July 2, 2012
For Immediate Release
216-228-0869 ext. 3 (work)
On Thursday, July 19 at 7pm, FutureChurch will be celebrating the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala with an evening celebration at River’s Edge, 3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, Ohio. Three women will share the homilies they would love to preach at Sunday Mass.
At present, women’s voices are silenced in our churches. Stories of female biblical leaders are omitted or made optional in our lectionary and women, indeed all lay people, have recently been forbidden to preach at Mass even though canon law allows it. This deprives both women and men of hearing the Gospel’s life-giving message through the lens of female experience.
The focal point of the St. Mary of Magdala prayer celebration will be listening to the “unheard homilies” given by women who refuse to be silenced. They have been asked to preach the homilies they have longed to preach at Mass if they were only permitted - without restraint and without fear of criticism. Woven into the context of prayer, we know these homilies will be inspiring!
The homilists: Julie Biroscak has been engaged in ministry for more than fifteen years. At present she serves as a hospice chaplain, and has also served patients in hospitals, residents in nursing homes, and adults with intellectual disabilities in the L’Arche Community. Julie has an MA in Ministry from Ursuline College, and is a native of Cleveland. Debbie Dacone is a local pastoral minister who teaches and preaches as a campus minister, teacher, and spiritual director. She believes that the vocation to preach is rooted in one's Baptism and is honing her vocation to preach at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. Megan T. Wilson-Reitz is part of the Cleveland Catholic Worker extended community, a mother of two putative Christian radicals, and a lecturer in religious studies at John Carroll University. She presents workshops and retreats on the themes of nonviolence, economic justice and radical discipleship in Scripture.
No charge, but a free will offering will be accepted.
To educate about women leaders and to model gender balance in scripture proclamation, FutureChurch began special international celebrations of the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala in 1997. Each year between 200 and 300 such events are held in mid July. Participants hear presentations by biblical scholars about early women leaders and experience prayer services at which competently prepared women preach and preside.
The program in Cleveland is one of more than 300 international celebrations organized by FutureChurch for the July 22 Feast of St. Mary of Magdala in 2012.
Aside from the United States, celebrations will occur in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Mexico, and New Zealand, Uganda, and Zambia. They will engage between 10 and 300 people in parishes, convents, Catholic schools, Protestant churches, private homes and small faith communities.
FutureChurch, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is a U.S. coalition of parish based Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch makes presentations throughout the country, distributes educational and informational packets and recruits activists who call on Catholic leadership to open ordination to all baptized persons who are called to priestly ministry by God and the people of God.