Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Who is Gillian Ahlgren ?

Anti-Catholic Church Doctrine

Activist speaks on Catholic Church softening stance of LGBT community

Meetings continue at Vatican until Sunday

UPDATED 4:15 PM EDT Oct 14, 2014

Gillian is a professor at Xavier University.

Dr. Ahlgren is committed to community involvement in various ways, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Transfiguration Spirituality Center (Cincinnati, Ohio) as Chair of the Programming Committee, and working on the Cincinnati team of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a national non-profit providing retreats and other forms of spiritual support for homeless women and men in recovery from substance abuse.

Gillian is a member of The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

Gillian's parish has approved same sex marriage.

Gillian is Chair of the Programming Committee 
on the Board of Directors of the 
Transfiguration Spirituality Center
Gillian's organization at the TSC advertises for 
Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer events, 
hosted by IJPC-Cincinnati, 
at The Franciscan Centennial Barn

The LGBTQ event was facilitated by
a Homosexual Rabbi in training
and a Catholic Nun
Queer Spirituality issues.

Ari Naveh- ARabbi who is Gay.

A Nun with
Queer Spirituality

Fr. Al Hirt
Sr. Leslie Keener
attended a
New Ways Ministry
Lesbian & Gay Catholics

More to Come !

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Austrian Fr. Helmut Schuller, "who is calling upon Catholics to defy church hierarchy."

The 'Tipping Point' reaches its end:

 'long march of change' 

rolls on as Schuller's US tour wraps up.

It was 7:15 p.m. on a Friday in Pasadena, Calif. Seats in the dimly lit auditorium adjacent to the Westminster Presbyterian Church were beginning to fill. More than 200 Catholics from the Los Angeles area had gathered to hear the presentation by Austrian Fr. Helmut Schuller, who is calling upon Catholics to defy church hierarchy. 

The lights flickered, signaling that the event was about to begin, and as people began to quiet, Kevin Steen, host of the event, took the microphone. The evening began with a prayer, followed by prayers for intercession led by members from the congregation. Each petition outlined the objectives the reformers in attendance hoped would be addressed. "Celebrating the beauty of God's image in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people--we pray," a woman quietly said into the microphone. "Lord, hear our prayer," the congregation answered. 

"Longing for the day when, like St. Mary of Magdala, women can proclaim the Gospel from our pulpits--we pray" "Lord, hear our prayer." 

"Aching for Eucharist to be celebrated as nourishment for sinners, not reward for good behavior--we pray." 

The petitions reflected many of the reforms on the Austrian priest's agenda, showing that those gathered for this presentation were prepared for what he had to say. 

Schuller spent two and a half weeks this summer meeting Catholics in cities throughout the United States as part of his "Catholic Tipping Point" tour. Sponsored by 10 Catholic organizations, each presentation detailed the intentions behind the "Appeal to Disobedience," a document published by the Austrian Priests' Initiative. 

The "tipping point" refers to the decline in the number of priests and the structural challenges that result, but the tour was intended to discuss deeper issues as well. 

Schuller, who once served as vicar general of the Vienna archdiocese and was head of a group investigating abuse allegations there, advocates changes he believes will solve problems in the church, including opening the priesthood to women and married people; allowing divorced and remarried people to receive Eucharist; and empowering laypeople to play a greater role in governing community churches. 

"The bishops tell us we should pray for vocations," he said in Pasadena. "But I can say God has fulfilled this prayer" 

Schuller has a thick Austrian accent, piercing blue eyes and a casual, amiable style he uses to carry his audience through humorous anecdotes and serious censures of church structure. 

"We don't have any rights in this church," he said. "You and I are citizens in two worlds: citizens of the secular society--a democratic society--and citizens of the church--citizens without any rights--in a dictatorship." Murmurs of agreement from the crowd at this statement indicated the message resonated. 

After his stop in Los Angeles Aug. 2, Schuller worked his way to Portland, Ore., and Seattle before heading back to New York, where he had started his 15-city tour July 16. From east to west, from Philadelphia to Chicago, Denver to San Diego and finally to the Pacific Northwest, Schuller drew crowds of 200 to 800 people at each stop. Most were of the Second Vatican Council generation who wanted to hear from the Austrian priest whose views so closely reflected their own, who was able to affirm their anger and frustration over the hierarchical nature of the Catholic church and a significant decline in the priesthood. 

Along the way, he met with handfuls of local priests, often in locations that were not disclosed out of fear of retribution from the local chancery. 

In Chicago, sources who wished to remain anonymous told NCR that priests had experienced pressure regarding participation in Schuller's visit there. Cardinal Francis George reportedly upbraided the chairman of the Association of Chicago Priests because he heard that the group had invited its members to attend a meeting with Schuller at a Catholic church before his talk July 24. It turns out the group had not endorsed Schuller, although its chairman, Fr. Dennis Ziomek, acting-on his own initiative, had notified those on his email list of the Austrian priest's willingness to talk. 

Meanwhile, NCR was told that the pastor of the parish where the conversation was to take place canceled the event at his church immediately upon learning that the auxiliary bishop of his vicariate was urgently trying to contact him. Fr. Dennis O'Neill, the pastor, then arranged for the meeting to take place instead at a nearby Presbyterian church. 

When NCR requested clarification, the Chicago archdiocese issued a one-sentence response: "The cardinal did not forbid priests to meet with Fr Schuller" 

It was during one of his meetings with local priests, this time in Detroit, that Schuller said he first heard the expression "elephant in the living room"--it was the name that particular group of priests had adopted. 

"I like this so much," Schuller said, "that I will bring it back to Europe to help articulate what the problem is." 

While Schuller was in Cincinnati for his July 27 talk, Jesuit Fr. Dan Hartnett, pastor of Bellarmine Chapel, invited him to concelebrate Sunday Mass July 28. St. Joseph Sr. Chris Schenk, executive director of Future-Church, one of the tour's sponsoring organizations, said that many members of the local sponsoring group, Voices Speaking, "wept with joy as Helmut processed in (after having been so excluded in so many places), helped with a baptism, and spoke the words of consecration." 

By the time Schuller was to end his tour in New York Aug. 8, more than 5,000 people had heard him speak, organizers estimated. The crowds often represented those whose frustration with the church has found expression in local organizations such as Voices Speaking. 

"The hierarchy often casts us as childlike or easily confused who should just continue to pay, pray and obey," said Deb Rose-Milavec, a leader in Voices Speaking. "But we are here because we no longer accept that role." 

Charity Sr. Louise Akers, also in Cincinnati, said Schuller brings hope and energy to those who have long sought widespread changes in the church. "More and more people of God are saying things have got to change, and I want to be a part of it. It helps accelerate that change to hear the voice of an ordained priest." 

In Chicago, Joe Marren said he was "comforted that someone in the church is supporting us, the 'lost generation,'" referring to the so-called Vatican II Catholics who made up the majority of the audience for Schuller's talks. 

Schuller easily connected with the people who came to hear him. As rain pounded the roof of the gymnasium that was the site of the Cincinnati event, he drew strong applause when he touched on two of the themes in his speaking tour: The Eucharist is a symbol of inclusion and must not serve as an instrument of punishment; and women should be priests because "both men and women are made in the image of God." 

In Pasadena, Schuller spoke about his attempts to start dialogues with bishops and cardinals and about the letter he and other members of the Austrian Priests' Initiative wrote to Pope Benedict XVI. 

The letter did not produce the desired response, but the priests secured a meeting with Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the pope's approval. During this meeting, Schuller said, he realized a major obstacle stood in the way of the reform movement. 

The group discussed desired changes for more than an hour, after which Ladaria said they did not defy church doctrine. But a young priest sitting at his side condemned the Austrians' ideas. 

"And then we realized one very important reality in the Roman Catholic church," Schuller said. "This church is run more and more by priests of two or three movements." 

The congregation murmured. 

"The Legionaries of Christ," he continued, "and Opus Dei." 

People gasped and the crowd stirred. 

"That means the correspondents, the creation of the documents, the decisions with the contacts with the prefects of the congregations are at these movements," Schuller said. 

The Legionaries of Christ and Opus Dei are conservative orders that have been accused of abuses and overly harsh recruiting methods. "I want only to inform you what is really going on," Schuller said. "The church is more and more led by relatively young priests of these movements, who nobody knows really." 

Still, he hopes the message of the church reform movement spreads and he offered practical next steps. 

First and foremost, he said in Chicago, speak out to the hierarchy. "Write letters, tell them who you are and be proud of your competence," he said. "If meeting them, don't spend any time on small talk." 

Second, use the media. Church leaders "are not amused at having bad PR," he said. The Austrian bishops were aware that priests were "practicing disobedience" in their pastoral work--inviting non-Catholics and divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, for example. "But they didn't get nervous when we were practicing disobedience; they only got nervous when we spoke [publicly] about it." 

Schuller also advised using the term "church citizens" rather than "laypeople." 

" 'Laity' comes from the Greek [for] 'belonging to the people,' but in reality, 'laypeople' sounds like no competence, no authority, no rights," he said. "This term 'church citizens' means we have to behave like citizens and be treated like citizens, with rights and respect." 

To close the evening with Schuller in Seattle, attendees sang a rousing hymn as one by one they filed down the church's center aisle to drop into a woven basket a red ribbon each had been given along with a nametag at the start of the night. Schuller hopes to deliver thousands of ribbons gathered across the country to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the last day of the tour. 

It is still unclear how obstacles to reform efforts will be addressed, but Schuller said steps are being taken, or at least being discussed. Priests from around the world will meet in October in Austria to plan the next steps in the movement. 

"We are gathering the ideas and the inputs and we have started to think over how can this cooperation continue," he said in an interview in Pasadena. "We have no concrete steps at the moment, but we want to reflect very carefully" 

"We as priests try to do our best to support the people of the church in their desires for church reform," he said in Chicago. "Let us bring hope and courage for the long march of change in our church." 

Caption: --Gabrielle Canon 

Caption: Audience members join the opening prayer during Fr. Helmut Schuller's visit to Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 2. 

Caption: --Laurie Petrie 

Caption: Austrian Fr. Helmut Schuller speaks to the almost 400 people who gathered July 27 in Cincinnati to hear him speak. 

Caption: --Laurie Petrie 

Caption: Fr. Helmut Schuller collects red ribbons after his July 27 talk in Cincinnati. Schuller and parishioners who attended his talks wore the ribbons, which symbolized the spirit of Pentecost and called for inclusion of the laity at all levels of the church. At the end of the tour, the collected ribbons were to be presented to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 


More than 500 people gathered to hear Fr. Helmut Schuller in Chicago on July 24. But when an organizer asked those under the age of 50 to stand, fewer than a dozen did. 

Schuller has one word for those who stood and for other young Catholics around the world: patience. 

"My theory is that younger people have lost the patience that we have," Schuller said that night, pointing out that his generation is willing to ask politely for meetings with hierarchy, and then to wait, discuss and try the whole process over again. 

"For young people, [a bishop] has no influence on their thinking, no authority," he said. "They don't have patience. They say, 'We shouldn't wait; we should do it.'" 

Eric Theisen, a 30-year-old who traveled to Chicago for a wedding but went early to hear Schuller, said he struggles with impatience when it comes to church reform. 

"I don't want to have to wait," said Theisen, who is involved in a chapter of Catholics for Justice in the Church in Austin, Texas. "But then I see what's happening, which I think is the first step toward change." 

Kate Williams, 27, said she was looking for "creative approaches" to church reform that are inclusive and effective. "I think people my age are very interested in action," said Williams, who lives in Evanston, Ill. "They get impatient with long, drawn-out dialogue." 

Another younger audience member, Laura Singer of Chicago, a board member of the Women's Ordination Conference, said she has been involved for years in church reform work. 

"After many years of hosting women who have spoken out, it was inspirational to hear a priest within the system speaking out," Singer said. "It gives me hope that there are other male priests working for justice. I'm excited for them to join the 'church citizens' who have been doing this work for decades. 

"It also reinforces that we are a global church," she added. "We can forget that there are other countries that share our desire for justice and reform." 

Schuller told the older members of the crowd--who were the youth of the days of the Second Vatican Council--to do what they can to keep the attention of today's youth. 

"Give space to young people," he said, even when they are not "useful" to the parish. 

"A lot of these young people are now gathering with Pope Francis [at World Youth Day in Brazil]," he said. "They enjoy the big community there, but when they come home, they have discussions with their priest about their daily life. It's a very pragmatic approach." 

In Seattle, he pleaded with Theresa Edwards, a senior at Holy Names Academy, not to lose hope. 

"It's not possible without you," Schuller told her during the question-and-answer part of his presentation. "Please be part of it. Stay with us. We will try our best." 

--NCR staff and contributors 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

460. NACA: Save Your Home



When: Back to Calendar November 14, 2014 @ 8:00 am – November 18, 2014 @ 6:00 pm
Where: Duke Energy Convention Center
525 Elm Street
Cincinnati,OH 45202
Cost: Free Of Charge
Contact: NACA Member Services
Categories: American Dream Event

NACA’s American Dream Tour stops in Cincinnati, Ohio for a five day event, Friday, November 14th through Tuesday, November 18th at the Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 452024. The event will run from 8am to 6pm all five days. The NACA Home Save and Home Purchase programs will both be represented at the event.
The Home Save Program gives homeowners with an unaffordable mortgage the opportunity to get their mortgage restructured to an affordable payment and avoid foreclosure.  Representatives of all the major lenders will be on hand as well as investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that many homeowners can receive a same-day solution to their mortgage problems.
The Home Purchase Program allows potential home buyers to obtain “America’s Best Mortgage” with no down payment, no closing costs, no points and always at a below market interest rate on a fixed rate, 30-year loan.   Today’s rate (as of 10/8/2014) is 3.75%.
NACA’s game-changing 15-year Wealth Building Home Loan is also available, with a starting rate 0.75% lower than the 30-year rate and the ability to buy the interest rate down to nearly zero.
NACA’s American Dream Events are always free, open to the public, and there is no charge for NACA’s services.  More information and registration for this and all of NACA’s scheduled American Dream Events can be found on our website at  While advance registration is preferred, walk-ins are also welcome.