Roman Catholic Women Priests History
Early RCWP History

Roman Catholic Women Priests is a renewal movement within the Roman Catholic Church that began in Germany with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002.

In 2003, Gisela Forster and Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger (two of the original Danube 7) were ordained bishops and in 2005 Patricia Fresen of South Africa was also ordained a bishop.  Women Bishops ordained in Apostolic Succession continue to carry on the work of ordaining women in the Roman Catholic Church.

Since 2007, women have been ordained in the USA, Europe, Canada, South America, and South Africa; and, in 2017, the first Chinese woman was ordained.  Womenpriests are ministering in over 34 states across the USA.

Click here for a detailed history of the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement.

RCWP Canada History

Until RCWP Canada had a Canadian resident bishop, Bishop Patricia Fresen of Germany conducted ordinations of Canadians.

Click here for a 15-minute video tribute to Bishop Fresen on the occasion of her 80th birthday, including a short history of the women's ordination movement and Bishop Fresen's contribution to it.

The first Canadian woman to be ordanined to the priesthood, Michele Birch Conery, was ordained on the St. Lawrence River in 2005.  In 2007, at the first ordination to be held on land, Marie Evans Bouclin was ordained to the priesthood.  Monica Kilburn Smith and James Lauder were ordained to the priesthood in 2008.  In 2010, Kim Sylvester, Rose Mewhort and Linda Spear were ordained to the priesthood.  In 2011, Marie Bouclin was ordained bishop for Canada in a liturgy held near Stuttgart, Germany.  Co-presiding bishops were Patricia Fresen, Gisela Forster, Ida Raming, Joan Houk, Andrea Johnson and Regina Nicolosi.  Since then, Marie has ordained to the priesthood Roberta Fuller (2011), Ruth Wasylenko (2012), Victoria Marie (2012), and Catherine O’Connor (2013).  In 2013, Marie welcomed into RCWP Canada two former Anglican priests, Carol and Ray Canton.  Subsequent ordinations are: Jane Kryzanowski (2015), R. Roth (2016), and Patricia Cook (2016).

RCWP Canada members who attended the Women's Ordination Worldwide conference in Philadephia, PA in September 2015 were Danielle Whissel, Judith Pellerin, Felix Kryzanowski, Jane Kryzanowski, and Marie Bouclin.

In 2016, members of RCWP Canada developed and ratified a new constitution.

Bishop Marie Bouclin and Jane Kryzanowski, both priests of RCWP Canada, concelebrated the funeral liturgy of one of our own at Trinity Funeral Chapel, Edmonton.  Ruth Wasylenko, who celebrated five years of priesthood within RCWP Canada died Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.

On July 21, 2018, in Calgary, AB, on the eve of the feast of St. Mary of Magdala, Jane Kryzanowki of Regina was ordained bishop for RCWP Canada.  Ordaining bishops were retiring bishop Marie Bouclin of Sudbury, ON; Joan Houk of South Bend, IN; Nancy Meyer of Brownsburg, IN; Jane Via of San Diego, CA; Michele Birch-Conery of Windsor, ON.
Jointly with Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Marie Bouclin and Roberta Fuller of RCWP Canada attended and presented at the Parliament of World Religions conference in Toronto in November 2018.

On behalf of  RCWP Canada, Jane Kryzanowski, in February 2019, attended the funeral of RCWP-USA bishop Regina Nicolosi in Ladera Ranch, CA.

In May 2019, in Pickering, ON, Bishop Jane Kryzanowski ordained a priest with catacomb status.

At Wellesley, MA in June 2019, Felix Kryzanowski and Jane Kryzanowski, an ordaining bishop, represented RCWP Canada and participated in the ordination of Jean Marchant, bishop for the Eastern Region of RCWP-USA.

In October 2019, RCWP Canada sent a delegate to the Women's Ordination Worldwide steering committee meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.  Before the founding of RCWP Canada, Marie Bouclin was on the WOW steering committee which organized the 2005 WOW conference in Ottawa, ON.

In 2020, members of RCWP Canada reviewed and revised the constitution. 

As the pandemic, Covid-19, edured during 2020-21, priests of RCWP Canada offered the Eucharist
on Zoom for their local communities and many others who joined in.  This outreach service came via Zoom from the following local communities:  Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community, Vancouver, BC; St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Faith Community, Calgary, AB; Mary of Magdala Inclusive Catholic Community, Regina, SK; Sourdough Faith Community, Sudbury, ON; and St. Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle Catholic Faith Community, Pickering, ON.

RCWP Canada now has ordained priests in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec.  Associates, non-ordained persons who are full members of RCWP Canada, are located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.  All members of RCWP Canada assist in the work of preparing, supporting, and ordaining those who are called by the Holy Spirit and their local communities to a new model of Roman Catholic priesthood and Christian community.

For a directory of all members of RCWP Canada click here.


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