Thursday, May 30, 2013

Five Roman Catholic Women to Be Ordained in Falls Church, Virginia on June 22, 2013: Women Priests Invite Pope Francis to Model Gospel Partnership Like Clare and Francis

Release date: May 30, 2013, Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc
Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, D.Min, (Media), 859-684-4247
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan,, 703-505-0004

Celebration of Priestly Ordination for:
Barbara Anne Duff of Macon, GA,, 478-718-0613
Joleane Presley of Manassas, VA,, 410-900-3998

Celebration of Ordination to the Diaconate for:
Mary Collingwood of Cleveland, Ohio,, 216-408-4657
Marianne Smyth of Silver Springs, MD,, 240-444-0781
Mary Theresa Streck of Menands, NY,, 518-434-2277
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests calls on Pope Francis to embrace the full equality of women in the church and world. Just as Clare and Francis were partners in living out the Gospel with the poor and marginalized, we pray and invite Pope Francis to do the same with women priests.

Today, women priests continue to follow the tradition of women disciples living and preaching the Gospel taught to them by Jesus. We are leading the Roman Catholic Church into a new era of justice and equality for women.

On Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Barbara Anne Duff (Macon, GA) and Joleane Presley (Manassas, VA) will be ordained priests in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP). Mary Collingwood (Cleveland, Ohio), Marianne Smyth (Silver Springs, MD) and Mary Theresa Streck (Menands, NY) will be ordained deacons in ARCWP. The presiding bishop will be Bridget Mary Meehan of Falls Church, VA and Sarasota, FL. The ceremony will take place at First Christian Church, 6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044 (please consult for directions) All are welcome.

Media are invited to interview these women by email or phone. Respectful photo taking/videos during the ceremony is acceptable.

 The candidates are theologically prepared and have many years of experience in ministry.

 Barbara Anne Duff is a former Maryknoll sister, educator, Air Force Nurse and VA Hospital Nursing Home administrator. “I am fulfilling my original call to minister to those who are on the margins of society. We women priests are working toward a renewed priestly ministry, supporting nonviolence and social justice in our church and in the world.”

 Joleane Presley works full time as a Senior Chaplain at a rehabilitation hospital in Maryland. She has her Masters of Divinity degree from Duke University and is trained as a chaplain. “Working with people with disabilities and meeting their spiritual needs has been a dream come true. Being ordained as a woman priest brings all of these dreams full circle. God has called me from age seven to be a priest and serve those who are hurting and ill. I believe that women who are called are making a difference in this hurting world.”

 Mary Collingwood, wife, mother, grandmother, educator and outreach minister, has served the church her entire adult life in diocesan offices, on parish staffs and in Catholic schools and as a board member to various non-profit agencies.

 Marianne T. Smyth has a Masters Degree in Counseling and four certificates from Global Ministries in Theology and Scripture. A secular Carmelite for seven years, Marianne was a caretaker for her elderly mother and worked with students with learning disabilities and who were drug/alcohol dependent. She now ministers to those facing sickness, dying and death.

 A former Sister of St. Joseph, Mary Theresa Streck earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She is an artist and peace activist who is co-founder and director of the Ark Community Charter School in Troy, New York, a school primarily serving low-income families.

 Women priests are answering the call and our movement is growing since it began in 2002 with the ordination of seven women on the Danube. There are now 150 women in our Roman Catholic Women Priests’ Movement in the world, including 100 in 30 states in the U.S. living and serving over 60 inclusive Catholic communities and welcoming all to receive the sacraments.

 According to a recent CBS Gallup Poll, over 70% of Catholic in the U.S. support women priests. There is no shortage of vocations as women are now saying “Yes” to this call and are being ordained. In 2013, ARCWP will have ordained 13 women priests and deacons. We have more than a dozen candidates who will soon begin preparation for ordination.

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