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      October 2013  E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Notable and Quotable
Deborah Rose-Milavec takes reins at FutureChurch.
Sr. Chris Schenk honored Ordination
Reformist international priest associations meet
FutureChurch praises focus on laity at Vatican G-8. meeting
Magdala Celebrations Honor Women of Vatican II
Vatican open to optional celibacy?
Time for women deacons
FutureChurch at LCWR Assembly
VOTF focuses on clericalism
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news

Notable and Quotable: 


The Church is or should go back to being a community of God's people, and priests, pastors and bishops newspaperwho have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.

 Pope Francis:  10/1/13
In late October hundreds of faithful Catholics will honor their parish priests and pray for a return to the ancient tradition of also permitting
a married priesthood and women deacons in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church.  Download a free priesthood Sunday organizing kit

Sunday October 27, 2013.
Annual International Celebration of Priesthood Sunday


November 1, 2 and 3,  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

National Call To Action Conference,  

Sr. Chris Schenk and Sr. Kate Kuenstler: Yes you CAN change Vatican policy!

 Liz England and Lisa Barczyk: Unheard Homilies of Catholic Women


Catholic Tipping Point Caucus  



February 1, 2014 Hartford,

You can't quench the Spirit: faith and the future of the Church. Sr. Christine Schenk


12:30-4:00 PM St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, 285 Church Street, Hartford, CT  06103.

Sponsored by Women of Hope:Vibrant Voices. For more info: 860-756-4034.


March 20 - 27, 2014

A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Leaders in the Early Church (Rome and Ostia). Sign up soon! Last year's pilgrimage sold out early! Click here for more information.





Women Deacons:

Why Not Now?

Organize to keep
Parishes Open! 
SOPC image 

 Women Leaders in Early Christianity  



 Celebrating Women Witnesses!   




 A Million Voices     

(Continue discussion of women's ordination to the priesthood )



2014 Pilgrimage

March 20-27, 2014


Journey Of


Rome & Ostia

A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Leaders 

in the Early Church


with Sr. Carolyn Osiek   

and Sr. Christine Schenk


For detailed info


Read about 2013 pilgrimage here


Women and the Word education/advocacy kit
(Free download) 
WATA Reflex Blue
Tools to make visible the rich tradition of women leaders in the Church
Info Here 
Download Here 


So All Can Be at the Table 
women deacon

Send  an electronic postcard! 

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Magdala Market Online Store

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If using your checking account please send an endorsed and voided check to FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107).
Deborah Rose-Milavec takes reins at FutureChurch  
"There is real reason to hope," Rose-Milavec told supporters several times on Oct. 4. "It is a new moment
Deb leads prayer Saturday  morning
  for FutureChurch even as it is a new moment for the Catholic church under the leadership of Pope Francis."  Although Schenk and Rose-Milavec have been working side by side during this time of transition, the new executive director called the task of filling Schenk's shoes "awesome and humbling." "The only sensible way to follow is to do what Chris did," Rose-Milavec says. "Walk humbly, discern prayerfully, and act fearlessly, trusting that God who inspired this work will help us to carry it forward." Read more.

Sr. Chris Schenk honored, pays tribute to Congregation of St. Joseph    On October 4 supporters and board members gathered to honor FutureChurch's founding and now departing executive director, Sr. Chris Schenk. Chris

Chris with Board Chair, Marie Graf

offered her gratitude to the leadership team of the Congregation of St. Joseph who "stood in the breach" with her as FutureChurch endured criticism from bishops. Before coming to FutureChurch, she spent 18 years serving as a nurse midwife. Schenk said she thought of her time at FutureChurch as a kind of "spiritual midwifery"; that is, "supporting and encouraging the energies already present in the people of God, laboring to birth the fullness of the Vatican II vision." Read more


Reformist international priest associations, lay leaders meet.   From October 10-12 FutureChurch Executive Director Deborah Rose-Milavec and Sr. Chris Schenk attended the first international meeting of leaders of reformist priest organizations from six countries. Schenk represented the ten U.S. reform organizations that sponsored Fr. Helmut Schüller's fifteen-city Catholic Tipping Point tour last summer. This coalition has committed itself  to "developing an international network of priests and people working for fundamental rights in the Church," including the rights of women and all laity to participate in Church decision-making.

Fr. Bernard, Fr. Erich, Deb, and Fr. Helmut

 Rose-Milavec and Dr. Martha Heizer of the International Movement for We Are Church led discussions about how to help the Vatican include real families next October's Synod on the Family just announced by Pope Francis.

Rose-Milavec was quoted in the Austrian media: "It's not enough to ordain women... I want all women, married, single, young, old to be able to participate in church decision-making. I want women at the Synod on the Family and I want women to help elect the next Pope."

Several priest groups committed to using educational brochures from FutureChurch addressing parishioner rights, how to appeal church closings and other advocacy tools as models for developing their own resources.

An in depth NCR article by Sr. Chris Schenk is available here.  

FutureChurch praises focus on laity at Vatican meeting of G-8 

In an October 4 media release FutureChurch applauded Pope Francis and his group of eight cardinal advisors for paying significant attention to  "the role and responsibility of the laity at their meeting October 1-3, 2013.

 The release asked Pope Francis "to invite international lay leaders, both women and men, to the next meeting of the G-8" to be held December 3-5, 2013. Prior to the meeting FutureChurch leadership sent a letter to Cardinal O'Malley delineating important issues we felt should be covered Read more 

Magdala Celebrations Honor Women of Vatican II

Whether in a cave in France, listening to Sr. Sandra Schneiders IHM at a college in Chestnut Hill, MA or to Fr. Helmut Schuller in a packed church in one of 15 cities, over 350 St. Mary of Magdala celebrations once again inspired thousands of people this past summer. Twenty three were held outside the United States.


Homilist at Cincinnati celebration that drew 150 people 

Scores honored the legacy of Mary of Magdala by

remembering the 23 women - all but unknown - who attended the Second Vatican Council.

Catholic women advised bishops in subcommittees and those documents

 inspired the laity. In fact, many believe the participation of women at Vatican II opened the way for the acceptance of female theologians in the modern Church. View photos and read more...

New Secretary of State says celibacy rule open to discussion In response to a question from a Venezuelan journalist, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Secretary of State of the Vatican, said that the tradition of priestly celibacy is not dogma, or a law of divine origin, and is therefore open to discussion. He went on to note that while the church is not a democratic institution, it needs to "reflect the democratic spirit of the times and adopt a collegial way of governing.  " Read more...

Known opponent of optional celibacy replaced 

On September 21, Pope Francis moved Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, a known opponent of optional celibacy, from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy to the Apostolic Penitentiary. Archbishop Beniamino Stella was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. According to veteran Vatican correspondent, John Allen, Stella, "is a veteran diplomat seen as moderate and pragmatic, and thus arguably better in sync with the outlook of the new pope." Piacenza's new appointment was widely viewed as a demotion.  Read more.. 


Uganda catholic clergy call for right to marry A Ugandan catholic priest has said the church should do away with the vow of celibacy, saying it was time for "common sense to prevail" as many clergymen were already living with wives and children. Read more...

How would we pay for Married Priests? Compensating married priests fairly should be manageable for most Catholic parishes Read more...  



Ireland will have no Catholic priests in twenty years   


Meet Father Dad -how married priests would change the Catholic Church  


New FutureChurch educational resource!


Send Your E-Postcard to the new Vatican  Prefect at Clergy today!  

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


Sign:  Open Letter to US Bishops 


Time for ordination of women deacons

A leading theologian recently highlighted his hopes that women be accepted as ordained ministers, suggesting that Pope Francis implement this inclusive vision of Church. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, the former master of the Dominican order, recently wrote: "My profound hope is that women will be given real authority and voice in the Church."   Let us hope that women may be ordained to the diaconate and so have a place in preaching at the Eucharist. What other ways can authority be shared?" Read more  


Re: Women Deacons What the Holy Father mean  to say. Phyllis Zagano:  "So, am I the only person on the planet who thinks Pope Francis said "yes" to women as deacons? The question was about what concrete measures the church should take, "for instance, the female diaconate or a woman at the head of a dicastery?"No matter a little Rome-speak in his answer. I am pretty sure he said "yes" to ordaining women as deacons  Read more


Download Women Deacons: Why Not Now? Education/Advocacy  resource  

Read more about women deacon effort   and order a packet   


Send an Electronic Postcard to Rome  here! 


Circulate paper postcards  Download a template or order free postcards.



FutureChurch at LCWR Assembly to support sisters. FutureChurch again exhibited at LCWR's August 13-15 annual assembly. Again and again sister superiors stopped to thank us and others in the NunJustice Project for making visible the outstanding support of the People of God during this painful time.  

Thousands strongly supported LCWR during their meeting with special prayer services on the feast of St. Clare. These prayed that Pope Francis and Archbishop Sartain would "not only speak but listen and authentically dialogue with the sisters as St. Francis did with St. Clare."

In an August 19  press statement, the LCWR board cited a "profound and honest sharing of views" with Archbishop Sartain You can still write to church authorities and support the sisters here  nunjustice.org 



Sisters' Relate Experience of Visitation in their Own words


Support the Sisters! here 


View photos of hundred of national vigils here 

Read FutureChurch Statement on mandate here  


 VOTF focuses on clericalism   Voice of the Faithful has named clericalism as among the principal causes of clergy sexual abuse, and its cover-up, and has defined it as an overriding set of beliefs and behaviors in which the clergy view themselves as different, separate, and exempt from the norms, rules, and consequences that apply to everyone else in society. Voice of the Faithful® has published several documents challenging clericalism. Read more...  


Parish Closing and Appeals News  


 St. James Saved: A Year Later More than a year after Bishop Richard Lennon reversed his decision to close St. James Parish in Lakewood, Ohio membership is steadily climbing.And activities at the Detroit Avenue parish are in full swing. Read more..


Philadelphia Archdiocese announces up to 73 church closings, mergers  In June, Citing declining membership, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced mergers that will affect 27 parishes.  Then on September 17 the Archdiocese released the names of 46 more parishes that it will review and potentially merge or close.  "I have no faith in it," said Carol Ann Houmeidan, who attends one of the parishes named in the new list. "I do believe it's gonna be closed. It's just a matter of time. "Read more... 



Related...Archdiocese considers more parish closures looking at churches in Philadelphia and suburbs

Peoria Diocese merging parishes "Once the merging is finished there will be one church in each town, and some towns will be without a church . . . The Diocese of Peoria may not have more than 40-50 churches in its Diocese, once the merging is accomplished." Read more..


Saginaw rally protests church closures On August 15, 2013 while Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone led prayer inside Holy Family Catholic Church, an estimated 400 to 500 people gathered outside to deliver the message that they feel the plan is full of despair. The Save Our Rural Catholic Church rally peacefully protested reducing the number of parish communities in the diocese from 105 to 56 by 2015.

Ginger Marx, spoke during the rally, saying in 2012, Cistone asked all parish communities to submit recommendations for the future "None of our recommendations were followed," Marx said. People can weigh in on the plan to close and consolidate local Catholic churches on the Facebook page titled "Save Our Rural Catholic Churches." Read more...  


Related Pinconning parishioners 'mourn' church closure in Saginaw restructuring


Nova Scotia diocese reviewing parishes in four counties The pastoral planning director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish, N.S. says a review of 48 parishes in four counties is underway.  A similar review in Cape Breton County resulted in eight churches closing in the Sydney, Glace Bay and Northside areas. Diocesan officials say closing churches will be a last resort. Read more.. 


Greensburg, PA parishioners appeal to Vatican over closing of five churches "Some of Kathleen Dunlevy's most precious memories center around the former Madonna of Czestochowa parish in Fayette County, where she attended Mass all her life. Dunlevy heads a group of Fayette County parishioners who want the diocese to reverse its decision to close five church buildings and who are taking their case to the Vatican." Read more:  


UPDATED Canonical Appeals for Dummies  here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet here.    


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


Sign open letter to US Bishops here   

Other Church News


German bishops table new Mass translation German bishops have tabled a controversial new translation of the Mass that had been a bone of contention between them and the Vatican under the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, according to the liturgical website Pray Tell.* Read more...


Cardinals finery flouts Pope Francis' call for humility "Pope Benedict loved the old courtly model, the traditional finery which gave a lot of these men permission to dress as they have," said Sr. Christine Schenk. "In photographs of a cardinal followed by a 20-foot train ... These cardinals think it's a way of giving honor to the office. But to ordinary people it comes across as a lavish display that's completely unrelated to Jesus of Nazareth who had no place to lay his head..." Read more...


Vatican tells bishops not to reform faster than Francis PARIS, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The Vatican warned bishops on Tuesday October not to reform faster than Pope Francis, after a German diocese said that some divorced and remarried Catholics would now be allowed to receive communion and other sacraments. Read more...

Poll: majority of weekly Mass-goers support same-sex marriage, women's ordination  A majority of Catholics in the United States who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage and the ordination of women to the priesthood, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released October 4. Read more...

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