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                                                                                Celebrating 20 Years!

                                                                February 2011 E-Newsletter  

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In This Issue
During women's history month, celebrate anonymous women too!
Liturgist, Priests oppose new Roman Missal
227 theologians ask for dialogue
Benedict speaks on historical women leaders
American Catholic Council in the news
Celebrating prophetic witness of women religious
Springfield and Allentown win appeals
Philadelphia grand jury brings charges
Sponsor a Listening Session on the future of the Church
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture during Holy Week and Easter
women holy week

Women and the Word:

Concrete ways to restore biblical women to our sacred liturgical celebrations.

  More info and order click here 

Inspirational Videos on Vatican II by Fr. John O'Malley SJ
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       FutureChurch        Preconference before
American Catholic Council

June 10, 2011

(early bird rates available)
Louise Akers
Keynote Sr. Louise Akers with panel of activists.

Daylong teach-in on
principles of community organizing, gospel non-violence and

FutureChurch's proven systemic change resources.

Info and Register here

 Women Leaders in Early Christianity 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 to order

Claim Your Catholic Rights!
(and Responsibilities)

American Catholic Council

Pentecost Weekend

June 10-12, 2011

Detroit Convention Center

Click for more info!

Register Now button
(Discounts for Early birds)

So All Can Be at the Table
women deacon
Optional Celibacy
and Women Deacons

To send an electronic postcard asking to restore women deacons,
click here 

To send an electronic postcard asking to restore optional celibacy

click here

More info...

A Million Voices
A Million Voices: Gospel Nonviolence for the Life of the Church
Educates about Gospel nonviolence when a Catholic's right and responsibility to speak on a "matter concerning the good of the Church" (Canon 212.2) is violated. ($3.00) Info and download here

An important educational component is a CD audio recording of a 1999 debate at Georgetown University "Can a Woman Receive the Sacrament of Orders?" between Sr.Maureen Fiedler and Fr. Joseph Fessio.
Click here to order ($8).

Another  key resource  is Richard Taylor's wonderful book: "Love in Action: Gospel Nonviolence to Renew and Reform the Church" Click here to order  ($13)
Organize to keep
arishes Open!
SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

to become a local parish contact.
Women and the Word for Educators: Free Sample!
Includes essays, prayer services and student work sheets about notable women such as Prisca, Phoebe, Dorothy Day and St. Mary of Magdala.

dinner dove

For a free sample packet to give to your favorite high school religion and Spanish teachers, email:

To  Purchase A celebrating Women Women Witnesses packet
click here

To send a post card to put women biblical leaders back in the lectionary
click here.
Spanish resources also available. click here

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Magdala Market Online Store



FutureChurch Annual Benefit: An Evening with Jason Berry 

Jason Berry 


Thursday, October 13, Cleveland Museum of Natural History    


Jason Berry achieved prominence for reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis in Lead Us Not Into Temptation (1992). USA Today calls him "the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance."

Berry's book Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church will be published in June, 2011.


Check out:  

Jason Berry's  website 

NPR interview on Vows of Silence 


Dear Friends:   We hope you enjoy our February E-Newsletter. Share it with others by   

During Women's History Month...

Celebrate The Anonymous Women, Too!



What is herstory? Herstory is your story.     


"Women's perspectives, values, stories and contributions have not been included in the historical record because they had no power and were considered to have limited value and importance. Who are the anonymous ones? They are women who see the fissure between Gospel justice and the failing solutions of the day who, through these small openings, see not only the possibility but also the means for making change happen. And then, they do it! Who are these anonymous ones? They are your mother, your grandmother, your ancestor long ago, your sister, your friend, your sister in solidarity halfway across the world, your neighbor across the way" . (by Karen Flotte)      


Celebrate the presence of God in all of us this month with Anonymous Women.    


Instantly download an essay and prayer service celebrating Anonymous Women for only $1 from the Magdala Market 


Click here for resources to restore anonymous women to Holy Week, and the Easter Season   


Click here to order the complete Celebrating Women Witnesses and More! Celebrating Women Witnesses resource packets   


Noted Liturgist, Priests Oppose New Roman Missal  The Association of Irish Priests, Australian priests and A prominent US Liturgist, Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB have all voiced opposition to the new Roman Missal to be implemented next Advent. Ruff wrote an open letter to US bishops announcing he has cancelled all speaking engagements on the new Roman Missal scheduled in US dioceses. Pointing to "deep problems in the structures of authority of our church" and the "deception and mischief" of the process.   Ruff said: "The forthcoming missal is but a part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church."  Read the open letter here 


Related Articles

Australian priests rebel against new Mass 

Association of Irish Priests Say New Missal is Sexist and Elitest

Irish Catholic priests ask to defer Missal for five years   

Priests, parishioners prepare for a new Mass: 

Vox Clara, advising Vatican on English liturgy texts, gets new members

Pope Once Called for Optional Celibacy,  Over 227 European Theologians Ask for Dialogue,   Two memoranda calling for the end for priestly celibacy are fueling a discussion in Germany between  politicians, theologians and clergy. The first is a 1970 declaration bearing nine signatures, one by none other than Fr. Joseph Ratzinger.  The other is a recent statement that began with 143 German theologians and has now attracted 227 signers from Switzerland and Austria.

Read the 1970 document signed by "Fr. Ratzinger"

Read the statement from European Theologians 

Related articles

Theologians Confront Heirarchy (NCR)  

German Theologians Speak Up (Commonweal blog) 

Document shows pope once supported relaxing celibacy rules (Irish Times) 

German Catholic politicians call for married priests(Reuters) 


Bishops Question Mandatory Celibacy, FutureChurch Campaign Grows


Send New E-Postcards  asking to open discussion of mandatory celibacy and women deacons.   

View FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Videos  


Download a free  So All Can Be at the Table  education-advocacy resource. 

FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Survey (2010) Read Survey results

Benedict Speaks On Historical Women Leaders

Pope Benedict has recently given in-depth talks about prominent women church leaders his Wednesday audiences. On January 27 he spoke of:


Joan of Arc: The compassion and commitment of the young French peasant girl in face of the suffering of her people became more intense because of her mystical relationship with God. One of the most original aspects of the holiness of this young girl was precisely the connection between mystical experience and political mission. Read more...

And on Feb 2 he spoke of Theresa of Avila: Teresa had no academic education but always set great store by the teachings of theologians, men of letters and spiritual teachers. As a writer, she always adhered to what she had lived personally through or had seen in the experience of others (cf. Prologue to The Way of Perfection), in other words basing herself on her own first-hand knowledge. . . St. Teresa lives out unconditional love for the Church: she shows a lively "sensus Ecclesiae", in the face of the episodes of division and conflict in the Church of her time. Read more...  


Give a program in your parish! Women Leaders in Early Christianity Presenter's Guide and CD (with powerpoint images) Info and to purchase 


Papal addresses on Medieval women leaders in 2010


Papal addresses on women leaders  in 2011 

For info and to order FutureChurch Celebrating Women Witnesses resources click here. 

American Catholic Council in the News The upcoming American Catholic Council to be held Pentecost weekend (June 10-12) in Detroit is attracting media from all over the US and Canada.  Here is a sampling:


Democracy-minded Catholics aim for laity 'Bill of Rights" with Jacksonville meeting

Vatican II from below - Constitutional Catholicism (by Dr. Len Swidler) 

Catholics revisit "old decisions."(SouthBend Tribune)


Info and register for FutureChurch preconference


Info and register for the American Catholic Conference

Celebrating the Prophetic Witness of Women Religious Today Last July, over 150 people gathered at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for a special St Mary of Magdala event: "Celebrating the Prophetic Witness of Women Religious Today." The museum was hosting the "Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America" exhibit at the time.  Guests viewed the exhibit then three women religious told stories of continuing their ministry, despite obstacles.

Sr. Marian spoke of her ground breaking ministry to and with persons with AIDS. View video

Sr. Catherine, who spent twenty-six years as a registered lobbyist for the Catholic social justice lobby, Network, pointed to the women religious in the exhibit saying:  "They have shown us what prophecy is.." View Video 

Sr. Jenny, who was about to take her first vows, said, "Staying in the Church working for what we believe in is the only way to change it."  View Video 

Read more....  


E-Postcard for women deacons Just before

last Christmas, Pope Benedict made changes in canon law that according to female diaconate expert, Dr. Phyllis Zagano, "may have ended the controversy over whether women can be ordained deacons." FutureChurch has added an  electronic postcard in six languages asking to open the permanent diaconate to women Read more and send a postcard


Related Articles Is the Vatican Opening the Way For Women Deacons?


Eight Reasons to Restore Women Deacons

          Parish Closing and Appeals News    


Springfield and Allentown parishes win appeals,  

Parishioners in two US dioceses have received hopeful responses from the Vatican to appeals to keep their churches open.  The Congregation for the Clergy has ruled that three churches in the Springfield, Mass. diocese will stay open.  One parish, St. Stans, had been engaged in 24 hour vigils for three years. Likewise, the Congregation upheld parishioners in eight Allentown appeals preventing Bishop John O. Barres, from "reducing the church to profane use." This means the church building must remain open for religious services and the bishop cannot sell it or its properties.  In both Allentown and Springfield, the Vatican upheld the Bishop's suppression of each parish as a juridic entity.  The local bishop is now in the position of being unable to sell the building and property of the eight churches, while having suppressed the community that paid the bills.


Related Articles

Vatican halts closing of 3 Mass. parishes 

St. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered 

 A split decision on church closings (Allentown) 

Vatican Rulings Mixed (US Catholic) 


New Boston reconfiguration won't close churches. A new parish reconfiguration proposal from the Archdiocese of Boston corresponds well with the apparent change in Vatican thinking. The archdiocese wants to merge neighboring parishes into a single parish with worship at multiple church buildings, rather than close and sell the churches and their properties.

Diocese takes steps to retool parishes (Boston Globe)_ 

Boston studies parishes' future; change ahead for some Toledo parishes(US Catholic)


Scranton Parishioners Appealing to Apostolic Signatura The consolidation of three parishes is moving forward after the Vatican rejected their parishioner appeals, according to the Diocese of Scranton. But parishioners from Sacred Heart and St Francis of Assisi intend to appeal to the next level, the Apostolic Signatura.  "We're extremely disappointed, but, quite frankly, when we started this process years ago, we knew it was going to be a long shot," said Noreen Foti, president of the Sacred Heart Wilkes-Barre Foundation Inc. Read more...

Buffalo Parishioners push to keep St. Bernard open Parishioners from St. Bernard Church are organizing a campaign to keep the church open, arguing that the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo's plan to close the church is based on inaccurate data. "It makes absolutely no sense," Peter Stachowski, director of Buszka Funeral Home and a longtime parish member, said of the closing. The church, he said, needs no repairs, has new boilers and was growing due to Catholics coming from other closed churches, including Precious Blood and SS. Peter & Paul. Read more... 

Other Media

Cleveland Catholic churches wait on news from appeals Good news out of Boston for local Catholic church (TV report) 

For more info on parish appeals and closings:


Download a free Crisis Kit,  

or  "Canonical Appeals for Dummies"

Or purchase

Save Our Parish Community Resource  

                  OTHER CHURCH NEWS


Philadelphia grand jury brings charges for Catholic sex abuse A Philadelphia grand jury has for the first time brought criminal indictments against four priests and one lay teacher.  All were arrested on charges of rape, assault and other felonies related to minors. While a 2005 report detailed dozens of cases over many decades, this is the first time anyone has ever been indicted. The former secretary for clergy, Msgr. William J. Lynn, was charged on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn is believed to be the first high-ranking diocesan official indicted under a criminal statute in the United States for charges related to the sexual abuse scandal that came to light in 2002. Read more...


Related articles 

Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: No more excuses

Archdiocese puts pastor charged in abuse case on leave

Archbishop Justin Rigali orders inquiry into paedophile priests as many as 37 with allegations remained in active ministry 

Another admirable Catholic stares down abuse  (Excellent David Gibson in Commonweal)  


Irish Church on Verge of Collapse? The Pope will be officially told the Irish Catholic Church is "on the edge" of national collapse and has only five to 10 years to make a radical recovery by giving laymen and women a greater say in decision-making. Read more... 


Visitator to report that Irish church is near collapse, (Catholic News Service) 


Other Articles and Websites of Note 

Priest numbers increase slightly but can't match increase in Catholics  (Pontifical Yearbook)


Repairing the broken church Phyllis Zagano


Save the Southwest Florida Diocese (Lay people stand up) 


Sponsor a Listening Session On the Future of the Church  The American Catholic Council is a new coalition of organizations, communities and individuals organizing "discussion at every level of the Catholic Church in the United States to consider the state and future of our Church." The coalition will convene a nationwide conference on Pentecost 2011 (June 10-12) at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan.

But first it hopes to encourage local and regional listening sessions to be held over the next 5 months.

Read about the April 21, 2010 Cleveland Listening Session

Download a free toolkit for sessions in your home, parish or small faith community.

More info on the American Catholic Council,
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)
Upcoming FutureChurch Events

Cincinnati: March 12, 10 am - 3 pm: Women Leaders in Early Christianity: Evidence from Archaeology and Women Deleted from the Lectionary. Christine Schenk, CSJ $20.00 includes lunch. Please RSVP to 513.381.6400 St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center 328 W. McMillan Street Cincinnati, OH 45219 More info

Waterloo, Ontario: May 26-28: Canadian Forum on Theology and Education. Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church. Sr. Chris Schenk and Dr. Paul Lakeland at the University of Waterloo, Thursday at 7:30pm to Saturday May 28th at 12. More info 

Detroit, Cobo Hall: June 10, 2011. Hanging Tough: Keeping Your Integrity and Changing the (institutional) Church. FutureChurch preconference before the American Catholic Council. Keynote Sr. Louise Akers. A panel of activists will anchor this workshop teaching principles of community organizing, gospel nonviolence, support and training in how to use FutureChurch's proven systemic change resources. Early bird (before May 20th) $40. After May 20th, $50. More info and register

July 20, 2011.  Cleveland Celebration of St. Mary of Magdala: Unheard Homilies: End the Silencing of Catholic Women.

Three women will share the homilies they would love to preach at Sunday Mass.  7:00 pm Independence Civic Center 6363 Selig Drive, Independence Ohio. Free will offering. 

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