October 16, 2012
For Immediate Release
Chris Schenk (work) 216-228-0869 ext. 4
Liz England 216-228-0869 ext. 3
Cleveland, Ohio: Wednesday, October 24th at 7pm, FutureChurch will hold “A Celebration of Priesthood” at St. Colman’s Church 2027 West 65th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44102.
Catholics in Cleveland have been moved to action with the restructuring of their Diocese and the shortage of priests. Sr. Chris Schenk, FutureChurch Executive Director explains that this is not just a local issue: “Parishes in Europe, the U.S. and the United Kingdom are closing while thousands of Catholics in the developing world have virtually no access to Mass and the sacraments because of too few celibate priests.”
The Cleveland celebration is one of 60 occurring across the U.S. and five other countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and The Netherlands.
Cleveland Catholics will gather to pray for and affirm priests who like St. Paul, embrace the celibate charism in their service to God's people. They will also affirm those whose call to ministry is not yet recognized by the institutional church. They pray that Church leaders will welcome into the Latin Rite those who, like St. Peter, embrace their call to priestly service as married men, and women who like St. Phoebe, embrace their call to serve as deacons.
“We thank our parish priests for their dedication, but also acknowledge that there are many whose service is not yet welcomed in our churches,” said Liz England FutureChurch Program Coordinator. “The addition of married priests and women deacons to our current priesthood would provide the support necessary to keep churches open and sacraments available.”
Reflections will share different perspectives on the priesthood.
FutureChurch’s event advocates for discussion of the opening of ordination to married priests and women deacons by encouraging those in attendance to send paper and e-postcards to Cardinals Mauro Piacenza and Gerhard Ludwig Muller in Rome. The cards call for “discussion at the highest levels of the Church ... of permitting both a married and celibate priesthood” and state that “opening the permanent diaconate to women would allow women to preach and exercise other important ministries on behalf of the People of God.” FutureChurch.org has been configured to send these postcards in several languages, including Spanish, French, and German, which has promoted international participation.
There is no charge for this event but a free will offering will be accepted.