Welcome to the Community of St. Bridget!
We are a lay led, inclusive, Roman Catholic eucharistic community seeking truth and justice. We support Catholic women who have been called to the priesthood by God and their communities. In the Cleveland area we have four priests and a deacon. In 2014, two of these women, Ann Klonowski and Mary Eileen Collingwood, organized a worshiping community known as the Community of St. Bridget: an inclusive Catholic community. Housed in the Brecksville United Church of Christ, the community celebrates weekly masses.
“Inclusive” is important to the Community of St. Bridget. We like James Joyce’s famous sentiment: “Catholic means: here comes everybody.” When we say that all are welcome, we mean that all are welcome! No matter your marital status, sex or sexual orientation or identity, your age, race, national origin or religion, we would love to have you come worship with us!
In addition to regular liturgies, our priests are also available to preside at home masses, weddings, funerals, and provide the sacrament of the sick. Please contact them to make arrangements.
The Community of St. Bridget: an inclusive Catholic community
worshiping at the Brecksville United Church of Christ
Please join in our joy and come celebrate with us!
Inspired by the words of Pope Francis,
we are a community that builds bridges, NOT walls.
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Today’s readings speak loud and clear to me personally
On Sunday, October 1, our own Mary Eileen Collingwood was one of the ordaining bishops consecrating two new women bishops in California. Following the tradition of the early church, Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel were chosen by the people they will serve in the western region of the United States.
This coming Saturday, October 14, Claudia Adamson will be ordained a priest in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We rejoice with these good women and the people of God they will serve!
The Eucharistic banquet of love can be fully realized
Q: What do you think of the priest shortage?
A: The priest shortage is a grave crisis for a religion that places so much importance on sacraments in general and the Eucharist in particular. There are untold numbers of parishes across the country and around the world that have been closed, and others that have to share priests. Male priests are stretched thin and exhausted.
. . . if answers are ever to come again, it will demand a society trained in the art of questioning, or ruminating, or refusing to rush either to judgment or to obedience. We need to dare the questions in order to brazen the answers that will come from them.
Q: You guys sound very cool and all, but I quit going to church about 10 years ago, after my confirmation. Why would I want to come back?
A: I’m afraid you're in very good company. Many young adults have found the church to be a drag. They wonder why the church is so down on women and LGBTQ folks, why they are so judgmental about people's marital status, get all hung up on birth control and abortion and other issues that many young adults don't find as compelling as the institutional church does. The problem is that you miss out on communal worship, something that social beings find beneficial.
From the New York Times: Same-Sex Couples Wed in Germany as Marriage Law Takes Effect
by Melissa Eddy
BERLIN — Cheers rang out in the City Hall of Berlin’s Schöneberg district on Sunday as two men, who met 38 years ago, when the German capital was a divided city, became the country’s first same-sex couple to legally marry.
For me, one of the great blessings of parenthood is the insight it provides regarding God and my relationship with God. The day I realized that there would be nothing my kids could do to lose my love made me see how much God loves me. If as a human parent I could love someone who did some dastardly deed, how much greater is God’s love for me?
(RCWP) For Immediate Release
Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordain Two Bishops in Local Synagogue
On Sunday October 1, 2017 at 10:30am, two women priests, Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel, will be ordained Bishops of the Western Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP). The ordination will take place in the sanctuary of Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos, CA. Rabbi Paula Marcus will participate in the ceremony. Other representatives of other faiths will also be present. continue reading
Q: How can women be priests if they aren't ordained by the bishop? The only people being ordained at the cathedral are all men. --BR
A: your question, BR. Your observation is correct. But women priests have been ordained by bishops, too. The first women in the Roman Catholic Women Priests movement were ordained by a male bishop who believed it was right to ordain qualified candidates who were called to priesthood whether they were male or female. Then that bishop joined with other male bishops to ordain women bishops so that the line could continue. This means that the women priests are in apostolic succession just as men priests are. The women priests' ordinations may not be recognized as licit because of man-made rules (which can be changed), but they are valid.
Q: I want to know why you women who call yourselves priests think you're Catholic if you don't follow the rules of the Catholic church. The rules say priests must be celibate men. You're not. So how can you call yourselves Catholic? -BF
A: Thanks for your question, BF. You are correct. There is a law stating that only men can be ordained. (There are exceptions to the celibacy part, but that's a different question.) That rule has come out of a tradition that has not regarded women as equal to men. Women priests are not special; we are equal. We are ordained because we have been called by God and by our communities to this ministry. Many of us had to struggle with this call because we are faithful Catholics. But when it came down to choosing between a call from God and a man-made rule, it became an easy choice.
Q: Why do you have to get all excited about calling God HE?
A: Sometimes we are asked why in our liturgies we refrain from calling God "Father" or "King" or "Lord." People tell us that they know God isn't male; it's just the way everyone has always done things, so what's the big deal?
Q: What kind of training do women priests get? Are they at the seminary?
A: As a rule, women priests have the same level of education as men priests. (Several have more.) For some, that has meant study at seminaries. In addition to their formal education, many women priests have worked for years as catechists, members of pastoral teams, religious educators, and other positions in the institutional church. There is additional formation through the leadership in the women priest movement. In addition, they go through a rigorous psychological screening (through outside, independent agencies), background checks, and scrutiny regarding their spiritual well-being. Women priests are very well trained and eager to minister with and to the people of God!
Q: I would love to come to mass at the Community of St. Bridget, but Saturdays at 5 don't work for me. Is there a tiny chance that you could come to me? --Hopeful
A: There isn't a tiny chance; there is a HUGE chance! Nothing supports women priests like putting them to work! It is soooo easy to host a mass. We bring everything needed. All you need to do is have enough room for your family and/or friends to gather and we're set! (If you want to invite more people than will fit in your house, public libraries are very accommodating for private meetings. Call your local branch and arrange a time. It's that simple. But call us first to make sure we can be there, too!)
From Huffington Post:
Pope Francis On Climate Change Denial: ‘Man Is Stupid’
By Chris D’Angelo
WASHINGTON — Climate change denials amid catastrophic hurricanes are a reminder that humans are not a particularly smart species, Pope Francis said Sunday while flying over areas in the Caribbean decimated by Hurricane Irma.
From Huffington Post:
Hundreds Of Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-LGBTQ ‘Nashville Statement’
By Antonia Blumberg
A day after evangelical leaders released a manifesto railing against same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community, hundreds of Christian leaders and thousands of other concerned citizens have come forward with strong messages of inclusion. continue reading
Also, here is the text of the full statement issued by Christians United. It’s well worth the read.
Want to help Texans suffering from hurricane Harvey, but not sure what to do? Here is one suggestion: the Houston Food Bank. Whether or not you are able to send money, let's remember them and the victims of Irma in our prayers. These are interesting--and terribly challenging--times.
(This is merely one suggestion. We have worked with the Cleveland Food Bank for our community meal in Lakewood and know that food banks are effective and efficient. If you would like another suggestion for victims of Harvey and Irma, please consider checking out Charity Navigator. They do a wonderful job of evaluating charities for efficiency and efficacy.)
Saturday 5:00 PM
Address and map
All are warmly welcomed
Our sister community in Toledo, Ohio is Holy Spirit Catholic Community.