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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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!
Last week, we spoke of how to go about forgiving others. This week we discuss how many times one forgives, and who deserves forgiveness. This week is also what some have dubbed “Forgiveness Sunday.”
What kind of world do we really want to live in?
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.)
From Huffington Post:
Muslims Opening Their Doors To Flood Victims: ‘We Feel And Suffer The Same’
“Moments like this is what I consider true inner-faith work.”
By Sebastian Murdock , Melissa Jeltsen
Shazia Ashraf watched from a boat as her mattress floated in six feet of water in her Houston home. Underneath the murky depths she could see her washer and dryer. Her fridge had somehow migrated to the living room.
This is the true face of Islam in the United States. Thank you to our Muslim brothers and sisters.
If you are more fortunate than others,
build a longer table,
not a taller fence.
No one is born hating another person
One of our newsletter readers wrote us to say:
Although I consider myself a feminist, I do not have an issue with all the male centeredness of the scriptures. I get that the Bible is based on a society that no longer exists. I have as much of an issue calling God mother, or the Holy Spirit Her. What is important for me is not that we change the historical scriptures, but that we change our hearts, and change our lives so that we follow the great command of Jesus, to love one another. I appreciate those who take the time to ensure that as modern Christians we are reflective in our words. I learn more every day. In fact, ask me about this in a year or two, maybe by then I will change my mind! ~TKA
Our Community Priest Ann Klonowski responds:
You are right when you say we should keep the focus on Jesus' message of love and compassion. But that message gets easily lost in cultural misrepresentation. The unfortunate truth is that oppressors have gone to the Bible as a source of justification for oppression. They point to a "male" God and claim male dominance as the normal order ordained by God. Oppressors have cherry-picked their way through scripture to justify racism, slavery, misogyny and homophobia.
Male terms for God
Network, a social justice organization representing Catholic Nuns in the United States issues open letter to the US Senate opposed to currently proposed heath-care legislation:
No matter what your political leanings, if you have concerns about how the vulnerable are being treated in the current political climate (especially regarding health care), you may want to reach out to your Senators:
Rob Portman, 216.522.7095 or 202.224.3353
Sherrod Brown, 216.522.7272 or 202.224.2315
If you want a little pastoral support, you may want to check out a recent (12th Sunday in Ordinary Time) homily on the topic. You have an opportunity to speak for the voiceless.
Q: For sixteen years, since first grade through college, I received a Catholic education. I probably have a minor in theology. During that time, I never heard of women priests. Never. Always men. What proof do you have that there were women who served as priests? Are there any books I can read? Primary sources? Did women priests really exist? Kathleen A. Brown
(Question and answer from the Newsletter: LEADING, published by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)
Kathleen A. Brown, a cradle Catholic,is constantly searching for the truth in her religion and the joy of Jesus.
A: If your mind and heart are open to different truths and ideas, congratulations. The Church has a way of considering itself the final word, while discreetly passing over and neglecting sections of history.
On Saturday, JULY 15, we will NOT be celebrating mass at Brecksville UCC. Mary Eileen will be with the annual gathering of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) in Cleveland, and Ann will be with the assembly of Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) in Madison, Wisconsin. We'll be back July 22! Hope to see you then!
Saturday 5:00 PM
Address and map
All are warmly welcomed
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Our sister community in Toledo, Ohio is Holy Spirit Catholic Community.