Rev. Maureen Mc Gill, ARCWP Ordained January 18,2014 Sarasota, Florida with Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan and Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia, Maureen is on the left in Ordination Picture
On the left Maureen is at the hospital bed of Gloria Laracuente in Tampa with Rev. Judy Beaumont and Gloria’s Family members
Women Priests Ordained in Sarasota, Florida
by Yoselis Ramos, WGCU, NPR
News polls show a majority of American Roman Catholics believe women should be allowed to become priests. A group of women in Sarasota who are doing just that—with or without permission from the Roman Catholic Church.
The sun shone like a beacon through the windows of the St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Sarasota. It started off like a regular Catholic mass but instead of men wearing the deacon slashes as they walked down the aisle it was women.
This isn’t a regular mass. It is a ceremony for ordaining women priests and deacons. Two women were joining the more than 145 women priests around the world. They’re a part of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. It’s a part of a movement that started in 2002 with the ordination of seven women at the Danube River in Germany. They were ordained by an episcopal male bishop whose own ordination was not considered valid by the Roman Catholic Church.
Actually, the Vatican punishes women who seek ordination with excommunication. It’s a crime against the church as severe as priests who sexually abuse children. But excommunication doesn’t intimidate this group of women. Maureen McGill of Pensacola is one of them. She was ordained a priest in Sarasota.
McGill found the association through the internet after leaving the Catholic Church for a few years.
“At that point, nobody in the family was going to church”, McGill said. “We were just done with church. We had a bad experience at my mother’s funeral and we kinda just left.”
To McGill, this community felt right.
“I was home but there was none of the rigidity, there was openness to women, openness to birth control, openness to divorced Catholics, openness to gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual people”, McGill said. “It was a totally open experience and I think that’s what I had been looking for for 67 years.”
But this group is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Frank Murphy is a spokesman for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
“The diocese of Venice does not recognize them at all”, Murphy said. “It’s just a group of people making a claim that’s just not valid within our church.”
Pope Francis has said the door of allowing women in the priesthood is closed. McGill says she understands that doors close.
“But they open, they do open”, Murphy said. “And if you knock loud enough and hard enough and keep going at it, that door might open.”
Some folks like Murphy, don’t see that door opening anytime soon.
“I think that the ordination of a woman to priesthood, I think it involves a teaching of the church which is for men only at this point in time and I think it will continue to be that way”, said Murphy.
Even so, McGill holds out hope as she jokes often with her husband.
“He said the other day, ‘you’ll never live to see women completely accepted in the church’ and then he looked at me and he says, ‘given your genes, you probably will live to see it’”, laughed McGill. “And I will crawl to the Vatican with my walker if I have to on that day if they do accept us.”
But history may be on her side.
A recent poll conducted by Bendixen & Amandi for the Spanish-language network Univision, showed Catholics internationally are split on a variety of issues including gay marriage, divorce, and abortion. Specifically, 59% of the Catholics surveyed in the United States believed women should be ordained into priesthood.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and all supporters of ordaining ALL who are called to serve God’s people celebrate the ordination of three women of God. On Sunday September 15, 2013 Mary Theresa Streck was ordained Priest and Maureen McGill and Mary Sue Barnett were ordained Deacons. Here is a summation of the event by our Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan and an article and link to read more about it. Please also see http://www.inclusivecatholiccomunity-albanyny. if you’d like to see pictures of the event and also follow the community of our new priest, Mary Theresa Streck.
Thanks for your prayers and loving support.
We had a joyous ordination of Mary Theresa Streck, Mary Sue Barnett, and Maureen McGill in Albany.
Approximately 350 people attended. Church was packed to overflowing.
The website for the Inclusive Catholic Community of Albany is now up. See blog for link and article.
Albany diocese told priests and nuns not to attend under penalty of being fired from diocesan jobs!
However, there were a few courageous dissenters who came and stayed out of media coverage!
See article and television coverage in link below.
Bridget Mary Meehan
Sunday, September 15, 2013
NEWS Stories: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests: Ordination of 3 Women in Albany, New York/Sept.15,2013
Albany Times Union: “Group installs female priest:Grass-roots organization ordains nun, but Catholic Church won’t recognize her”
By Bryan Fitzgerald
People gather inside the Unitarian Universalist Church for the Liturgy of Ordination celebrated by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 in Albany, NY. (Paul Buckowski / Times Union)
“There was no air of controversy inside the First Unitarian Universalist Society on Washington Avenue Sunday afternoon — only jubilation.
In an ordination ceremony that will not be recognized by the Catholic Church, a woman was ordained as a priest.
Despite the Catholic Church’s stance on female priests, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests says the Sunday ordination of Mary Teresa Streck was legitimate and that the longtime nun is now one of about 160 female Roman Catholic priests in the country. None of them are recognized by the Vatican.
“It is with great joy I present to you our newly ordained priest,” BishopBridget Mary Meehan told the excited crowd after Streck’s ceremony was completed.
Streck, a nun for 18 years before launching the Ark Community Charter School in Troy, was greeted with thunderous, rock-star-like ovations at various times during the nearly three-hour-long ceremony.
Two female deacons, Mary Sue Barnett and Maureen McGill, were also ordained during the service.
“This is a very joyful day,” Streck said after the ceremony. “Nothing but joy.”
The leaders of the Catholic Church have been unwavering in their assertions that women have important roles in the church but are not recognized as priests, often saying there is no theological basis for their ordinations.
Meehan and others in her grassroots group say there is no theological basis for barring women from the priesthood, adding that women were ordained in the church’s earliest years.
In July, Pope Francis told USA Today that “the church has spoken and says no … that door is closed,” when asked about female priests.
Churches have disciplined and even expelled priests who have so much as attended ordinations recognizing women as priests. Meehan said that the Albany diocese sent out a memo telling its leaders not to attend Sunday’s service under threat of reprimand, though the diocese could not be reached Sunday to confirm or deny Meehan’s claim.
The church has also said that any woman who is ordained is excommunicating herself from the church.
Streck said she the threat of excommunication never deterred her.
“I do not consider myself excommunicated,” Streck said. “I hope other women consider this path.”
While speaking to crowd at length, Meehan, who lives in Florida, often likened the women priest movement to civil rights activism, invokingRosa Parks on several occasions and saying the ancient guidelines the church says forbids women priests are outdated.
“Rules of those times had nothing to do with love and compassion,” Meehan said. “The Catholic Church needs to wake up.”
Catholic sect ordains female priest
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