On Nov. 19, 2006, a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Ordination of Rev. Jean Marie Marchant as a Roman Catholic Womanpriest was held with Jean's husband Rev. Ronald Hindelang co-presiding. This liturgy was attended by 350 Catholics seeking renewal in the church. Many of the attendees spoke of their desire for "more of this"! They were expressing a spiritual hunger and need to be nourished by good liturgy, preaching and community life.
It had long been a dream for Jean & Ron to co-lead a faith community and to minister together as a married priest couple. The eagerness of those who attended the Liturgy of Thanksgiving prompted them to invite others to come and co-create a new community—a community of worship and service, where "justice and joy" were prominent themes.
Email invitations were sent far and wide, and on the first Sunday of Lent, February 25, 2007, The Spirit of Life, A Catholic Community of Justice and Joy gathered for its first Eucharist. We were graciously welcomed to use the worship and gathering space of THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WESTON/UCC. Since then, the community has met every Sunday at 4pm to celebrate Eucharist together.
Decision making is a shared responsibility within the community. The Community Meeting is the time and place when members come together to plan and determine the necessary steps in co-creating our future. These meetings are held on the first Sunday of each quarter of the year, and anyone present is considered a member with a voice in the decision making process.
In addition to our weekly Eucharistic Liturgy, our priests are available for Sacramental ministry including Baptism, Marriage, the Sacrament of the Sick and Reconciliation. Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling are also available.
Spiritual Discussion Group
Realizing the importance of continuing to educate ourselves on issues of spirituality, theology and social justice, monthly Spiritual Discussion Groups are held after the Sunday evening liturgy. Presentations are followed by discussions that deepen our knowledge and understanding of key issues of our time.
Rev. Jean Marie Marchant and Rev. Ronald Hindelang, both ordained Catholic priests, are a married couple who serve as co-pastors of The Spirit of Life: A Catholic Community of Justice and Joy which gathers in the town of Weston, MA.
Rev. Jean Marchant, M.Div., D.Min.
Rev. Jean Marchant, a member of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, was ordained a priest on July 25, 2005 in a ceremony that took place on the St. Lawrence Seaway. She holds a Masters of Divinity Degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Pastoral Counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Jean is a Certified Chaplain and holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is the former Director of Health Care Ministry for the Archdiocese of Boston, and as an ordained Catholic priest in the Roman Catholic Womanpriest movement, her ministry of pastoral care and counseling is now enriched by her sacramental ministry. She has ministered over the past 30 years to people navigating a myriad of life challenges and transitions across the spectrum of life. It has been her gift to accompany people living and dying with AIDS, grieving children, adults facing issues of spiritual and emotional health, and those living with life threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one. Jean is the co-founder of The Children's Room: A Center for Grieving Children and Teenagers, Inc. The mother of two adult daughters, and grandmother of five, Jean's personal experience as a bereaved parent is the grounding of her ministry to persons who are dying or bereaved. Jean has a passion for justice and for empowering women and men in their search for wholeness and holy-ness in their lives, and she brings this to bear in her ministry as chaplain, spiritual director and pastor.
Rev. Ron Hindelang STL, Ph.D.
Rev. Ron Hindelang was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on July 12, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan as a member of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers). He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and Doctor in Philosophy in Pastoral Psychology from Boston University. Licensed as a Mental Health Counselor, Ron is a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains, Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor in the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. Ron has ministered for thirty years as a hospice and hospital chaplain, tending to patients and families. His primary responsibility now is educating and supervising students preparing to become spiritual care-givers, priests, ministers and rabbis. Ron shares his ministerial experience in the service of helping the next generation of spiritual care-givers develop their own ministerial identity and style. After spending many years preaching and directing retreats, ministering as a spiritual director, and pastoral counselor for individuals and couples, Ron has served as a parish priest and pastor and as a seminary director. Ron takes delight in helping people explore the ways that God is moving in their lives and the ways that God is calling them to minister to others. His other areas of special interest include grief and bereavement counseling and ministering to victims of domestic violence.