The Ordination of Christine

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean in the Storm © 2014 Judy Tsai

My family and I traveled to California for a special occasion this weekend.

We attended the ordination of my sister-in-law, Christine Fahrenbach, into the Roman Catholic WomanPriesthood.

It was a great weekend — perfect weather for a California-stricken drought, a meaningful ceremony, indescribable conversations.

It was about as perfect as anyone could hope for.

I was in charge of the collaborative poem.

A quick explanation — I asked everyone at the rehearsal dinner to fill out an index card on which I had written a few prompting words. These words morphed into the celebration poem.

The prompts included:

  • a word or a phrase to describe the ocean (It was a Pacific Coast setting.)
  •  a word or phrase to describe Chris as a person
  •  a word or phrase to describe Chris as a priest

Everyone was really great and creatively participated. I then spent  a few minutes compiling everyone’s words – plus a few extra – into an ordination poem.

(The words printed in color are words taken directly from the cards.)


The ocean crashes in the distance
alive and breathing,
waves rush the shore.

Mysterious. Tempestuous. Energetic. Beautiful.
Miraculous. Wild. A gift.

Spectrum of greens and blues, color changing,
filled with swirling life.

Chris in Waiting

Chris in Waiting © 2014 Judy Tsai

We gather here to celebrate Christine.

A woman prophet, passionate and compassionate,
a risk taker,
strong, loving and wise.

Open-minded, open-hearted,
with open arms she embraces all.


Chris, Vested © 2014 Judy Tsai

Womanpriest, radiant channel of God’s grace.
Her listening heart opens to her people.
She reaches out to others with love and compassion.

Rebelliously creative,
she works to mend the brokenness of our human condition.
Embracing people with love,
attending not only to their words
but connecting with their hearts and spirit.

Ocean and Tree

Ocean and Tree © 2014 Judy Tsai

The ocean crashes in the distance,
alive and breathing.

Waves break upon the shore.
The sun sets, red sky. Twilight.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. What a gorgeous gift to offer to your friend, Bo. A work of art with ritual significance. It doesn’t get much better than this!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thank you, James. I loved adding art to ritual. And my friend is also my sister-in-law, how fortunate I am, how blessed!

  2. Beautiful! I love the idea of the collaborative poem!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It works so well for family occasions – and I love having the poem as a keepsake. Thanks, Carrie.

  3. This is beautiful, Bo.

  4. What a beautiful collaborative poem and I’m sure it was glorious celebration. How wonderful you were there to witness and participate, Bo!

  5. Wish I could have been there. The poem captures the essence of Chris and the wonderfully fabulous celebration.

  6. This touches my very soul, Bo. A remarkable celebration for a remarkable woman. Your post, poem and Judy’s photographs blend beautifully together. A collaborative poem – amazing. I’m sure Chris truly appreciated everyone’s involvement in this, her special day!

  7. Bo, This is beautiful. So glad that you were there with your poet’s eye to capture the essence of the occasion. Hugs and Love, Helen

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