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 Teresa Hanlon ordained Deacon for RCWP Canada

Editor, Special to The Review | October 15, 2021

Teresa Joan Hanlon was ordained deacon at Lethbridge, AB on October 14, 2021 before a community of 40 in person and 90 on live-streaming.

According to ordaining Bishop Jane Kryzanowski, bishop for Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada, "It is in the company of St. Teresa of Avila, a woman of courage and faith who walked the path of discipleship even in the face of great opposition, that we now ordain her namesake, Teresa Elder Hanlon, to the Order of Deacon."

"RCWP Canada is part of a worldwide movement
whose vision is a new model of ordained ministry within a renewed Roman Catholic Church," Bishop Jane stated.

Ordination Homily

  RCWP Canada Bishop's Message

Homily – Ordination of Teresa Joan Hanlon to the Order of Deacon

A long time ago, I was told that questions are always a good way to get someone thinking. We are all familiar with the five “W’s”: who, what, when, where, why? Here are two questions for tonight: Why are we here? and What is the meaning of our being here?

We are here to ordain Teresa as Deacon according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is the mission of Roman Catholic Women Priests to prepare, ordain, and support primarily qualified women from all states of life who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities of faith to minister to the People of God.

As Roman Catholic Women Priests we believe that God can and does call women, to ordained ministry in the Church even though Cannon Law #1024 says that only a man can receive sacred orders. We believe God/de’s call supersedes man’s law.

In response to the second question: What is the meaning of our being here today? We find meaning for our action in the rich image of the vine and branches we have in the Gospel for our liturgy today, the Vigil of the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila.

Those familiar with successful vineyards in First-Century Palestine would have appreciated its significance more than we might. There are three features this image holds out to us, as it did to the Johannine community and which I believe St. Teresa understood.

The first feature is that we have the invitation to an intimate love relationship with Jesus and his Abba/Amma. Naming specific identities (I am the vine, you are the branches, my Abba/Amma is the vine grower), Jesus discloses to his disciples, on the eve of his death, that through dwelling in him, his return to the Abba/Amma will draw them into his own indwelling reciprocal love. To “remain in” or “abide” in Christ’s love is a communio dei, an intimate relationship of oneness which is as inseparable as flames of fire from one source or currents flowing in river or ocean.

Jesus’s own committed life rises up from this abiding intimacy and is the model for the disciple’s fruitfulness as branches. The setting of the time before his death, reveals to the Johannine community that this communio is more than being one with the Trinity in the resurrected life. Participation in this communio is also here and now through the gift of the indwelling Spirit – abiding wisdom, fire of love.

The second feature is that there is a co-mingled relationship within the community represented in the intertwining branches. Branches and vine are so intimately connected that energy flows at the cellular level and generates new life rooted in love. It is hard to distinguish the path of growth of one branch from another on a healthy vine.

In the Johannine understanding of the Christian community it is living LOVE that flows equally in each of the disciples that enables the community to thrive. There is no superiority or hierarchy among the branches. The only distinction that one can make would be between the branches that bear fruit and those that do not. Distinctions made on the basis of power, position, or gender are foreign to Johannine discipleship.

In a well tended vineyard, branches are “pruned” not to separate them from the vine, but to enable them to be productive. It can take place in a variety of forms: guiding one branch with a support, lifting another to a spot of sunlight, freeing another from entanglement. Whatever a branch needs is done with loving, careful tending only by the vine grower, the Abba/Amma. Pruning is all about helping each branch become its best self so that together all of the branches will contribute to an abundant harvest.

The Third feature is that both the intimate communio dei with Jesus and his Abba/Amma, and the reciprocal intertwining of the branches are pre-requisites for effectively proclaiming the Word of God/de to those who would also believe.

The mission of the disciples is to build up an egalitarian community of partners and friends in a covenant relationship between Abba/Amma, Jesus and a Spirit filled community which upholds justice, equality, and peace, which simultaneously reveals the unending and forever abiding glory or presence of God/de.

This is the new vineyard of YHWH of which the prophets speak. This is the dream the Apostle Paul expresses in the Letter to the Romans where the whole of creation is groaning to bring to reality and wholeness the Divine dream of incarnation.

Paul imagines a new world, a world where the Spirit, portrayed as being at the side of the Creator “in the beginning” when the Word/Wisdom was uttered, is the rule of the land, where liberation can happen, where creative energy can flow and things can be made new, where the unity of mind and heart are valued over uniformity to arbitrarily established rules, where the love of God/de binds us in oneness, acceptance is offered, and where hope is real.

This is the vision of Johannine discipleship. It transcends the dichotomy traditionally attributed to one’s being and one’s doing. One’s deeds are manifestations of one’s true being, as was manifested in Jesus’s life. He was LIVING LOVE.

For St. Teresa of Avila spirituality was inclusive and wholistic, not dualistic. The path to holiness was a life where love of God and love of neighbour were intertwined and the intimacy of the contemplative life was the foundation of the life of service.

Her mystical experiences were not understood by a highly dualistic mentality in a male dominated church of her time. Under the scrutiny and terror of the Great Inquisition, she was at constant risk for her unorthodox views. Her prayer, Nada Turbe, was perhaps a prayer for herself as well as for those she counseled.

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away.
God alone never changes.

In the spirit of the prophet in the first reading who vows to keep talking and preaching and proclaiming until God does what God has promised to do: “restore Jerusalem, and make this holy mountain a crown of glory and song of praise to God,” St. Teresa did not quit writing about her mystical experiences and laid out for us the path of holiness. Her teachings continue to inspire and guide us.

The Word of God we heard tonight undergirds the fundamental principles and values of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Our vision is a new model of ordained ministry within a renewed Roman Catholic Church. Our values are learned from the intertwined branches whose life and energy comes from the vine of the Christ.

Our priesthood and diaconate are rooted in our Baptism and the authority of sacred scripture and tradition. It is Divine love that calls us, grounds us and fills us. Our ministry is sustained by a reflective, contemplative and prayerful lifestyle. Attentive to the voice of God, we seek to read the signs of the times and, in prophetic obedience, to follow where Holy Wisdom leads us, both individually and as a community.

Like the intertwined branches, we commit ourselves to a discipleship of equals, rejecting all forms of domination and control. We renounce clericalism, and all forms of discrimination. We strive to live as communities of justice, inclusivity and diversity. Like branches tenderly cared for to bear much fruit, our model encourages empowerment and generous service. We value ecumenical and multi-faith partnerships as part of building together toward the unity for which Jesus prayed.

It is in the company of St. Teresa of Avila, a woman of courage and faith who faithfully walked the path of discipleship even in the face of great opposition, that we now ordain her namesake, Teresa Elder Hanlon, to the Order of Deacon.


[Jane Kryzanowski, Regina, SK is bishop for RCWP Canada]


Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic – and Beyond by Matthew Fox (iUniverse)

                                         Book cover photo

Book review by Lori Dexter

“All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing shall be well” -- Julian of Norwich (1342-ca.1429)

I thoroughly enjoyed (BTW the word enjoy was invented by Julian) this book and will no doubt return to it for continued inspiration. Matthew Fox introduces us to a wise, intelligent, confident, courageous yet simple woman.

Julian was a woman whose faith in God and the goodness of life, [Mother] nature and humanity never wavered even though she lived her entire life during the Black Death pandemic. Up to 50% of the population in Europe died in wave after wave that lasted close to one hundred years. She was 30 years old when she became gravely sick and encountered Christ- the-Mother in a near death experience. She spent the rest of her life contemplating and writing about her visions.

Fox explores Julian’s worldview of panentheism and her relationship with the Divine Feminine. He also explores Julian’s creation spirituality tradition that is firmly rooted in the biblical wisdom tradition where we find the historical Jesus.

Julian’s creation spirituality was not well received in her day as it was a time of pessimism and of blaming nature for the pandemic. Her encounter with Christ- the-Mother certainly was at odds with the patriarchal mindset of her day and which persists to this day.

Julian reflected on her visions for many decades and she realized that they had many layers of meaning that could not be mined all at once. One of the things she learned was the importance of doing one’s own inner work. In one of many gold nuggets I found, she says, "I was remined too that I must not focus on the imperfections of others but instead take responsibility for my own."

Julian came to realize that her visions were not meant just for herself but for humanity as a whole. This was not a popular notion during the Black Death as people were looking to scapegoat others. They were blaming ‘Jews’ for the plague and many Jewish people fled England during that time. Julian took a very powerful pollical stand against such scapegoating.  She also rejected the notion that personal sins were to blame for the pandemic.  It was during this time that flagellants became popular. She taught that our mistakes can often lead to some greater good and that sin is overrated.

Fox believes Julian’s theology and spirituality have much to teach us about some of the issues we face today. Issues such as; pandemic, climate change, sexism, misogyny, matricide, and patriarchy.

Julian of Norwich was a mystic, theologian, feminist, spiritual director, anchoress, and prophet all rolled up in one simple lady. Her understanding of life, herself and God was truly wholistic, which is what attracts me to her. It seems that she was not divided within herself even though the outer world she lived in appeared to be extremely divided. How blessed are we to have such a prophet with us today! She encourages us to move forward with confidence in ourselves and faith in God who unites all creation in Her love.

[Lori Dexter, Sherwood Park, AB, is a frequent contributor to The Review.]

                                                                               Goodreads.com photo


The Review lists individual events on the following topics:

Church Renewal





Women's Flourishing

[Updates to the above pages are made periodically between issues of The Review.]

Reconciliation is a task for us all

Joe Gunn, omilacombe.ca | September 2021

In the context of residential schools in Canada, Catholics are challenged to find Christ in the suffering of Indigenous peoples today. By listening, embracing their wisdom, and once again becoming their colleagues in changing colonial structures of oppression, this moment of crisis could become a moment of grace for us all.

Read More on page 15 of Oblate Spirit, a publication of the Oblate Mission office

[Joe Gunn is the Executive Director/Directeur general of Centre Oblate – A Voice for Justice]

St. Teresa of Avila
-- Interview with Mirabai Starr

                                  St. Teresa School photo

In this video presentation, Mirabai Starr explores St. Teresa's views on contemplative practice, service, leading change as a woman, and helping all people find liberation. This is a chance to celebrate on her feast day (October 15th) a great woman mystic through one of her most eloquent contemporary interpreters.

21-minute Video

Called to Contribute: Findings from an In-depth Interview Study of US Catholic Women and the Diaconate

Sharing the findings from an in-depth study conducted this year of US Catholic Women and the Diaconate.

The lead researcher is University of Notre Dame sociologist Tricia Bruce, PhD, who found that Catholic women feel called into service,  constrained by barriers to ordination and service reserved for men in the Church, must adapt creatively to do “de facto deacon” ministry anyway, and contribute in ways that uphold the very foundations of the local and global Catholicism.

Read the executive summary
Download the full report

New Bishop ordained for U.S. Great Waters Region

Editor, Special to The Review | October 15, 2021

video photo

Mary Keldermans was ordained bishop on September 4, 2021 in Springfield, IL.  She will serve the Great Waters Region of RCWP-USA.

Ordaining bishops were Andrea Johnson from Annapolis, Maryland; Nancy Meyer from Brownsburg, Indiana; Suzanne Thiel from Portland, Oregon; and Joan Houk from South Bend, Indiana was presiding bishop.

See ordination video (2 hours)

Anglican Diocese of Islands and Inlets ordains four deacons

Diocesan Website, bc.anglican.ca | September 12, 2021

Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee ordained three women and one man to the sacred order of deacon at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC on September 12, 2021.

Ordained to the diaconate were Marion Edmondson, Colleen Lissamer, John Thatamanil, and Stephanie Wood.

See ordination video (1 h 47 m)

Olivia Diehl to be ordained priest to serve in the Philippines

Editor, Special to The Review | October 15, 2020

This Sunday Olivia Diehl will be ordained to the priesthood at the Hildegard Haus, Fairport Harbor, OH.  Many will be joining via zoom.  Bishop Phil Belzunce will be the ordaining bishop here in person.

Olivia Diehl is a member of RCWP Europe.  Following her ordination, she will be returning to the Philippines in 2022 to form a community in her home-town.

The Mass will include beautiful traditional Filipino music and prayers.

Future woman priest 'Father Anne' blames God for leading her towards ordination

Jeannine M. Pitas, ncronline.org | October 14, 2021

Anne Tropeano, whose use of the moniker "Father Anne" has helped attract wide media coverage of her coming October 16, 2021 ordination ceremony, portrays her choice as part of a long spiritual journey.  "God is calling me to be ordained in the Roman Catholic tradition and to work for justice," she said.

Read More

‘We were the first ones’ — the faith of Native American (U.S.) Catholics

Joe Slama, pillarcatholic.com | October 5, 2021

The U.S. bishops’ conference approved in June a plan to draft a comprehensive vision statement on Native American and Alaskan Native Catholic ministry.

The statement will be produced by the conference subcommittee on Native American affairs.

While there are more than 700,000 Native American Catholics in the United States, their communities are mostly unfamiliar to other Catholics.

What do Native American Catholic communities really look like? And what do Native American Catholic leaders think “Native American ministry” should actually entail?

Read More

How does the Church expect to attain consensus when over half of the population of the faithful are disenfranchised -- shades of the Taliban

Steven Lanoux, Special to The Review | September 11, 2021

Deli [wife of the author] and I have suffered through decades of frustrations with clericalism, cover-up of criminality by all levels of Church hierarchy, corruption without consequence, sanctioned intolerance, overt discrimination against almost every sector of society except the male clergy, and a dismal failure to connect with the youth of the world.  The Church is in a failure mode and refuses to either acknowledge it or to even attempt to do anything substantive about it.  Pretty robes and predictable rituals and incense do not impress those of us seeking integrity and respect and a "practice what you preach" clergy.  What we do see all too clearly are the needs to subjugate the faithful and to keep the Church's hands in our wallets as means to survival.

The latest insult was in an Associated Press article published by The Brownsville [Texas] Herald-Tribune yesterday (Title: "The Vatican won't say if women can vote in 2023 meeting").  Maltese Cardinal Mario Grech, refused to say.

Instead, Grech stressed that women could and should participate in the diocesan levels of consultation, and that the aim was consensus.

'This attention to the vote doesn’t leave me serene,' he told reporters. 'It’s not the vote that counts.' "

We were infuriated!  Just how does the Church expect to attain consensus when over half of the population of the faithful are disenfranchised and have no say?  The vote DOES count!  Look what this nation is going through with Republican efforts to suppress voting in the U.S.

And then Deli asked me this, "And just how is the Church different from the Taliban?"  Oh my!  What an insight.

Read More

[Steven Lanoux, Brownsville, TX is a frequent contributor to The Review.]

Heavy all-encompassing power of the magisterium some days seems to exist purely to try to limit the power of the Spirit

Catherine Cavanaugh, Special to The Review | October 15, 2021

Stick and carrot firmly in hand, the Lectionary offerings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time try, in as strident language as can be mustered, to convince us of the equal dignity of all people before God.  Moses first, then Jesus some 1400 years later, both proclaim that the Spirit is for all.  But 2000 years after the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the inbreaking of the Spirit at Pentecost, are we even listening?

Read More

[Catherine Cavanagh, Brockville, ON, is author of Women Priests -- Answering the Call, available in the Downloadable Books section of The Review]

Listening to the Faithful: Vatican releases Synod Preparatory Document

Salvatore Cernuzio, press.vatican.va | October 15, 2021

Listening without prejudice; speaking out with courage and parrhesia; dialoguing with the Church, with society, and with the other Christian confessions.

The General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality.

The solemn opening of the Synod took place in Rome on October 9-10.  In the particular Churches the opening will take place on October 17.  The Synod will conclude in the Vatican in 2023 with the assembly of bishops from around the world.

Preparatory Document


FDK photo

Reflections and Homilies on the Sunday Readings of the Revised Common Lectionary

Reflections and homilies from the following sources:
Reflections on the Sunday Readings by Susan Roll
Reflections by David Jackson
God's Word, Many Voices
Catholic Women Preach
Ron Rolheiser
Richard Rohr Daily Meditations
The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University
Homilies by Donald Senior
Sunday Homilies for Progressives
Pope Francis' Homilies
Radical Discipleship
Lector's Notes
Working Preacher
Scripture for Life
Pencil Preaching

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