Mag imageFebruary 2008 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Women and the Word
Inclusive Canadian Lectionary
2/3 Cardinals from Global North
The Other Health Crisis
Parish Watch
FutureChurch Podcasts
Remove Cardinal Law
German Bishop supports Optional Celibacy
News Briefs
A Look Ahead
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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

NEW: Advancing Women in Church Leadership Packet
A sequel to our original packet with new resources to educate and advocate including:
The Women in Paul's Ministry

Lay Preaching: A Hearing Aid

Catholic Women Deacons

Women Officeholders in the Early Church

Tips for Advancing Women in Church Leadership

Organize to keep
arishes Open!
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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,

We hope you enjoy our February 2008 e-newsletter. Please feel free to share it with friends by clicking here.

Thank you for your support!

The staff of FutureChurch
Women and the Word Synod 2008:
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture

Help Keep Jesus' promise :
Holy Week Resource Packet

* Order our Holy Week resource packet so your parish keeps Jesus' promise to the anointing woman that "wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her" (Mark 14:9) The packet contains tested prayer resources to put women like Mary of Magdala, the anointing women and the women from Galilee who stayed with Jesus through crucifixion to resurrection "back in the biblical picture." Click here to order the  Women and the Word Holy Week Resource Kit

* Take Sr. Ruth Fox's Women in the Bible and Lectionary article to your parish and diocesan liturgy commission to educate about concrete strategies for restoring women leaders to lectionary texts (also available for free download at the FutureChurch website).

You wrote to your bishop,
now write to the Vatican secretary general
and U.S. Synod Advisors

* Contact Secretary Archbishop Eterovic directly about our four synod requests by sending an e-postcard. The e-postcards will automatically be copied to Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC (a bishop advisor to the Synod), Cardinal Francis George (the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Pope Benedict XVI). You can also order postcards or download templates.

*Order our new comprehensive Advancing Women in Church Leadership or our Celebrating Women Witnesses packets. Use them for prayer and educational programs in your parish or small faith community.

*For campaign accomplishments and next steps click here
Women's Ordination Conference Offices Destroyed.
  On Friday February 15, a three-alarm fire destroyed the WOC offices of the Women's Ordination Conference as well as four others nearby. A communiqué from WOC director Aisha Taylor said,  "I have been inside the office building, and it was nearly unrecognizable.  In the place where the WOC office had been for nearly 20 years, not a thing was left untouched.  Our computers melted; our books burned -- the library of over 700 books is gone.  Thankfully, no one was hurt."
Taylor said while offices were insured, options for a new location will be significantly more expensive and it will be 4-6 weeks before the claim is settled.

To donate click here

Or email or call 703-352-1006. 

Vatican Approves Inclusive Canadian Lectionary.
 In late summer, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) received Vatican permission to publish a revised Lectionary for Sundays and Solemnities that uses inclusive language. Canada is currently the only country where the Roman Catholic lectionary is based on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible. Other English-speaking Episcopal Conferences are now also considering using the text, but it is unlikely that the U.S. conference is one of them, according to sources. (Independent Catholic News 9/2007) To read more click here.
Two-Thirds of Cardinals from Global North
Even though two-thirds of the world's Catholics live in the global south, two-thirds of the cardinals come from the global north, and Pope Benedict's newest appointments did nothing to alter the equation.  Two-thirds of the 23 newly named cardinals are from western Europe and the United States.  Currently the U.S. has 17 of the worlds 202 cardinals. Thirteen will be eligible to vote in the next conclave. Cardinal-designate Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston will be the first head of a Texas archdiocese to wear the red hat. His selection acknowledges the rapid growth of the Church in the southern U.S.  DiNardo also worked for several years in the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops.  (Catholic News Service and John Allen, National Catholic Reporter)

Vatican's Bertone replies re:  College of Cardinals Responding to accounts in the National Catholic Reporter and elsewhere suggesting that the College of Cardinals is top-heavy with Europeans and North Americans, the Vatican's Secretary of State said today that the make-up of the college is actually broadly proportionate to the distribution of priests and bishops in the world. To read more click here.

The Other Health Crisis:
Why Priests Are Coping Poorly

"First, our bishops must be honest about the crisis of health, morale, and collegiality among priests. At a recent Milwaukee Council of Priests meeting, the vicar for clergy announced that "the wheels are falling off the wagons," and that he was overwhelmed with the problems of priests under fifty years of age. Such bluntness is rare. Many people are afraid that speaking about the problem will affect vocational recruitment." (Article by Fr. Paul Stanosz published in Commonweal)  To read more click here.
Visit FutureChurch's 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 serve 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.
FutureChurch Podcasts
Quest for the Living God 56m - Elizabeth Johnson, PhD
Women and the Word 52m - Christine Schenk, CSJ
A Voice of Their Own: The Authority of the Local Parish 1h25 - William Clark, SJ,

These talks and many others, click here!

Remove Cardinal Law say abuse survivors
Members of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests personally delivered a letter to the Vatican embassy in Washington DC calling for Cardinal Bernard F. Law's retirement and subsequent removal from eight Vatican congregations before the pope's visit to the United States in April.  The letter was also signed by Voice of the Faithful. To read more click here.
New Head of German Bishops
supports optional celibacy

Bishop Robert Zollitsch, the surprising new head of the German Bishops' Conference, is considered a liberal and has advocated easing the Church mandate that priests remain unmarried and celibate. After Cardinal Karl Lehmann, 71, announced his resignation Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, was considered most likely to take his place. But the German bishops elected Robert Zollitsch instead. To read more click here.
Click Here for other news briefs

A Look Ahead

April 5, 2008, Cincinnati, OH: Women Officeholders in the Early Church: A Retreat and Reflection Day with Sr. Christine Schenk. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 Mount Notre Dame Spirituality Center. Contact 513-679-8191 or email

April 24, 2008, Lima, OH: Women Officeholders in the Early Church with Sr. Christine Schenk. Includes slides of archaeological and written evidence of women leaders in early Christianity and discussion of hidden women of the lectionary. 5:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Lima Serra Club. Contact Jan Dornick at 419-999-4647 or email

May 16, 2008,  Philadelphia, PA: Reversing the Decline of the Catholic Church in the 21st-Century USA  Bishop Geoffrey Robinson to speak on his book: Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church, Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus" 8:00-10:00 p.m.  Place to be announced. Sponsored by the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Voice of the Faithful Greater Philadelphia, and others. Contact Charles McMahon for more info.

May 17, 2008, Philadelphia, PA: Reversing the Decline of the Catholic Church in the 21st-Century USA Prof David Efroymson of LaSalle University on the evolution of church government since the beginning, Robert Blair Kaiser on the idea of an American (autochthonous) church, Prof Joseph O'Callaghan of Fordham on the selection of bishops, Sr. Christine Schenk on , Women of the Word: Women's Leadership in the Early Church Fr. Paul Stanosz, on the priesthood and Prof Len Swidler of Temple University on a constitution for the church. Contact Charles McMahon for more info.

September 18, 2008, Cleveland, OH: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will speak on her book Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches are Mixing God with Politics and Losing their Way. FutureChurch annual benefit 6:30-9:30 p.m.  216-228-0869 x 6 for info.
October 7-16, 2008, Rome: Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Officeholders in the Early Church with Sr. Christine Schenk and Dr. Janet Tulloch. Visit for free brochure or contact 216-228-0869 ext 6.

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