From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP)
For immediate release: April 3, 2017
Contact: Janice Sevre Duszynska, DMin (Media), 859-684-4247 email@example.com
Silvia Brandon-Perez, 510-294-5854
Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez of Colombia (Spanish only) (phone) firstname.lastname@example.org (In San Francisco, April 6-10)
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan (English only) 703-505-0004 email@example.com See: www.bridgetmarys.blogspot.com
On Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 11 a.m., the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) will ordain Silvia Brandon-Perez a priest. The presiding bishop will be Olga Lucia Alvarez of Colombia. The ceremony will take place at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley, California 94705. All are welcome.
A retired attorney of 28 years, Silvia works with the poor and homeless on immigration, civil rights, social security disability and other issues -- sometimes taking the needy into her own home. A mother of five, she was born in Cuba, lived in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic where she learned liberation theology from a Dominican priest and nuns. A linguist and translator in five languages, she says, “As a singer, poet and spiritual warrior, I resonate with liberation theology and the work of men such as Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua and Oscar Romero of El Salvador.” A member of the East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition, she participates in vigils outside the West County Detention Center, where local immigrants are held pending deportation hearings. She was with Cindy Sheehan for three weeks outside the Bush farm in Crawford, Texas protesting the Iraqi War and celebrating liturgies. An activist with the School of the Americas Watch, she took part in the October border experience in Nogales, Arizona and sang, played her guitar and gave the homily at the SOA Watch liturgy in Columbus, GA, in addition to interpreting for torture survivors. Silvia spent her Thanksgiving and Christmas at Standing Rock, an experience she calls “life-changing.” As part of the Ecumenical Peace Institute (EPI/CALC), on Good Friday she will once again take part in the yearly interfaith vigil and direct action at the Lawrence Livermore Labs to protest against nuclear weapons.
“My ongoing work with the immigrant and the homeless communities, my work on counter-recruitment with AFSC, my willingness to put my body on the line in what I recently heard described as “Divine Obedience” rather than civil disobedience are all part of the work I am committed to on a daily basis as a priest in addition to celebrating Latina liturgies and the Sacraments.”
The ordination of Silvia Brandon-Perez is a historic groundbreaking event for the Latina community in the US as both Silvia and her ordaining bishop, Olga Lucia Alvarez from Colombia, are Latinas. Silvia’s ordination is a celebration of justice and equality for women in the Catholic Church.
The movement for women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church began in Germany in 2002 when seven women were ordained on a boat on the Danube River by a male Roman Catholic bishop. In 2003 two of the Danube Seven were ordained bishops.
“We are leading the church into a more inclusive faith community where all are welcome to receive sacraments,” said Bridget Mary Meehan, a US bishop.
The ordination of women as Catholic priests continues unabated. Women priests serve in 65 inclusive churches in the United States. Around 250 women in 13 countries have been ordained worldwide.
“We call on Pope Francis to dialogue with us by moving from condemnation to conversation with the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement,” said priest Janice Sevre-Duszynska who participated in the Vatican’s Jubilee of Priests Mass in St. Peter’s Square last spring with priest Christina Moreira of Spain, members of Women’s Ordination Conference and Women’s Ordination Worldwide.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is walking in the footsteps of Jesus today to empower contemporary people to let the spirit flow anew, so the poor will be lifted up, the oppressed set free and God’s love manifested everywhere.
Women priests are in solidarity with all justice seekers in the world.
Like the Canaanite woman of the Gospels who persists and resists, refusing to take no for an answer, we will continue to persist and resist, making the connections between oppression of women and violence toward women in the world.
“This is why we’re ordaining Silvia Brandon Perez today to begin that journey with our Latin American hermanas y hermanos so that the Catholic Church will follow the example of Jesus in the Gospels,” says Bishop Olga Lucia Alvarez of Colombia in her homily.
“Today we are rising up for justice for the poor. Today we are rising up for justice for the marginalized everywhere. Today we are rising up for justice in the Roman Catholic Church by ordaining Silvia a priest.
As we resist oppression, we join in solidarity with the women martyrs in Latin America. They are our saints and role models as we say ‘Yes’ to justice for the marginalized, ‘Yes’ to justice for women, and ‘Yes’ to justice for women in the Roman Catholic Church.”