Mag imageDecember 2007 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Dutch Dominicans
Powerful NCR editiorial
Women and the Word
Toledo Parishioners Persevere
Boston Acknowledges Mistakes
Bishops Pass Financial Oversight Law
News Briefs
Join Our E-Newsletter
Quick Links


Rome Pilgrimage
October 7-16, 2008

4 women mosaicA Journey of Discovery

Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Officeholders in the Early Church
Rome - Ostia

To learn more,
click here!

To rec
eive a free brochure please email or call 216-228-0869

Women and the Word:  Synod 2008
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture

Help shape the synod agenda!
4 women mosaic

 Send an electronic postcard* to your your diocese and
automatically cc: the Pope and Pontifical Biblical Commission asking them to:

-Invite women biblical experts to the synod.

-Devote more pastoral
attention to Jesus and St.Paul's inclusion of women leaders.
-Expand opportunities for women preachers.

-Restore biblical women leaders  to lectionary readings in which their witness was diminished or  deleted. 
(see Sr. Ruth Fox's article from May/June issue of LITURGY 90, (c) 1996, available at

*Paper postcards also available, to order call 216-228-0869 ext. 5.
Visit and click on the Women and the Word icon.

Help Spread the word  - 
forward our e-postcards

to your friends.

Organize to keep
arishes Open!
SOPC image
Order the Save Our Parish Community packet here!

Email parishrights@futurechurch
to become a parish contact in your area and track parish closings and encourage best practices in a time of fewer priests!

Dear Friends of FutureChurch,

May you and your family enjoy the peace of Christ's love during this joyful season.

-The Staff of FutureChurch

Advent Hope

When winter's aged grief
young summer glory,

And all fall's
abundant bounty,
becomes cold recompense
for life's waning light,

Just when hope
is finally gone,
and even hope of hoping,
just then,
true hope steals in
to find us.

And God's dark fire
(beyond all knowing)
fills wintercold
(and even lukewarm)
surprising us,
in spite of us.
  Christine Schenk csj (October, 2007)

End-of-Year Giving
It Benefits You and FutureChurch

You've come to the right place to make your tax-deductible year-end gift. Your gift is an investment in the future of the Church.

The most common gift to FutureChurch is a gift of cash. It is easy to make by check or credit card and always welcome because it can be used immediately for important priorities. There are two fast and easy ways to give:

You can give by going to our website at and clicking Join.  

1)    You can use your credit card to give a donation, order resources or become a member through our secure online giving page. To qualify for a Year-End Tax Deduction in 2007, we must receive credit card gifts in the mail by Dec. 31, 1:00 PM EST or by phone on Dec. 31, 1:00 PM EST.

2)    To give by check, print an application form and mail it with your gift. The envelope must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2007, to qualify for a tax deduction this year.  Please mail your gift to:

17307 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107-3532

Other gift-giving options are available that can generate year-end tax deductions including stock. For gift planning assistance, please call or e-mail Director of Development Ann Marie Nocella at 216-228-0869 ext. 6 or at  Gifts of any size are welcome, and most gifts are tax-deductible.

Dutch Dominicans: Choose Eucharist Presiders from Parish

At their June 2005 provincial chapter, Dominicans in Holland formed a committee of experts to study "whether celebrating the Eucharist depends on the ministry of ordained men, or whether it is possible that the Church community it has appointed, celebrate the Eucharist themselves." In August, the outcome: "The Church and the Ministry" was sent to every parish in Holland.  The 38-page booklet proposes that parishes choose Mass presiders from among their community and present selected candidates "women or men, homo- or heterosexual, married or single" to the bishop for ordination:

We urge parishes to act in this way with a great amount of self-confidence and courage... we would like to emphasize once more that our argument is based on statements of the Second Vatican Council and on publications of professional theologians and pastoral experts which have appeared since this council.(full text available at

Powerful NCR Editorial Supports Dutch Model

"If it is true that without Eucharist there can be no church, then how does Rome justify making preservation of the current clerical model more important than the survival of thousands of otherwise viable parishes? Where is the crisis of conscience among individual bishops, vicars of Christ and shepherds? How will they give an account of  their stewardship of a church in which the baptized were increasingly denied the Eucharist, except on their rigidly limited and theologically unjustifiable terms, why the faithful died without confession and anointing because there was no priest who could come, and why other sacraments were by appointment only and often unavailable to the flock? What were they thinking?

"Our Dutch Catholic brothers and sisters have been thinking long and hard about these questions. . . They are seeing the future with courage and welcoming it as eucharistic people. And we can learn from them about how to be church from below, with or without permission from above."

Click Here for full editorial

FutureChurch launches ParishWatch

FutureChurch has added a clickable map to its website to track parish closing and clustering processes in all U.S. dioceses. To date, approximately 35 parish contacts around the U.S. have jointed a private list serv to communicate strategies for preserving vibrant parishes.  If you are interested in becoming a local contact email,
 Click here to view the ParishWatch section of our website and email us with updates in your area.

Women and the Word :"Many contributions from lay faithful"
arriving at Vatican
In the November 15 issue of L'Osservatore Romano Archbishop Nicola Eterovic, spoke about preparations for the 2008 synod on the word.  Eterovic, who is the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops said, "many contributions of the lay faithful who live deeply the sense of this great community experience" are arriving to the secretariat of the Synod, he said.

Bishops around the U.S. are hearing from thousands of lay leaders, priests and ordinary parishioners who are sending paper and electronic postcards asking for attention to women's biblical leadership and experience in church preaching and scripture proclamation at the 2008 Synod on the Word. Leaders from women and men's religious communities have committed to speak and write personal letters to their bishops asking for female biblical experts to serve as consultants at the synod. Scores of organizers at over 270 Mary of Magdala celebrations distributed hundreds of postcards and forwarded e-postcard email appeals.
Its not too late to send your own e-postcard, order paper postcards and read the preliminary synod outline and an analysis, at the  FutureChurch Women and the Word site.

Toledo Parishioners Persevere

Former parishioners from the closed St. Mary parish in rural Paulding County, Ohio, have three times prevented the Toledo diocese from removing 27 stained glass windows from their church. The windows were imported from Germany in 1907 and installed when the church was built. Parishioners hired an attorney to consider legal action, and a member of the Auglaize Historical Society collected over 600 signatures on a petition to save the century-old building
On November 29 a temporary restraining order filed by longtime parishioner, Janet Sholl to keep the diocese from removing the windows and other items from the church. Four of the stained-glass windows were donated by the Sholl's family and bear the names of family members. (from news reports in the Toledo Blade and Journal Gazette)

Boston Acknowledges Mistakes in 2004 Closings

In mid-November the Archdiocese of Boston published self-critical reports from a lay panel chosen by Cardinal Sean O'Malley. The panel reviewed the handling of $66 million garnered by the archdiocese since 2004 through the sale of closed church buildings and the seizure of the treasuries of some closed parishes.  Until a year ago, the report said, the archdiocese was characterized by "a culture with excessive concern that outsiders not be permitted knowledge of church policies and business affairs."  
The report also praised recent steps toward financial transparency, including "the most complete financial disclosure of any diocese in the United States." The committee said it perceived a "new policy of openness" after O'Malley last year brought in the Rev. Richard P. Erikson to replace Bishop Richard Lennon as the archdiocese's vicar general, and banking executive James P. McDonough to replace David Smith as chancellor. To view the full report, click here.

Bishops Pass Financial Oversight Law

With only two dissenting votes, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops passed a new law at their November meeting requiring diocesan bishops to obtain approval from their diocesan finance council and college of consultors for five specific financial decisions:
· going into debt beyond $1 million for a diocese with more than a half-million Catholics, and $500,000 for dioceses with smaller populations;
· legal settlements exceeding the aforesaid       amounts;
· running a business not directly related to the spiritual or charitable purposes of the Church;
· any contract or agreement that involves a potential conflict of interest for the bishop or other senior diocesan officials;
· going into bankruptcy.

The new rules now go to the Vatican for final approval before becoming Church law.

Click Here for other news briefs

A Look Ahead

January 26, 2008, Fairbanks, AK: Women and the Word with Sr. Christine Schenk at the University of Alaska. Saturday January 26, 2:00 p.m. Includes fascinating slides of archaeological evidence for women leaders in early Christianity and discussion of hidden women of the lectionary. Sponsored by CTA Alaska. Information:  907-455-7629 907

January 27, 2008, Anchorage, AK: Women and the Word with Sr. Christine Schenk in Anchorage. Sponsored by CTA Alaska. Information: 907- 272-0638 or

February 9, 2008, Irvine, CA: Women Leaders in the Early Church with Sr. Christine Schenk. Contact Barbara Guerin 949-254-5122 or email

To donate to FutureChurch or renew your membership,
please click here:

We now have a monthly giving option, which provides an easy way to manage your donation and saves on administrative costs for FutureChurch. You can participate in the monthly giving program using your credit card or checking account
(if using your checking account must send an endorsed and voided check to
FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107)

Mag image

17307 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 USA
Phone: 216.228.0869 | Fax: 216.228.4872
E-mail: <>
Copyright © 2001-2006 FutureChurch all rights reserved

What if FutureChurch earned a penny
every time you searched the Internet?

Well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results.
Just go to and be sure to enter FutureChurch as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!