Beloved Happenings - 2023

In December, we finished up our Advent Study, held an open house for our new home, the Mary Magdalene Spiritual Center, had our first mass in our new home, shared our Christmas stories, and had a prayer/song service to usher out the old year and welcome in the new.

Our new home was blessed and filled with friends and family for our open house.

Our first mass was a full house!

On New Year's Eve, we gathered to sing in the New Year.

In November, we spent time prayerfully preparing for Advent by studying Fr. Thomas Merton's book. We talked about sleepwalking in our lives; how we are wounded by the world's suffering; about uncomfortable truths; conversion moments in our lives; contemplative prayer; how we can be attentive but not attached to everything in life; what we need to make room for in a world where "no room" seems to be the norm; what it meant to sit in silence and darkness; how the darkness could be bright; what we don't know and that it's okay to NOT have the answers; that it's actually better to not know, but accept on faith; to be enthralled by the little things; and to not just wait, but be expectant for the salvation that comes at Christmas in the form of the vulnerable. We struggled with Compassion for ourselves and for others; how to bring out the kindom of God now, and how to be contemplative without withdrawing from the world around us.  To say it was fruitful is to sell it short. 

We also celebrated Mass for the last time at First Presbyterian Church in Urbana.  Next month we will be in our new home, the Mary Magdalene Spiritual Center!!! Check out Facebook for our open house Dec 10th and check back for pictures after we open!

In October we recovered from the Pride Parade by painting rocks to mark the path of our labyrinth at the New Spiritual Center, gathered in a small group to share our grief journeys and honor those who we have lost who meant so much to us, and held mass where we will honor our loved ones.  Member Susan Nagele shared a post that she wrote on Creative Nonviolence.

The mulch is laid, the path is marked, plants are planted, and we have put our individual stamps on this group effort. The labyrinth is ready to be walked.  Be sure to check out the gnome when you reach the center - he's there to remind you of our love for all of you.

We gathered to hear our grief stories and share the burdens

Pride Parade!

In September, we gathered to reflect on the challenges our LGBTQIA+ family faces, watched a movie about the beginning of the Dignity Catholic movement and the priest that risked it all to represent the marginalized, hold mass, and finish up our last minutes plans for the Pride Parade.

Reconciliation Reflection for Pride

Rev. Eileen and Mary Ann led us in reflecting on the challenges that our LGBTQIA+ family faces and ways that we have been and ways we have fallen short in our quest to be good allies.

"Taking a Chance on God" 

A Pride Themed Movie

We watched "Taking a Chance on God" which is the story of Fr. John McNeill covering his role as hero and pioneer of the international LGBT civil rights movement.

Rainbow Pot Luck and Last Minute Planning

We gathered on the last Sunday in September to share food and make sure we had everything planned for the Pride Parade.

In August, we celebrated mass, had a summer time pot luck, finished up our book study, and began planning for the Pride Parade.

We spent several weeks in July learning about nonviolent communication.  We practiced having giraffe ears (compassionate listening) for both ourselves and those we were listening to. Many thanks to Kelly who led us in this study.

 We also had mass on the 3rd Sunday of July.

Introducing Rev. Eileen Mathy

In June, one of our own members was ordained a priest!  To say it was moving, would be selling it short!  As you can see from the pictures, we had a lot of members of Roman Catholic Women Priests come to celebrate with us.  We also had a party for our new priest, a mass said by our new priest, and a pot luck dinner in June.

In May, we held a mass, talked with a local social worker about the concerns of unaccompanied minors in the county and ways that we could help, we honored our parents and the complicated beings that they are, and we readied ourselves for Eileen's Ordination by watching Pink Smoke over The Vatican.

Serving Unaccompanied Minors

Lucia Maldonado joined us to talk about ways to help the unaccompanied minors in Champaign/Urbana

Honoring Our Parents

On Mother's Day, we paused to honor those who have parented us, to acknowledge their blessings and their flaws, and to see the blessings they gave to us.

Movie Night and Discussion

We gathered to watch Pink Smoke over the Vatican and to discuss the callings that each of us have and the need for us to affirm those calls as God given and a blessing to the whole church.

In April, we held mass and a communion service/pot luck (South of the Border style this time), as well as having an Easter egg assembly, a movie discussion (Women Talking) and an amazing daylong retreat!

Easter Egg Assembly

We assembled Easter eggs filled with candy to hand out to guest at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

Day Long Retreat

A day of prayer, meditation, a sound bath, and faith sharing was the perfect way to end the Lenten season!

Movie Discussion Night

We watched some clips and discussed the issues addressed in the movie Women Talking and talked about our own decisions to "stay and fight or leave"

In March, we finished our book study, held Mass, had a communion service followed by pot luck and faith sharing, and ended the month with a Lenten Reflection where we explored some of the characters who were present at the passion of Christ.

Pasta Pot Luck & 

Faith Sharing

Lenten Reflection

"Were You There?" Witnesses to the last days of Jesus' life on earth.

In February, we spent time on our book study, held a communion service/potluck, had a monthly mass, and hosted a LGBTQI+ ally training presented by the UP Center.

Our Book Study book is The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul by Connie Zweig, Ph.D.

Our Ally training was a big hit. If you missed it, contact us for a copy of the slides!

In January, we were busy with a Faith Sharing Chili Night, a Movie Night, and the beginning of our next book study as well as our monthly mass!

Our Movie Night movie was Mary Magdalene (2019)

Our Book Study book is The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul by Connie Zweig, Ph.D.