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          August 2012 E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Chicago woman to become Permanent Deacon?
A "deeper love story" (sprirtual reading for reformers!)
Grand Cleveland Reopenings!
Banner Year of Magdala Celebrations
Senior Irish cleric calls for married priests.
203 Milwaukee parishes to become 28?
US Church finances an "Unholy Mess?"
Musicians critique new Missal
LCWR: creating a way
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

mag market header
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 AUGUST E-Newsletter with others by   

Chicago woman to become Permanent Deacon? "Lynne Mapes-Riordan, of Evanston, hopes women will one day serve as Roman Catholic deacons. After 800 years, she could be one of the first. Mapes-Riordan, 49, and fellow parishioners at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston, IL met last winter with Chicago's Francis Cardinal George who reportedly promised to raise the question in Rome."  Read more... 

                            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..  



A "deeper love story": (Spiritual reading for Church reformers!) "When we are angry and hurt we prefer to speak of "the" church (not "our" church), "the" bishop (not "our" bishop), "the" parish (not "our" parish). If we're not careful we can find ourselves moving towards not only abdication of responsibility, but a negation of a relationship at the heart of our identity. We belong to the Lord and his people through the mystery of divine choice; a belonging that stems from freedom and tenderness, not coercion and guilt. Whatever difficulties and tensions we face as a church, their resolution depends upon our willingness to embrace these core relationships, this 'deeper love-story' recounted in scripture, in tradition, and inscribed in our own hearts."  Read more...


Grand Cleveland Reopenings Over the past six weeks 9 of the eleven Cleveland diocese parishes who won their appeals have had opening masses, most with standing room only.    Below are links to photos and stories about each parish.

                 Cleveland cartoon


St. Patrick, 2 other Cleveland Catholic parishes reopen (gallery) Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012, 6:01 PM     


Overflow crowd fills St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood to celebrate reopening Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 9:48 PM      


St. Wendelin parish on Cleveland's West Side reopens its doors (gallery) Sunday, July 29, 2012, 6:00 PM      


Cleveland Poles celebrate parish's reopening with joyful Mass


Hundreds flock to St. Mary's to witness its reopening on a day dedicated to the "Mother of God"   


Joyful tears at St. John's reopening Published: July 15, 2012 - 10:18 PM


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    


Banner year for St. Mary of Magdala celebrations! 

From Soacha, Columbia to Gainesville FL, this was a banner year with over 350 St. Mary of Magdala celebrations held in July and August. Nearly one third of the celebrations included special prayers of support U.S. nuns. Forty two celebrations were held outside the U.S. in Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Sco tland, Singapore, Uganda, and Zambia.    



         Soacha, Columbia, St. Mary of Magdala Celebration  

 Sr. Louise Akers, Cincinnati,OH             Gainesville, FL  


To see more GREAT highlights click here...


For info on Cleveland's "Unheard Homilies' celebration and to download the homilies click here... 


If you haven't already, send photos and info about your celebrations to liz@futurechurch.org



Senior Irish cleric calls for married priests   Reform is needed to reinvigorate the promotion and uptate of vocations within the Galway diocese. That's the view of Fr. Martin Whelan, the Galway Diocesan Secretary who says the time may now have come to consider having married priests. Read more... 


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


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons   


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


203 Milwaukee parishes to become 28, with 72 'clusters,' On August 8 Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki approved and issued the document "Parishes and Pastoral Leadership 2020," to deal with the fact that by 2020 "the number of priest retirements will exceed ordinations, resulting in a projected 40 percent reduction in the number of priests serving in parish ministry." To address this and other issues, the archdiocese plans to reduce the current 203 pariishes to 100 parishes and clusters in 2020. "Of these, 28 are free-standing parishes and the remaining parishes will create 72 clusters," the plan states. "The 72 clusters will be formed by bringing together approximately 175 parishes and establishing collaborative staffing, structures and ministries." Read more...

Download Free Save Our Parish Community Resources 


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons     


US Catholic Church finances an "Unholy Mess?"A recent article in the highly respected publication The Economist was sharply critical of the business practices of the US. Catholic Church. This is especially troubling in light of this salient fact: "The American church may account for as much as 60% of the global [Catholic] institution's wealth. Little surprise, then, that it is the biggest contributor to head office (ahead of Germany, Italy and France). Everything from renovations to St Peter's Basilica in Rome to the Pontifical Gregorian University, the church's version of West Point, is largely paid for with American money." Read more...    



America on The Economist Article "... the finances of the Catholic church in America are an unholy mess. The sins involved in its book-keeping are not as vivid or grotesque as those on display in the various sexual-abuse cases that have cost the American church more than $3 billion so far; but the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution. Read more...


John Allen on Church finances "If you're looking for the real moguls and tycoons in the church ... they're not to be found among the bishops....The numbers suggest a possible financial dimension to some of today's debates over Catholic identity. Understandably, some bishops may fret that if schools, hospitals, charities or religious orders drift out of the official orbit, it's not just the church's missionary capacity that's at stake, but an enormous chunk of its financial footprint too. Read more... 



Church musicians give new Roman Missal mixed reviews .Church musicians gave a lukewarm assessment of the new Catholic liturgy at a national gathering of pastoral musicians in Pittsburgh, but said that priests who worked hard to make it successful were able to bring new levels of meaning and participation to the Mass. Read more...





LCWR: "Creating a way where there is no way" [Jamie Manson] "After reading the statement, some among the laity expressed disappointment that LCWR didn't simply disband and reorganize outside of the structures of the church. The fact is, such a move would be canonically impossible...[O]nly the Vatican, having created LCWR as a "public juridic person," has the ability to dissolve it. As one sister told me, they "will try to create a way where there is no way," echoing a common refrain used in the Civil Rights movement. They will not walk away from the institution without taking this unprecedented opportunity to invite the larger church into deeper conversation. The fact is, I don't believe women religious will ever walk away from their connection to the institutional church. One thing I learned for certain last week: If the sisters go, it will be because Vatican tossed them out. Read more....


Former LCWR head holds out hope for dialogue August 15, 2012 at 1:00 am "Like women everywhere, we awakened to our own identity as women and claimed the rights that were ours, equal to those of men," said Sr. Nancy Sylvester. "Our ministries have brought us face to face with the homeless, those in prisons, those on drugs, the economically disadvantaged, those suffering because of their sexual orientation. Those are the people today who Jesus would have called friends. And once you start working with real-life folks, you realize very few things are black and white." Read more.. 


Reality check: Nun candidates equally attracted to progressive, conservative orders " ... some commentators have made assertions about the demographics of religious life in the United States that are not based in fact. Regrettably, such misinformed statements create dichotomies that not only mask the complexity of religious reality, but are patently false. ...One of the most striking findings regarding new entrants [to religious orders] is that almost equal numbers of women have been attracted to institutes in both conferences of women religious in the U.S. in recent years.... Since a significant number of young adult Catholic women have fallen away from religious practice, religious institutes have the challenge of trying to recruit women who are also struggling with their deep ambivalence about the church. This is an issue that belongs to the entire church, not just to religious institutes. Read more...   



Seattle "flower march" draws more than 500 people

Catholics pledge Over $100,000 to Nuns As of August 27, 1,156 Catholics have pledged to direct or redirect $100,103  to US sisters. Of this, the Nun Justice Project report that an estimated $64,858 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 


Sisters' Petition gathers over 64,250 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     



 More Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Parishioners continue Vatican appeal after church holds closing Mass  Jessup Catholics fighting to keep St. Mary's Assumption Church from permanently closing plan to push on with their appeal after a last Mass was held. The 100-plus members of the Committee to Save St. Mary's Church said they were disheartened by the Diocese of Scranton's decision to close "our beloved church"... "We shall not yield, and we shall not be bullied into compromising our principles" Read more... 


Youngstown appeal succeeds  Parishioners who appealed the closing of Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville by the Youngstown Roman Catholic Diocese said Thursday they received word from the Vatican upholding their challenge. Parishioners say the Vatican has overruled a second Ohio bishop and ordered a church reopened. They say the parish had 150 families, sound finances and its one Sunday Mass was crowded. Read more...   


Related: Youngstown Diocese gets Vatican decree concerning church   


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

Other Catholic Church News

Theologians' rights to canonical defense "not being observed"  (NCR) The U.S. bishops' committee tasked with enforcing church doctrine adopted new procedures for investigating theologians a year ago, apparently unbeknownst to the theologians whose teachings and writings would be subject to the protocols. Terrence Tilley, head of the theology department at Fordham University, said he was unaware of the new procedures. After reviewing a copy provided by NCR, Tilley said he wondered why they do not make reference to protections found in canon law for those under investigation to defend themselves in a "competent ecclesiastical forum." Canon 221, specifically, "is not being observed," Tilley said. Read more...


Russian and Polish church leaders make historic appeal for mutual forgiveness WARSAW, Poland - The leaders of Russia's Orthodox church and Poland's Catholic church signed a document Friday that urges their nations to forgive each other for past wrongs. Read more...


German Bishop's extravagant behavior triggers uproar

He extols the virtues of poverty and humility, but the German bishop of Limburg enjoys first-class flights and a luxurious new living complex. As the truth comes out about their secretive shepherd, local Catholics are threatening to abandon the fold en masse. Read more...   


Bishops Cullen and Cistone named defendants They may have escaped criminal prosecution, but according to a memorandum of law filed Monday in Common Pleas Court, Bishops Edward P. Cullen and Joseph R. Cistone can expect to be named as defendants in an ongoing civil case against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding the sexual abuse of a former 10-year-old altar boy.  Read more... 


Vatican numbers hint at fading faith practice   VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The percentage of Catholics practicing their faith is declining almost everywhere around the globe. Almost all bishops report it, but it's difficult to prove statistically. The working document for the upcoming world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization contains more than a dozen references to a "weakening of faith" or "declining practice" ...[B]etween1990 and 2010, the global Catholic population grew from 928.5 million to almost 1.2 billion, a 29 percent increase.... However the 29 percent increase is not mirrored in the number of first Communions or confirmations reported. Read more...


Vatican magistrates order trial for papal assistant accused of theft VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Vatican magistrates have formally indicted Pope Benedict XVI's personal assistant, Paolo Gabriele, on charges of aggravated theft and have indicted a computer technician from the Vatican Secretariat of State on minor charges of aiding Gabriele after he stole Vatican correspondence. Read more...


Group house gives women a place to discern their calling as nuns In what is being described as the first of its kind in the U.S., the Archdiocese of New Orleans has transformed a vacant church rectory into a group house where single women will live together while deciding whether to undertake lives as nuns. Read more... 

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