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March 25th is International Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination

The Women's Ordination Worldwide movement has requested prayers for women's ordination, especially on March 25th.  This Saturday's feast of the Annunciation marks the 23rd time for the anuual global celebration of Mary's yes to God.

Woman Bishop attends Woman Rabbi Installation

Marie Bouclin |  March 7, 2017

Among the many blessings of a recent vacation, was the invitation to attend the Installation of Jennifer Singer, a reform Jewish Rabbi. The Installation is the community's calling her to be their Rabbi, following her Ordination which took place at the Seminary.

Jennifer greeted me personally having been told by our hostess that I was a Roman Catholic woman Bishop. Later, Jennifer made a point of telling me how grateful she felt that she was not being excommunicated for being ordained - as we now are - and how courageous we are. The Installation was held in a community hall, because this very progressive/reform community does not have its own synagogue. At the most important moment of the celebration, when the newly ordained rabbi reads from Holy Scripture, a woman in the congregation invited  my friend  Laurianne and me, even though we are Gentiles, to stand  next to the Torah table  so we could closely witness the event.  She covered  our shoulders with her own prayer shawl.  Her gesture was very moving and touchingly inclusive. 
As you know, it isn't that difficult to distinguish the parts of the Jewish liturgy that have come down to our Christian celebrations,  even though they pray several more Psalms than we do.  The Book of Worship was simple to follow  as the presider indicated the page as we moved along. We could follow in Hebrew, transliterated so we could sing along, or simply follow in the English translation.  They sang the Alleluia to Leonard Cohen's tune. The woman next to me, a music teacher, said the words were from Scripture, the music by Cohen. The sermon urged us to build community together through service to one another and to the wider community, and faithfulness to daily prayer. This particular community supports a literacy program for inner city children.

Just after the service ended with sharing of bread and wine, another woman welcomed me and said she knew some of the RCWP's in Sarasota. Afterwards, at the banquet, we were also very warmly welcomed along with the woman who invited us to attend, Mimi Abidbol, who is Jewish but from a more conversative congregation.  Like us, however, she experienced great joy to celebrate what we hold in common. 

Continuing Features:

Statement of RCWP Canada National Leadership Circle to Pope Francis' "Never, never . . . In that direction" assertion

Sara Butler, MSBT / Robert J. Egan, SJ Debate on the Ordination of Women

Women Priests -- Answering the Call


See preface from the book by Catherine Cavanagh -- click here

Editor's note:  The author has given permission to download for free the complete 48 page booklet and read on your computer or e-reader

Click here for pdf format of Women Priests -- Following the Call

My Journey From Silence to Solidarity

This book available for free as a pdf file downloaded here.


On May 12, 2016 Pope Francis  announced that he will create a commission to study the possibility of restoring the tradition of ordaining women deacons in the Catholic Church.

Follow this special section to stay up to date and get insights and commentary on developments from many news sources.

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Voices of Faith 2017 -- Fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived -- signs of hope

Inés San Martín | March 9, 2017

Women aren’t victims but drivers of peace, Vatican meeting says.
Kerry Alys Robinson and Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service, spoke during the Voices of Faith gathering March 8 at the Vatican. The event, held on International Women's Day, had the theme "Stirring the Waters-Making the Impossible Possible."

The storytelling event took place at the heart of the Vatican on the UN-sponsored International Women's Day. Father Arturo Sosa, Superior of the Jesuits and key-note speaker, said: “If we are honest, we acknowledge that fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived.”

As they’ve done for each of the last four years, women of all walks of life gathered at the heart of the Vatican this week to remind the world that they’re not just victims of abuse or gender bias in various parts of the world, but also “proactive drivers of peace.”

Though there was no actual talk about female ordination during the summit, keynote speaker Father Arturo Sosa, head of the Jesuit order, said that “the fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived” and supported a recently instituted papal commission to study the question of female deacons.

A second participant, a non-Catholic peace expert from England, expressed her sadness over the fact that women are not fully included in the life of the Catholic Church. According to Scilla Elworthy, this is why the Church, “is being left behind.”

Organized by Voices of Faith, the Fidel Gotz Foundation and Jesuit Refugee Service and featuring women from all around the globe, the story-telling event took place on March 8, day of the United Nations-sponsored Women’s Day, at the heart of the Vatican: the Casina Pio IV, home of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences.

“Women’s voices must be heard,” said Chantal Gotz, managing director of Voices of Faith, in her welcoming remarks.  “I’m often asked if I’m angry with the world, the Church, the political life … I’m often told that women are not allowed to be mad. But the world is in crisis. We look at the XXI century, when so still have to claim that women’s voices must be heard, when there’s still so much violence, when girls are not allowed an education because they’re women,” she said.  Everyone should be angry, Gotz said, because in her experience, “it brings about change.”  “We’re using our voices, our courage, our passion, and our leadership to support a global conversation about peace,” she continued.

Read More of lengthy summary of the three hour event

[Editor's note:  The whole live-streamed event is now available as a recording at:  http://voicesoffaith.org]

"Blocked by men. Isn't this the real problem within the church?" -- At the Vatican, Sr. Simone Campbell blasts 'male power'

Josephine McKenna | Mar. 9, 2017

Catholic activist Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell has suggested that senior clergy at the Vatican are more preoccupied with power than confronting issues that affect the faithful, like clerical sexual abuse.

The U.S. nun, leader of the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign that has toured America during recent election cycles, spoke frankly in an interview ahead of a conference being held at the Vatican on March 8 to celebrate women's contributions to peace.

"The institution and the structure is frightened of change," Campbell told Religion News Service. "These men worry more about the form and the institution than about real people."

Referring to Marie Collins, who last week resigned from the panel appointed by Pope Francis to look into allegations of past Vatican obstruction of child sex abuse investigations, Campbell said: "Blocked by men. Isn't this the real problem within the church?"

Read More

World Day of Prayer 2017

Vancouver's St. James Anglican Church and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Society presented:  “Am I Being Unfair toYou?”

Rev. Dr. Vikki Marie | March 7, 2017

Before the World Wide Web, there was the World Day of Prayer, an international event that has been connecting people in a meaningful way for almost a century. Despite being planned years in advance, World Day of Prayer services have a remarkable record for anticipating major events, like the refugee crisis (France 2013), the Arab Spring (Egypt 2014) and the winding down of the U.S. embargo against Cuba (Cuba 2016).

The secret to this depth and insight is the women who plan and write each World Day of Prayer service. Too often, women have the most intimate experiences of armed conflict, violence, social injustice, and human rights violations. What might Canadians learn from women of the Philippines, a country on the front lines of climate change, foreign mining and resources interests, a regional insurgency and social upheaval due to migration, who wrote the World Day of Prayer 2017? How will we answer the question, “Am I being unfair to you?”

On March 3, 2017, Christians in more than 170 countries and in 2,000 communities across Canada gathered to learn about, pray, and celebrate in solidarity with the women of The Philippines through the World Day of Prayer.

In Canada, the World Day of Prayer is coordinated by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.

The World Day of Prayer has its roots in an ecumenical day of prayer organized by women in Canada and the United States in 1920. This event became the international World Day of Prayer in 1922, and Christians around the world began celebrating this event on the first Friday of March.

    Comments to the Editor

Thank you, Bishop Marie, for sharing your experiences at the Installation of a woman Jewish Rabbi.  What a beautiful liturgy and how rich a blessing to be so warmly welcomed and included! 

As women in ministry we can learn much from each other and support one another once we're connected.  I think there is great value in interconnecting at various relationships.

Jane Kryzanowski, RCWP Canada
, Regina, SK.

We really enjoyed the article in the last posting.."No Priests"...part 4. We actually went back and read all of it. Lots of food for thought.

Cheryl Paul, Regina, SK

[Editor's note:  The article now appears in the Archives/ Archived Home Pages/February 3]

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | January 24, 2017
National Catholic Reporter

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