Thursday, June 12, 2014

Witness for Women's Ordination at Bishops Meeting in New Orleans by Jennifer Molino

Today's witness to the USCCB was hopeful and a lot of fun! There were 17 of us (14 adults and 3 children). This is the largest turnout that we've had for a public action (with the exception of the one in solidarity with the LCWR which Call to Action sponsored). That is impressive---since it was at 3:45 pm on a weekday (a difficult time for most working folks). In general, the spirit was positive in our interactions with the priests and bishops. We stood right beside their processional into the church. We welcomed them and waved and smiled. Many waved and smiled back. Some gave us a thumbs up sign. One or two priests came over to hug us (we know them) or shake our hands and tell us that they, too, hope that women's ordination will happen. At least one bishop was talking to a few of the members of our group. We sang a lot---We Are Called, City of God, This Little Light of Mine, and Amazing Grace (I saw at least one or two priests singing along with us in the processional), and we prayed. Several nuns stopped and smiled.

As always, the lay people were overwhelmingly supportive. Many took pictures or gave encouraging comments when they passed by us. There are always a lot of tourists around, and some ask for our flyers and tell us where they are from. We distributed over 100 flyers. One children's group stopped and stared. After reading our banner, one little boy from the group said, "They should" (ordain women).

The secular media did not really come out, and the religious media generally ignored us. The Catholic News Service (they said they were "with the bishops") was there. The cameraman took pictures but not much of our group. A reporter with a cameraman was there but deliberately positioned herself so that we would not be visible. She did not approach us.

We only caught a glimpse of Archbishop Aymond at the end. He entered from the other side of the cathedral with the cardinals at the last minute.

I regret that I forgot my camera. Fortunately, Paul had a phone with a camera, and Sue took the photo that I sent out (it's our only one). Thanks to everyone who came out, everyone who couldn't be there but was with us in spirit, and especially to the person who suggested that we get our message out at the USCCB Mass and took quite a risk to do so.

Jennifer Molina

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