Monday, August 25, 2014

"Acting on a Deep Call to a Different Ministry" by Dawn Cherie Araujo /Former Nuns, Becoming Priests
by Dawn Cherie Araujo 
From left to right, Irene Scaramazza, Sue Guzik, Bridget Mary Meehan, Barbara Billey, Mary Collingwood, Mary Bergan Blanchard at ARCWP Ordination of Deacons and Priests by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests in Cleveland.
..."It’s impossible to know exactly how many women entered religious life with an unrequited or latent desire for priestly ministry. But if the current number of women priests who used to be nuns is any indication, it was more than a few. There’s no hard data on the issue, but insiders at the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a wing of the international Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement that has been ordaining women and married men since 2002, estimate – based on conversations and observations – that more than half of the women they’ve ordained were once Catholic sisters..."
Bridget Mary's Response:
When I was 18 years old, I entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters. I always felt called to consecrate my life to God.  When I was in  grade school I would attend Mass because I wanted to during Lent. I had a sense of God's closeness. Now I am a Sister for Christian Community and an ordained woman. I never dreamed that women would be ordained as priests in my lifetime. God is full of surprises!  As a bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I ordain women, including some former nuns  who are called to live their vocation to a renewed priestly ministry in inclusive, egalitarian communities where everyone is welcome. 
 As a woman raised in an Irish Catholic family who lived in a convent for 10 years, one could say that  I am a radical.  Some  have called me a heretic. I believe that women priests are prophets leading our church to live Jesus' example of Gospel equality. Women priests are visible reminders that God created women as equals and, therefore, women belong around the altar along with the gathered assembly.  We are no longer settling for  second class citizenship in our church! Amen to the miracle of grace and the holy shakeup that women priests bring! May more former nuns and present day nuns join in this great adventure of walking on water today! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

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