|Dear Friends of FutureChurch:
We hope you enjoy our April E-Newsletter
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|CNN Covers Cleveland Parish Closings
and the April 6 edition of Time
Magazine carried quotes from FutureChurch's Sr. Chris Schenk about the March 14 announcement by Cleveland's bishop Richard G. Lennon that he plans to downsize the diocese by 52 parishes. Most closures are in urban areas of Cleveland, Akron and Lorain. Many have hard-to-replace outreach programs serving the urban poor.
Shocked parishioners from landmark parishes whose beautiful spires
grace the Cleveland's skyline could not believe they were slated to
close, because the diocese's 17-month reconfiguration process had
recommended they remain open. St. Ignatius and St. James parishioners
immediately launched fundraising efforts to help retire some old debts,
with St. Ignatius raising 850,000 and St. James $400,000 in one
weekend. Many other parishes were told to close even though they have
active lay leadership, ample bank accounts and important ministerial
quoted both FutureChurch's Sr. Chris Schenk and St. Colman pastor Fr. Bob Begin: "Too many bishops are treating parishes as if they were Starbucks franchises," said Sister Christine Schenk, a Cleveland-area nun who's been fighting for nearly two decades to institute change in the church through her organization FutureChurch. "It's about more than money. It's about mission to the people," she said. "This isn't what Jesus would do."
FutureChurch provided canonical resources and other assistance to many of the estimated 12 parishes who decided to appeal the Bishop's decision. Click here to read entire CNN.com articleClick here o view TV coverage of St. Colman 's St. Patrick's Day story on threatened closure
,Click here to read all stories from the Cleveland Plain Dealer
|Cardinal Egan Says Hierarchy Will Discuss Married Priests
|In a March 10 radio New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan said he thought the possibility of married priests would be coming up for discussion by the church hierarchy. Egan stated "I'm not so sure it wouldn't be a good idea to decide (whether priests can be married) on the basis of geography and culture, not to make an across-the-board determination." The comment was picked up by the New York Times, in a March 22 article in the Metro section which quoted FutureChurch's Sr. Christine Schenk as well as other Church leaders.
To read the New York Times article click here
|Bishop Fires Pastoral Minister Over Inclusive Language.
In early March, Madison Bishop Robert Moringo fired Ruth Kolpack, a pastoral associate for nearly 15 years at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Beloit, Wisconsin. Kolpack was let go apparently because she refused to denounce her 2003 thesis about inclusive language written for her Master's of Divinity degree from St. Francis Seminary. Morino also asked her to make a profession of faith and take an oath of loyalty in order to remain as a pastoral accociate, Kolpack, who was not permitted to defend herself or face her accusers, said she could profess her faith and take the oath but could not in good conscience renounce her thesis.PETITION TO SUPPORT Ruth Kolpak click here To read more click here
|Sr. Sandra Schneiders On Vatican Investigation
" I am not inclined to get into too much of a panic about this investigation -- which is what it is. We just went through a similar investigation of seminaries, equally aggressive and dishonest. I do not put any credence at all in the claim that this is friendly, transparent, aimed to be helpful, etc. It is a hostile move and the conclusions are already in. It is meant to be intimidating. But I think if we believe in what we are doing (and I definitely do) we just have to be peacefully about our business, which is announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fostering the Reign of God in this world.
Mother Mary Clare Millea ASCJ is leading the Vatican investigation over the next two years. If you would like to share positive ways your life has been influenced by women religious, you can email her here
To read more click here.
|Hidden Women of Holy Week and Eastertide Barbara Litrell and Emily Holtel Hoag of FutureChurch led a creative "Women at the Foot of the Cross" celebration presented from the point of view of Jesus' women disciples both historical and contemporary, at the national Call To Action conference last November. CD images of women, ancient and modern, enhanced the celebration. The service was developed by the Celebrating Women Witness ministry of St. John Vianney parish in Sedona, Arizona which uses the service every year as part of their Lenten devotions .
FutureChurch has created a new New CD! Hidden Women of Holy Week and Eastertide resource. It includes a beautiful pictoral CD as well as prayer resources and suggestions for how to put "women back in the biblical picture" during the Easter season, Lent and Holy Week. $12 (includes s/h) To order click here.
|More Ways to Support Fr. Roy Bourgeois We have had a number of requests about how to further support Fr. Roy Bourgeois. For Fr. Roy's address as well as those of the Apostolic Nuncio, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Maryknoll Fathers, click here.