Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Canada's First Female Catholic Priest Says Church Must Be More Inclusive " /The Daily News/Canada.Com

Michele Birch-Conery, Canada's first Roman Catholic Woman Priest
As the first woman in Canada to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, Nanaimo resident Michele Birch-Conery's perspective on the church is nothing if not unique...First becoming a deacon in a ceremony on the Danube River, Birch-Conery was then subsequently ordained as a priest on July 25, 2005 on the deck of a boat floating in international waters on the St. Lawrence River. She maintains that the way that she was ordained is valid, and represents just the beginning of the entry of women into the role of "servant leaders" within the Catholic Church...

..."At 73, Birch-Conery said her mission now, and that of the Womenpriests Movement, is to simply promote sacramental faith communities that are inclusive. They will continue to ordain women, she said, at last count there being more than 120.
There is also a vigilant desire, as priests, to not become too "clericalist" in nature.
"So using a circle model of communication, more than top-down," said Birch-Conery.
"We have to work with how we've been socialized in this church around having power," she added. "Or no power."
The vision Birch-Conery holds for the future of her faith is simple. She imagines that Catholicism, like Judaism, will eventually divide into two camps that co-exist, one Orthodox and one more inclusive, with each accepting the other."JChadwick@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4238
Victoria Marie and Michele are co-presiding
one of her first Eucharists after her ordination July 29, 2012.
We are in the chapel of Sts. Clare and Francis on Mayne Island.
From left to right Michele Birch-Conery, Rose Mewhort with drum,Vikki,her friend from Vancouver,
and Ellen Willingham, Anglican priest from Pender Island.

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