Christmas Is Love: A Glimpse Into The Lives of Two Roman Catholic Women Priests

I have been reflecting on the loving gifts I have received this Christmas-expressions of love never cease to amaze me. Some were small material gifts thoughtfully matched to who I am or what I like and some were gifts of calls and cards and messages sending love. They were especially important in this year of Covid19 when we cannot travel to be with our loved ones. And they were especially important to me this year as it is my third Christmas without my partner in life, love and ministry- Rev. Judy Beaumont.

(We were both ordained Roman Catholic Priests through the Roman Catholic Women Priest -RCWP-Movement that began on the Danube river in 2002. After many years of service and compassion particularly to the homeless and outcast we were both called by our local community to also serve as Priests. We were already serving our Good Shepherd Ministries of SW Florida and we became Co-Pastors of the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers. I was ordained in 2008 and Judy Beaumont was ordained in 2012. Over 400 persons joyfully participated in her ordination. Our service continued with a new sacramental dimension supported by our varied and loving community.)

On New Year’s Day, Jan 1, 2021 Judy began the New Year by leaving the suffering of AML Leukemia behind and going home with Love. Her life is now eternal and she remains our guiding star and angel. As all who lose loved ones know all too well, the Holidays, and even the most Holy days can be a difficult time, a time of remembering and a time of missing and a time when there is one foot in the past and another in the present. So love expressed at Christmas is particularly important. Yet Christmas is ALL about Love. God’s tremendous love for us. A beautiful Christmas song popularized by the Jars Of Clay and available on Youtube is entitled Love Came Down At Christmas. (It adapted by the jars of Clay but was written very long ago by Christina Rosetti- 1830-1894 with a Traditional Irish Melody). The words say it all:

“”Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine;

Love was born at Christmas; Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead, Love incarnate, Love divine….

Worship we our Jesus, But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token; Love be yours and love be mine,

Love from God to all of us, Love for plea and gift and sign”.

When we embrace the love of God at Christmas we are never alone and never ‘Unloved”, though we remember the loves of our life who have gone before us. Those of us in older years may often say: “There are more of my loved ones in heaven than on earth”. Some may even say “ALL of my loved ones have now gone before”. There is a poignant sadness in that, yet a hopefulness. I ask you to remember love with me now. The love we were blessed with, and the love we are still blessed with- and most especially the Love that came down at Christmas.

As a special gift I am sharing here Chapter 12 of my book about Judy’s life of complete loving service. There are Chapters that are written by Judy and Chapters about what she accomplished and how she struggled and served. A few Chapters are about our life together as well. This is one of those Chapters. If you care to read this Christmas chapter, it may whet your appetite for the whole story. It is appropriately entitled “Every Day Is Like Christmas”. Click on Download if you would like to read it.

This is a collage of our Christmas with our Good Shepherd Community in 2014. It is clearer in the Chapter itself.
If you would like to get the book it is available on Amazon.com in both kindle and paperback version.

Here is a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/author/judyleejudithablee

A Blessed Christmas Season and a New Year in which you know without a doubt that you are loved-most especially by the Love that came down on Christmas. Let us remember to be the hands of Love this Christmas and always.

Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Judy Lee

Co-Pastor of The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community and Good Shepherd Ministries in Fort Myers Florida

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One response to “Christmas Is Love: A Glimpse Into The Lives of Two Roman Catholic Women Priests”

  1. Patricia Byrne says :

    To be a disciple of Christ is not gentle exercise. One is captured and our previous values, goals and identities collapse in the Presence of Our God. Most Christians are not seeking a bigger is better Christianity. We seek instead the deepest possible contact with God’s love. The Incarnation is God’s pulling humanity into the Trinitarian Reality. But if we are filled with ourselves, there will be little room for all Christ offers us. Witnessing the Pastors Judy B and Judy L was a glimpse of the early church and the Good Shepherd for whom the rightly named their work. In the parks, in the streets, they showed up to seek and save those who were lost. It seems it was their total renunciation that was blessed with lives which were healed and souls that were saved from the ravages of a culture which fails to provide basic needs for the poor. Their giving was endless. Not only food, clothes and shelter, but more priceless gifts of dignity, safety and security. Theirs was not a dressed up Christianity, this was a church were pastors chose to embody their call.
    They gave all they were out of love. Their message during the collection was,
    “If you have nothing to give, place your hand in the basket and give your heart.” They preached with their lives. And what a glorious message we heard and saw!

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