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* Ruth Frances Wasylenko, RCWP Canada priest dies Easter Sunday

* RCWP Canada priests concelebrate baptism liturgy

* All welcome to woman priest's Catholic Mass in Pickering, ON

* Prophetic Obedience

* Praying for Vocations? Ordain Women!

* The authors of Scripture would never have understood the logic that women could not be ordained

* Bishop signals openness to women priests

* CNWE National Conference, Ottawa, ON – May 26-28, 2017

* Continuing Features

* Comments to the Editor

* Francis, the comic strip

*Top and bottom of the page menu

CNWE National Conference 
Ottawa, ON – May 26-28, 2017

Plan now to attend this exciting conference at St. Paul University, with keynote speaker Sr. Christine Schenk, founder of Future Church (USA). 

2017 is Canada’s Sesquicentennial so perhaps add a few days to your trip and join in the celebrations!

For more information click here.

Bishop signals openness to women priests

Irish News Staff Reporter | April 26, 2017

Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown has signalled an openness to women priests, though insisted that there is no possibility of women being ordained “at the present time”.

McKeown – who was appointed Bishop of Derry by Pope Francis in 2014 – also said that the hierarchy had to face serious questions about seminaries for training future priests, including Maynooth. He made the comments in an Irish-language interview broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland this week.

On the issue of women priests, he said: “If that’s God’s will in our day, I’m happy to accept it.” However, he added that “there is no possibility at the present time women will be priests”

Read More

    Comments to the Editor

Ideally, we would see all the nonsense stop at once.  I pray daily – “Please God just have this pope ordain one wise, loving, married woman to priesthood today, without restriction as to what she may become, so that directly after this, every man and woman, married or not, can finally just answer the calling you put into their hearts, and not be held back by their flesh or marital status, ever again, from any ministry or height in our church." This is my daily prayer.

How hurtful and foolish we have been, and for so long.  Who has gained anything from these foolish restrictions?  No one.  They have made us a church that tears each other down rather than builds each other up. It truly saddens me, when I think what we might be now, had this horrible discrimination never been allowed.  Think what a world we might have now too with a church much stronger and one teaching powerfully good things instead of hate all along the last 2000 years. When the church first started, it spread like wildfire because, in large part, slaves and women were treated similarly, within the church, to free men.  Then we gave into Rome’s power. It is time to get us all back to the Gospel and back to Love and Real Strength and Real Power.

Nora Bolcan, Rhode Island

The authors of Scripture would never have understood the logic that women could not be ordained

Roger Vermalen Karban | April 27,2017

One of the Catholic Church’s traditional arguments against the priestly ordination of women revolves around Jesus of Nazareth being a man.

According to this “official” line of reasoning, the priest must be “another Christ,” a male other Christ. Such an individual must have a “natural resemblance” to the first Christ. By definition, a female can’t fill that role.

The authors of the Christian Scriptures would never have understood that logic.

In the 40-year period between Jesus’ earthly ministry and the writing of the first gospel (Mark), his apostles certainly passed on many of the words and actions of the carpenter who lived between 6 BCE and 30 CE: the “historical Jesus.”

But while they did so, they also were convinced this particular itinerant preacher had risen into a “new creation.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

The person who rose from the tomb into a new creation on Easter Sunday was just as much a slave as a free person, a Gentile as a Jew and a woman as a man (Galatians 3:28). Jesus, now risen, could not be considered a first-century Jewish man.

Read More

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.

Click here for book-length pdf copy


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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Pope Francis tells Quebec bishops it is “vital” that more women be involved, including in decision making
Cindy Wooden | May 12, 2017

Pope Francis’s responses to the bishops’ questions and his comments on what they shared emphasized the need to step out, to listen to people, to discern where the Holy Spirit is leading the church and to promote the “full blossoming” of laypeople’s involvement in the church and its mission.

The role of women in the church, Archbishop Durocher said, was discussed “in the context of where is the Spirit pushing the church.” Francis told them it is “vital” that more women be involved, including in decision making, “but the problem is that we cannot reduce it just to a question of function” - offices they can and cannot hold - although that is important, too.
“He was very clear that we need to bring the voice of women into the responsibility structures of the church,” the archbishop said.
Read More

A Letter to Young Women in Easter Season

Anthony T. Padovano | May 9, 2017

My Dearest Daughter,

Your personal journey in life, with all the passion and grace you bring to it, matters immensely, not only to you but to me and to many others.  I will not encourage you to give your heart to the Church if it is one you cannot trust or will harm you or not listen to you.

As I read the Gospel, I learn there that the Spirit of God listened carefully to a woman in what may have been the two most crucial and defining moments in the birth of the Church.  Let me tell you about them.

The first of these women was Mary of Nazareth.  She was alone when it was revealed to her that she would become the mother of the Messiah, if she agreed.  Her “yes” created the Incarnation in her body.  Without a woman, God would not be human.  In God’s eyes, so to speak, a woman was entrusted freely to say “yes” to the overwhelming gift of God living at our side as one of us.  I am unwilling to invite you to become part of a Church that does not honor and trust women or that assigns them a secondary role in its life.

The second of these women was Mary Magdalen.  Again, she is alone, in a garden, by an empty tomb.  She weeps for the horror Jesus of Nazareth suffered on the cross and for the missing body.  She hears a gentle voice say her name, “Mary”.  She knows the voice so well.  It is Easter for the first time in her soul as she turns to say whole-heartedly, “O Rabboni. O Rabbi”.  Mary Magdalene is the first human being to whom Easter is granted.  Just as Mary of Nazareth trusted the impossible, so does Magdalene.  How could there be a Christian Church which limits what women can do and become when God put so much in their hands?

Read More

Ruth Frances Wasylenko, RCWP Canada priest dies Easter Sunday

Editor | April 26, 2017

Bishop Marie Bouclin and Jane Kryzanowski, both priests of RCWP Canada, concelebrated the funeral liturgy of one of their own at Trinity Funeral Chapel, Edmonton, recently.  Ruth Wasylenko, who celebrated five years of priesthood within RCWP Canada on March 31, 2017, died Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Ruth Wasylenko leading her Emmaus Catholic Community

Born in Regina on September 5, 1953 and raised in Calgary, Ruth was the eldest of six children in a busy and faith-filled family.  There she was nurtured in the Roman Catholic tradition that would be the touchstone of her entire life.  She served as a youth minister, teacher and chaplain.  Ruth pushed many edges, becoming a bus driver while a young nun and riding a Vespa.  She developed interests in sports, music and wood-working.  Ruth loved learning and achieved two Master’s degrees.

She always delighted in children and never really left behind her role as teacher.  Illness, first fibromyalgia and then cancer, invited her to find her value simply in being rather than in what she could do.

Ruth was esteemed by many people, who witnessed both her love of the Gospel and her radical choices to live that Gospel.  Since ordination, Ruth was spiritual leader of the Emmaus Catholic Community of Sherwood Park.  She challenged the hierarchical and patriarchal structures of the Church she loved so much especially by heeding the call to be ordained as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest.

A significant contribution by Ruth to the national organization was her work on the RCWP Canada Constitution.

Read More, including a tribute by a friend and the homily at the funeral liturgy

RCWP Canada priests concelebrate baptism liturgy

Editor | April 26, 2017

On April 23, 2017, Sadie's Baptism and Blessing in the home of her parents Karen and Austin was concelebrated by RCWP Canada priests Vikki Marie and Rose Mewhort. Sadie was welcomed into the communities of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin, Vancouver, and Star of the Sea, Galiano Island, as well as into the community of people present. It was a beautiful gathering and a wonderful inclusive service. Sadie was attentive throughout the entire liturgy.


All welcome to woman priest's Catholic Mass in Pickering, ON

Kristen Calis | April 10, 2017

Rev. Roberta Fuller will begin celebrating Catholic Mass at Dunbarton-Fairport United Church in the spring. She is part of a small group of women in Canada who have been ordained as Catholic women priests.

The offer to hold Catholic liturgy at the United Church in Pickering is one Fuller gladly took up, as the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize women as priests.
Fuller is one of 12 priests belonging to Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) Canada, and feels she’s been called into priesthood.

“I’ve always been a feminist,” she says. “I believe women’s rights are human rights. I wanted to reach out to people.”

Read More

Prophetic Obedience

Obedience is not mere blind capitulation to authority

Marian Ronan  |  Apr. 19, 2017

By Bradford E. Hinze
Published by Orbis Books, 288 pages, $42; Kindle edition $34.50

I have to confess, I'm pretty wary of the word obedience. So wary, in fact, that I almost declined to review Bradford Hinze's new theology of the church.

I'm glad I didn't. Prophetic Obedience is precisely the kind of constructive theology that enables post-Vatican II Catholics like me to overcome the binaries that have hindered us since the election of Pope John Paul II: freedom vs. obedience, the horizontal vs. the vertical, the magisterium vs. the sensus fidelium.

Hinze traces these binaries back to Second Vatican Council itself. He explores many of the ways in which the Vatican II vision of the church as the people of God, of all the baptized on the road together, impacted a wide range of ecclesial bodies as well as community organizations after the council. And he shows how a conservative faction of the bishops and the Vatican attempted to replace that vision with a "communion ecclesiology" stressing centralized authority and the magisterium.

Read More

Praying for Vocations? Ordain Women!

On May 7th the institutional Roman Catholic Church marks its "World Day of Prayer for Vocations," praying for "young men and women to hear and respond generously to the Lord's call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, [and] societies of apostolic life." 

While seemingly inclusive, this language neglects to footnote those ministries where women are rejected, silenced and punished for following their call to ordination. 

Women's Ordination Council and Women's Ordination Worldwide will be marking May 7th a little differently... 

Together, with Women's Ordination Worldwide, we pray...
that our global Church may transform and renew its institution and practices to become a prophetic voice and witness for global gender justice. We pray that our Church will uphold the Gospel message of equality and honor the vocations and ministries of all its members. Find Additional Prayer and Liturgy Resources by Clicking Here.

And we take action! 
Host a witness in your community! Join Catholics around the world as they raise their voices and move their feet for women's equality in the Roman Catholic Church!  Find an Organizing Tool Kit by Clicking Here. Please let us know if you are organizing a witness, or would like to be connected with WOC members in your community by responding to this website. 

Thank you for taking action and continuing to pray for an inclusive Church that welcomes the gifts of all of its members. You are a blessing! 

For equality,

Kate McElwee & Erin Saiz Hanna
Co-Executive Directors 

Francis, the comic strip                                                                                                           Francis Comic Strip Archive
by Pat Marrin | April 27, 2017
National Catholic Reporter

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