Thursday, June 30, 2016

Women's Ordinations - May-June 2016

May 28, 2016 - Tinley Park, IL

On May 28th, Terese "Tee" Rigodanzo-Kasper was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest in a ceremony presided by ARCWP Bishop Mary Collingwood. The ordination took place at the Tinley Park United Methodist Church. Rev. Rigodanzo-Kasper has a B.A. in Management from the College of St. Scholastica and has served in many administrative roles, primarily in companies and organizations providing home care and care for seniors. She has also worked for a parochial school. She is presently a QA analyst and software tester for two companies -- SpotJobs and Campayn. During her homily at the ordination, Bishop Collingwood also mentioned Rev. Rigodanzo-Kasper's volunteer work in music ministry in her parish and hospital pastoral care and said that she had "prepared herself for ordination through her studies in feminist and contemporary theology with certification through the People's Catholic Seminary", a program sponsored by ARCWP.

June 4, 2016 - Medellin, Colombia

Lucero Arias Manco's ordination day as a Roman Catholic woman priest was anything but uneventful. ARCWP Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez had to leave very early to take the bus that wound its way slowly up the narrow streets to the hillside community where the ordination ceremony would take place because the faster cable cars weren't working. A young Afro-Colombian boy helped her find the correct stop. At the place, "El ParaĆ­so" ("Heaven"), she was met by a neighborhood woman who gave her breakfast. The calm morning was brutally interrupted when a young neighbor, Johanny, who had been sent to fetch others to join them for breakfast, was stabbed in the neck before he could perform his mission. Everyone mobilized to provide first aid to Johanny and get him to the police station where he was then transported by ambulance to the hospital. Once the word came back that Johanny would be OK, the group proceeded with the ordination ceremony, which was attended by many from the local Christian base communities as well as representatives from the Old Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, among others.

Luis Eduardo, the master of ceremonies, explained the circular configuration of the community around the altar. "A symbol of Divinity, it puts us in the position of equals; no one is more important than anyone else." Following introductions, Bishop Alvarez explained the history of ARCWP and their presence that day before proceeding with the ordination rite. In her homily, Bishop Alvarez talked about Rev. Arias' background as a married mother of three and her work as an organizer in this peasant community beset by violence. She emphasized her training and experience in rural ministry and theology as well as in women's theology. Rev. Arias has also been active in working with youth groups, using her musical skills. Note that a series of videos from this ordination ceremony may be found here.

June 11, 2016 - Northbrook, IL

Susan Vaickauski, a long-time parishioner at Our Lady of the Brook in Northbrook, says that she felt called to be a priest all her life since her childhood in Indiana. "I can't remember a time when it wasn't there," she told a reporter. "When you're young, you don't know what it is. You just know something inside you is different." On June 11th, that dream became a reality for Rev. Vaickauski who was ordained a priest through the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement in a ceremony at the United Methodist Church in Northbrook. Vaickauski, a retired secretary at Westmoor Elementary School who now devotes herself to a foundation she started to provide educational assistance to Kenya, The Fred Outa Foundation, became an RCWP deacon in 2015. Vaickauski has not decided where she will practice as a priest, but is thinking about working with the homeless, something she has already been doing as a volunteer. Meanwhile she says she will continue to attend her old parish with her husband who fully supports her choice, even though she will no longer be allowed to receive the sacraments there.

June 25, 2016 - Orinda, CA

On June 25th, Joanna Truelson was ordained a Roman Catholic womanpriest during a ceremony at the Orinda Community Church performed by RCWP Bishop Olivia Doko. Rev. Truelson is a former nurse. She has a Masters in Mental Health Nursing Administration and worked as a medical surgical pediatric coordinator for 24 years. After leaving the medical field, she became a realtor with Alain Pinel Realtors. Truelson also has a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Creation Spirituality, founded by Rev. Matthew Fox. She attended the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, and was ordained an Interfaith Spiritual Director in 2000. She presently ministers at the Namaste Catholic Community in Orinda, which holds liturgies on the second and fourth Saturday of the month at the Orinda Community Church. Being excommunicated from the mainstream Catholic Church is no big deal to Rev. Truelson because, as she says, the Church has already denied her the sacraments as a divorced and remarried Catholic.

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