Friday, September 14, 2012

Beverly Bingle is ordained a deacon by Bishop Joan Houk/ RCWP-USA in Toledo, Ohio/ Youtube clip

Catholic female deacon - YouTube
1 min

Catholic woman ordained deacon
The group responsible for the ordination is 

called the 
Roman Catholic Womenpriests. 
It's a progressive movement from 
within the
Roman Catholic Church

 to get ...
Woman advances in quest for priesthood
Toledo Blade
Elsie McGrath, both of Roman Catholic 

Enlarge |
 Photo Reprints Beverly Bingle has taken 
a big
step in her quest to ...

"Financially troubled parts of Europe consider taxing church properties"/Washington Post

..."Mismanagement has been another problem, especially for the Vatican, which this year reported its worst deficit — $19 million — in a decade. The Vatican bank has been embroiled in scandal for two decades, from the recent ousting of its president to accusations of money laundering and ties to the mafia, a possible murder and the disappearance of $1 billion in a bank it was closely linked to."
Bridget Mary's Reflection: 
Again we have material for another blockbuster movie about the Vatican. What has changed since the Middle Ages? Murder, intrigue, wealth at the Vatican? Now we Monsignor-Gate and the Vati-leaks. Hey move over Dan Brown! 

...."The issue of church tax payments has been simmering for several years. In 2010, European Union regulators launched an investigation into the Catholic Church and the taxes it pays in various countries. The E.U.’s competition czar, Joaquin Almunia, has said the tax breaks could be considered state aid and illegally distort competition in the market. But the issue wasn’t at the forefront of the debate until earlier this year when Monti, the Italian prime minister, called for assessing taxes on church properties..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
If European countries tax the Catholic Church, that will reverse years of special treatment. It is also an issue of justice and fairness to all religions and to tax payers. If the Irish government takes over primary education, this will bring a major change in Ireland. I remember my first two years in St. John of God School in Rathdowney. If we answered a question incorrectly, we had to put our hand for a slap with a ruler! Talk about fear and trembling!

"Kansas City's Bishop Finn Must Resign or Be Removed

"If Bishop Robert W. Finn wanted today to volunteer at a parish in the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese to teach a religious education class or chaperone a parish youth group to World Youth Day, he couldn't do it. Convicted of a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected child abuse, Finn wouldn't pass the background check necessary to work with young people in the Catholic church.
That is, he could not serve in those positions if he were just a layman, deacon or priest. But he is a bishop, and that makes all the difference. And he can, apparently, do anything he wants under church law.
There are two issues at play here: the governance of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese and the integrity of the U.S. bishops as a national conference.
Finn cannot govern the diocese. It is clear to local Catholics he has been largely absent from the day-to-day life of the diocese for almost a year. The chancery offices are in disarray, diocesan personnel feel abandoned, and the clergy are either angry or dumbfounded. From the very first day of his tenure in this diocese, Finn has been a source of division and divisiveness. He does have supporters, but he has never won even a grudging respect from majority of active Catholics..." 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Summer Events in Calgary with Roman Catholic Women Priests in Canada and Women Priests from USA Celebrating Liturgies

In July, our St. Brigid's community here in Calgary had some special visitors.
First, this photo (from a community member's iphone) is of our St. Brigid's mass in July 2012 with visiting/concelebrating (new) priest, Ruth Wasylenko, from Edmonton (3 hours north of Calgary). (Genevieve Kilburn-Smith, my 14-year-old daughter, is altar server). We had a really rich time, saying mass together and receiving so much support from those gathered with us!

Then later in the month, we took on a transnational and international flavour with coinciding visits from our Canadian bishop Marie Bouclin (who was making a three week trek across the western provinces to see all our communities), and California priests Suzanne Dunn and Jeannette Love (Catholic Church of the Beatitudes, Santa Barbara). Here are some photos, below, from our Mary Magdalene mass and reception on July 22. Marie and Suzanne shared the homily time and spoke about different aspects of Mary Magdalene's importance in our tradition.
 (Left to right: Genevieve - altar server; me (Monica); Suzanne Dunn, Marie Bouclin, Jeannette Love)
We also had lots of other special events over a period of five days - spectacular! We were so delighted, all of us, to be together, share ideas and inspiration, and witness together to the movement of the Holy Spirit across our two countries and in so many hearts and lives. And my thanks to you, Marie, Suzanne and Jeannette, for your wonderful sharing, generosity, and love. Praise God!
Blessings to all, Monica

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catholics React to Bishop's Conviction By Jesse Bogan and Tim Townsend St. Louis Post-Dispatch

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "At an early morning Mass here at St. Patrick Parish on Friday (Sept. 7), the Fr. Justin Hoye preached about judgment, saying people are incapable of admitting the absolute fullness of their own sins.
He didn't mention Bishop Robert Finn, shepherd of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. On Thursday, a judge in Jackson County found Finn, 59, guilty of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse, including the fact that Finn knew child pornography was on the computer of the Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who used to be pastor of St. Patrick's.
But it was clear that Hoye's caution against judgment and prayers for healing were about Finn and the wounded congregation.
"We pray that the Holy Spirit might move throughout the diocese and grant us consolation and peace," Hoye said. "We pray for the victims of injustice, those denied rights owed them."
When the service was over, parishioners were polite but not as subtle about the court ruling...
"Maybe this will get different dioceses and bishops, everybody throughout the religious world, to realize they have a responsibility to basically do what Jesus taught us and that is take care of kids, to respect other lives," said Steve Burk, 59, a retired Ford assembly line worker who attends Mass throughout the week.
Finn, a St. Louis native who was ordained in the St. Louis Archdiocese, is the first U.S. bishop convicted for failing to report criminal sexual activity by a priest.
The verdict is a landmark moment in a clergy abuse saga that has rattled the Catholic Church for more than a decade.
Critics of the church's handling of the sex abuse scandal say they hope the ruling will be a seminal moment that brings greater reform.
"You're tempted to think surely this will send a chill down the spine of hundreds of church employees who are concealing, or have concealed, child sex crimes," said David Clohessy, head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It must be unsettling to see that even a bishop can be brought to justice..."
For some parishioners at St. Patrick's, the incident has done nothing to shake their belief.
"God is my faith," said Florence Wilbur, 79, who has attended the church for 59 years. "(Finn) is just a person."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ruth Wasylenko's Ordination in Edmonton, Canada on March 31, 2012/Presiding Bishop Marie Bouclin,RCWP Canada

These are photos from Ruth Wasylenko's ordination in Edmonton ( March 31, 2012). In the lefthand photo is Fred Williams, a Corpus priest and longtime supporter of us - he's part of St. Brigid's too. (We have numerous Corpus priests in St. Brigid's and supporters of RCWP in general.) We had quite a few people from St. Brigid's, who know Ruth, go up to Edmonton from Calgary for the ordination in Ruth's home, and it was lovely to bring ours and Ruth's new community together in that way.

"Bill Donohue stands by his man" by Grant Gallicho in Commonweal

"It has never seemed the best hill to die on, but apparently Catholic League president Bill Donohue doesn’t know how to quit defending Bishop Robert Finn [1], who was found guilty this week [2] of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse. (Be sure to read David Gibson’s post [3] on the devastating Times story.) Back in November, Donohue declared [4] that Finn was “an innocent man,” and flew all the way to Kansas City just to show how much he meant it. “In an ideal world,” Donohue claimed, “there would have been no charges whatsoever: there was no complainant and no violation of law.” Yes, and in an ideal world, when a U.S. bishop learns — nearly a decade after the 2002 wave of scandals broke — that one of his priests has crotch shots of kids on his computer, after having learned about a detailed letter of complaint about the guy from a Catholic school principal, the bishop would report the priest to the proper authorities, in accordance with civil and canon law. But that’s not the world Bishop Finn was living in. So now he stands convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse. In other words, Finn is not an innocent man. That’s why he issued a statement — both through his lawyer [5] (.doc) and on his own behalf [6] (.doc) — that contains apologetic-sounding words arranged in a way that avoids actually accepting responsibility for his failure to report the pornographer priest Ratigan. (Do yourself a favor and read Mark Silk on that and more here [7].)
You’d think Finn’s conviction would be enough to force Donohue back from the ledge, or at least show a measure of contrition. But no. He’s going all the way over. In his latest pronouncement [8], magisterially titled “Assessing Bishop Finn’s Guilt,” Donohue purports to bust some myths about the Finn case. Instead, he perpetrates some myth-making of his own..."
..."But what is he thinking when he calls the “condemnations targeting Finn…as unfair as they are contrived”? The man is guilty of not reporting suspected child abuse. He was informed of Ratigan’s disturbing photos of children (children, not teenagers) on December 16, 2010. There is nothing contrived or unfair about condemning his failure to respond adequately to the threat posed by Ratigan. He chose not to forward the case to his own sexual-abuse review board, and to take as gospel the evaluation of one psychiatrist even though his closest advisers were urging him to send Ratigan to another shrink. And when Finn learned Ratigan was not abiding even the light restrictions the bishop had placed on him, what did he do? He gave him a stern talking-to. What would have happened if Msgr. Murphy hadn’t made the decision to tell Capt. Smith the whole truth? We know what Ratigan did in the meantime. He kept looking at God-knows-what online. He heard kids’ confessions. He had parties for kids and their parents, where he apparently continued his work as an amateur pornographer. Because the bishop failed.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that a man who responds to perceived anti-Catholic humor with ethnic slurs, or whose initial response to news that a friend was charged with sexual harassment is to joke about the accuser as “a drunken girl,” or who has publicly wondered what’s wrong with teenagers who “allow themselves to be molested,” wouldn’t be able to discern the seriousness of Finn’s failures. Still, the fact that the president of the Catholic League does not grasp the gravity of these matters remains as mysterious to me as the support he receives from several bishops."

Austrian Priest: Dissent Aids Healthy Church/Another Example of Spiritual Uprising Shaking Catholic Church
800 Irish priests, 200+ German theologians,  and 500 Austrian priests are dissenting from Vatican teaching on women's ordination, priestly celibacy, divorce and remarriage, homosexual partnerships. Now even Catholic newspapers are covering the story. See article below about the spiritual uprising that is shaking the Catholic Church in Austria. Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp,

September 5th, 2012
By Sarah MacDonald
DUBLIN – "The leader of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative said the dissident group’s call to disobedience reflects the lack of accountability among those who exercise power and authority in the Catholic Church.

Msgr. Helmut Schuller told Catholic News Service that reform and substantive structural change are “essential for the future of the church” in Europe and the wider world.

The Priests’ Initiative, which now represents 500 clergy in Austria, wants the Vatican to revive the “Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis” project initiated by Pope Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council. The project, which sought to establish a common fundamental code or church constitution similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights for church members, was shelved by Pope John Paul II in 1981.

“We are talking about providing basic rights for the people of God and a structure of participation in decision-making and feedback between the top, center and base of the church. We also want to establish a system of control for those who hold power and authority in the church,” said Msgr. Schuller, former vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vienna and former director of Caritas Austria.

The Priests’ Initiative was founded in 2006 and made international headlines in June 2011 when it issued its “Appeal to Disobedience” over its agenda, which includes making clerical celibacy optional, allowing divorced and remarried Catholics who did not receive an annulment to receive Communion, and advocating a softer line on homosexual partnerships.

Msgr. Schuller, 60, told CNS that the group is engaged with the question of celibacy because of the lack of priests and concern over its future implications.

“The No. 1 issue for the church in Austria is the future of parish communities. They need a new model of leadership,” he said.

The second central issue for the group is the church’s structures, which “must respect the rights of its members” and the operation of the institutional church’s offices of authority. On the position of women, he suggested there is “a contradiction in respect of the church’s message that men and women are equal before God but not in church.”

Calling on the Austrian hierarchy to engage in dialogue with the Priests’ Initiative, he rejected suggestions that the group is intent on schism. Though earlier this year Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn publicly urged the group to recant its call to disobedience, Msgr. Schuller said the group is standing firm on the matter.

He said the real danger to the unity of the church is in the way the bishops and the pope continue to separate themselves from the views of the majority of the laity.

“It is no longer enough to say ‘no’ or to tell people that they have to be obedient or say something is not allowed,” he said.

Msgr. Schuller said he would like the Vatican to give the group a chance to respond to the questions Pope Benedict XVI raised in his homily at this year’s chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, when the pope suggested that renewal will emerge through obedience and a focus on Jesus.

“He asked questions such as can disobedience be a way of reforming the church; is it the right thing? We want to answer these questions,” Msgr. Schuller said.

In May the leadership of the Priests’ Initiative wrote to the pope, requesting an opportunity to meet and discuss these issues, but so far there has been no response from Rome.

“We are waiting,” he said.

The group’s membership is growing, and its Austrian members network with other groups internationally. Cardinal Schonborn has been credited with circumventing an escalation of the standoff in Austria, and so far there has been no censure of members, though the cardinal has said Priests’ Initiative members can no longer be appointed as deans in his diocese, and the Congregation for Clergy has warned the Austrian hierarchy that no member can hold diocesan leadership roles.

Msgr. Schuller said the group is angered by the amount of time and effort the Vatican has dedicated to accommodating the demands of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, a group he said represents a “tiny minority.”

“It is ridiculous. We are conveying the views and desires of the vast majority of Catholics, but the way Rome is acting you would think the SSPX speak for the majority. It is an inversion of reality,” he told CNS.

The lack of will to give the group space to dialogue with the Austrian hierarchy or Vatican officials means the group believes it must continue to “move forward without such discussions,” Msgr. Schuller said.

“We are calling on parish communities to make their own decisions as they face the possibility of running out of priests,” he said. “We are suggesting that they shouldn’t ask what will happen, but should decide for themselves what they want to be in the future. Then they can ask the bishops how they can help them.

“At the moment there is a very strong dependency on the bishops and their decisions,” he said. “But there is no decision-making happening in the center of the church, and time is running out.”
From September 7, 2012 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

"A New Spiritual Uprising" by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

A new spiritual uprising is rocking the Catholic Church today.

At the Vatican we see the “Monsignors Mutiny” a tale of betrayal, corruption and power struggles that has the potential of becoming a blockbuster movie that could rival the Da
Vinci Code. One Italian paper even suggested that an unnamed laywoman had secretly
ordered the butler to leak the secret documents which are referred to as the Vati-leaks.
But the Vatican, of course, denies it all ...

In May 2012, hundreds of Irish priests called for an end to mandatory celibacy and for women’s ordination in an unprecedented challenge to the Vatican.

Over 300 priests in Austria have called for “letting non-ordained people lead religious
services and deliver sermons; making communion available to divorced people who have remarried; allowing women to become priests and to take on important positions in the hierarchy; and letting priests carry out pastoral functions even if, in defiance of church
rules, they have a wife and family.”,8599,2090629,00.html

On Holy Thursday in April 2012, Pope Benedict issued a stinging public rebuke to the
Austrian priests: “Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons
to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s
Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope
John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord.
Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? “

Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, a Christian Brother for 40 years and the president of St.
Mary’s University in Minnesota for 20, has written a new book Flying in the Face of
Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful (Acta) in which he calls for,
among other things, the ordination of women as part of a change in consciousness that
must be brought about in the church. “Is the institutional church dying?” he asks. “Yes, fortunately,” he writes, “Sexual abuse, corruption, authoritarianism, lack of transparency,
and cover-ups have all been collapsing into and on top of the institutional church….The 'tipping point' has been reached, and the moral authority, honor and respect that the institutional church once elicited from most peoples
and secular institutions around the globe no longer exists.”

Like the woman in Luke’s Gospel whom Jesus declared free after being bent over for
eighteen years, the Spirit is a movin’ in the courageous nuns on the bus. In response to
the Vatican’s rebuke of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for their support
of women’s ordination, reproductive healthcare and gay marriage, the Sisters took a bus
trip to nine states to showcase their ministry to the poor and disenfranchised. Thousands of Catholics have attended prayer vigils and signed petitions in solidarity with the Sisters
in the Nun Justice Project.

One day, I pray that we will have nun priests!

On May 7th, seven Franciscan (OFM) Provinces in the United States released a statement expressing their solidarity with the LCWR and critiquing the Vatican's Doctrinal
Assessment of the Sisters as "excessive". Let us rejoice that the fathers and brothers are
rising up for justice for their sisters.

Women priests remind us that women’s bodies are worthy of consecrating Eucharist because women are equal images of God. Everyone belongs at the Banquet Table of God’s boundless, abundant love. By our baptism we are called to live as sacraments, visible signs of God’s compassionate presence in our world. As the Irish writer, James Joyce, reminded us in Finnegan’s Wake, being Catholic means “here comes everybody.”

In Luke 13:10-13, when the synagogue leader expressed outrage that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, Jesus called the religious leaders, hypocrites and pointed out that this healing was
for a daughter of Abraham and Sarah, who had suffered for 18 years. So, there are several
take home messages here: 1) Jesus treated women as equals. 2) People have priority over
rules and regulations. Jesus was a rule breaker who challenged the religious leaders of
his time. 3) Sexism is sinful and should always be challenged. 4) Our Compassionate
God lifts up all who are bent over by the burden of patriarchy.

The good news is that the Spirit of God is renewing the church in a spiritual uprising in vibrant, grassroots communities where the liturgical presiders include women priests,
married priests, celibate priests and other leaders. Amazing Grace is at work in our
midst! My own community, Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community began with
 six people in a small house church and grew to approximately 100 in tourist season
in Sarasota, Florida. Recently, I met with members of three new ecclesial communities
in Lexington, Kentucky, the newly named Resurrection Community in Cincinnati and
the Community of St. Peter in Cleveland. I predict that in the next several years,
hundreds of empowered ecclesial communities will rise up for justice and live the
 change they have dreamed of in our church! We are living witnesses to the
transformation, that one day will be affirmed in Vatican III, a Council of the
People of God. Joel describes this passionate, outpouring of divine love on humankind
in these words: “Your daughters and sons will prophesy, your elders will have
rophetic dreams and your young people will see visions. I will pour out my
Spirit even on those in servitude, women and men alike.” (Joel 3:1)

The institutional church is trying to keep women bent over when it refuses to recognize
their call to the priesthood. No longer will we tolerate the Vatican’s practice of sexism,
which is rooted in the misogynist attitude of church fathers like Tertullian who once s
aid that women are the “gateway to the devil” and Thomas Aquinas who defined
woman as a “defective male.”

In a modern day inquisition, the Girl Scouts are facing an official inquiry by the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The problem is their association with groups like Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and the Sierra Club because these organizations support contraception and family planning. We challenge the bishops for their unjust attack and
stand in solidarity with the Girl Scouts for their program of empowerment of girls.
Let us feast on Girl Scout Cookies often!

If women priests were decision-makers in our church, women’s health care including contraception and universal health coverage would be major justice issues.
We believe women have the divinely human right to make reproductive decisions
on their own behalf --without consulting male priests or bishops. 98% of sexually-
active Catholic women have used a method of contraception banned by the U.S. bishops. According to a 2005 poll, 78% of U.S. Catholics said that birth control should be
allowed in the church and when asked if they were more likely to follow their
consciences on ethical issues or papal teaching, 74% stated that they would follow their
own conscience. The majority of American Catholics and non-Catholics support
insurance coverage of preventive care of women including family planning. Their
religious freedom is under attack in the current bishops’ campaign to uphold
Vatican teaching on contraception and make church teaching public policy.
On the contrary, these statistics indicate that Catholics practice primacy of conscience
in issues of reproductive health care. They are in clear violation of official church
teaching which has never been affirmed by the majority of Catholics, the sense of
the faithful. In fact, Pope Paul VI went against his own commission, who supported
a change in the church’s ban on artificial birth control, because he feared that it
would undermine his authority. In order for a teaching to be authentic, it must
reflect the belief of the church over the ages. The ban on artificial birth control
was rejected by the world’s Catholics. The toothpaste cannot be put back in the
tube. One could argue that Vatican II opened the windows to new freedom of
thought that challenged blind obedience to religious authorities, and life has
never again been the same in the church. “All the faithful, both clerical and
lay, should be accorded a lawful freedom of inquiry, of thought and of expression.
Guadium et Spes #62.

“A spiritual uprising in theology is evident today in the thinking of brilliant theologians
like Elisabeth Johnson, author of Quest for the Living God Mapping Frontiers in the
Theology of God, and Sr. Margaret Farley, author of Just love, A Framework for
Christian Sexual Ethics. Both books have been denounced by the hierarchy.
After the pope censured Farley’s book, which is a contemporary ethical approach
to same-sex relationships, masturbation, remarriage after divorce, it soared from
obscurity to the top of’s best-seller list - six years after it was published.
In her book, Sr. Farley argues that same-sex marriage “can also be important
in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians.”
She wrote that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according
to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities.”

Women are silent and invisible and subordinate no more! We are speaking truth to
 power and the ministry of irritation is our forte!

Roman Catholic Women Priests Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Ree Hudson and
Deacon Donna Rougeux went to Rome last October to support Fr. Roy Bourgeois
who four years ago stood here to witness for justice at Janice’s ordination.
As you remember that resulted in big trouble for Roy, which has played out like an ecclesiastical soap opera!

My favorite scene is the one where the Roman police are instructed NOT to
arrest the women priests dressed in liturgical attire. The Italian police blocked
Janice, Ree and Donna from entering the Vatican, but they did not haul them
off to the police station like Fr. Roy and Erin Hanna of the Women’s Ordination
Conference. Once again, as the world press recorded every minute of the drama,
I was reminded that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving! Fr. Roy has
 recently published his story in a booklet entitled: “My Journey from Silence
to Solidarity” which can be read online
(for copies call: 706-682-5369)

I believe that on a deep spiritual, mystical level women priests are beginning a
healing process of centuries-old deep misogyny in which spiritual power was invested exclusively in men. For some like the Catholic hierarchy, women priests are a
spiritual uprising. For millions of people the time has come for a holy shakeup
that will bring new life, creativity and justice to the church and beyond.

Bridget Mary Meehan, D.Min., a Sister for Christian Community, was ordained a
Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 31, 2006. She was
ordained a bishop on April 19, 2009. Dr. Meehan is currently Dean of the
Doctor of Ministry Program for Global Ministries University, and is the
author of 20 books, including Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of
God, The Healing Power of Prayer and Praying with Women of the Bible.
She presides at liturgies in Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
 in Sarasota, Florida and celebrates liturgies with groups in N.VA. Dr. Meehan
can be reached at and

Copyright © 2011 - All Rights Reserved -

ARCWP Priest Olga Lucia Alvarez Addresses a Theological Conference in Bogota, Colombia About Her Ministerial Experience

ARCWP priest Olga Lucia Alvarez addresses a Theological Conference in Bogota Colombia about her ministerial experience as a priest. 64 people attended including clergy, seminarians, nuns and students.

Sign a Petition to Call the Senate to Support a Real Violence Against Women Act

Demand Progress has teamed up with, a new site where you can start a petition on any topic. Here's one we think you might be interested in.

The House is refusing to include Native American women in the Violence Against Women Act, claiming it would be “a dangerous expansion of the tribal courts’ authority.” We don't think they know what danger is.

One in three tribal women is raped or experiences an attempted rape in their lifetimes. On some reservations, tribal authorities report that almost no Native American women have escaped domestic violence or sexual assault.

These WOMEN are the ones in danger, every day that they go without the protection they deserve. And if the U.S. government has its way, Native American women will continue to be denied even the most basic resources and safeguards—from sexual assault kits and evidence cameras to the training police and nurses need to help survivors prosecute their attackers!

Please, join us in calling on the Senate to support a REAL Violence Against Women Act, one that includes protection not only for tribal women but for immigrant women and the LGBT community as well. Show these women they have not been forgotten: Tell the Senate we want a real VAWA now!
-- The folks at

Ordination Mass Set For Female Deacon/Toledo Blade

An ordination Mass will be held on Thursday for Beverly Bingle, who will become the first woman to be ordained as a Roman Catholic deacon.
The liturgy will be celebrated by Roman Catholic Womenpriests. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. at First Unitarian Church, 3205 Glendale Ave. in Toledo.

Celebration of Confirmation at St. Brigid's Community in Calgary, Canada with Roman Catholic Women Priests: Report by Monica Kilburn-Smith, RCWP

Genny, Monica, Patricia, Michele, Lauren

Confirmation of my daughter Genevieve by Patricia Fresen here in Calgary (Alberta) in 2009 which at the time marked the anniversary of our first year as a community. (Michele Birch-Conery was also present, and another girl in our community, Lauren, was also confirmed)) -   My daughter Genny is now 14, so was 11 at the time of her confirmation. (She is and has been my altar server, also, since my ordination in 2008.) I find myself most happy when I see the young people coming to our masses and participating in our RCWP communities and having their sacraments with us - this is true prophecy and hope! So far, we have had two first communions and two confirmations at our St. Brigid's community in Calgary.
(Monica Kilburn-Smith, RCWP, St. Brigid's Catholic Community, Calgary, Canada)

Confirmation Thoughts
Genevieve Kilburn-Smith, September 2009.
Three months ago, I was confirmed by Bishop Patricia Fresen. It was an interesting experience and the preparation was fun. The first three times we met it was just the four of us (Lauren, Kerry (Lauren's mum), my mum (Monica) and I ), but our sponsors joined us for our last meeting. We spoke about the gifts and the symbols of the Holy Spirit, and what confirmation meant to us, and we made a poster. Lauren and I each chose a confirmation name.
I think this was better then if I went to a regular church, one, because I knew the people I was with, but also because we were only a small group I think we learned more. When we rehearsed at Saint Andrews church the day of our confirmation, and I started to feel excited. I wasn’t sure what would happen when I was confirmed, but I thought it would be very special.
That night, at the exact moment I was confirmed, I suppose I felt a little disappointed, because I did not feel anything really amazing. But a few weeks later, I started to see things differently. I’ve begun to really appreciate more things about the world and recognize many little details. The difference between right and wrong has become clearer and I’ve thought more about my life and what I want to do with it. I feel ready to live the rest of my life and some day (hopefully not too soon!) when I die, I will have lived a joyful life and will be ready for my life after death.

This year, three year's later, Genny wrote the following for a Corpus Canada Journal article on St. Brigid's (others from our community wrote, too, but I do think it's neat that Genny, now 14, is so enthusiastic, and has never missed a mass in four years! She is a beautiful altar server, and she has taken many of our photos, also). She and my older daughter, Emma, also posted comments - very thoughtful and intelligent - on the online version of that Swerve magazine article I sent to the listserve last spring. And both are prophetic in their schools and with their friends about our movement. I don't mean to boast too much about them, but I am proud of them, and hope one day we will have many, many young people participating. It really is what matters for the future, for our future as RCWP communities and wider church!)

Genevieve Kilburn-Smith: St. Brigid's is a small community of believers, who gather once a month to celebrate our faith with people of many different backgrounds, races, ages and even denominations. Despite these differences, St. Brigid's is always ready to welcome, befriend and adopt newcomers into our community with warm and accepting hearts and hands. Whether there are 5 or 50 people, the faith of those gathered is strong and powerful. One never leaves without feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit empowering us to “go in peace to love and serve our God.”
My favourite parts of the Mass are the music and the homily. The music team is wonderful and they always provide songs to help everyone express their faith. Often times there is movement or the joining of hands to accompany the many Celtic blessings songs we sing, during which I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence more than ever. The homily is always well-written and inspirational, filled with wisdom, guidance and a profound interpretation of the word. Monica not only writes these brilliant homilies, but she always speaks right to the soul of all those present and passes her knowledge and passion onto them.

St. Brigid's provides me with such a sense of belonging. I used to volunteer at other parishes but I never felt so much a part of the community as I do at St. Brigid's. I now feel the freedom to voice my opinion and be as involved as I like and am always acknowledged and appreciated. Another big difference is how much my spirituality has deepened since the inception of St. Brigid's. I’ve learned so much in the past four years about the church, life, spirit and spirituality, and so much more. I feel I still have a long way to go on my spiritual journey but I fear it may never have begun had it not been for St. Brigid's guiding the way.

A few months ago when the Swerve Magazine article planning started, there was a lot of happy anticipation amongst our St. Brigid's community members (although there were some mixed feelings, too). We've had media coverage before, although Swerve was the first front page story we've ever had. It was quite exciting, and I'm looking forward to perhaps more publicity in the future to help spread the word about RCWP and our community. I think there are plenty of people who would come if they knew about it, so I think we should try and get the word out there as much as we can. The people who came to interview community members and take the photos for the article all seemed very delighted by what our community is doing and stands for, which added to the zest of the article, in my opinion. There was a lot of positive feedback afterward, and I think everyone hopes to see our community grow.

(Here is the link-- to "The Journal" with all the submissions. "No. 2" features Genny and other others on St. Brigid's; "No. 3" features photos from the west coast with Michele Birch-Conery, Marie Boucline, Rose Mewhort, and our new priest Vikki on the coast --