Thursday, November 12, 2015

Press Release: Excommunicated Nun Celebrates First Public Liturgy: 5,000 Sign Petition in Support

left to right, Tish Rawles, Debra Meyers, Bridget Mary Meehan


Excommunicated Nun Celebrates First Public Liturgy: 5,000 Sign Petition in Support

From: The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA

Contact: Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP (media) 859-684-4247

Sr. Tish Rawles

Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, 703-505-0004,

November 12, 2015

On Friday, November 13, Sister Letetia “Tish” Rawles will celebrate her first public liturgy as a Roman Catholic Woman Priest at 3 p.m. in the chapel at Atria Northgate, 9191 Round Top Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45251. Ordained in April of this year with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Sister Tish served her community faithfully, offering the sacraments to the sick and dying. Sister Tish served as a “catacomb priest” in order to allow herself to remain a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. In late October, her ordination was discovered, and she was dismissed from her Congregation.

Since her dismissal, over 5,000 people have signed an online petition in support of Sister Tish, asking Pope Francis to overturn her excommunication and the excommunications of all women priests and their supporters. The petition represents people of faith and good will from all over the globe, including signatories from Africa, Europe, and South America. Over 1,000 clergy and faith leaders, including Catholic priests and over 150 Catholic sisters, have signed the petition.

In response to the petition, Sister Tish stated: “The theme of my first liturgy will be ‘Gratitude and New Beginnings’. l enter this Eucharist grateful for all who signed the petition and the new beginnings that my public priestly ministry will offer.”

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests and Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA will deliver this petition to Pope Francis as part of the Church’s Holy Year of Mercy. It is our hope that the reform-minded pontiff, who has called for an open Church, “not a closed system,” will end gender-exclusive ordination and overturn all excommunications.

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