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            July 2012 E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
"Next wave" of Catholic women's movement.
Nine of eleven Cleveland parishes reopen by August.
LCWR President responds to Vatican criticism.
Fr. Michael Crosby stands by remarks on women's ordination.
New Women Deacons resource available.
What's next on new Roman Missal?
Graying priesthood keeps faith.
Cardinal "papabile" favors dialogue.
New U.S. priest association meets.
More parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news
FutureChurch 22nd Annual Benefit and Silent Auction
Sunday, September 30  
Noon to 4 pm
Windows on the River
 Cleveland, OH

Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ,ThD 

Connecting with our Sisters: The Life and Times of Phoebe, Priscilla and Perpetua


Sr. Carolyn is past president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature. 


Info and Tickets here    

Fr. Louis J. Trivison
Award, 2012

Dr. Kate Kuenstler, PHJC, JCD 

Sr. Kate has assisted parishioners

from dozens of U. S. parishes with canonical appeals to keep their churches open. 


      Info and Tickets here 

Upcoming  Events 

September 14-15, 2012, Boston, MA. National Voice of the Faithful Conference. Tenth Anniversary. Watch the VOTF website: www.votf.org

September 30th, 2012, Cleveland, OH FutureChurch 22nd Annual Benefit Windows on the River, 2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland, OH Info at www.futurechurch.org

October 8-12: Call To Action Upstate New York Thruway Tour with Christine Schenk CSJ Being American and Catholic: Supporting the Common Good. October 7-12 in Buffalo, Rochester Syracuse, Binghamton and Albany. Most programs begin at 7:00 pm. Visit  www.cta-nys.org or contact Steve Powers 518-370-1615  spowers7@nycap.rr.com


October 24: Cleveland, OH Cleveland Priesthood Sunday Celebration.  A Celebration of Priesthood. Location TBA. Contact liz@futurechurch .org


October 28: National Priesthood Sunday Special FutureChurch prayer services honor your parish priest and pray for a married priesthood and women deacons. More info here.


November 10, Louisville, KY: Prayer Service:Celebrating the Women of Vatican II with FutureChurch program coordinator, Liz England. Call To Action National Conference. Info at  www.cta-usa.org 


November 9-11, 2012. Louisville, KY: Galt House Call To Action National Conference Justice Rising. Civil rights legend, Diane Nash; theologian and spiritual activist, Matthew Fox; inter-faith justice advocate, Imam Mohammed Abdul-Azeez; counselors and authors, Fran Ferder & John Heagle and many more!...Info at www.cta-usa.org



Back by Popular Demand!


 Journey Of Discovery:   

Rome & Ostia


A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of

Women Leaders in the Early Church


March 14 - 21, 2013


Discover  frescos, mosaics and artifacts of early Christian women who were leaders of important Christian communities in Rome.  


Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ, Educational Director


Sr. Christine Schenk CSJ, Spiritual Director  


$2,949 ALL INCLUSIVE! from New York


Complete info and flyer at   


Free Sample!  
Women and the Word
for Educators: 

Essays, prayer services and student work sheets about notable women such as Prisca, Phoebe, Dorothy Day and St. Mary of Magdala. 

dinner dove 

email:  info@futurechurch.org

To  Purchase A celebrating Women Women Witnesses packet
click here

Spanish Resources here

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. ($5.00)

Info and download here 

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

To sign Open Letter to US Bishops

click here


More info... 

Organize to keep
arishes Open! SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

 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

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Magdala Market Online Store

Women and the Word education/advocacy kit
(Free download)

This free kit includes tools that help parishes, small faith communities, schools and dioceses make visible the rich tradition of women leaders in the Church.
Sample educational programs on women in scripture and church history, articles by scholars and activists and sample postcard and background info about women deacons also included.
Download here...


To donate to FutureChurch or renew your membership,  please click here

We now have a monthly giving option that 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 please send an endorsed and voided check to FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107).
Dear Friends: You can share our JULY  E-Newsletter with others by   

"Next wave" of Catholic women's movement preach at Cleveland Magdala celebration. On July 19 over 200 people heard three outstanding homilies preached by what organizers are calling the "next wave" of the women's movement in the Catholic Church.  Cleveland's 16th annual St. Mary of Magdala celebration focused on "unheard homilies" by younger women and was covered by the National Catholic Reporter 


                            Megan Wilson-Reitz preaches on Hebrew Midwives 


"St. Mary of Magdala would have been proud. And I think Jesus is proud," said Sr. Christine Schenk, executive director of FutureChurch.The women's movement in the church is alive." Schenk said she hopes people come away from the Magdala celebrations with the "good news that God's love in Jesus Christ makes a difference in our world and that the good news is beautifully proclaimed through the lens of female experience. What a tremendous loss it is to our faith communities that women such as these cannot ever preach at Sunday Mass." Read more...

Over 300 Magdala celebrations planned in 2012  From July through September over 300 St. Mary of Magdala celebrations are being held worldwide, including 42 international celebrations in Australia, Canada, Columbia, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Mexico, and New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, Uganda, and Zambia. In light of recent Vatican scrutiny of US nuns, FutureChurch developed a special celebration honoring women religious, and over 100 celebrations will honor the life and ministry of women religious. Local celebrants are invited to send photos an info about their celebrations to liz@futurechurch.org



Nine of eleven Cleveland parishes to reopen  

by August 15. On July 22 feast of St. Mary of Magdala, the Rev. Joseph Hilinski, led a procession of about 600 to the doors of St. Barbara parish for their first Mass since being closed two

years ago. Following a Polish tradition, he knocked three times on the door and commanded, "Open the doors so that the people of God may worship the God of heaven and earth." And thus a new era of worship in the much beloved neighborhood parish began.


               ST Pats: Thank You Vatican

Five of eleven Cleveland parishes who won Vatican appeals have already celebrated Mass in their newly reopened Churches. Four more are scheduled to reopen by August 15. Reopening dates for the remaining two have yet to be announced. Appeals lodged by parishioners of the 11 closed parishes resulted in Vatican decrees critical of Bishop Richard Lennon, stating that he did not properly follow procedures. In April, Lennon announced he would reopen the 11 churches rather than appeal the decrees. FutureChurch assisted many Cleveland parishes, including St. Barbara with their appeals.  Read more...  


Related: St. Casimir resumes worship services 


Read FutureChurch statement here


Download Canonical commentary on Cleveland decrees by Sr. Kate Kuenstler here


FutureChurch Save Our Parish Community Resources here 


Sign open letter to US Bishops here   


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons     




LCWR President Responds To Vatican Criticism On July 17, Sr. Pat Farrell, OSF, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was interviewed by Terri Gross on National Public Radio's Fresh Air: "The question is, 'Can you be Catholic and have a questioning mind?'. ... . if we can make any headway in helping to create a safe and respectful environment where church leaders along with rank-and-file members can raise questions openly and search for truth freely... that would be our hope." Listen to entire interview   


Catholics Pledge $88K to Nuns As of July 24, 1,000 Catholics have pledged to direct or redirect 88,478 to US sisters. Of this, the Nun Justice Project report that $53,233 was from Catholics choosing to give to the sisters rather than the Peter's Pence collection at the end of June. The remainder was pledged at Pentecost. One person from Silver Springs MD pledged to redirect $4,000 wrote: In the Church, money is power, I say, give the nuns real power, not just the pittance of Peter's Pence, which will not impress the bishops. Henceforth, I am sending most of my financial support of the Church directly to the nuns.  Pledge to support the Sisters 


E. J. Dionne: On not quitting the church  "The Vatican's statement, issued last month, seemed to be the revenge of conservative bishops against the many nuns who broke with the hierarchy and supported health-care reform in 2010. The nuns insisted, correctly, that the health-care law did not fund abortion. This didn't sit well with men unaccustomed to being contradicted, and the Vatican took the LCWR to task for statements that 'disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops.'"Read more...  


Check out nationwide vigils here..


Sisters' Petition gathers over 59,000 signatures If you haven't signed it yet, click here.


Read FutureChurch Statement on mandate here 


NCR to track stories on LCWR crackdown. Follow at Sisters Under Scrutiny 



American Nuns Vow to Fight Vatican Criticism (NY Times) 


"Love cannot be silenced" YouTube video expresses solidarity with Catholic sisters 



Fr. Michael Crosby Stands By LCWR remarks on women's ordination. Bishop Leonard Blair recently criticized LCWR for remarks made by well known theologian and author, Fr. Michael Crosby. At the 2004 LCWR assembly Crosby said 'we still have to worship a God that the Vatican says 'wills that women not be ordained.' That god ... is a false god; it cannot be worshiped. And the prophet must speak truth to that power and be willing to accept the consequence of calling for justice, stopping the violence and bringing about the reign of God."

On July 24 in a National Catholic Reporter online article, Crosby stood by his words saying "I deeply believe that the governance model of the Trinitarian God must be replicated in the structures of the church of Jesus Christ if it is to be perfected in the way God is Perfect Trinity. This demands nondiscrimination among persons at every level, nondomination in all our relationships, including the way authority is exercised in our church structures, and nondeprivation of women from having full access to all the

sacraments in our church, just as men." Read more...  


 Ed note: Crosby's recent book Repair My House : Becoming Kindom Catholics provides excellent biblical and theological foundations for his position.


                                  women deacon 

New Women Deacons: Why Not Now? resource now available Are you curious about why women have been defined out of the diaconate, what roles women served in the past, or how the Roman Catholic Church can restore the female diaconate? FutureChurch's newest education and advocacy resource is designed to help Catholics learn the rich history of female deacons, discover why the Church should restore the female diaconate, and implement a discernment process to surface women candidates to present to the bishop of their diocese.  

Read more   and  order here..  

Leader of Austrian nuns, German lay organization support women deacons. In a June interview, the president of the association of Women Religious in Austria called for ordaining women deacons. In a June interview published in the Austrian monthly Kirche IN, Sr. Kunigunde Fürst asked: "Why should it not be possible to ordain women deacons? Could it be that the hierarchy is afraid that women will get too close to the priesthood and then perhaps even move on to becoming bishops?" Eighty six percent of Austrians agree that priests should be allowed to marry and that women should be ordained. An organization representing 24 million German lay Catholics is also calling for women deacons and married priests. (The Tablet 6/16/12 p. 29 and 5/12/12, p. 29).



What's Next? Pastor Michael G Ryan reflects on the new Roman Missal. "On the first Sunday of Advent, after carefully preparing my parishioners, I swallowed hard, read the prayers, chanted the chants and did what I was required to do. I told myself it would get easier over time. Now I am not so sure. The overloaded sentences and convoluted syntax of the collects and other prayers may be less jarring than at first, but by calling attention to themselves they continue to get in the way of prayer, at least for me ."  (America) .Read more...




Graying priesthood keeps faith: the average age of Roman Catholic priests in the United States rose to 63 in 2009 from 35 in 1970, according to a recent study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. And with fewer young men entering seminaries, more priests are working past 75, the formal retirement age under canon law. In the New York Archdiocese, about 25 men over age 75 are still working as priests, and several are older than 85. Read more... 

Just one ordination for New York Archdiocese. This year the New York Archdiocese has ordained only one new priest, Rev. Patric F. D'Arcy. It is the first year that has happened since the archdiocese opened its seminary more than 110 years ago.... Since the mid-1990s, most graduating classes have had fewer than 10 priests. The archdiocese estimates that it needs 20 new priests a year to fill all open positions and allow priests to retire as they age. Read more... 

Record decrease in Brazilian Catholics According to new figures, less than two-thirds of Brazilians identify as Catholics, marking a record decline in what is considered to be the world's largest Catholic country. Eighty percent of Catholic Sunday services are led by laity in Brazil because the institutional church has failed to address the priest shortage.Read more... 


Father-Son duo re-ordained to Catholic presbyterate.
The Revs Chuck Hough IV and Chuck Hough III had both been Episcopal priests in their home of Keller, Texas. But now, even though they are both married with children, they have become Catholic priests after being ordained into the Catholic Church at the same time. Being a married priest does present its challenges - they are forbidden to use birth control and if they separate from their wives, then they are officially celibate for the rest of their lives. Read more and view video..


Sign and Circulate Open Letter From the People of God to U.S. Bishops    


Download "So All Can Be At the Table" Organizing Kit    

Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons  

Cardinal who is Papabile speaks on dialogue: "It's a shaky or fundamentalist grasp of faith that sparks suspicion or fear of the other, said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The cardinal spearheads and coordinates the "Courtyard of the Gentiles" project, which seeks to promote discussions between Christians and nonbelievers on themes as diverse as art, spirituality and bioethics. "Oftentimes this fear (of dialogue) stems from the fact that the person doesn't feel capable of defending or justifying his own reasons, hence he doesn't want to listen to the other," Read more...    


(Ed note: Ravasi is on John Allen's list of papabile albeit as a "long shot" See A poll average from Rome on the next pope

New U.S. priest association meets. In mid June about 240 priests from around the U.S. met at St. Leo University in Tampa, Florida, for the inaugural assembly of the newly formed Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. One goal is to be a "voice of hope" and to "celebrate and implement the visionary concepts of Vatican Council II." Currently the association has grown to 640 members, up from 27 at its first organizing meeting in August 201l. The June meeting adopted a resolution asking that the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University do a nationwide survey on the reception of the new Roman missal. A second resolution supported the Leadership Conference of Women Religious currently under scrutiny by the Vatican. Read more...

The website of the new organization is

 More Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Hundreds of Catholics 'hug' church, win appeal. Hundreds of St. Mary's parishioners gathered hand-in-hand Sunday and sang The Beatles' "Let It Be" as if it were a hymn. But Bishop Walter Hurley said Sunday afternoon that given the changes happening in the dioceses, it must adapt. "Because quite frankly, we don't have the clergy to staff these parishes.  That would be one issue, and we are also faced with the changing demographics," Hurley explained to 24 Hour News 8. Later, according to involved parties, parishioners learned that the Bishop would not close the church. Read more...


Peoria Catholics Organize Ahead of Reconfiguration: Peoria Catholics organized across parish boundaries in 2010 to have input into a diocesan wide parish reconfiguration plan. Calling themselves The Doors of Hope Fellowship of Catholic Laity they drafted a position statement  that was influenced by FutureChurch's 2006 "Do Not Stifle the Spirit" statement naming eight best practices for preserving parishes in a time of fewer priests. The group's input has already been recognized by the diocese as having important wisdom to offer. Bishop Jenky will announce his decisions in September, with implementation scheduled to begin in January 2013. Peoria has 190 widely dispersed parishes and will have only 96 aging priests in 2022. Read more...

Vatican denies Scituate St. Frances parishioner appeal. In May, the Vatican denied an appeal by parishioners holding vigil since 2004 at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Scituate. They had appealed the deconsecration of the church. Despite the Vatican's ruling, parishioners vowed to keep fighting. Read more...


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

Other Catholic Church News

Philadelphia Church Official Sentenced to 3-6 Years in Prison Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Roman Catholic official in the United States to be convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision, was sentenced to three to six years in prison on Tuesday, July 24. Read more... 

Vatican Opens Books to Outside Review "From now on, any bishop or religious superior who resists an independent audit; any pastor who drags his feet about proper controls on receipts from the collection plate; any head of a Catholic school, hospital or charity who plays fast and loose with the books; anybody in authority, in fact, who shrugs off concerns about money management; will inevitably face the question, "If the pope's open to criticism, why aren't you?" [John Allen, National Catholic Reporter] Read more...


Related: Report berates Vatican bank, urges serious reform


Pope announces 2 key appointments With two key personnel decisions in late June and early July, Pope Benedict XVI effectively shuffled the Vatican's deck regarding a pair of its most contentious relationships, one with American nuns and the other with the church's traditionalist wing. A German, Archbishop Gerard Mueller, replaces American Cardinal William Levada at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while an American Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia was appointed to a new commission dealing with the breakaway Pius X Society.


Patriarchies and the Powerless Did the patriarchal nature of Penn State's football program and the patriarchal nature of the Catholic church predetermine their response to allegations of child sexual abuse in their midst?  Of course it did, in both cases.  Read more...


At 96, Blessed John XXIII's secretary remembers famous boss Archbishop Loris F. Capovilla, former secretary of Blessed John XXIII, was privy to some of the pope's first remarks, only a few days after his election in 1958, "My desk is piling up with problems, questions, requests, hopes," Blessed John told his secretary. "What's really necessary is a council."Read more...

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