Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Saturday, August 2, 2014
My Precious Memories of the First U.S. Ordination of Roman Catholic Women Priests at Pittsburgh Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Happy 8th Anniversary! I will always remember this historic day when I was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest. The dream of a lifetime came true for me.
During the laying on of hands, my dear Dad, Jack, placed his hands on my shoulders connecting me to our entire Irish family ancestral line. I felt such gratitude and joy that he had lived to see this day and I knew my wonderful, devout Mother , Bridie, who had died 8 years before, was holding me too. My brother Patrick and some close friends from VA, MD, New York, Kansas City and Colorado accompanied me on this momentous journey. Sister Regina Madonna Oliver and Peg Bowen, who had shared 15 years of pastoral ministry with me, played key roles in the Rite by presenting me for ordination and laying out the prostration cloth. Several Sisters for Christian Community were present to offer prayerful support and affirmation. I sensed the Spirit moving within me and all around us, and felt like I could almost float away. With my faith eyes, I could see the communion of saints cheering us on as the beautiful Litany of the Saints was sung Earth and heaven rejoiced on that great day. Bishops Patrica Fresen,, Gisela Forster and Ida Raming laid hands on us in silence in the solemn moment of ordination. Then, the entire assembly was invited to lay hands on the ordinands. The people stood in a long line that wound around the boat, waiting to place their hands on our heads. While soft liturgical music played in the background, some people quietly wept as they prayed over us. We twelve women were modern day gutsy disciples , disobeying an unjust man-made law so that justice and equality could become a reality for women in our beloved Church. My life has never been the same since that day when we sailed down the Three Rivers on the beautiful riverboat Majestic. The good news is that our Women Priests Movement continues to grow and to renew the church into a more open, inclusive, egalitarian community of believers in seven countries. Indeed the Spirit is a'moving in this holy shakeup of the Catholic Church. Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org
31, 2006, Eileen McCafferty DiFranco, Olivia Doko, Joan Clark Houk, Kathleen
Kunster, Bridget Mary Meehan, Roberta Meehan, Dana Reynolds, Kathy Sullivan
Vandenberg were ordained as Roman Catholic priests. Four deacons were also
ordained at the ordination. The ordination took place on a riverboat in
day of the ordination, Joan Houk said she hoped that as priest she would be able
to “Connect with people who are Catholic who have walked away or are not
participating…” Today there are approximately 180 RCWP members worldwide; more
than 150 of these women are located in the United States. Roman Catholic
Womenpriests are ministering in house and parish communities, perform weddings,
baptisms and funerals; are chaplains and offer sacraments to the sick and
elderly, serve the homeless and provide spiritual direction and
movement within the Church began in Germany with the ordination of seven women
on the Danube River in 2002, by male Roman Catholic Bishops and in 2003 two of
the “Danube 7” were ordained Bishops.
rejects Canon law that does not allow women to be ordained priest today. Many
historians and theologians can provide evidence that women were ordained
Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the early church. In addition, in 1970,
because of the Soviet Bloc, a Czech Bishop ordained women to serve in the
women’s prisons where men could not go.
help us continue to prepare and ordain women by making a donationto RCWP-USA and to www.arcwp.org today.