosica said of the women who want to be ordained. “But I am sorry, we have certain rules. As with any organization and corporation, any workplace, [if] you don’t play by the rules, you can’t be a full part of it. But nobody is saying they don’t love Jesus.”
Mid-afternoon on a warm Sunday in November, Cook walks nervously down the centre aisle of a United Church in Toronto that has agreed to host her ordination.
There are about 50 people in attendance, including several members of Cook’s family.
“I am feeling nervous but joyous and blessed,” Cook says. “I just hope I am worthy. It’s the culmination of my life.”
Cook is one of 15 unofficially ordained female priests in Canada, and the only one living and working in Toronto. (Nick Purdon/CBC )
When Bouclin steps up to the podium to officiate the ordination, she can’t resist mixing politics with religion.
“Pope Francis reiterated that there would never be ordained women in the Catholic Church,” Bouclin says. “How disappointing that he should be looking back, backward, and adopted the position of his immediate predecessors.”
Bouclin says she doesn’t care if some Catholics dismiss her and the women she ordains.
“To be honest, I feel sorry for people who are so closed-minded,” she says. “Someone saying ‘You are not a priest. You are not a bishop’ doesn’t take anything away from me. If anything, they’re the losers.”
Bouclin invites Cook to sit in a chair in front of the altar and lays her hands on Cook’s head.
“I ask you, ‘Are you ready to be ordained for priestly ministry in the Church by the laying on of our hands and the gift of the Holy Spirit?'” Bouclin asks.
Cook quietly states that she is.
“I am following who I am,” Cook says after the ceremony. “I am being authentic. I am being me. So, if I hurt people by being a Roman Catholic woman priest, then I am sorry. I don’t want to hurt people at all ever, but I have to do this.”
In our age of uncertainty, violence, terrorism, just plain hatred and distrust of others and a resurgence of nationalism where mine is right and yours, if different, is wrong we find ourselves in a place not so different than the time of Jesus’birth and early years. Jesus was born when his Hebrew people and native land were under Roman rule, occupation and oppression. Today in the Middle East, Israel as a sovereign country exists , a small but powerful country seeking to protect its borders and territory. It exists in conflict with most of its neighbors and especially with Palestine (that also has a strong claim on the land). There is no peace. In Jesus’ day those who were poor suffered greatly and justice was, and still is, yet to be realized. Jesus was born in relative poverty in an obscure place but one of importance in his prophetic Jewish tradition. Yet, even by unusual light and events in the night skies people found him. Those who were not powerful were the first to find him.The shepherds, a despised and maligned local group, were the first to follow the light to his manger and to spread the good news of his birth(Luke 2:1-14). From the beginning of Jesus’life the definitions of who is important to God is turned upside down. A little later we see strangers finding him with the Magi from the East making their journey to him.(The Gospel of the day: Matthew 2:1-12). Magi were priests in the Zoroaster religion and they sought God by signs in the sky. They came from the area that is Iran today. In tradition, they are sometimes called kings because of the very expensive gifts they brought-gold for a king, myrrh for a healer and for pain, and frankincense for divinity. Gifts full of symbolism and meaning. And they were called kings and wise men because the Prophets (eg. our other texts of the day, Isaiah 60: 1-6; Psalm 72:1-13) foretold that kings of Sheba( now Ethiopia) and Arabia and other distant places would seek and find God’s chosen one, Messiah, Beloved, Son. Emmanuel-God With US. Then justice and peace would finally come to the world. There would be a Light to show the way. No class or racial/cultural divides and no nationalism here: all were welcome to find God revealed in a tiny humbly born human being, Jesus, the Christ-child.
Many sought him, some found him, but few live the lives he asks us to live-lives of compassion, inclusion, justice and peace making-lives marked by selfless love, and priority on the poor and outcast, like his. Hence, the promises of lasting justice and peace are yet to be fulfilled. Recent political events in the United States now prompt hundred of thousands of diverse women to march and stand in protest for the January 20th inauguration of the President-elect whose strongly,sometimes crudely, stated negative views on the dignity and worth of women and migrants from different shores leave us in disbelief and dismay. Standing up for justice for all is a beautiful “God-thing”as we say today. As Pope Francis responded: to live Christ is to be a builder of bridges, not walls.
And so now, in our times we still seek God. And the more we seek the more we find that God is bigger than and MORE than all we seek. God does not fit in a “God Box” all neatly tied with a bow. Jesus the Christ surely does not fit in that box. Our current love of the Cosmos and the Cosmic Christ and dependence on science for knowledge are but another step in this journey. Yet, it is faith that guides and prompts our search and the concepts of faith and knowledge are relevant at different levels of being. Faith is not based on logic or even knowledge, it is a gift of God-it is Grace, the Spirit of God helping us to believe and reach out to God. I do not think we find God through what we see as scientific fact, better known as theory. There are too many unknowns still. What goes on in the “black holes in space” are but one example of this. It takes a leap of faith to get up and make the journey into the unknown. The Magi represent this leap of faith as do the despised poor shepherds, as do Mary and Joseph as well. The story of Jesus’beginnings is all about faith, risking a journey into the uncertain and the unknown to find God and what God wants of us now in a world where love, justice and peace are sorely needed. The beginnings of this journey as revealed in Scripture and those accounts of the writers who lived closer to Jesus’ time are every bit as meaningful and valid and perhaps more so than our newest imaginations. Let us bring forth the foundation of our faith as we forge a way into the future and as we seek God’s Love and Wisdom. So, standing on all that has been revealed, let us step out on faith and find all that is to come. A blessed feast of Epiphany to all near and far.
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,RCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers, Florida
Here below are excerpts from the Homily of Rev. Dr. Beverly Bingle of Toledo, Ohio who shows us how Jesus too was a migrant, a refugee and comments on living a life of welcome to strangers in our midst.
“….Epiphany is a good word for this.
It’s from the Greek,
meaning appearance or manifestation or revelation.
Lots of things are revealed
in this second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel,
and two of the most decisive are
that Jesus is hated by the powerful oppressor
and that he is adored by wise outsiders.
To show who Jesus really is,
Matthew pictures him as a helpless baby,
born away from his parents’ home,
taken to another country to escape slaughter,
then being settled in a different place
because of fear of oppression.
Jesus is poor, a refugee, a displaced person, an immigrant.
Tomorrow [today] through next Saturday
is National Migration Week.
Our Church reflects on the circumstances
faced by migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children,
and victims and survivors of trafficking.
Pope Francis asks us to create a “culture of encounter” with them.
He wants us to look past what we want
to pay attention to what the people around us need.
It’s hard for me to imagine the fear and the chaos
of the experience of being a refugee.
The closest I’ve been was the time I woke up
to find a strange man standing by my bed.
I jumped up and chased him out of the house,
swinging a rocking chair at him like it was a piece of spaghetti.
Adrenalin is pretty amazing!
But I didn’t feel safe in my home any more.
I couldn’t stay there,
but I didn’t have to leave town or leave the country.
I slept on a friend’s sofa for three nights
while I searched for an apartment.
That’s a pretty tame experience
compared to some I’ve heard about.
Last year a teacher told me about a second grade student
who was living with his grandmother in a van.
A few years ago I visited Family House Shelter
and cringed at the rooms for the homeless,
a 10×9 space for the whole family.
You’ve seen it, right here in our own wealthy country:
rows and rows of cots at the Cherry Street Mission,
New Orleans after Katrina,
people curled up to sleep under a bridge or on a park bench.
And we’ve all seen our broken world on TV,
most recently the bloodied women with babies and children
racing away from the rubble of their homes in Aleppo.
As Christians, we see the Holy Family in these refugee families.
We see living, breathing, feeling people,
children of God just like us,
people who, as Isaiah says, show the glory of God rising.
When I think about the suffering of the immigrant and the migrant
and the refugee and the trafficked and the homeless,
I’m inspired by YOU.
Our community has donated to ABLE, Rahab’s Heart,
Claver House, 1Matters, UStogether, and Beach House.
More than money, though,
each one of you gives stuff, or time and energy, or prayer.
You create that “culture of encounter” that Pope Francis talks about
every time you work in a pantry, pray for peace,
or give socks and gloves for the homeless.
You signed welcome cards
to the Syrian refugee families now settling here in Toledo.
Every week you fill my car with really good stuff
to take to Claver House for the hungry and homeless;
and to take to Rahab’s Heart
for their work with trafficked women;
and to UStogether for the new refugees.
The principles of social justice you put into practice
weren’t created by our Catholic church.
They are rooted in the whole Judeo-Christian tradition
of hospitality to the stranger.
Referring to Abraham and Sarah,
St. Paul told the Hebrews not to neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
And he wrote to the Ephesians that we are all heirs,
all part of the one body.
To paraphrase Pogo, we have met the stranger and he is us.
We expect the coming years to be challenging.
We find hope in responding to the needs of the displaced.
Even more, we will keep on speaking up
whenever the policies of our leaders—
local and state and national—
threaten the peace and prosperity
of the least of our brothers and sisters.
Maybe it will be a one-line email
sent to our representative and senators in Congress:
don’t mess with Obamacare;
keep public lands for the public;
subsidize renewable energy, not fossil fuels;
no more fracking;
tax breaks for the poorest, not the richest.
Or a phone call to the mayor
or a council member or a county commissioner.
However we are able, we will reach out,
building that “culture of encounter” that Francis talks about,
one person at a time.
We’ll be entertaining angels,
and we will be aware of it.
Thanks be to God!
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606