Monday, November 13, 2017

Tribute to Franciscan Priest Fr. Jerry Zawada at Memorial Service by Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP

Fr. Jerry Zawada and Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP Co-Presided a tProgressive Catholic Coalition Liturgy in 2011. 
Franciscan Jerry Zawada, a dear friend
and mentor, died in June. He celebrated Eucharist with me twice at SOAWatch in 2011 and 2012, and, when word got out, he was told by his Provincial that he could no longer use his faculties -- he could no longer celebrate public Eucharists. Jerry said that didn't bother him at all because for several years already he would only take part in liturgies that were circular and where everyone celebrated as equals. He saw the role of women priests to be of service to the people of God. He abhorred hierarchies. 
Jerry was delighted on Sept. 23, 2015, when Pope Francis made eye contact with him
and others, including Roy Bourgeois, Donna Rougeux, Jane Via, another RCWP priest, Felix Cepeda from New York and myself as we held our signs supporting women priests as Francis, in a Volkswagen Beetle, drove past us after giving the homily and celebrating Eucharist at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC.
I felt his presence at the recent SOAWatch Border Encuentro (Nov 10-12) in Nogales, AZ and Mexico. Jerry told me he wanted to die in prison being of service to men there, or in the Sonora Desert where he would wash the feet of the migrants crossing over.
He remains in my heart, a motivating Presence to challenge the Powers, especially militarism and the church's collusion with it, and to speak out for the needs of the people of God. A gentle soul, he could speak forcefully and in a louder voice when it was needed.

Jerry, my brother, Presente!


TORTURE (Leonardo Maturana)

MIGRANTS  (Bob Carney)

NUCLEAR WEAPONS (Jack Cohen-Joppa)

PRISON  (Lil Mattingly)

DRONE WARFARE (Brian Terrell)

WOMEN PRIESTS (Janice Sevre-Duszynska)

Jerry felt very strongly that there should be women priests and married priests in the Catholic church. He said, "It’s what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do.” 
Jerry and women priests believe in a circle of equals, a Community of equals, non- hierarchical, to be of service to the people of God. 

In November, 2011, Jerry and I celebrated a Eucharistic liturgy together at the annual SOA Watch protest. A disciplinary letter came several years later from the Vatican, restricting him from celebrating the sacraments publicly, and instructing him to live a life of prayer and penance at the Queen of Peace friary in Wisconsin.

Jerry said, "I know that they don't think I observe obedience very well through these years, but I have to use my conscience. I have to listen to other people who also speak the voice of God.”


Janice wait 10 seconds
Call (Janice)

When we stand up for the rights of women who are called to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church

Response (all)
We celebrate the life of Jerry Zawada!


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