For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Victoria Rue, M.Div.,Ph.D.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordain Two Bishops in Local Synagogue
On Sunday October 1, 2017 at 10:30am, two women priests, Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel, will be ordained Bishops of the Western Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP). The ordination will take place in the sanctuary of Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos, CA. Rabbi Paula Marcus will participate in the ceremony. Other representatives of other faiths will also be present.
Rabbi Marcus offered "The first woman rabbi was ordained on June 3, 1972. As a female rabbi, I am so proud to have this important celebration of women priests occur at Temple Beth El. Together with my sisters of the Roman Catholic Womenpriest organization, women are offering new energies, insights and depth to all of our religious traditions."
Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel were elected bishops by the thirty five members of the Western Region of RCWP. The region comprises Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska. In the RCWP movement, bishops are pastors to women priests and their congregations not administrative figures. When women are ordained women priests in RCWP, they promise obedience to God, not to a bishop.
Bishop Olivia Doko, who is retiring as the Bishop of the Western Region, said, "These two wonderful women, who are extremely qualified, will provide fresh and new pastoral leadership as part of a team of servant leaders in the Western Region of RCWP-USA. Each brings with her a deep vision and commitment to women serving in all dimensions of church ministry. Together they will help strengthen the vision of our members and all people with whom we serve as women priests. They stand on the shoulders of countless women who have gone before them, and they will lead us with hope into the future of women in full service to the Citizens of the Church."
Jane Via, Ph.D., taught Religious Studies before practicing law for 27 years. Jane is an ordained Roman Catholic woman priest. In 2005, in San Diego, she co-founded Mary Magdalene (the) Apostle, an independent Roman Catholic parish (with Rod Stephens, a then Roman Catholic priest) where she continues to serve as Pastor Emerita. Jane belongs to the Immaculate Heart Community of Los Angeles, and volunteers in organizations dedicated to women's ordination. She lives with her husband, Phil Faker, in San Diego, CA. where her two adult sons also reside.
Suzanne Thiel, has an M.A. in Education and fifty graduate hours in counseling and psychology. She is Jesuit-trained in theology and philosophy from the University of Santa Clara. Suzanne was ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest in 2008. Her ministries include: hospital chaplaincy, volunteer ministry at three assisted living facilities, and home visits to the sick and elderly. She has served as CFO for RCWP-USA and been on the Board of Directors for over eight years. Suzanne and her husband Bruce have been married for forty-three years. They have three young adult sons and five grandchildren. She is a native Oregonian.
Made up of candidates, deacons, priests, and support members from all corners of the United States, Roman Catholic Womenpriests is a renewal movement within the Church that began in 2002 in Germany with the ordination of 7 women on the Danube River. Currently there are over 200 Roman Catholic women worldwide, ordained in the line of succession of Peter, reclaiming their ancient spiritual heritage, and re-shaping a more inclusive, Christ-centered Church for the 21st century.
Women priests serve the people of God in communities across the country, working in a variety of ministerial roles: as pastors of inclusive communities, hospital chaplains, spiritual directors and artists. Roman Catholic Womenpriests advocate for a new model of priestly ministry—one steeped in justice, inclusiveness and equality.
A Press Conference will follow the ordination at Temple Beth El. Bishops Jane Via and Suzanne Thiel will make a brief statement and then be open for questions. Others in attendance at the press conference will be Bishop Sybil Reynolds retired Bishop of Western Region of RCWP, retired Bishop Olivia Doko of Western Region of RCWP, Andrea Johnson RCWP Bishop of the Eastern Region, Joan Houk RCWP Bishop of the Great Waters Region, Nancy Meyers RCWP Bishop of the Mid-West Region, Marie Bouclin RCWP Bishop of Canada, Bridget Mary Meehan Bishop of the Association of Roman Catholic Womenpriests (ARCWP), Michelle Birch Conroy Canadian Bishop of ARCWP, and Mary Eileen Collingwood Bishop of ARCWP. They too will be open for your questions.
PHOTOS OF THE BISHOPS-ELECT FOLLOW:
Bishop-elect Jane Via
Bishop-Elect Suzanne Thiel