Mag imageJune 2008 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Celibacy Survey: Please Help!
National Coalition of Parishes
Mary of Magdala Feast Day
A Letter from St. Mary of Magdala
Synod Campaign Recruits Female Scholars
Synod Postcards Pour in
International Networking
FutureChurch Welcomes Pope
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend speaking September 18th
Upcoming Events
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St. Mary of Magdala!

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Celebrate along with thousands of others around the world on July 22nd.

Click here to get an organizing kit and prayer services for your event.

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

For more info click here

        To order click here

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 June 2008 e-newsletter. Please share it with friends by clicking here.


The staff of FutureChurch
Celibacy Survey: Please Help!

In 2005 FutureChurch helped open the discussion about married priests at the Synod on the Eucharist. Now priests and laity worldwide are asking to change the Church's celibacy rule.  FutureChurch has developed an online and paper survey to help us identify the next steps in our work to open ordination to both married and celibate priestly calls.
If you haven't already completed a paper survey, please visit  then click on the Eucharistic Justice  optional celibacy survey link  Remember to donate to the project and recruit your friends to participate!

To read more click here.

And Here.

National Coalition of Parishes Announced

On Sunday, April 20, Boston's Council of Parishes organized two press conferences in Washington DC and Boston to announce the formation of a new national Coalition of Parishes. The news came just in time for the Pope's visit.  The group includes Catholics from six U.S. dioceses: New York, Boston, Buffalo, Camden, New Orleans and Toledo.

FutureChurch board member Rita L. Houlihan represented us at the New York media event.  She pledged help though our education and advocacy resources and noted that the ParishWatch section of the FutureChurch website currently has links to media stories about parish reconfigurations in  39 U.S dioceses. To read NY Times story (loads after ad), click here.
Mary of Magdala Shares Feast Day
Across the country and in many parts of the world, plans are underway to celebrate the July 22nd feast day of St. Mary of Magdala.  To support the Women and the Word Synod 2008 campaign, FutureChurch is encouraging planners to incorporate other hidden women of the Bible and lectionary so that their stories may be told as well. Our St. Mary of Magdala organizing kit is an indispensable resource for first time as well as annual organizers.   To download a free kit click here.
A Letter from St Mary of Magdala FC logo

Beloved Friends,

Thank you for celebrating my July 22nd feast day with me and helping to correct the mistaken notion of my role as repentant prostitute.  Your 10 years of organizing these celebrations has given me great joy- especially when I see so many women rising to new forms of leadership in these liturgical celebrations.

I am delighted to share my feast day with the other misunderstood and forgotten women of the Bible. Thanks for this important work that is so empowering to so many.

Remember to have faith in our Risen Rabboni who goes before us to next October's Synod on the Word.

With love and gratitude, Mary of Magdala!

Synod Campaign Recruits Female Scholars
To date, 23 female biblical scholars have agreed to be on our list of available consultants as we approach U.S. and Canadian delegates to the International Synod on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."  Many thanked us for our work, recommended other scholars and offered their support.  Three promised to represent our concerns to bishop delegates known to them.
Synod Postcards Pour In.
Paper and electronic postcards to Synod Secretary General Nikola Eterovic are pouring in to the FutureChurch office and/or being sent directly from Catholics working to make visible women's biblical leadership in church practice.  One diocese told us they sometimes received between 30 and 40 electronic postcards per day. A vigorous email and paper postcard effort will continue through the summer with the goal of garnering 12,000 postcards by the time of the Synod. For more on the campaign or to send electronic postcards to your friends, click here.
International Networking 
An international electronic postcard has been added to the FutureChurch website. The Women and the Word campaign is in communication with international church reform leaders to collaborate in Rome at the time of the Synod and beforehand.  TO SEND INTERNATIONAL POSTCARD LINK TO YOUR FRIENDS IN OTHER COUNTRIES,  CLICK HERE
FutureChurch Welcomes Pope
For the papal visit to the U.S. Church, FutureChurch developed a special media kit with sample op-ed and letters to the editor designed to raise awareness about the invisibility of biblical women leaders in church proclamation and practice.  More than 50 kits were downloaded from the FutureChurch website, and 21 people agreed to be local campaign contacts. To see a sampling of the media generated click here and view the scrolling links.
Confronting Power and Sex in the Church
Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson is touring the U.S. to discuss his excellent book on structural issues underpinning clergy sex abuse.  The Bishop is drawing big crowds of 200-500 in fourteen cities across the country. In Cleveland, he attracted a standing room only crowd of 330 that included a retired bishop from Toledo, along with priests, pastoral ministers, chaplains, nuns, CTA, VOTF and FutureChurch members from Detroit, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin Dells. All ninety preordered books sold out and his powerful presentation was met with a prolonged standing ovation.   It is a scandal that Cardinal Roger Mahony, who is asking Los Angeles parishes to help pay over 700 million dollars in clergy sex abuse settlements, has banned Robinson from speaking on parish property in the Archdiocese.

 To read a review of his groundbreaking book: Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus click here.
To read the Boston Globe account of Bishop Robinsons visit click here.
FutureChurch Presents
An Evening With
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Thursday, September, 18, 2008
At Landerhaven in Cleveland, Ohio
6pm Silent Auction and Cocktails
7pm Dinner and Presentation

Kathleen will speak on her new book:
Failing America's Faithful:
How Today's Churches are Mixing God
with Politics and Losing Their Way

$150    Meet 'n' Greet Reception and Dinner
$  75    Dinner and Presentation

For Tickets, Underwriting and Advertising opportunities for the event please visit and click on Coming Events, or email

Can't join us for that evening?  Consider purchasing a $100 virtual ticket - which includes a copy of Townsend's book, an audio CD of her presentation and recognition in the event program.  Visit our website to order.

For more information on Kathleen Kennedy Townsend or her book, click here.
Upcoming Events Click Here

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