Monday, September 14, 2015

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests To Ordain 3 Bishops During Pope Francis' U.S. Trip in Philadelphia Area

Release date: September 15, 2015

From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests 

 Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min. (media)
 (859) 684-4247

 Bridget Mary Meehan, (703)505-0004

Slideshow of Women Priests Changing Church
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is one of the international branches of this movement that is experiencing a growth in vocations. We are ordaining three women bishops to ordain priests to minister and serve alienated as well as progressive Catholics in inclusive Eucharistic Communities where all are welcome at the Banquet Table of God’s Love: Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, divorced and remarried, and women who no longer feel at home in their own church.

Women Priests are rising up for justice, changing the church one community at a time. We are building inclusive communities of equals where justice is rising up for all people especially the poor, marginalized women and children worldwide and in the church. The good news is that the international women priests' movement has grown from the Danube Seven in 2002 to 215 in 2015. We serve over 75 communities.

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests welcomes Pope Francis to the United States and rejoices in his work to save Mother Earth and to transform unjust structures that marginalize the least and the last in our world. Until Pope Francis affirms the full equality of women in the church – including women priests – and makes the connection that poverty, violence and the abuse of women in the world are connected to the second-class status of women in the church, justice will not become a reality in the Catholic Church. “Women Priests are a holy shakeup,” Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan states, “changing the church one priest and one community at a time. If Pope Francis were to open the way for women to be ordained, he would be embracing inclusivity and equality for all of God’s people. He would end injustice in the church which would significantly impact the rampant abuse of women in the world.”

On Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at 2 p.m. 
the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain three women bishops. 

Mary Eileen Collingwood of Boston Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio USA 
(216) 408-4657

Michele Birch Conery of Windsor, Ontario, Canada (519) 962-7016

Olga Lucia Alvarez of Medellin, Colombia

(For English-speaking information about Olga contact Silvia Brandon-Perez (510) 294-8584.

The ordination will take place on September 24th at 2 p.m. at Pendle Hill Retreat and Conference Center, 338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford, PA 19086. (610) 566-4507.

The ordaining bishops are Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, author of 20 books, including Living Gospel Equality Now.  She serves as a pastoral member of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, FL Bishop Sibyl Dana Reynolds, RCWP, is author of Ink and Honey, a historic and spiritual novel and founder of the Sisters of Belle Coeur, a contemporary, contemplative spiritual community. Bishop Bernard Callahan, a chaplain at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and a bishop with the Ecumenical Catholic Ordinariate, will co-consecrate.

The  Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM) will be represented by its president, Thomas Cusak.

The bishops-elect are:
Mary E. Collingwood of Hudson, OH has served for over 40 years in church ministry. With an MA in Theology from St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, OH, she served as Director of Religious Education, Coordinator for Marriage Preparation, Pastoral Associate, Director of the Diocesan Pro-Life Office and on various boards and councils. Mary and her husband, Rich, continue to be blessed with seven children and are grandparents. Weekly celebration of Eucharist, administering the sacraments, pastoral counseling, and supporting women in ordained ministry is her calling and passion. Mary was ordained a priest in Brecksville, OH on May 24, 2014.

Michele Birch Conery of Windsor, ONT Canada celebrated her 10th anniversary as Canada’s first woman priest on July 25th. Michele was ordained a deacon in Passau, Germany in 2004 and a priest in 2005 on the St. Lawrence Seaway. A retired professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies with a focus on Women and Religion, she lived and ministered on Vancouver Island with outreach to the LGBTQ Dignity Vancouver community. In 2013, she moved to Windsor where she collaborates with priest Barbara Billey and their Heart of Compassion Faith Communities in Ontario and Michigan.

Olga Lucia Alvarez of Medellin-Colombia was educated by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation. She did USEMI Missionary work with indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and was secretary of CELAM Medellin 1968. Formation included religious studies, pastoral ministry, catechesis Superior, liberation theology and an emphasis on popular reading of the Bible. Olga was ordained a priest in Sarasota, FL on December 11, 2010. She accompanies several communities and strengthens the ecumenical base primarily of the itinerant. She works with women convicts and ex-ASFADES (Association of Families of the Disappeared), is author of several books and articles in biblical-theological reflection and is a Collective Member of the Ecumenical Bible Scholars.

CELAM stands for Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (, 
which in English is the Latin American Episcopal Conference (
USEMI is Unión Seglar de Misioneros, founded by Mgr. Gerardo Valencia Cano. It was a missionary group that worked throughout the country supporting and defending the rights of the poor and marginalized communities in Colombia, in particular indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.

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