Womens Witness, Leadership Flourish
I introduced my small faith community to
Dorothy Day last night ... They really liked the prayer service.
Our group brings food and other supplies to a home that takes in
homeless women. They can really identify with Dorothy Day. The
service gave them a background into the work of this great woman.
I intend to use the entire series, continuing with the prayer service
for St. Mary of Magdala. Thank you for all you do. (Kathy
Herrington from San Jose)
Kathy Herrington is just one of thousands of people, including
pastoral ministers, priests, youth ministers, educators and just
regular Catholics from all over the U.S., who are sending for the
FutureChurch/CTA Women in Church
Leadership (WICL) and Celebrating
Women Witnesses (CWW) resources. WICL educates about the inclusive
practice of the historic Jesus and promotes the July 22nd feast
of St. Mary of Magdala, while CWW celebrates twelve other women
of faith who resisted the patriarchy of their day because of belief
Celebrating Women Witnesses is especially popular with
retreat centers and womens groups who appreciate the easy
programming afforded by the bright red packet and original artwork
by Eileen Cantlin Verbus. Many retreat centers study and celebrate
one woman witness each month, using the essays and specially prepared
prayer services for each woman. Other groups request multiple reprints
of the essays and services to individually celebrate Mary of Nazareth,
Teresa of Avila, Dorothy Day, Prisca, Therese of Lisieux, Sor Juana,
Angela Merici, the Beguines, Thea Bowman, Julian of Norwich, Claire
of Assisi and Catherine of Siena.
Sr. Chris Schenk gives presentation on Mutuality in the
Scriptures at March workshop for the Precious Blood Community,
O'Fallon, MO (stay tuned for in depth article next issue).
Marys Pence ordered 600 of the packets for their monthly
prayer and faith sharing groups, while in England, an American
spiritual director requested the Women in Church Leadership
and Celebrating Women Witnesses Resources resources for
a program given by Tina Beatty on Women and Discipleship
in the New Millennium.
Many parishes find the Mary
of Magdala resources are perfect for Lenten prayer services.
Jeanne G. Hidalgo offered a Good Friday women who stayed
at the cross prayer service featuring the women who remained
with Jesus from the anointing at the Passover supper through crucifixion,
death, burial and resurrection. Other parishes use a Mary of Magdala
vignette to help worshipers fully appreciate the power of Easter
We now have 60 WICL anchors who are initiating creative
events in their locales. Jo Young organized a Musical Liturgy
Honoring Mary of Nazareth at her church in Toronto and writes:
It certainly gave the BVM a new look in our parish! The message
was liberation and social justice! Nadine in Michigan gave
a presentation at a fantastic diocesan womens
workshop for a gathering of Catholic youth and distributed many
project materials. Diana from St. Louis worked with a local repertory
theatre who did a play on womens ordination which opened
to a packed house and received a standing ovation. She made resources
available and noted that this town is really hoppin
with activity around the womens issue in the Church.
Joanne McGrath (second from left) organizes three day scripture
program on Jesus
inclusive practice for her parish in Mesa, Az. Songwriter
Jaime Cortez (first on left) provided beautiful musical
Joanne M. in Arizona organized a parish education program and
invited project coordinator Sr. Chris Schenk to give a three-part
series on the historical Jesus, Jesus and Women, and the Christ
of faith. Over 300 people attended. Meanwhile Pat from upstate
New York designed a first-ever parish Lenten program featuring
the Celebrating Women Witnesses resources, and Mary from
Michigan faithfully writes and prints a monthly synopsis of a woman
witness, complete with original art in her parish bulletins. Jeanne
from Cleveland has started a womens retreat at her parish
and hopes to train women leaders from other parishes to do the
With this kind of energy at work, can the birth of a more inclusive
Church be far behind?
Again this July 22nd, hundreds of St.
Mary of Magdala celebrations will happen throughout the world.
Email and telephone follow up will begin soon. Please notify
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning a celebration and
havent told us about it yet. If you are interested in anchoring
the Women in Church Leadership effort in your area, email: