Mag image October  2009 E-Newsletter
In This Issue
Rome Responds to Lectionary Request:
Women Experts Speak at African Synod
Optional Celibacy and the Year for Priests
Pope warns against "clericalization' of the laity.
Equal Representation for Indian Catholic Women.
Sr. Louise Akers Refuses to Violate Conscience
Clevelanders Petition Rome for Coadjutor Bishop
Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America
Cardinal O'Malley, Lay Groups Support Sisters.
Women and the Word for Educators: Free Sample!

Women and The Word


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Women Officeholders in the Early Church CD and Presenter's Guide

Includes 43 images of catacomb frescos and sarcophagi friezes of early women leaders and an extensively researched 16 page presenter's guide. Click here for info and to order

Optional Celibacy

Optional Celibacy
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Rome Responds to Lectionary Request: In mid August FutureChurch received an encouraging letter from Fr. Anthony Ward, SM, under-secretary at the Vatican Congregation for Worship and Sacraments. He was responding to our letter of April 13 requesting the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, to follow up on Synod Proposition 16 and encourage a reexamination of lectionary texts and reinstate deleted biblical women leaders.

This Dicastery thanks you for sharing your spiritual insights and recommendations. Undoubtedly the great women of salvation history whose stories are told in both the Old and New Testaments are a most important part of the Word of God, which the Church ever strives to proclaim in all its fullness. The Congregation assures you that it will take your comments under consideration...

Four other synod council members including two cardinals and two archbishops have also responded positively.   Nearly 2000 follow up electronic and paper postcards have been sent to date. 

For full article click here


Click here to send an electronic postcard Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship , members of the synod council and your own bishop. 
More Women Experts Speak at African Synod: Sister Elisa Kidanè, general councilor of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, is one of nine women experts attending the Synod on Africa.  In an October 5 interview she requested women be looked upon "with the eyes of Jesus," who "knew how to recognize in women loyal co-protagonists of his plan of salvation since it was to [a woman] that he entrusted the ministry of proclamation of the good news, that 'Go and tell them that I am risen.'"  Kildanè spoke forthrightly: "We would like our pastors also to admonish those who engage in illegal traffic in weapons, diamonds, oil with our governments leaving our people on the street."

FutureChurch's successful work to get women experts at the synod on the word may have started a trend. Thirty-five percent  (9 of 26) of the African synod experts are women. This compares with just fifteen percent at the Synod on the Word (6 of 41). The increase is significant since women experts participate in small group deliberations with bishops. 

For full article click here
Optional Celibacy and the Year for Priests To celebrate the Year for Priests FutureChurch has  created a Novena to the Holy Spirit for an Inclusive Priesthood_  to be prayed on the first Friday of every month during the Church's Year for Priests.

Click here for the Novena

Download your free Optional Celibacy Education/Prayer Kit 
  (Everything you need to encourage people in your parish or small faith community to become educated, prayerful and active about this important issue)
Pope warns against "clericalization' of the laity. In a September audience with bishops from Brazil, where 80% of all Sunday celebrations are led by laity, Pope Benedict told bishops not to resort to "a more active and abundant participation of the laity" since it could take away from their own calling. The Pope said "the shortage of priests must not come to be considered as a normal or typical state of affairs," and called for greater efforts to encourage priestly vocations. 

For full article click here

Send an electronic postcard (or order paper postcards)  to Cardinal Hummes and Your Bishop
Equal Representation for Indian Catholic Women.  The Catholic Bishops Conference of India has approved a policy recommending equal representation for women at every level to "redeem" a centuries-long "injustice."  "The gender policy would be a landmark," said Sister Lilly Francis, executive secretary of the CBCI Commission on gender policy. "It is the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that this kind of an initiative is being taken. Even fellow sisters from the so-called liberated western countries could not believe that the Catholic Church in India is going to have an egalitarian system this soon."

For full article click here 
Sr. Louise Akers Refuses to Violate Conscience.  Sister of Charity Louise Akers, who served as the voice of peace and justice in the Cincinnati Archdiocese for forty years, has refused to publicly disassociate herself from the issue of women's ordination. In consequence, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk' has forbidden her to make  presentations or teach for credit in archdiocesan institutions. In reply Akers said: "Women's ordination is a justice issue. Its basis is the value, dignity and equality of women. I believe this to my very core. To publicly state otherwise would be a lie and a violation of my conscience. I love, support and cherish the part of Church that upholds the gospel mission and vision of Jesus."

To read more click here

How to support Sr. Louise,
1. Print a copy of the previous article about Catholic Bishops in India establishing equal representation for women.

2. Send it and a cover letter asking Cincinnatic Church officials to reconsider this decsion.  Write Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarcyzk and his coadjutor Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr at The Archdiocese of Cincinnati 100 East 8th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

3. Remember to send a copy to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 and to our offices (address below) or email
Clevelanders Petition Rome for Coadjutor Bishop. A Cleveland group opposing Bishop Richard Lennon's closing of 50 parishes has gathered 5000 signatures petitioning Rome to appoint a Coadjutor Bishop.  A statement from the "Endangered Catholics" group representing 14 parishes  said: "Bishop Lennon's failures in our diocese are a clear and present danger to many thousands of Catholics who are strongly attached to the vibrant parishes which face imminent destruction for no valid reason," The petition was delivered to the Congregation for Bishops on September 24 by National Council of Parishes' organizer Peter Borre.

Separately, at least three parishes in the Cleveland diocese have received word from the Congregation for the Clergy that their canonical appeals would proceed.

FutureChurch has also learned that Bishop Lennon will be out of the diocese for the month of October. He is reportedly conducting a pilgrimage to Rome.

To read more click here:

Diocese Lists Church For Sale Before Final Mass. Parishioners at St. Stanislaus parish in Cleveland were shocked to discover their parish listed on a real estate website for $525,000 before the final was celebrated  Click here for full story
Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America  A new exhibit documenting the contributions made by US women religious in the history of the United States opened last winter. It will run for three years and has achieved significant critical acclaim.  "Women & Spirit" offers history museums across the country an opportunity to display artifacts and images that have rarely been seen by the general public. With a balanced approach that draws upon first-hand narratives, visitors will discover an untold story in American history.

View a website photo journal here
Cardinal O'Malley, Lay Groups Support Sisters.
Cardinal O'Malley has written a letter praising an historic exhibit on the history of religious life on behalf of the US Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated live and Vocations, and asked that it be distributed to all members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  The letter said in part:  "The Church needs your gifts of perseverance, commitment and fidelity, and your unique charism, as guided by the Holy Spirit. Please know that your ministry is greatly valued."

For full text click here:    

National Call To Action is calling on its 25,000 members to contact their bishops and request that their dioceses not fund the investigation of US nuns as requested in a July 14 letter from Cardinal Rode to US Bishops.  "We believe financially contributing to this unnecessary inquiry perpetuates the abuse of power that is so prevalent within the Church hierarchy," said CTA director Jim Fitzgerald in an October 1  media release.

For bishop telephone numbers and addresses click here

FutureChurch encourages letters to the Nuncio and other officials to share your positive experience of women religious (and let us know you wrote!).  Click here for addresses, background info and and writing tips

FutureChurch is cosponsoring a Quixote Center sign-on ad supporting women religious. Click here to read the ad, and sign up  (cost is $15).

Women and the Word for Educators: Free Sample! 

Includes sample essays, prayer services and student work sheets about notable women such as Prisca, Phoebe, Dorothy Day and Mary of Magdala. Spanish resources also available. A professional educator helped us develop worksheets with creative activities. Email for a free sample packet to give to your favorite high school religion and Spanish teachers.
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