Mag imageAugust 2007 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Dominicans call for Lay Ministers to Preside at Mass
Aussie's Petition for Married Priests
FutureChurch Tracks Parish Closings
Send an E-Postcards
Judge orders Cleveland Dicoese to Open Books
FutureChurch calls for Inependent Review of Cleveland Diocesan Financial Practices
Magdala Organizers Celebrate Hidden Women
Advancing (Prophetic) Women in Church Leadership
Women Deacons Petition
In The News
Call to Action National Conference
Upcoming Programs
Join Our E-Newsletter
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NEW: Advancing Women in Church Leadership Packet
A sequel to our original packet with new resources to educate and advocate including:

The Women in

Lay Preaching:
        A Hearing Aid

Catholic Women Deacons

Women Officeholders in             the Early Church

Tips for Advancing Women         in Church Leadership

Order today at or call 216-228-0869 ext 5

Thank you for Honoring St. Mary of Magdala!
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If you had a celebration, please let us know here!

Check the website for photos and information about this year's celebrations and for information to plan your celebration for next year.

Quick Links


Dear Friends of FutureChurch,

We hope you enjoy our September 2007 E-newsletter!

If you know anyone else who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please feel free to forward it using the link at the bottom of this email.

Thank you!
Dominicans call for Lay Ministers to preside at Mass
THE DOMINICAN Order in the Netherlands has issued a radical recommendation that lay ministers chosen by their congregations should be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist if no ordained priests are available. In a booklet posted to all 1,300 parishes in the country, it says that the Church should drop its priest-centred model of the Mass in favour of one built around a community sharing bread and wine in prayer.  To read more click here.

Aussie's Petition for Married Priests,
Women's Ordination

OnAugust 1, a group of lay and religious Catholic leaders and activists published a petition calling on the Australian Catholic Bishops to collectively discuss the possibility of ordination of married men and separately, the ordination of women. The petitioner contextualized their call within the growing  crisis of a lack of priests in many parts of Australia. 
To learn more
click here  

FutureChurch Tracks Parish Closings.
FutureChurch has dedicated a portion of it website to tracking parish closings in the U.S. and Canada.  The page is still in progress as we ask our supporters in North America to keep us apprised of the situation in their dioceses To view the site and update us on what is happening in your neck of the woods, click here 
Send an E-Postcard to your Bishop Before September 30, 2007  (and automatically cc: the Pope and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission!

Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture
FutureChurch is conducting a 2-year campaign to raise awareness about the invisibility of women's biblical leadership. We have 4 concrete suggestions to  leaders at the 2008 Synod on the Word for ways to listen to women's voices, particularly in proclaiming the Word. Dioceses around the U.S. must respond to the synod outline  ("lineamenta") by November.

To  send a postcard and learn about the Woman and the Word Campaign, click here.
To read the newly released Vatican Synod 2008 "Lineamenta" Document  click here.
To read an Analyis of the Lineamenta Document click here.

Judge orders Cleveland Diocese to Open Books. 
In late June, a federal judge Ann Aldrich ordered the Cleveland Catholic Diocese to turn over thousands of pages of financial records in preparation for the trial of the diocese's former chief financial officer, Joseph Smith, and a former employee, Anton Zgoznik, who were indicted on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.  The diocese opposed the motion, but Aldrich said: "The court disagrees, and finds that under the defense theory advanced by Smith, the documents sought are all sufficiently relevant and potentially exculpatory, warranting their production." To read more click here.
FutureChurch Calls for Independent Third Party Review of Cleveland Diocesan Financial Practices.  FutureChurch is asking Northeast Ohio Catholics to write the new chief financial office in the Clevelan
d diocese, John Maimone, requesting a credible third-party review of diocesan finances and financial practices and the establishment of substantive safeguards to assure that financial transgressions won't happen again.  To read full statement click here.
Magdala Organizers Celebrate Hidden Women  Scores of  over 250 Mary of Magdala celebrations focused their worship on Hidden Women in the Lectionary as part of our Women and the Word campaign leading up the 2008 synod on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." Organizers distributed postcards asking bishops to include women's biblical leadership and scholarship at the synod, and handed out copies of Sr. Ruth Fox's article on "Hidden Women in the Lectionary. Celebrations were held in parishes, small faith communities private homes, prisons, Protestant churches, gardens, retreat centers and convents.  Zimbabwe, Trinidad and Tobago joined Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom on our list of international celebrations. For photos and a full description click here.
Advancing [Prophetic] Women
in Church Leadership

 "Women were always found among the prophets," writes Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ in a special brochure "The Women in Paul's Ministry," which she wrote for FutureChurch's new Advancing Women in Church Leadership resource packet. Essays and prayer resources are packaged in a folder so that the individual pieces can be easily reproduced (with FutureChurch's permission) for parish education series, small faith sharing groups, classrooms, etc.  To order click here.
Sign International Petition for Women Deacons 
The international website has launched an online petition to the Pope asking him to open the diaconate to women.
To read and sign the petition, click here.

FutureChurch In the News

National Catholic Reporter Does Cover Story on FutureChurch Rome Pilgrimage

FutureChurch was blessed to have Margot Patterson from the National Catholic Reporter join us for our  pilgrimage to Rome archaeological sites of early women leaders. Her cover story with MANY photos was published on June 22nd. FutureChurch is sponsoring another pilgrimage October 7-16, 2008 to coincide with the synod on the word.

Click here for information about the 2008 pilgrimage

For an NCR editorial about early women leaders click here

If you are a subsciber you can read the story online here

Sylvia Poggioli of National Public Radio did stories about both this year and last year's pilgrimages. To listen visit:
CTA National Conference, November 2-4, 2007
Women and the Word-Synod 2008:
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture

Christine Schenk csj, director of Cleveland-based FutureChurch, discusses the upcoming October 2008 World Synod of Bishops on the theme Benedict XVI has chosen: "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." But what about women's relationship to the Scriptural Word? Consider practical strategies for advancing biblical inclusivity in your parish and diocese. Sat., 1 PM
Organizing to Preserve Vibrant Parishes. panel.

Christine Schenk csj, is joined by panelists Fr. Gerry Bechard of Detroit's Elephants in the Living Room; Peter Borre of Boston's Council of Parishes; and Dan Thiel, president of Toledo's United Parishes. Learn about strategies to preserve viable parishes in your diocese and resist unjust closures. Sat. 2:30 PM

Upcoming programs 

September 29, 2007.  United Parishes "TOGETHER WE CAN"  Second Annual Conference,  9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  American Legion, North Baltimore, Ohio. Register at www
October 18, 2007FutureChurch 17th Anniversary Benefit Dinner. Questing for the Living God, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson CSJ  5:30 p.m, Windows on the River, Cleveland, Ohio. To make a reservation call 216-228-0869 x 2.

Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J., is a teacher, writer, editor, and public lecturer in theology. She is currently Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York City, where she teaches in both undergraduate and graduate programs.  In 1998 she was awarded Fordham University's Teaching Award.  Her formal education includes a B.S. from Brentwood College, an M.A. from Manhattan College, and a Ph.D. in theology from Catholic University of America.

A former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Elizabeth Johnson's main areas of teaching and writing focus on God, Jesus Christ, science and religion, the problem of suffering, ecological ethics, the communion of saints and Mary, and issues related to justice for women. Johnson's She Who Is garnered major awards, most notably the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.  Friends of God and Prophets received the annual Excellence in the Study of Religion Award from the American Academy of Religion.  In addition, Johnson has received ten honorary doctorates, and numerous other awards, including the 2004 John Courtney Murray Award for excellence in theology from the Catholic Theological Society of America.

October 19-20, 2007.   Voice of the Faithful National Conference, Providence Rhode Island.   Sr. Chris Schenk. Best Practices for Preserving Vibrant Parishes in a Time of Fewer Priests.

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