September 24, 2012
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, 859-684-4247,
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004,firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebration of Priestly Ordination for:
Diane Dougherty of Newnan, GA, 770-683-8101, 678-857-7146, email@example.com
Celebration of Ordination to the Diaconate for:
Barbara Anne Duff of Macon, GA, 478-718-0613, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Meyers of Batavia, OH, 513-735-2876, email@example.com
Joleane Presley of Manassas, VA, 410-900-3998, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemarie Smead of Bedford, KY, 502-663-1237, email@example.com
Irene Scaramazza of Columbus, OH, 614-357-0626, firstname.lastname@example.org
“She will be able to be my disciple,” Jesus says in the recently announced discovery of a Coptic fourth century papyrus. See:
Today, women priests continue to follow the tradition of women disciples living and preaching the Gospel taught to them by Jesus.
On Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Diane Dougherty (Newnan, Georgia) will be ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) Barbara Anne Duff (Macon,GA), Debra Meyers (Batavia, OH), Joleane Presley (Manassas, Va), Rosemarie Smead (Bedford, KY), and Irene Scaramazza (Columbus, OH) will be ordained deacons in ARCWP. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Falls Church, Virginia and Sarasota, Florida. A warm welcome has been given by Pastor Paul Graetz and The First Metropolitan Community Church, an Inclusive Christian Community. The ceremony will take place there at 1 p.m., 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30329. All are welcome.
Media are invited to a pre-ordination press conference on Friday, October 19, at 1:00 p.m. at the church with the candidates and Bridget Mary Meehan. Call Janice (859-684-4247) to schedule an interview.
The candidates are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry. Diane Dougherty, an educator and native of Ohio, served Catholic communities as a Sister of Humility of Mary for 23 years. As a lay ecclesial minister she served in Catholic schools and parishes as a master educator and catechist and in the Religious Education and Faith Formation office for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. "I consider my journey toward priesthood as the next phase in my vocation to serve within the Catholic tradition, said Dougherty. By becoming a woman priest my original call to serve Christ through the church is fulfilled and I hope my ordination will open the door to the many women Christ is calling to serve."
A former Maryknoll Sister and educator, Barbara Anne Duff has retired after a nursing career in VA hospitals. A wife, grandmother and author, Debra Meyers, teaches history and women's studies at Northern Kentucky University. Joleane Presley, a wife and senior hospital chaplain, provides pastoral care to patients recovering from physical disabilities. A former Catholic sister for 21 years, Irene Scaramazza has worked as an educator, community mental health counselor, hospice chaplain and spiritual director who leads home liturgies. Dr. Rosemarie Smead, a former Discalced Carmelite nun is a retired professor and family therapist who has written six books and videos on training therapists to work with youth.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests rejoices in a “holy shakeup” that millions of Catholics worldwide welcome. The good news now is that male priests, bishops, a cardinal as well as theologians have expressed their support of female priests. They are following in the footsteps of Maryknoll Roy Bourgeois whose prophetic call for a dialogue on women priests is being heard in more and more places today in our Church.
“Nothing can stop the movement of the spirit toward human rights, justice and equality in our world and in our Church,” said Bridget Mary Meehan. “The full equality of women is the voice of God in our time.”
The Women Priests movement in the Roman Catholic Church advocates a new model of priestly ministry united with the people with whom we minister. We stand in prophetic obedience to Jesus who calls women and men to be disciples and equals. The movement began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube in 2002. Today there are over 140 in the movement worldwide. ARCWP is in the United States and Latin America. Our specific charism within the broader global Roman Catholic Women Priests initiative is to live Gospel equality and justice for women in the Church and in society now. We work in solidarity with the poor and marginalized for transformative justice in partnership with all believers. Our vision is to live as a community of equals in decision making both as an organization and within all our faith communities. We advocate the renewal of the vision of Jesus in the Gospel in our Church and world.