Here is the link to a beautiful youtube video entitled CATHOLIC WOMEN CALLED.
It is produced by WOC- the Women’s Ordination Conference and WOW, Women’s Ordination Worldwide and is also a work in progress where others may share their call. The video following it with Roy Bourgeois,an activist Roman Catholic Priest who supports women’s ordination entitled A LIFE LIVED FROM CONSCIENCE is also an eye-opener.
rev. Judith Lee, RCWP
Here are two pictures from the Priestly Ordination of two Roman Catholic women taken on Saturday April, 21, 2018, courtesy of Rev. Cynthia L. Black, Copyrighted.
Below: Rev.Donna Enos Burke of New Hampshire and Rev Erma M. Durkin of Maryland
Below: Celebrating in great joy-Some of the Priests of the Eastern Region of RCWP, Roman Catholic Women Priests with the newly ordained Rev. Donna E. Burke and Rev. Erma M. Durkin in front of the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown , New Jersey
BLESSINGS AND PRAYERS FOR OUR New Priests,
Rev. Judith A. Lee, RCWP
This article from Irish Central by Frances Mulraney is a great interview with Rev. Jennifer O’Malley,RCWP of California.
This morning, April 21, 2018, amidst the great joy of the large congregation gathered two well prepared women were ordained into the Roman Catholic Priesthood at the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown, New Jersey. Donna Enos Burke of Amherst, New Hampshire and Erma Durkin of Glen Arm, Maryland took the vows of Holy Orders with Bishop Andrea Johnson of the Eastern Region of RomanCatholicWomenPriests, RCWP, presiding. As Bishop Johnson is validly ordained via a line of Apostolic Succession beginning with a male Bishop in good standing with the Church whose name will be revealed upon his death, this is a valid ordination. Because by Canon Law the Church only ordains men this is also an illicit ordination. The Church says that the women excommunicate themselves by accepting Holy Orders. However, they reject this excommunication noting that “…nothing can separate me from the love of Christ…” Both women were called forth to serve by their own communities and look forward to serving as priests.
For Donna Burke the call to serve as a priest came in childhood in Fall River Massachussets. Although many attempted to discourage her she hopefully pursued the possibility throughout her life as she served the Church and God’s people in many ways. She has a Masters in Theology and Scriptural Studies and also will complete a MDiv degree at Andover Newtown Theological School. She plans to do hospice work focusing on both patients and their families and looks forward also to pursuing a DMin degree in the future.
Erma Durkin has led a life of service. She was a Religious sister for twenty years serving in many different States in the US and in Puerto Rico. Her specialty is Religious Education and she served in parishes until recently. When she left Religious Life she became a wife and mother of three and is a grandmother to two. She will continue to serve with other Priests at Living Waters Community in Maryland.
Congratulations and God’s richest blessings upon these faithful and courageous new Priests and their Ministries!
Love and blessings,
Rev. Dr. Judith Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers, Florida
Ruby Tuesday, also known as Stacie Pearce, had a beautiful and heartfelt send-off yesterday. Here are some highlights from the Memorial Service for Ruby Tuesday yesterday afternoon-Tuesday April 10 from about 4-6 PM on the river front in Fort Myers, Florida.
I started the Service off with the help of four of the members of Good Shepherd Ministry, Harry Lee Gary, Brenda Cummings, Kathy Roddy,and Judy Alves and Pastor Marina Teresa Sanchez leading the singing: This is the day, the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it” and This is Holy Ground. Then Rev. Ron Willis of Love and Compassion Ministries opened the Service with prayer and shared his reflections of Ruby’s road and closeness to Jesus. He, and all of the others who shared their memories also noted that Ruby could stretch our abilities to help. He told, with humor, a story of taking her to breakfast before an important meeting with all the difficulties of managing Ruby’s large cart of personal items.
Janet Bartos, Director of the Coalition shared how Ruby taught her how to relate to homeless people by commenting with dry humor on her very nice and very proper suit. She emphasized how Ruby attended every Coalition meeting and was a great Advocate for the homeless.
Portia Wright had created a beautiful large portrait of Ruby that we all admired as we remembered Ruby.
We remembered Ruby as an artist and jewelry maker and several commented on her generosity in sharing her work with others. A painting of lovely houses on a hill that Ruby made has been donated to the Coalition for fund raising by Ruby’s Case Manager who had been gifted with it. We also recalled how she constantly tried to help others, giving much away.
Kathy Sager and others shared how working with Ruby helped them to learn how to be helpful to others who experience the pain and sorrow of physical and mental illnesses and yet demonstrated the unusual strengths that Ruby did.
Kathy Roddy shared how she and Ruby became acquainted at Goodwill Housing in North Fort Myers. While I asked Kathy to reach out to Ruby, Ruby made herself known by appearing every day at dinner time. Kathy was also helpful in getting Ruby’s cat Gouda ready for adoption when Ruby went into Assisted Living Care. Kathy Roddy was moved by the Service and shared how much Ruby had taught her about helping.
Portia Wright then shared the story of fourteen years of knowing Ruby and accompanying her through many moves and changes, sometimes with exasperation but always with patience and love. She reflected on how much Ruby meant to her and her family including her grandson who was present at the Service.She played two beautiful songs on the CD player before the weather suddenly changed and a storm quickly brewed.
I quickly moved to wind it up and after a brief commendation of Ruby to our loving God, and the summing up that Ruby taught many of us here how to serve and we are thankful to her for that and for her courageous life the wind gained tropical storm force. I enjoined the group to join hands in Jesus’ prayer and as just we concluded all that was beautifully laid on tables, food, flowers, and art objects from Ruby began to fly across the area. I said, “well, go in peace but this is either a bad early summer storm or Ruby trying to tell us something”. Many answered definitively as they hastily departed: “It’s Ruby!”
Some aspects of Ruby’s life were like the Tropical storm force winds-capricious, unpredictable and causing chaos. She was one,like some of the other homeless people, who refused to accept that she needed medication for her mental health to be balanced and so it wasn’t. And her physical ills and pain would be equally strong and unpredictable. As she endured chemotherapy for her illness and also endured an unexpected move up to a facility in Punta Gorda she held on tight to her friends and to our loving God. And she kept on caring about and trying to help others. We also reflected on how Ruby is now with God, healed and whole and that was our comfort.
Then we were blown away and drenched to the bone- a new baptism of the Spirit for those who serve ?
In the words of the chorus of the song by the Rolling Stones that bears her chosen name:
“Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you….”
Let us follow Ruby’s teaching and serve one another,
Love and blessings,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Ministries of Southwest Florida
On Tuesday April 10th, 2018 a Memorial Service will be held for Ruby Tuesday, a dedicated Homeless Advocate in Fort Myers ,Florida. It will be held at 3:30 PM in Centennial Park on the river front in Fort Myers. Rev. Ron Willis of Love and Compassion Ministries will preside assisted by Rev.Dr.Judy Lee,RCWP of Good Shepherd Ministries and Mrs.Portia Wright, Ruby’s beloved and Christ-like dedicated best friend of many years.
Ruby Tuesday, whose name was Stacie Joy Pearce,nee Stacie Joy Shapiro,was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Fort Myers several years ago. She was born on December 15, 1957 and died on February 4,2018. After many rounds of chemotherapy her heart was weakened and she was admitted to the Lee Memorial Hospital ER where was admitted to the hospital then died of heart failure. Yet, Ruby’s was a heart full of concern for others. After putting her own battle with homelessness behind her she became an Advocate for the area homeless, serving on the Board of the Fort Myers Coalition to End Homelessness. Janet Bartos, the head of the Coalition, Kathy Sager and several others from the Coalition will attend the Memorial Service.
Ruby Tuesday is her chosen name and the one everyone knew. She loved the out of doors, especially the river front and the parks. She loved color and turquoise stones and natural things. She wore colorful long cotton skirts and cotton tops with a Native American or arty motif and high topped boots. She liked to carry many of her possessions with her and sometimes used a cart or a rolling walker with a seat and basket to do so. She liked to call herself “an old hippie”. Yet, every moment she lived expressed her care for others, including her orange and white cat Gouda whom she reluctantly had to give up for adoption when she moved into an Assisted Living Facility four years ago. I would send her pictures of Gouda in his new home and this brought her great joy. Ruby made wonderful jewelry from semi-precious stones. She sold it and often gave her money to people who were currently homeless. And she sometimes also gave it away to her friends.
We met Ruby first in Lion’s Park in 2007 as we ministered to and with homeless people in the park. She often brought the needs of others to my attention. I called her my assistant and case finder. She also liked to help plan the menu for the regular meal favoring fresh vegetables and fruits. She was, then, a vegetarian and she helped me as I slowly became one. She believed that poor and hungry people needed a healthy and not starchy meal. Once she asked me to bring a green pea salad for her, which I did and she was so pleased. We slowly built trust and became friends. She liked to sit two or three seats behind me-near, but not too close. At the time she was homeless but she was then able to get apartments, then a trailer, then she was accepted into Goodwill Housing for the physically disabled. The picture below was taken on the day she went for her interview with Goodwill. She enjoyed living in her little Goodwill townhouse in North Fort Myers until she faced more difficult physical problems and moved on to Assisted Living. In the last year Pastor Judy Beaumont and I met Ruby at the Cancer Center several times as both were receiving their medications. We were able to embrace and pray together at those times. While Ruby battled difficult physical and mental illness she remained a beacon of light to others, leading them to assistance and homes.
All are welcome to attend as we pay our respects and say good-bye to a dear friend and colleague in the service of the homeless. the words of the 23rd Psalm are right for her:
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
Love and blessings,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Ministries of Southwest Florida