Sunday, July 26, 2015

Women's Ordinations - June and July 2015

Here are the women's ordinations that have taken place so far this summer.

June 20, 2015 - Shelburne, NH

Mary Catherine White of Gorham, NH, was ordained a priest by ARCWP Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan at the Shelburn Union Church. Rev. White holds a B.Sc. from the University of Maine and a Masters in Theology through Global Ministries University. Prior to seeking ordination, White was active in the Catholic Church in a variety of ways as a director of religious education and working with Catholic Charities. She currently is a Certified Family Mediator and Guardian ad Litem with specialized training in substance abuse treatment. Mary is part of an inclusive faith community in the Berlin-Gorham area and plans to hold home liturgies now that she is fully ordained.

Responding to the Vatican's argument that women can not be priests, Rev. White cites St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians. "'In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave or free.' That is a very clear depiction of what Jesus taught us." In her homily, Bishop Meehan called White's ordination and her ministry "a living witness to our liberating God's transforming action in this local community."

June 27, 2015 - Albany, NY

At the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Albany on June 27th, Kathleen Ryan was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest and Kim Panaro a deacon by ARCWP Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan. Two "catacomb" deacons, using the pseudonyms "Edmund John" and "Phoebe Joan", were also ordained. Catacomb priests and deacons are women who do not use their real names because of fear of reprisals. About the new ordinands who are not in "catacomb" status:

Kathleen Ryan has a Masters in Social Work from SUNY Albany and worked for 15 years with children with emotional illnesses. She is presently working for Synergy Counseling Associates. She ministers to families who suffer from grief and loss and is a member of the leadership circle of the Inclusive Catholic Community of Albany.

Kim Panaro, who holds degrees in both social work and religious studies, has over 20 years working with children and families and has extensive experience as a psychotherapist in the areas of eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, grief and depression. She is also a Certified School Social Worker experienced with special education and school consultation. She has worked for the Bethlehem Central School District and for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany's Episcopal Counseling Service.

July 11, 2015 - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Jane Kryzanowski was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest by RCWP Bishop Marie Bouclin. For the ceremony, Kryzanowski wore a chasuble that had been made over 45 years earlier for her husband Felix, a former Roman Catholic priest. Jane and her husband have been active members of the married priests' organization, CORPUS Canada. Prior to her involvement in the RCWP movement, Rev. Kryzanowski and her husband were active in Holy Cross Parish in Regina where she worked for a time as Administrative Co-Coordinator. In her first homily as a new priest, Kryzanowski said, "Today, I have committed to being a servant-leader in an inclusive discipleship of equals. This is our model as Roman Catholic Women Priests. I am here for you and to be with you on the spiritual journey."

July 25, 2015 - Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Barbara Billey, a counselor and art therapist from Windsor, who has also been pastoring a house church since her diaconal ordination in May 2014, was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan. Billey has been engaged in theological study and has a particular interest in women’s spirituality and a passion for integrating sacred arts in liturgy. An activist in the women's ordination movement, Billey has been involved in the Catholic Network for Women's Equality, hosting Pink Smoke screening parties in her area.

Rev. Billey first heard her call to the priesthood during a retreat at an Episcopal church in Michigan where a priest from that tradition, not knowing she was Roman Catholic, asked her if she was also a priest. At the time she assumed that her only option for responding was to become an Anglican priest but later she was introduced to the RCWP movement, beginning the journey that led to her ordination. Billey will leave the local Catholic church she has been attending as her priesthood is not recognized there but she dreams of the day when "the Roman Catholic church would be inclusive of women at all levels of ministry. I believe we can only be whole, that is the sacraments, the church, the people of God, can only be whole when all people are included and that would include, not just women but all people that have been marginalized."

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