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  March 15, 2023         About Us | Search | Internal and Related Links | Events | Contact Us | Donate | Free Subscription             

World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination
On March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, we mark the annual World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination. This year, join Women's Ordination Conference for a 30-minute prayer service with the theme of Our Lady of the Way: an ancient name for Mary with contemporary resonance as we walk the synodal way towards a renewed Church with renewed priesthood for all genders.

Join Women's Ordination Converence on Zoom on Saturday, March 25th, at 11 a.m. ET and 9:00 a.m. CT (US and Canada)/4 p.m. CEST (Europe).

RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

Born of the Earth, Rooted in the Stars

The theme chosen by our small faith community for Lent this year is:  Born of the Earth, Rooted in the Stars.  Everything of the earth, including us, has the DNA of the Creator.   We desire to look at life through an expanded filter of origin and destiny.  The practice of attentive curiosity is key to increasing revelation. We ask that our hearts and minds be open to new dimensions, new ways of looking at things.

With this awareness, let us contemplate the Word proclaimed to us for the Third Sunday of Lent.

The 1st Reading is  one of the “testings” of the wandering Israelites. They are growing weary of desert wandering; they are tired; they are thirsty.   Miriam, one of their leaders has died and was buried in what must have seemed like a God-forsaken land.  What would happen to them?  Did God no longer care about them?  They complain bitterly to Moses and Aaron who, in turn, plead to YHWH for help.  YHWH says, “Go strike a rock.”  Moses doubts that will work, but does as directed and low and behold, water flows in this land.

In the 2nd Reading the suffering of the desert journey gives way to travelling the good road  in the company of Jesus who is a proven source of wisdom for the way.  Living in right relationship with God, both as individuals and communally, is marked with the principles of peace and hope – the blessed assurance that all will be well, and the confidence to pay kindness and compassion forward.

The Gospel is a rich and beautiful unfolding of Jesus Messiah, not as “Saviour” but as Revelation as the “I AM” first made known to Moses in the burning bush.  This story from the Johannine school can be likened to the unfolding of a rose – petal by petal to reveal its inmost secrets and increasing fragrance.  Through the seven-part dialogue (Remember 7 is a number for wholeness.) between Jesus and the Woman at the Well, Wisdom Jesus is revealed as the courtier of the human heart and the fulfillment of the deepest longings of not only the woman, but the whole community whom she represents.

The conversation is not idle chit-chat between the two, but an increasingly intense theological dialogue.  Step by step, petal by petal, the encounter moves from physically coming to draw water at an ancestral village well to a realization of a well-spring of eternal life found in Jesus; and by the Spirit within, it is ours. 

It is important to note the communal aspect of all of the readings.  It is the community as Kadesh that complained and whose thirst was satisfied.  It is the Pauline community in Rome that is instructed to find peace and hope in the Risen Christ.  And it is the Johannine community that is being challenged to see the inclusive nature of the realm of Abwoon, (Abba, Father/Mother God).

The Woman is the Gospel is not named; she represents the whole of the people of Samaria.  It is not Jew vs. Gentile vs. Samaritan.  It is beyond the limited views of any culture or nationality, or religion. The Christ relationship includes everyone.  Therein lies the hope and peace as ethnic divisions that plagued the community are put aside and all are treated as equals and respected as they worship in “spirit and in truth.”  This Gospel has the potential to reveal, petal by petal, the heart of what it means to be One Humanity, a community of equally important creatures of the Divine Creator.  We are each the imago Dei, and together this is even a more profound reality.  The world is the beloved, the Body of God.  Born of the Earth, Rooted in the Stars.

Indigenous Relations

Indigenous Relations NEWSLETTER

This is what’s missing from land acknowledgments

By Tony Snow, broadview.org | February 27, 2023

Performative rote acknowledgments lack something essential.

I reside in an area my people call Yethka Makoche. It’s the place of origin for our Stoney Nakoda Assiniboine people. From here, we travelled far to the north and south, across the great plains, to discover the wisdom, teachings and languages of other peoples. Each person we encountered was a gift from Creator, Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, the Great Mystery. We formed relationships with these peoples that are recalled in our Stoney Oral Tradition.

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Powerful docuseries spotlights missing and murdered U. S. Indigenous women

Chris Byrd, ncronline.org | March 4, 2023

Indigenous people, as the National Indian Council on Aging reports, according to the U.S. Census, constitute 1.1% of the total U.S. population. Yet, among some Native American tribes, Native women experience murder rates 10 times higher than the national average, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center reports.

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2SLGBTQI+ Justice

Theological reflection on gender doesn't compete with Vatican II

Robert Shine, ncronline.org | October 31, 2022

The 60th anniversary of Vatican II's opening prompted a flurry of commentaries in Catholic and secular outlets alike. The National Catholic Reporter's Michael Sean Winters offered his perspective, lining up clearly on the pro-conciliar team. Unfortunately, he also used the opportunity to take a swipe at theological reflection on gender, and he made an invective against issues related to nonbinary people specifically. His swipe needs to be answered.

I agree with much of what Winters wrote: that Vatican II is still being received by the church, and will continue to be for some time; that "in [Pope] Francis' hands, [the council] seems young again"; that many of the council's naysayers are simply a continuation of the "prophets of doom" whom Pope John XXIII rejected.

Where I part ways with him, though, is when he takes a digression to put theological reflection on gender in competition with the study of Vatican II and disparages nonbinary people along the way.

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Parliament of the World's Religions

PoWR Updates
Explore "The PoWR of Community" with the 2022 Annual Report

History of the Parliament of the World's Religions

PoWR, parliamentofreligions.org | March 15, 2023

The Parliament of the World’s Religions cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

Its origins are rooted in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the east and west.

Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international 501(c)3 NGO affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

Conferences held in:
Chicago, USA - 1893
Chicago, USA - 1993
Cape Town, South Africa - 1999
Barcelona, Spain - 2004
Melbourne, Australia - 2009
Salt Lake City, USA - 2015
Toronto, Canada - 2018
Online - 2021
Chicago, USA - 2023

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An Initial Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religion

Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org | March 15, 2023

"Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration" is a 1993 document by members of the Parliament of the World's Religions that details ethical commitments shared by many of the world's religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions. It is the Parliament's signature document.

At the request of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, Hans Küng, President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Stiftung Weltethos), wrote an initial draft in consultation with fellow scholars and religious leaders. The Council's leaders and Trustees then worked on the draft in consultation with Küng and another extensive network of leaders and scholars from various religions and regions. Most notable in leading this effort were Daniel Gómez-Ibáñez, the Executive Director of the Council, and Thomas A. Baima, a member of the Board of Trustees.

An Initial Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Pope Francis has opened the door for real church reform, but hasn't stepped through

Richard Gaillardetz, ncronline.org | February 28, 2023

The 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis offers an opportunity to consider the contributions and missteps of this remarkable pontificate. As a comprehensive assessment is impossible, I will consider the related contributions of this pontificate to the theology, structure, and exercise of ministry and authority.

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Does the Catholic Church really believe women are people?

Phyllis Zagano, uscatholic.org | March 2023

The following is an excerpt from Just Church: Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women by Phyllis Zagano (Paulist Press, 2023).

It can seem simplistic to say that the life and dignity of people within the Church begins with baptism and must be respected. But when the Church makes statements that imply or directly state that women cannot image Christ, the Risen Lord, there is much to be criticized.

While it may seem incomprehensible in current times to say that women cannot—do not—image Christ, this is the bedrock of the argument that women cannot receive sacramental ordination. The implications of this statement or belief are enormous. Its errors are equally enormous.

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Trailblazing female theologian says Church holds back women

Lucie Sarr, international.la-croix.com | March 2, 2023

The culture of patriarchy and hierarchy found in African society and the Catholic Church tends to keep women from decision-making positions, says Sister Sahon Solange Sia, the first woman from Ivory Coast to earn a doctorate in theology."The prevailing attitude is that women cannot lead," says the religious, a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Calvary in the West African country.

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German bishops apparently ignore Vatican veto

Elise Ann Allen, cruxnow.com | Mar 1, 2023

At the start of their spring plenary assembly, the leader of the German bishops’ conference told reporters that they are essentially ignoring a Vatican veto on a new governing body for the church in Germany, and that plans are moving ahead regardless.

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L'audace et l'espérance: diaporama du 40e anniversaire de Femmes et Ministères / Boldness and Hope: Women and Ministries 40th Anniversary

15 minute PowerPoint presetation

Les Brèves
Spécial 8 mars 2023

Christian Nationalism

20 resources to resist Christian nationalism

With hundreds of far-right political candidates using Christ's name to deny election results, demonize their opponents, and spread dangerous conspiracy theories -- all with the blessing of pastors and televangelists -- Christian nationalism is the single biggest threat to both democracy and the church today.

Read More and view videos, essays, websites, discussion guides

Those who think the FBI is coming after traditional Catholics are being paranoid

Thomas Reese, ncronline.org | March 3, 2023

The Richmond, Virginia, office of the FBI is worried about the interest that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists have taken in radical-traditionalist Catholics, according to a leaked memo dated Jan. 23.

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The Review pages list individual events on the following topics:

Church Renewal
Ecumenism and Interfaith
Indigenous Relations
Social Justice
Women's Flourishing

[Updates to the above pages are made periodically between issues of The Review.]

Inclusive Language

Say This, Not That: A Guide for Inclusive Language

Kaela Sosa, thediversitymovement.com | September 9, 2020

🔊 Listen to this article

Inclusive language…what does it mean? Inclusive language means finding ways to name, honor, and value experiences and identities. But before inclusive language is possible, it is vital to understand the ways that words and expressions can signal assumptions about people and unintentionally reinforce dominant ideas about gender, sexual orientation, race, class, ability and disability, age, and more.

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Climate Change

Nations reach accord to protect marine life on high seas

                                                  unsplash.com photo

Sam McNeil, english.elpais.com | March 5, 2023

For the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas – nearly half the planet’s surface – concluding two weeks of talks in New York.

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Synod  2021 - 2024

North America        Europe        Asia        Middle East        South America        Africa        Oceania

A Moment of Grace and Healing: One Year into the Synodal Process

Catherine Clifford, sacredheartuniversity.typepad.com | November 11, 2022

On October 27, the Synod Office released a working document, entitled, “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent,” a distillation of reports from 112 of the 114 episcopal conferences, 15 Eastern Catholic Churches, 17 Roman dicasteries, religious communities and lay movements on the synodal process to date. The working document is intended to form the basis of further reflections in seven continental ecclesial assemblies that will gather between now and March of 2023.

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Four women opt out of German Synodal Way, saying it ‘departs from the universal Church’
CNA Newsroom, catholicnewsagency.com | February 22, 2023

Ahead of the German Synodal Way’s final meeting next month, four prominent participants — all of them women — officially announced they were quitting the controversial process on Wednesday.

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The International Survey of Catholic Women

The International Survey of Catholic Women (ISCW) was undertaken in 2022 in response to the call for submissions to the 2021-2024 Synod of Bishops themed ‘For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission’.

The ISCW: Analysis and report of key findings is based on the survey findings drawn from 17,200 responses from women in 104 countries. The survey instrument was available in 8 languages – English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Polish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.

The report outlines the central findings and recommendations of the survey. A strength of the ISCW is that it captured the complex diversity, insights, and shared concerns of thousands of Catholic women from around the world.

Respondents came from a wide range of countries and language groups. They held diverse standpoints which often reflected the cultural and communal contexts within which their Catholic faith is experienced and practised. Responses revealed their joys, frustrations, fears, struggles, hopes, and dreams.
The report is available here

Reflections and Homilies on the Sunday Readings of the Roman Missal and the Revised Common Lectionary

Reflections on the Sunday Readings
      by Susan Roll

Reflections by David Jackson

God's Word, Many Voices
Catholic Women Preach
Ron Rolheiser
Richard Rohr Daily Meditations
The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University
Homilies by Donald Senior
Sunday Homilies for Progressives
Pope Francis' Homilies
Radical Discipleship
Lector's Notes
Working Preacher
Scripture for Life
Pencil Preaching

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