November 15, 2011
Remembering the Feast Day of a Child
by Olga Lucia Alvarez, ARCWP
A year ago, the child Juan Dieguito Borda …
"He pleased God and God loved him … and he took him away" (Wisdom 4:10)
His family, little friends, neighbors and the neighborhood, have
wished to honor his memory with a community Eucharist in the House/Church.
His grandmothers, his aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors
of the family were there. The aunts set up the altar, in the living
room of the house and arranged the seats for everyone. The cousins
and little friends of Juan Diego, with whom we saw him playing foot-ball
so many times in the block in front of the house, spontaneously,
asked to organize the presentation of the gifts and thus they did
The family and members of the Community, had invited a Catholic priest (of Old Catholic) whom we also invited to concelebrate, explaining to the Community, giving the sense of ecumenism which is provided in the sharing of inter-denominational and inter-religious communion, which goes farther than just meetings and signing documents of mutual "closeness", posing for the "ecumenical" album. The readings were shared. The sharing of the homily in a community way, is still hard for us, but efforts were made to do it and it's a work in progress which will continue. At the moment of consecration, we acted as community, women and men extended their hands over the elements reciting the words of the consecration as a sign of promise and solidarity in the service of the community and the church.
Before Communion, the grandmothers were asked to help with the distribution, explaining to the community why they were going to do so. "They through the years, in their homes, have cared for our lives, providing us with food. Giving us Communion today is caring for the spiritual life of their family, their sons, daughters and grandchildren, protecting them and helping them grow in the faith; therefore they are going to share Communion not only with their family, but also with the Community, recognizing thus their experience and wisdom."
When the church speaks of the importance of the laity, it is referring to the empowerment of the laic in it, causing the laity to assume responsibility for the building of the Kingdom of God, in a community way and with a sense of church. This was a powerful moment, understood and accepted by the community, which afterwards was much remarked about among the people.
"As his life was pleasing to the Lord, the Lord acted quickly
to remove him from the midst of evil. The people see, but neither
hear nor understand, that God treats his chosen with mercy and goodness,
watching over his faithful ones." Wisdom 4:14-15
Roman Catholic Activists in Rome
ROME, Oct 17 (Reuters) - A group of Roman Catholic activists who think women should be ordained priests tried to deliver a petition to the Vatican on Monday but were blocked from entering St Peter's Square and some were detained by police.
Witnesses said plainclothes Italian police stopped the group of about 15 demonstrators, including several women dressed in priest's robes, and confiscated a banner reading "God is calling women to be priests."
The group, headed by an American Roman Catholic priest from Georgia, Father Roy Bourgeois, wanted to leave a petition signed by some 15,000 people at a Vatican entrance.
"The scandal of demanding silence on the issue of women's ordination reflects the absolute arrogance of the (Roman Catholic Church) hierarchy and their tragic failure to accept women as equals in dignity and discipleship in the eyes of God," said Erin Hanna, executive director of the U.S-based Women's Ordination Conference.
In a separate, open letter to Vatican officials, Bourgeois said: "If the call to be a priest is a gift and comes from God, how can we, as men, say that our call from God is authentic, but God's call of women is not?"
Bourgeois and Hanna were placed in police cars at the entrance of St Peter's Square and taken to a police station near the Vatican.
The Vatican says women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus Christ willingly chose only men as his apostles.
Advocates of a female priesthood reject this position, saying Jesus was merely conforming to the social customs of his times.
HOLY WEEK AT GOOD SHEPHERD INCLUSIVE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
From Judy Lee, Fort Myers, Florida - 2011
Below are pictures from Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community taken during Holy Week. These pictures hardly capture how moving this week was, but the devotion of the people was amazing! About 30 people faithfully and enthusiastically partake in the Holy Week events.
The Good Friday pictures are from during the out-door Stations of the Cross. This was remarkable as several of the members have trouble walking but traveled this road willingly with Jesus. Our young people actively participated.
The Easter Mass for us included the blessing with water and the renewal of baptismal promises. Later the church gathered outside and the children had an Easter egg hunt. Before Sunday School, all shared a wonderful Easter dinner prepared by Mary Ann Bohn and Cindy.
In class the young people took turns telling the Easter story
with a felt board and then did some Easter puzzles and crafts with
their wonderful teacher, Efe.