Archive for February, 2011

Dear ECC friends, It was bound to happen sooner or later: One of the so-called RCWP cracked under pressure. Those women who were validly ordained by bishops who were NOT RC have probably had much less pressure because we didn’t INSIST that we are RC priests. Yes, I will pray for Norma Jean as the article suggests, but respectfully, I don’t accept the Magisterium’s concrete reasoning about priesthood. I’d be very interested in your opinions, pro and con.

Blessings, M-J+

Member of \’Roman Catholic Women Priests\’ Repents and Reconciles with Church

Dear friends,
Today I was privileged to attend a seminar by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM here in Orange County. It was focused on healing father wounds and was excellent. Fr. Richard has developed seminars for men and women’s unique spiritual journey issues and will be back in California in April for a men’s five-day seminar. Fr. Richard has been a powerful and influential figure in the emergent church movement, where denomination differences are seen as less important than furthering true community among Christians of all groups as well as with others from other religions. He has a wonderful little book for Lent entitled, Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent (2011). And his book on scripture as part of the spiritual path is excellent, particularly for those who have struggled with rigid and dogmatic interpretive approaches: Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (2008).

I thought I’d share the words from a song that was sung there that touched me:
I have one small drop of knowing;
one small drop of knowing.
I have one small drop of knowing;
let it dissolve in your ocean

The sacred surrounds me. I sink into deep. (Refrain)
Have faith in the night; the darkness will speak. (Refrain)
Be ground, be crumbled, so wildflow’rs will grow. (Refrain)

(Based on Rumi’s “A Necessary Autumn Inside Each”)

There was a figure of the resurrected Jesus above the Altar in the sanctuary, which looks as if it is suspended in the air. Behind it are 2 walls at about a 150-160 degree angle. There are windows and lights above. There are shadows thrown on the wall behind the Christ figure, so that it looks like two people — not one — and as though they are touching or joining hands. This was very powerful for me, evoking awareness that He is with us, participating in our suffering. He is acquainted with grief.

We have acquired several new media resources that have been added to our Library (full list of offerings on our website). These are available on loan to any ECC clergy or community at no cost. The new items are:

Christ Cosmology & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (2010). [2 CDs, 2 hours]
Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate: Seeing God in All Things (2010) [with James Finley, PhD and Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault]. (9 CDs, 9 hours)
Levels of Spiritual Growth (2009). [1 CD, 1 hour]
A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (2004) [with Paula D’Arcy] (6 CDs, 6 hours)

We will be hosting a webinar from CAC on spirituality for the two halves of life although we may have to change the previously published date of 5/28/11 to a later date — I had not realized this is Memorial Day Weekend at the time it was set:  Stay tuned.



Dear friends,

SAVE THE DATE! On 5/28/11 from 9:30 – 11 AM, we will host a webcast with Fr. Richard Rohr here at St. Junia’s House. The live webcast is actually on 5/22 at 8 AM, but we thought that a later showing would be more convenient for most people. If you desire to see it “live,” for a fee you can sign up at the CAC website — link is provided on our website. (We offer it for free a week later.) We will also serve breakfast for our participants here at St. Junia’s House.And if any participants would like to arrive the night before, we can offer you a bed if you RSVP by noon on Wednesday, 5/26/11.  Please contact us for our location as we do not publish this information for security reasons.

Richard Rohr has given us a guide to what he calls the “further journey,” a voyage into the mystery and beauty of healthy spiritual maturity, especially for those who are in the second half of their lives. Come share the journey with us!

In his webcast and in his new book by the same title, Falling Upward, Fr. Richard helps us understand the tasks of life and teaches that those who have failed — or gone down — are the only ones who can really understand ‘up.’  Those who have somehow fallen — and fallen well, are the only ones who can grow spiritually and not misuse ‘up.’  What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as ‘falling upward!’ This sounds like good news to me, and I am very interested to hear what he means by ‘fallen well’!

We will have copies of Fr. Richard’s new book and the accompanying CD, The Two Major Tasks of the Spiritual Life, available to loan to participants or those in other ECC communities who would like to borrow them.

I have received Fr. Richard’s daily meditations by e-mail for quite awhile and his teaching has been very helpful and important to me. You can sign up for the email meditations for free at the CAC site. Fr. Richard is a Franciscan Roman Catholic priest but has been very active in the emergent church movement which is ecumenical in nature. If you are from a different church tradition, you will not be uncomfortable with his work, and in our setting, people out of pentecostal, evangelical, reformed traditions and others will be comfortable here.  And at our celebration of Mass, the ECC position is that the communion table is Christ’s Table, not our own and any Christian is welcome to receive Eucharist.

Blessings, M-J+

We had a very good day here, starting at 5:30 AM with Orthodox Christian prayers prior to the seminar on the concept of atonement, drawing upon the New Testament and early patristic fathers through the 4th century. The level was very high, and I freely admit there were a couple of presentations where I could not keep up with what was going on. But for the most part, my preparation over the last four months by reading books or papers by the presenters and others had helped a great deal. We had collected published papers of most of them and made them available to our participants here at St. Junia’s House. We will prepare a list of resources that we can make available to those who are interested. I had been looking forward to this study because I felt it would be good preparation prior to going into Lent. It was helpful to sort out some concepts from an ancient tradition about which I probably know the least, to see how different approaches influence spiritual experience. We hope to sponsor further webinars from time to time in the future. Blessings, M-J+

In the last 48 hours, the following locations have come through our blog: Lancaster, Lancashire; Toronto, Ontario; Brugge, West-Vlaaderen; Tacoma, Washington; Richmond, British Columbia; Ukraine; Chandler, Arizona. I am awed by this, and I can also see what posts or comments they reviewed. Blessings to all of you wherever you may be! M-J+

Dear friends,
Of course, I know that in the cyberworld, people think of thousands of visitors as denoting “success.” In the 7th full month of operation, we had over 700 unique visitors and 1300 visits here. Looking at the sites from which they come to get to us and the search words being used, I have some idea of the range of interests that bring people here. People seem to like the materials from various religious perspectives, Buddhist, Jewish, as well as Catholic or Christian, and on the traffic flow, I can see there are people from all over the country as well as many foreign countries. I only wish there were more substantial discussions; we’ve had a few, but not very many. Topics that I thought would generate discussion often have not, and vice versa. Any suggestions will be appreciated. We appreciate all our friends of St. Junia’s House, near and far. Blessings, M-J+

Dear friends,
I want to commend to you an outstanding public service organization serving the most marginalized people around the world who are seeking asylum into the U.S. PHR recruits attorneys, physicians, and mental health professionals to represent and to conduct evaluations for asylum applicants into the US. These include many 3rd world people who have suffered unbelievable atrocities such as female genital mutilation [FGM], forced child marriage, persecution for political or religious affiliation, abuse for being gay, lesbian, or transgender, sexual assault, physical torture. If you are a physician, you would examine such individuals and document their stories and their physical scars. If you are a mental health professional [psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker, MFT] you would examine these applicants, hear their stories and assess any psychological conditions they may exhibit. If you are an attorney, you would represent applicants and guide them through the court system for asylum application. And NOT TO WORRY if you feel you don’t have the background! PHR provides truly excellent training of their volunteers. In addition, they provide experienced mentors in your field of expertise. On Saturday, I attended an all-day training at UCLA Medical Center and there are trainings that are scheduled around the country. So I encourage any of you who are licensed professionals to carefully consider this as an opportunity for public service. You can do one case a year or hundreds, depending on your availability.

If you are not in one of these categories, there are still volunteer opportunities and of course, donations to this work are really needed. All examiners are providing their services pro bono.

The website for PHR is:

I’ve just done my first case under PHR, and am gratified for such an opportunity that puts all my professional skills of a lifetime to work on behalf of someone who otherwise would have no opportunity to recover from her abuse and would be forced back into a country where she would continue to be at high risk for further abuse.

Please give this pro bono opportunity serious consideration.

For those who have followed this blog and may not know, because I don’t really “advertise” my background, in addition to being an ECC priest, I am a forensic neuropsychologist and have worked conducting court-ordered examinations for the past 35 years.

Blessings, M-J+