Dr. Georgia Walker ARCWP passed away on March 7, 2022. Georgia was a powerful advocate for justice for people on the margins and a friend to people in need.
Her courageous response to the penalty of excommunication was published in the Huff Post: “What the official church does to me is not relevant,” she told HuffPost shortly after her ordination ceremony. “They can’t take away my baptism, they can’t take away my calling to the priesthood. All they can do is deny me their sacraments.”
The following wonderful article about Georgia's priestly ordination in Kansas City, Missouri on January 3, 2015 was written by Dawn Araujo- Hawkins and published in the National Catholic Reporter.
Her friend Sister Rose McLarney shared the following reflection on Georgia's ministry to the least and the last.
"It is with great sadness we announce our beloved Dr. Georgia K. Walker, Journey to New Life’s co-founder and Executive Director, passed away unexpectedly Monday, March 7th, 2022, peacefully surrounded by her immediate family and friends. Georgia was a true visionary and social justice instigator.
She touched the lives of so many, near and far. Georgia dedicated her life to those society often wishes to cast away and forget.
She was a fierce advocate and an even more ferocious lover of people, believing each and every person is made in the image of God. Her religious beliefs and practices evolved throughout her life, always guided by her deep and profound commitment to service of others.
Many of us learned from Georgia to “abide by the law of the heart” even when it was in direct opposition to “the law of the land.” Georgia was loyal until the very end to the people she served and their loved ones. We are so grateful to her for leading us with purpose, for believing in us, and for trusting us with her mission. Now, we have the immense privilege of carrying on her life’s work and to that, we are completely and wholly devoted. We miss her dearly, but know she’s with us as we continue to pursue re-entry with dignity for all people returning to the community from incarceration. "
Sr. Rose McLarney, Journey to New Life co-founder, will act as Interim Executive Director while our Board of Directors conducts an Executive search."
The National Catholic Reporter published the following article by Dawn Cherie Araujo about Georgia's priestly ordination on January 3, 2015.
"Kansas City's first woman priest: 'I'm sort of humbled by the role that I'm playing' "
Jan 6, 2015
Women priests Janice Sevre-Duszynska, left, and Dotty Shugrue, right, bless Georgia Walker. (Dawn Cherie Araujo)
"Three days before her ordination as Kansas City's first woman priest, Georgia Walker sat in the storefront office of Journey to New Life, the organization she co-founded in 2013 to help people in the city re-enter civilian life after incarceration.
Looking out on Troost Avenue, a street long considered the line in Kansas City's racial divide, Walker pondered the line she was about to cross.
Having previously been arrested and tried in federal court for protesting nuclear weapons, Walker is no stranger to controversy.
Yet, she said she was somewhat surprised by the celebrity incurred by her decision to be ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
"I'm getting a lot more attention than I would have preferred," Walker said with a laugh, referencing the stories about her that had appeared in the local media -- and the more than 2,000 emails she received since. ______ Saturday, more than 100 people came to Walker's ordination ceremony at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church.
Bridget Mary Meehan served as presiding bishop and gave the homily, telling attendees that Catholic women needed to be ordained so the church could begin to heal. "I believe that on a deep, spiritual, mystical level, women priests are beginning a healing process of centuries-old misogyny in which spiritual power was exclusively invested in men," she said."
Public visitation will take place at St. James Parish on March 19th at 10:00 A.M.
at 3909 Harrison Street | Kansas City, Missouri 64110
A Service will follow.
In place of flowers, donations can be made in Dr. Georgia K. Walker’s honor at journeytonewlife.org